Dec. 13 is the birthday of the National Guard. According to Military.com, “In a move that would create the first militia on the North American continent, the Massachusetts General Court in Salem issued an order on Dec. 13, 1636, requiring all able-bodied men between 16 and 60 years old to create a standing Army for protection.”
Today, the Army National Guard (and Air National Guard, created after World War II) are active across the country and around the world. Here are some things you may not know about the service branch.
1. Each member of the National Guard is sworn to uphold two constitutions: federal and state. (via military.com)
2. Two presidents have served in the National Guard in its modern structure: Harry S. Truman and George W. Bush. (via military.com)
3. Celebrities who served in the National Guard include actors Tom Selleck, John Amos, Bob Crane and James Garner. (via military.com)
4. The term "national guard" was popularized by Marquis de Lafayette to describe each state's militia. It didn't become an official term until 1916. (via military.com)
5. National Guard soldiers have fought in every single war since its founding. (via We Are The Mighty)
6. Air Guard units have deployed a variety of aircraft and support units to defend the 2,500 square miles of air space around Washington, D.C. (via https://listosaur.com)
7. The Washington, D.C., National Guard is the only federal militia in the National Guard. It is controlled by the president. (via www.part-time-commander.com)
8. Three of the first five divisions to enter World War I were from the National Guard. (via www.part-time-commander.com)
9. The National Guard has its own museum in Washington, D.C. According to its website, “The National Guard Memorial Museum is the first and only national museum dedicated to telling the story of the National Guard.” Go to www.ngef.org/national-guard-memorial-museum to learn more.
10. In 2016, the National Guard was added to the American Legion Spirit of Service Award (https://www.legion.org/convention/243179/minneapolis-award-recipients), designed to celebrate volunteer activity among active-duty servicemembers in the different military branches.