Army National Call to Service (NCS) Enlistments

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The Army is dramatically expanding its (NCS) Enlistment Program, commonly called the "Two-Year Enlistment."

Congress mandated that all of the military services offer the NCS program, effective October 2003. Under the NCS program, a person enlists on active duty for a period of 15 months, following basic training and job training (which makes an average 24-month active duty enlistment period).

What Does the NCS Mean for You?

Everyone who enlists under the NCS incurs a total 8-year military service obligation. Following the active duty commitment, recruits will have to accept one of the following:

  • Reenlist on active duty (for a time period that will be specified in the original enlistment contract)
  • Serve two years in the active National Guard or Reserves (this means a minimum of drilling one weekend per month, plus training for two weeks per year, plus the possibility of being recalled to active duty by the President for deployments/contingency operations, etc.).

After serving for the additional time period mentioned above, the commitment is not over yet (remember, this is a total eight-year commitment). Whatever time remains of that total eight-year commitment, must be spent in one of the following programs:

  • Active Duty
  • Selected Reserves (The one that requires weekend drill and two weeks per year training)
  • Inactive Reserves (The program where you can be recalled to active duty if needed, but don't perform weekend drill or annual training)
  • Another program such as Peace Corps or Americorps
  • Combination of any of the above

As with the other services, the Army wasn't thrilled with the program when Congress mandated it, and instituted it on a very limited basis. The program was only available at 10 of the Army’s 41 recruiting battalions: Albany, N.Y.; Columbia, S.C.; Miami; Raleigh, N.C.; Cleveland; Kansas City, Mo.; Oklahoma City; Sacramento and Southern California (Mission Viejo, Calif.), and San Antonio, Texas. However, sagging recruiting numbers have prompted the Army to expand the program to all of their recruiting locations.

What Are the Benefits of the NCS?

Members who enlist under the National Call to Service Program will receive their choice of one of the following enlistment incentives:

  • Payment of a bonus in the amount of $5,000, payable on completion of the active duty service portion.
  • Payment in an amount not to exceed $18,000 of outstanding principal and interest on qualifying student loans. This is also payable upon completion of the active duty portion.
  • An "Education Allowance" which is equal to Full Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), Education Rates for up to 12 months of education (which currently equates to $816 per month for 12 months of full-time education).
  • An "Education Allowance" which is equal to 1/2 Monthly GI Bill Benefits for up to 36 months of education (which currently equates to $408 per month for 36 months of full-time education).

    Note: Recruits who enlist under the National Call to Service program are not eligible for the MGIB unless they later reenlist for two or more additional years.

    Recruits will be required to stipulate in the enlistment contract which of the above incentives they will receive.

    MOSs in Program

    The 15-month-plus enlistment option is available for the following military occupational specialties:

    o  Infantry
    o  Cannon Crewmember
    o  Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist
    o  Fire Support Specialist
    o  Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Crewmember
    o  MLRS Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist
    o  Field Artillery Surveyor
    o  Field Artillery Meteorological Crewmember
    o  Air Traffic Controller
    o  AH-64 Attack Helicopter Repairer
    o  UH-60 Helicopter Repairer
    o  CH-47 Helicopter Repairer
    o  Cavalry Scout
    o  Armor Crewman
    o  Combat Engineer
    o  Bridge Crewmember
    o  Heavy Construction Equipment Operator
    o  Crane Operator
    o  General Construction Equipment Operator
    o  Plumber
    o  Lithographer
    o  Firefighter
    o  Interior Electrician
    o  Topographic Surveyor
    o  Technical Engineer
    o  Topographic Analyst
    o  Construction and Asphalt Equipment Operator
    o  Carpentry and Masonry Specialist
    o  Cable Systems Installer-Maintainer
    o  Military Police
    o  Internment and Resettlement Specialist
    o  Personnel Administration Specialist
    o  Administrative Specialist
    o  Financial Management Technician
    o  Small Arms/Artillery Repairer
    o  Utilities Equipment Repairer-Heating and AC
    o  Power-Generation Equipment Repairer
    o  Chaplain Assistant
    o  Light-Wheel Vehicle Mechanic
    o  Chemical Operations Specialist
    o  Cargo Specialist
    o  Motor Transport Operator
    o  Transportation Management Coordinator
    o  Ammunition Specialist
    o  Dental Specialist
    o  Patient Administration Specialist
    o  Pharmacy Specialist
    o  Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist
    o  Preventive Medicine Specialist
    o  Animal Care Specialist
    o  Health Care Specialist
    o  Automated Logistical Specialist
    o  Petroleum Supply Specialist
    o  Food Service Operations
    o  Mortuary Affairs Specialist
    o  Laundry and Textile Specialist
    o  Water Treatment Specialist
    o  Unit Supply Specialist
    o  Ground Surveillance Systems Operator