National Guard Birthday
On December 13 Americans all over the country celebrate the birth of the U.S. National Guard. The National Guard is a branch of the United States Army that was established in 1636, and it is comprised of citizen-soldiers who volunteer to help their country whenever they are called upon and needed. There are two different branches in the National Guard, Army, and Air, and every State has both.
National Guard Birthday is an important day for the U.S. Army but it is not a federal holiday, so schools and businesses remain open.
The National Guard was established on December 13, 1636, when a proclamation by the Massachusetts General Court directed all of the colony's different militias to be officially organized into three regiments and act as a support for the Army during conflicts with Native Americans. This proclamation required all healthy and able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 to own arms and help in defending their communities.
The first iteration of the National Guard was organized into the East, South, and North regiments, and it is older than even the country of the United States itself, and the oldest military force in America. After the United States declared independence from Britain, each state established its own militia of civilian soldiers. Some states called these militias National Guard, while others chose their own names, such as the Indiana Legion. It was only in 1933 that these groups of volunteer citizen-soldiers were officially named the U.S. National Guard and the branch was officially founded.
Today, around 350,000 men and women make up the National Guard. While many see this as a lesser branch of the U.S. Army, the truth is that throughout the years since it was established the National Guard has provided crucial support to the U.S. Army during conflicts that America was in, such as the Civil War and the Mexican-American War. They also provide assistance and relief efforts for major catastrophic events that happen in the United States such as Hurricane Katrina.
The motto for the National Guard is, fittingly, "Always Ready Always There". One of the nicknames for the National Guard is the Minutemen because they respond to calls so quickly.
How to Observe the National Guard Birthday
The National Guard is often underappreciated, so on this day, why not do something nice for the National Guard men and women of your community to thank them for their service? You can contact local military clubs and offer to organize an event in honor of those who serve and have served in the National Guard. This can take the shape of a fundraiser, such as a bake sale, to help support National Guard Veterans or the National Guard Educational Foundation.
On an official level, as it happens on the birthdays of other branches of the U.S. Military, the National Guard hosts events for their members across the country, such as formal balls and galas.