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National Guard Birthday

The National Guard includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. These two components have a mission to equip, train, and deploy when needed in emergencies for contingencies around the world.

The National Guard Birthday will be observed on Sunday, December 13, 2020.

The Air National Guard will be observed on Friday, September 18, 2020.

What It Means To Be Part of The National Guard

Whether serving in the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard, the nature of service involves a concept some call being a “citizen soldier.” They are also known as a “citizen airman” which means that Guard members have joined the military with its responsibilities and privileges. They also maintain a civilian job and a life outside the active duty military world.

National Guard members have been labeled “weekend warriors” or “part-time” soldiers and airmen. The role of the Guard should not be taken for granted in the larger scheme of homeland security, global military operations, or the war on terror.

The end of the first Operation Desert Storm led to a serious reconsideration of how Guard and Reserve forces could be used to augment active duty missions. This brought the reshaping of the work and deployment of these part-time forces.

Being a member of the National Guard means being ready to put civilian careers on hold to train, deploy, and serve. The role that “weekend warriors” play in the full-time Army and Air Force work done around the world is a crucial part of the Defense Department’s planning for such operations.

Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, more than 650,000 National Guard members have been called on to serve at home and abroad.

The National Guard Birthday: December 13, 1636

The birthday of the National Guard may surprise you. The National Guard official site lists the official date as December 13, 1636.

That is no misprint. The date the Massachusetts colonial legislature authorized a consolidation of the colony’s militias into three regiments was indeed on December 13, 1636.

This date is used as part of a Defense Department tradition of using the date on the legislation officially recognizing an active or reserve component’s existence.

Later, the Militia Act of May 8, 1792 authorized military units formed before the Act to retain “customary privileges.” Over 100 years later, the Militia Act of 1903 plus the National Defense Act of 1916 with other laws, the original Militia Act has been perpetuated.

The National Guard: Older Than the United States Army

There are four United States Army units considered direct descendants of the 1636 reorganization. The units are the following:

  • 101st Engineer Battalion

  • 101st Field Artillery Regiment

  • 181st Infantry Regiment

  • 182nd Infantry Regiment

All four belong to the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

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