National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

The National Guard Challenge Youth Program is run by the National Guard of the United States whose stated mission is "to intervene in and reclaim the lives of at-risk youth to produce program graduates with the values, skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults." The program accepts 16-18 year old male and female high school dropouts who are drug-free and not in trouble with the law. The program lasts for 17½ months. The first 5½ months are part of the quasi-military Residential Phase. The last 12 months are part of the Post-Residential Phase. Most participants will earn their GED by the end of the Residential Phase.

NGYCP is another example of a program targeted at youth of color and with limited opportunities that seeks to remedy the challenges of marginalized communities with militarized solutions. Nationally, youth in Latinx and Black communities receive the most attention for military recruitment by the Department of Defense unproportionately to their percentage of representation in the national population of the USA.


The program is one of many programs administered by the National Guard Bureau that address leadership, life skills, and physical training.[1] ChalleNGe operates 40 sites in 28 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Click on Graphic to see national program locations.




Revised 02/4/2020