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A History of the National Guard

Updated on May 26, 2011


The National Guard has a rich history.  It is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and it celebrated its 370th anniversary on December 13, 2006.  The National Guard was first organized during the earliest part of the English colonies.  It is a unique organization with a dual state-federal force.  It was first organized as a militia force which protected citizens from Indian attacks, foreign invaders and later helped to win the Revolutionary War.

     In the 19th century the National Guard provided the bulk of troops during the Mexican War, the early months of the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.  During World War I one fact that many individuals may not know is it made up 40% of the U.S. combat divisions in France.  During World War II the National Guard was one first to deploy overseas and the first to fight.

     The involvement of the National Guard has not been limited to international conflicts or national conflicts.  During Hurricane Katrina the National Guard deployed over 50,000 troops.  Today with the present conflicts the National Guard are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Among other conflicts or events in which the guard has participated have been Vietnam, the Korean War, 9/11 and the Global War on Terror.

     The rich history of the National Guard is something in which we can all have pride.  This not only for the support they have provided and will provide but for the many sacrifices which in some cases the public may not have known about.   The sacrifices that those in the armed forces of the United States endure is should be honored by us all.  Sometimes services like the National Guard does not get the media exposure they deserve but that does not mean they stop performing their vital services to the American people.

     In a further discussion of the National Guard it is important to note the three priorities which the National Guard has established.  The first priority is the security and defense of our homeland, at home and abroad.  The second priority is to support the global war on terrorism here and abroad.  The last but not the least is that America insists on a relevant, reliable and ready National Guard that is transformed for the 21st Century.

   Additional benefits or services provided by the National Guard can be found through its website ( under their resources tab.  Examples of information provided include Southwest Border Mission and identity theft information.  The support the National Guard provides in the Southwest Border Mission plays a vital role in helping to secure the border areas in which they are located.  This involves supporting the Department of Homeland Security, providing criminal investigative analysts and counternarcotics operations.     




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