Introduced in the mid-Seventies, the Army National Guard (ARNG) Recruiting and Retention (RR) Badge is the only Special Skills Badge that has been established solely for the National Guard—very appropriate, since MOS 79T Recruiting and Retention NCO is only for National Guard members.

Although the Recruiting and Retention Badge is issued in three degrees, officers are eligible only for the Basic badge.  Because the badge is a permanent award, however, enlisted personnel and NCOs who earn either the Senior or Master Badges and are later commissioned are allowed to wear the highest level badge they had earned.

There are two ways for an enlisted Soldier to earn the Basic RR Badge. One is to be assigned to a qualifying ARNG RR position and successfully compete Program of Instruction 805B-SQI4, Non Career Recruiter; the second is to be assigned as the Officer Strength Manager and pass the Officer Strength Manager (OSM) Course (805B-F17(NG), but this method is only for those who have never received an RR Badge.

This second method is also a way for officers to earn the Basic RR badge; other pathways include serving a minimum of twelve consecutive months in an authorized Recruiting and Retention Command (RRC) TDA position before January 1, 2004, or successfully completing the Recruiting and Retention Force Leadership Course. Both of these require a recommendation by the officer’s RRC or NGB-ASM (National Guard Bureau-Army Strength Maintenance).

Enlisted Soldiers may receive a badge upgrade after holding their previous badge for at least a year, but they must have achieved 100 percent of their cumulative assigned missions for twelve months in a row and receive a badge upgrade recommendation from their Recruiting and Retention Non-Commissioned Officers in Charge. (Other requirements for Senior and Master Badge qualification are found NGR 601-1, Army National Guard Strength Maintenance Program.

The design of the ARNG Recruiting and Retention Badge underwent a significant revision in 2007 after the Director of the Army National Guard requested a badge featuring symbolism and heraldic features that more accurately reflected the ARNG Recruiting and Retention mission. A new design was approved on May 12, 2008.

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