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Celebrating 387 Years of U.S. National Guard

Celebrating 387 Years of U.S. National Guard
Posted: Dec 13, 2023
Categories: Committees
Comments: 5

From the NFRW Armed Services Committee

Today the National Guard celebrates its 387th Birthday. On December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized a militia. The 101st Engineer Battalion, the 101st Field Artillery Regiment, the 181st Infantry Regiment, and the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Massachusetts Army National Guard are recognized as the oldest units in the U.S. military.

You might ask how the National Guard can be older than the Army — or indeed the U.S. itself? The Militia Act of May 8, 1792, provided for the organization of state militia and allowed the U.S. president to take command of these militias in times of invasion or insurrection. This act allowed militias organized before the enactment to retain their “customary privileges”— hence, the National Guard officially began with the organization of Massachusetts’ militia. 

Today, being in the National Guard means answering the call of both the State and the Nation, including deploying overseas and responding to natural disasters in the assistance of friends and neighbors. These state militias officially became the modern National Guard with the passage of the Militia Act of 1903, which codified circumstances under which the Guard could be federalized.

Today, more than 325,000 soldiers and 106,000 airmen across 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia serve in the National Guard, according to the service.



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5 comments on article "Celebrating 387 Years of U.S. National Guard"

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Nelly Aurora, 12/18/2023 4:31 AM

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Nelly Aurora, 12/18/2023 4:31 AM


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