The National Guard of the United States, part of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, is a reserve military force, composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories of Guam, of the Virgin Islands, and of Puerto Rico, as well as of the District of Columbia, for a total of 54 separate organizations. All members of the National Guard of the United States are also members of the militia of the United States as defined by 10 U.S.C. § 311.
The majority of National Guard soldiers and airmen hold a civilian job full-time while serving part-time as a National Guard member. These part-time guardsmen are augmented by a full-time cadre of Active Guard & Reserve (AGR) personnel in both the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, plus Army Reserve Technicians in the Army National Guard and Air Reserve Technicians (ART) in the Air National Guard.
National Guard units can be mobilized for federal active duty to supplement regular armed forces during times of war or national emergency declared by Congress, the President or the Secretary of Defense.They can also be activated for service in their respective states upon declaration of a state of emergency by the governor of the state or territory in which they serve, or in the case of Washington, D.C., by the Commanding General. Unlike Army Reserve members, National Guard members cannot be mobilized individually, except through voluntary transfers and Temporary Duty Assignments (TDY).
Often the guard is called in to areas where social unrest or upheaval is demanded. Their action as a state militia dates back to its founding years in the 1700s through the early 1900s,
The United States maintained only a minimal army and relied on state militias to supply the majority of its troops. As a result of the Spanish-American War, Congress was called upon to reform and regulate the training and qualification of state militias. In 1903, with passage of the Dick Act, the predecessor to the modern-day National Guard was formed. It required the states to divide their militias into two sections. The law recommended the title “National Guard” for the first section, known as the organized militia, and “Reserve Militia” for all others.
To join the National Guard without prior service, you must meet these mandatory requirements:
- Be between the ages of 17 and 35
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be a at least a junior in high school, or have a high school diploma or a GED certificate
- Meet medical, physical and moral requirements
If you would like to join them visit the official site here.
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