National Guard Founded

U.S. #1017 – The National Guard is America’s oldest military organization, with its roots dating back to 1636.

National Guard Founded

The National Guard traces its roots to the Massachusetts Bay Colony on December 13, 1636.

Following the success of the Pilgrims in the early 1620s, more English Puritans wished to move to the New World. In 1630, about 1,000 Puritans voyaged to America and settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Over time, the colonists began to clash with some of the Native Americans, particularly the Pequot nation. As the colonies grew, they established their own scattered militias, with no real connection to each other.

U.S. #682 – The Massachusetts Bay militia defended over 5,000 men, women, and children in their colony.

Then, on December 13, 1636, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Salem called on all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 to take up arms and join the militia. Ministers and judges were excluded from the decree, which established the North, South, and East Regiments. The overall goal was to increase the accountability of the militias to the colonial government, and train them to be ready to respond immediately in the event of an attack. Each man would defend his community, join in nightly guard duty, and take part in weekly drills.

Not long after, other colonies followed the lead of Massachusetts Bay and established their own militias. By 1638, the colonists brought an end to the fighting with the Pequot, but the militias continued to grow and defend their communities. These militias, Massachusetts in particular, provided the majority of soldiers during the Revolutionary War. They were also the basis for state militias when the United States was established.

U.S. #UX114 – National Guard Heritage post card cancelled on the First Day of Issue.

The term “National Guard” came a few decades later. When the Marquis de Lafayette visited the U.S. in 1824-25, one New York battalion called themselves the “National Guard,” honoring Lafayette’s famous Garde Nationale de Paris. Then, in 1903, part of the Army was renamed the National Guard and set aside as a Reserve force. During World War II, the National Guard accounted for 40% of the U.S. fighting divisions in France.

The National Guard was officially established in 1916 and was made up of 19 divisions during World War II. The National Guard are state-based military forces that are equipped, trained, and paid by the Federal Government. The President can call them to active duty in the regular armed services.

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9 responses to "National Guard Founded"

9 thoughts on “National Guard Founded”

  1. These items of history are most interesting and I appreciate the work and effort that must go
    into each day’s story. What a wonderful way to present the facts. Some are so well done I
    actually buy the entire day’s presentation though I have the various stamps already as it is
    nice to put them together as a story. Thanks.

  2. I know there are both men and women in the National Guard. I’m glad we have those individuals who are willing to “(wo)man up” though there are many who don’t want to take responsibility for anything.

  3. My ancestors arrived in Boston in 1630 and answered the call of the Colonial militia with each generation through the American Revolution and after. During the period just before the commencement of hostilities on April 19, 1775, the states militia added an additional element to the militia called the “Minutemen”. These were young single men between about 18 and 25 who could answer the call and be ready to go where needed in a moments notice thus the ” Minutemen”. The rest of the militia unit would get there as soon as possible to cover or relieve them.

  4. Thanks for this update on the National Guard, Mystic and a big “Thank You” to all of those who have served or are serving in the Guard. Your service is appreciated!

  5. Is this where the following passage comes from our Constitution comes from …..Congress shall raise and maintain an Army, of the United States. This was written in what year??

  6. 18 out of 44 Presidents of America , have served in State/Colonial militias. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison served in Colonial militia. Harry Truman is the only President to serve in Army National Guard. George W Bush served in Air National Guard. Current strength is reportedly 1.4 million guards. Apart from this, there are Agricultural Development Teams (ADTs) which work for USAID to provide education, expertise, agricultural education , technical support . Tribal leaders from under developed countries have often requested for TADs. TADs conduct Public Diplomacy to strengthen their trust in American efforts for development and peace.


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