The Army is dramatically expanding its National Call to Service (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 11X Infantry
o 13B Cannon Crewmember
o 13D Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist
o 13F Fire Support Specialist
o 13M Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Crewmember
o 13P MLRS Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist
o 13S Field Artillery Surveyor
o 13W Field Artillery Meteorological Crewmember
o 15Q Air Traffic Controller
o 15R AH-64 Attack Helicopter Repairer
o 15T UH-60 Helicopter Repairer
o 15U CH-47 Helicopter Repairer
o 19D Cavalry Scout
o 19K Armor Crewman
o 21B Combat Engineer
o 21C Bridge Crewmember
o 21E Heavy Construction Equipment Operator
o 21F Crane Operator
o 21J General Construction Equipment Operator
o 21K Plumber
o 21L Lithographer
o 21M Firefighter
o 21R Interior Electrician
o 21S Topographic Surveyor
o 21T Technical Engineer
o 21U Topographic Analyst
o 21V Construction and Asphalt Equipment Operator
o 21W Carpentry and Masonry Specialist
o 25L Cable Systems Installer-Maintainer
o 31B Military Police
o 31E Internment and Resettlement Specialist
o 42A Personnel Administration Specialist
o 42L Administrative Specialist
o 44C Financial Management Technician
o 45B Small Arms/Artillery Repairer
o 52C Utilities Equipment Repairer-Heating and AC
o 52D Power-Generation Equipment Repairer
o 56M Chaplain Assistant
o 63B Light-Wheel Vehicle Mechanic
o 74D Chemical Operations Specialist
o 88H Cargo Specialist
o 88M Motor Transport Operator
o 88N Transportation Management Coordinator
o 89B Ammunition Specialist
o 91E Dental Specialist
o 91G Patient Administration Specialist
o 91Q Pharmacy Specialist
o 91R Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist
o 91S Preventive Medicine Specialist
o 91T Animal Care Specialist
o 91W Health Care Specialist
o 92A Automated Logistical Specialist
o 92F Petroleum Supply Specialist
o 92G Food Service Operations
o 92M Mortuary Affairs Specialist
o 92S Laundry and Textile Specialist
o 92W Water Treatment Specialist
o 92Y Unit Supply Specialist
o 96R Ground Surveillance Systems Operator