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UTAH NATIONAL GUARD
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Benefits

Educational Benefits

The cost of higher education should not stop you from reaching your goals in life. In the Army National Guard, you can receive 100% Tuition Assistance to help pay for college or a vocational training program.

Together with your monthly drill pay and allowances, the Guard offers a generous list of education benefits that will help in paying for college. The Montgomery G.I. Bill and Army National Guard G.I.Bill Kicker provide monthly stipends of over $625 a month for a 36-month period. Many states offer additional tuition assistance.

Education Support Center.

The Army National Guard Education Support Center helps Soldiers achieve personal academic goals. Whether your goals included vocational training and/or certification, an Associate's or Bachelor's Degree, the Education Support Center is a valuable tool for all Guard Soldiers.

The center provides degree planning, military credit evaluations, and college credit assessments. It also serves as a virtual counseling and information center for Guard Soldiers and their spouses. Guard members can take advantage of every opportunity to complete their degree by maximizing non-traditional classes or courses.

Did you know that college credit may be granted for military courses and training? The Education Support Center knows which colleges recognize the top-notch training Guard Soldiers receive and reward those Soldiers with well deserved academic credit. Counselors can provide Soldiers with a degree-completion roadmap that applies personal and professional experience towards college-level credit. Additionally, they can recommend distance education alternatives to classrooms to assist Soldiers with busy lifestyles.

Start Benefiting Right Away.

A number of educational benefits begin as soon as you enlist in the Army National Guard. These include free academic testing (such as SAT, CLEPT and more) and 100% Tuition Assistance. When you complete Basic and Advanced Individual Training, you will be eligible to begin taking advantage of the Montgomery G I Bill and the Army National Guard G I Bill Kicker Benefits.

There are 60,000 Reasons to Get a Higher Education

There are many great reasons to join the Utah Army National Guard. One of them is that you can earn over $60,000 towards a college education. With more than 3,200 armories across the nation, chances are good that you'll be able to serve in or near your hometown or wherever you go to school. There's a college degree waiting for you.

Join the team that will help you get it.

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Space A Travel

Space Available Travel allows you to fly free on a military plane anywhere in the U.S., Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, when space is available. Members of the Army National Guard are entitled to travel, at no charge and on a space-available basis, on military aircraft within and between the Continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. To make use of space-available transportation, a member of the Army National Guard must meet the following conditions: He or she must have a current, valid military ID card.

He or she must be in a pay or non pay status, and perform regular periods of inactive duty training – drill.

He or she must have a DD Form 1853. The DD Form 1853 authorizes him or her to use military space-available transportation. The unit commander must sign this form or other duly designated authority.

Members may go to a Passenger Service Center in the passenger terminal to register for Space-A flights or may register by mail, fax, or e-mail.

The request should provide a statement that required border clearance documents are current and a list of up to five country destinations. Travelers remain on the Space-A register for 60 days after registration, or for the duration of their travel orders authorization, or until they are selected for travel, whichever occurs first.

Each terminal maintains a Space-A register (organized by priority and date and time of registration for travel) that is updated daily. The register is located in the terminal and directly accessible to you. Travelers may call the terminal directly to find where they stand on the travel register.

A valid military ID card is required for all passengers. Passports, visas, and immunization records are also required for overseas travel, along with leave orders or other travel authorizations. Once registered, the traveler must wait for notification that his or her travel category and date/time of sign up has been reached. When selected for a flight, the traveler must be ready to proceed. Space-A travelers are not required to be present for all scheduled departures.

In addition to their facing frequent long waiting periods, it should be noted that the Government is not obligated to provide return or continuing transportation to Space-A passengers. Space required passengers or cargo may require the removal of Space-A passengers at any point. If removed en route, you may re-register with your original date and time of registration. Passenger agents will assign a new date and time to any country you change or add on your application.

Space-A passengers should ensure adequate funds are available to procure commercial transportation for return flights or accommodations for lengthy stays while awaiting Space-A flights. Successful Space-A journeys require patience and flexibility.

Space-A travel seats are normally available after all official duty passengers have been accommodated. Passengers are permitted to sign up for a maximum of five destinations, with the last destination being "all" to qualify for any opportune travel to a destination not normally served by the departure terminal.

Space-A passengers are removed from the Space-A register when they:

Are selected for a flight.

Have not moved by their leave expiration date.

Have been on the Space-A register for 60 days.

Space-A travelers may re-register after they are removed from the list; however, they will be given a new date/time of sign up and drop to the bottom of the list in their respective category.

The Space-A passenger should be prepared to spend time awaiting travel, and always be ready to travel at personal expense. As long as seats are available on an aircraft, every attempt will be made to use them for Space-A passengers.

Passengers will be offered air transportation on a first-come, first-served basis, based upon established space-available categories.

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ESGR-Employment Rights

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), enacted October 1994 and significantly updated October 1996 and 1998, provides protection and rights of reinstatement to employees who participate in the Guard and Reserve.

Important Note. Through the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the Department of Defense (DoD) works hard to obtain and sustain employer and community support for National Guard and Reserve members who periodically are absent from their civilian jobs to perform military duty. After reading the following, if you still have a question about employment rights, the experts-DoD, the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), and ESGR-suggest you start by contacting ESGR. This is not only your best option for speedy resolution; it protects all your levels of appeal if they are needed.

You can contact ESGR Ombudsmen Services through your local ESGR Committee or the National ESGR Headquarters or use our toll-free number, (800) 336-4590-ask for Ombudsmen Services.

ESGR Ombudsmen are qualified to help, sympathetic to the needs of both the employers and employees, and committed to remaining impartial in their counsel. They provide informal mediation services in conjunction with the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), U.S. Department of Labor. Volunteer members are trained by ESGR and VETS to provide assistance to employers and employees in the resolution of employment conflicts that can result from military membership, training, or other service requirements protected under USERRA.

The information provided below should not be considered legal authority, but is provided as general information about the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA).

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USERRA Facts, Questions and Answers for Employers

1. Is an employee protected from unlawful discrimination by an employer based on military affiliation?

Yes. USERRA provides protections for initial hiring and adverse employment actions by an employer if the action relates even in part to the employee's military service. This protection also extends to potential witnesses of a discriminatory action on the part of the employer.

2. Can an employer refuse to allow an employee to attend scheduled drills or annual training?

No. Employees must be excused from work to attend inactive duty training (drill) or annual training and the employer must treat the employee as if he or she has not been absent.

3. Is there a limit to the amount of military leave an employer must permit?

Yes. Although there is no longer any differentiation between voluntary and involuntary military duty, there is a 5-year cumulative service limit on the amount of voluntary military leave an employee can use and still retain reemployment rights.

4. What is not included in the 5-year cumulative total?

The 5-year total does not include: inactive duty training (drills), annual training, involuntary recall to active duty, or additional training requirements determined and certified in writing by the Service Secretary, and considered to be necessary for professional development or for completion of skill training or retraining.

5. Is prior notice to the employer required for leave of absence for military duty?

Yes. Unless precluded by military necessity, advance notice must be provided either orally or in writing. The context for what constitutes timeliness of notification was not spelled out in detail by Congress under USERRA. However, employees who participate in the National Guard or Reserve should provide their employers as much advance notice as possible. Failure to provide notice could result in a denial of the protection of USERRA.

6. What are valid military orders?

All written or verbal orders are considered valid when issued by competent military authority. A military member in receipt of official orders is obligated by federal statute to execute them. The recurring requirement to perform inactive duty training (drill) is an example of when written orders may not be formally issued.

7. When may an employer require an employee to provide official, written military orders?

After periods of military leave of absence for more than 30 days, the employer has the right to request such documentation, which can be used to establish the employee's basic eligibility for protection under USERRA. All National Guard and Reserve members are encouraged to provide a copy of orders, the annual drill schedule, or other type of documentation to employers as soon as available and, if possible, before the commencement of military duty.

8. What if the employee cannot provide satisfactory documentation for military service in excess of 30 days?

The employer must promptly reinstate the employee pending its availability. The employer may contact the military unit if necessary.

9. Can an employer require an employee to apply for military leave of absence or otherwise submit official documentation for approval of military leave of absence?

No. As stated earlier, an employer may not require documentation for notification prior to military duty. Further, an employer does not have a "right of refusal" for military leave of absence, so long as the employee has not exceeded the 5 years of cumulative service provided under USERRA.

10. Can an employee be required to find someone to cover his or her work period when military duty interrupts the work schedule?

No, an employee is responsible for notification but not for altering the work schedule or finding a replacement.

11. Can an employer require an employee to reschedule drills, annual training, or any other military duty obligation?

No. When military duties would require an employee to be absent from work for an extended period, during times of acute need, or when (in light of previous leaves) the requested military leave is cumulatively burdensome, the employer may contact the military commander of the employee's military unit to determine if the duty could be rescheduled or performed by another member. If the military commander determines that the military duty cannot be rescheduled or canceled, the employer is required to permit the employee to perform his or her military duty.

12. Is an employer required to pay an employee who is on military leave of absence?

No. While many employers offer differential pay or a specific number of paid military leave days, an employer is not required to pay an employee on military leave of absence.

13. Are there time limits for an employee to return to work after completion of military duty?

Yes. There are three formats for reinstatement (application for reemployment), dependent on the duration of military service. Please refer to question 15 for a detailed breakdown of these formats. An employer should reinstate an employee within a matter of days of application, if not on the same day as the application is made.

14. After completion of weekend drill, what is the time limit for an employee to return to work?

Either the beginning of the next regularly scheduled work day or during that portion of the next regularly scheduled shift that would fall eight hours after the end of drill and a reasonable amount of time to commute home. For example, an employer cannot require a service member who returns home at 10 p.m. to report to work 2.5 hours later at 12:30 a.m. However, the employer can require the employee to report for the 6 a.m. shift, or scheduled work period, the next morning (after reasonable commute from military duty to home followed by 8-hours). Included in the 8 hour period is time for rest and the commute to work.

15. What is the time limit for an employee to return to work after Annual Training or other types of extended military leave of absence?

Time limits for returning to work depend on the duration of the orders. The rules are:

Service of 1 to 30 days: the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work day or 8 hours after the end of the military duty, plus reasonable commuting time from the military duty station to home. Service of 31 to 180 days: application for reinstatement must be submitted not later than 14 days after completion of military duty. Service of 181 or more days: application for reinstatement must be submitted not later than 90 days after completion of military duty.

16. What if the employee has an accident, is delayed by lack of military transportation, or

is otherwise unable to report back in a timely manner?

The employee must report back to work as soon as possible. If the reason for the employee's delay is not related to military duties, the employee is subject to the personnel policies and practices the employer would normally apply to employees with unexcused absences.

17. What if an employee is injured or incurs a disability during military duty?

The deadline for reinstatement may be extended for up to 2 years for persons who are convalescing due to a disability incurred or aggravated during military service, and employers must make reasonable accommodations for the impairment.

18. What job position is an employee returned to after military leave of absence?

Except with respect to persons whose disability occurred in or was aggravated by military service, the position into which an employee is reinstated is determined by priority, based on the length of military service. The rules are: Service of 1 to 90 days: (a) in the job the person would have held had he or she remained continuously employed (possibly a promoted position), so long as the person is qualified for the job or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer, or (b), if the person cannot become qualified, in the position the person was employed on the date of the commencement of the military service. Service of 91 or more days: (a) same as for service of 1 to 90 days, or a position of like seniority, status and pay, so long as he or she is qualified, or (b) if the person cannot become qualified, in the position the person was employed on the date of the commencement of the military service or which nearly approximates that position.

Note: The reemployment position with the highest priority reflects the "escalator" principle, which requires that a returning service member steps back onto the seniority escalator at the point the person would have occupied if the person had remained continuously employed.

USERRA specifies that returning employees must be "promptly reemployed." What is prompt will depend on individual circumstances. Reinstatement after 3 years on active duty might require two weeks to allow giving notice to an incumbent employee who might have to vacate the position.

Important Note. Through the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the Department of Defense (DoD) works hard to obtain and sustain employer and community support for National Guard and Reserve members who periodically are absent from their civilian jobs to perform military duty. If you have a question about employment rights, the experts- DoD, the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), and ESGR-suggest you start by contacting ESGR. This is not only your best option for speedy resolution; it protects all your levels of appeal if they are needed