From the NFRW Armed Services Committee
By Christine Benedict, New York
Even though it’s not a federal holiday, the birthday of the U.S. National Guard — celebrated on December 13 — it is an important event to note. Established in 1636, the National Guard is the oldest military organization in America. Its members serve during times of war and emergency. Take time to honor those who have protected our country for centuries.
The National Guard is classified as a part of the United States Army. The National Guard is the second biggest militia in the United States after the US Army. This component is mainly made of citizen-soldiers who also take part in other activities besides serving in the National Guard. Some have full-time jobs and attend schools. However, they are also always available to provide security to civilians and at times, they can participate in national military operations. The purpose of the National Guard is to serve the nation and the community. By doing this, they are able to work efficiently to protect the freedom of Americans.
The Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are found in all of the U.S. states. They are also found in the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam territories, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The National Guard is a state militia, which means that each National Guard can only serve in its own state. However, the only federal National Guard in the country is the one in Washington D.C., which serves under the command of the President.
National Guard servicemen and women have been instrumental in serving in every war in the country since its creation. Two U.S. presidents have served under the National Guard: President Harry Truman and President George W. Bush were once members of the Army National Guard.
If you know someone who serves in the National Guard, this day will present a perfect chance for you to recognize their efforts and appreciate them for the sacrifices that they make.