Except when mobilized to Federal Service, National Guard units belong to the state, and not the federal government. So, what happens when a member of the National Guard wants to move from one state to another? Is the member required to travel back to the original state to perform drills?
Not necessarily. It's possible to request transfer from a National Guard unit to a NG unit in another state, and such transfers happen all the time.
The Transfering Process
Notification. Notify current National Guard unit that you're relocating to another state.
Clear Supply. Turn-in everything issued to you by your unit (TA-50, etc.) but not clothing.
Begin Coordination. Your unit should notify your state's Interstate Transfer Coordinator (IST). The IST will locate possible choices of unit's to which you may transfer. A coordinated transfer between states can be accomplished prior to your relocation completing the NGB Form 22-5-R-E, Interstate Transfer Agreement.
So, what happens if a National Guard member moves to another state without prior coordination of a transfer? Sometimes a National Guard member relocates quickly without the transfer process being completed.
In this case, you should request excused absence from training for 90 days in order to find a new National Guard unit and execute a transfer.
Your current unit should notify the Interstate Transfer (IST) Coordinator in your state of your new address and telephone number.
Remember that you are required to attend all scheduled training with your current unit unless properly excused.
The IST Coordinator in your new state will assist with your reassignment once you have moved to your new location. One of states local National Guard recruiters may also assist you in locating a new unit.
In many cases, one can change to a different MOS/AFSC if there is a vacancy in the gaining unit and if you meet the prerequisites (color vision, test scores, security clearance, etc.) for that MOS/AFSC.
You can retain your current rank if you're E6 or below. E7's must be placed in a vacant E7 position.
If you're currently contracted for (and eligible) for a bonus, then you should be able to retain that eligibility when you move to the new state, as long as you ensure the following::
- If your bonus contract is for a specific MOS/AFSC, then you must remain in that MOS/AFSC
- If your bonus contract is for specific type unit (bonus unit), then you must transfer to a bonus eligible unit within the new state.
Failure to remain in a bonus eligible MOS/AFSC or Bonus Unit can result in temporary suspension of payments or perhaps termination from the bonus program.
- Don't close your current bank account you've established for direct deposit. Wait until you've received at least one paycheck deposited into a new account before closing the old.
- Instead of electing 90 days excused absence (without pay) during the relocation process, you may request to attend drills with a National Guard unit in your new state until a transfer is completed. It takes prior coordination between units, but it's not a difficult process. You'll be paid through your current unit, even though you're split-training with a unit in your new state. The Interstate Transfer (IST) Coordinator can be helpful in this process.
- Bring a copy of your Direct Deposit (Form 1199A).