National Guard turns 375 years-old
By Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum, 111th FW Public Affairs
/ Published February 09, 2012
12/5/2011 - WILLOW GROVE AIR RESERVE STATION, PA --
On Dec. 13, the National Guard will celebrate its 375th year birthday. On that date in 1636, three regiments from Massachusetts assembled in Salem. Gathered using English military tradition as a guide, the assembly was formalized during the Pequot War. Since those early days, the National Guard has remained committed to the citizen-soldier motto by providing aid and defense of their state and their country.
The history of the National Guard is rich with contributions, home and abroad. It is the oldest of the U.S. Armed Forces components and has served with honor since the days of the American Revolution.
Several of the more notable contributions to the defense of the U.S. include:
- National Guard engaged the British military at Lexington and Concord Mass. in 1775 beginning the armed conflict between the colonies and England.
- In 1861, the beginning of the Civil War, pitted countrymen against countrymen, state against state, north against south. Many of the Guardsmen soon after
the Battle of Manassas transferred to regular army units.
- During World War I, Guard members activated to Europe, made up 40% of the U.S. fighting forces.
- The Guard was a major contributor to the combat forces in Korea, the Berlin Crisis, Vietnam, Kosovo and Bosnia.
- Integrating into a multinational force, the Guard has and continues to play a key role in combat operations, flight operations and special operations in the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan.
The broad spectrum of state related emergency assistance events are lengthy and unending. Hurricanes, floods, snow, fire disasters and home land security measures are all second nature to the current member of the Guard across the United States.
The National Guard remains steadfast in its initial design: dual state and federal assistance providing trained personnel, expertise and equipment to defend and protect lives, property and our nation's interests from down the street to across the globe.