Joining the Rhode Island Army National Guard offers more than just the pride of serving your country. As a college student, you can earn benefits that help you pay for education and expenses all while simultaneously serving. Many college students struggle to financially afford tuition, books and fees on their own. It is important to note that there are many avenues that can work for both educational and financial needs.
Being a soldier in the Rhode Island National Guard allows for the development of a military career and obtaining a civilian education. There is no need to separate these two goals.
According to the Recruit and Sustainment Program, the RIARNG is currently offering $20,000 bonuses for the following military occupational specialties; infantry (11B), engineer (12 series), military police (31B), field artillery (13 series), and special forces (18 series). These bonuses are awarded following Basic Training and are awarded in increments throughout the first contract.
Sergeant First Class Corcaran from the RIARNG Recruit and Sustainment Center explains that guard members are eligible for many benefits, such as the GI Bill, which is $439 a month, and the GI Bill Kicker at $350 a month, which gives a person a whopping total of $789 a month to help cover expenses and to just be a student. Another notable benefit is the State Tuition Assistance Program for URI, RIC and CCRI, which covers the cost of tuition at these institutions.
Free tuition is applicable all the way up to a masters degree, which numerous students and soldiers are unaware of. Worth noting, if there is current student loan debt, the RIARNG will cover up to $50,000 of it.
Additionally, Providence College accepts students from multiple RI state schools, including Rhode Island College, into the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, which is done in conjunction with traditional education. This is yet another unique opportunity that the National Guard offers. Upon graduation from Army ROTC, individuals will earn the rank of Second Lieutenant and be commissioned into the Army National Guard, Army Reserve or Active Army.
The National Guard provides unique opportunities to succeed financially as a soldier, as a full time student and in a military career.
If this appeals to you, please contact Sergeant First Class Corcoran at (401)-374-9037.