The difference between the Army Reserve and the National Guard
There are similarities between the Army Reserve and the National Guard, which are two branches of the army structure of the United States Armed Forces and at first glance one might think that there is not a lot of difference between them. This is not the case and there are several differences between the two branches of the national security system. They do wear the same uniform, but they perform different duties are two different entities.
The rank structure of both the Army Reserve and the National Guard is the same as that of the Army. They are arranged in squads that have the same numbers and there is the same number of squads in a platoon. The main difference between these units and the Army is that the members of the Army Reserve and the National Guard are not soldiers on a full-time basis. The Army is not their career and they are not active personnel. These soldiers engage in training for only one weekend each month and engage in an annual training exercise for two weeks every year. This is where the similarities between the Army Reserve and the National Guard come to an end.
About the Army Reserve
The Army Reserve is a branch of the Army whose role it is to complement the regular forces. They are not active personnel until they are called up to play a role in a situation that develops. When this happens they become regular soldiers. Many regular Army personnel become part of the Army Reserve after they have served the time for which they enlisted. These veterans provide a vital link between the Army and the Army Reserve because they bring their expertise and experience to the reserve unit of which they are a part.
About the National Guard
The members of the National Guard are not enlisted national troops even though they are part of the Armed Forces of the United States. They are the militia of each state and take their orders from the Governor. In some exceptional circumstances they can be called into action by the President.
The members of the National Guard are troops of the state although they can be called up for active duty in the Army. The usual roles played by this component of the Army include quelling civil unrest, such as riots, and providing whatever assistance is needed in natural disasters. The Governor of a state can call in the National Guard whenever a state of emergency is declared and the members of the unit provide assistance to the police.
- The members of the Army Reserve are under the authority of the federal government. The members of the National Guard are under the authority of individual states.
- The members of the Army Reserve are reserve soldiers for the regular Army. The National Guard usually works within its own state.
- The National Guard is usually called up to help in times of disasters in the state when a state of emergency is declared.
- The Army Reserve can be called up to serve in an international capacity.