|United States of America Army National Guard
SP4-E4 Alfred Leo Pelletier / 1968-1974 / Fort Campbell Kentucky
National Guard History
The Army National Guard is the oldest component of the United States armed forces. Militia companies were formed with the first English
settlement at Jamestown in 1607. The first militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636,
and from the Pequot War in 1637 until the present day, the Army National Guard has participated in every war or conflict the US has fought. The
militia stood their ground at Lexington Green in 1775 when the opening shots of the War of Independence were fired. They fought the British
and their Indian allies from the Great Lakes to New Orleans during the War of 1812, and provided 70% of the troops that fought in the Mexican
The majority of the troops that fought in the Philippines during the Spanish American War were National Guardsmen, and the greatest number
of combat divisions to fight the Germans during World War I came from the Guard - including six out of the eight that the German General Staff
rated as "Excellent" or "Superior."
The Guard doubled the size of the Regular Army when it was mobilized in 1940, more then a year before Pearl Harbor, and contributed 19
divisions to that war, as well as numerous other units, to include Guard aviation squadrons. Over 138,000 Guardsmen were mobilized for Korea,
followed by numerous smaller mobilizations for the Berlin Crisis, Vietnam, and numerous strikes and riots at home. Over 63,000 Army
Guardsmen were called to serve in Desert Storm, and in the decade since then, Guardsmen have seen a greater role then ever before conducting
peacekeeping in Somalia, Haiti, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
The history of the Army National Guard began on December 13, 1636 when the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to
defend against the growing threat of the Pequot Indians. Patterned after the English Militia systems, all males between 16 and 60 were obligated
to own arms and take part in the defense of the community. The National Guard continues its historic mission of providing defense of the nation.
The oldest units in the National Guard and U.S. Army are the 181st Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, 101st Field Artillery and the 101st Engineer
Battalion. These units were organized on December 13,1636, by authority of the General Court at Boston, as the North, South and East
Regiments. The 181st and 182nd Infantry Regiments perpetuate the North Regiment. The 101st Engineer Battalion perpetuates the East
Regiment and the 101st Field Artillery Regiment perpetuates the South Regiment. These units are among the world's oldest military units.
In the English Colonies the militia's mission was to defend the settlement and colony in case of attack. Each militiaman was required to drill
several times a month and to provide his own arms and equipment. As the threat of attack diminished, English colonial authorities began to use
militiamen to augment regular troops in campaigns against French colonial possessions. During the French and Indian War several hundred
militia officers gained valuable experience which they later used in the Revolutionary War.
During the Revolutionary War that began at Lexington and Concord on April 19,1775, more than 164,000 militiamen from the 13 colonies served
under the command of the former Virginia militia colonel, George Washington. Without the militia, American independence could not have
been won. While the Continental Army, with militia support, fought the main battles of the Revolutionary War, other militia regiments kept
British forces in check by harassing, foraging and raiding parties and limiting the royal troops to the cities.
The colonial militiamen held their fire as seven British regiments, considered the best infantry in the world, advanced on them. One officer
cautioned his men, "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" With discipline and courage the militiamen waited... and fired. The
British, anticipating an easy victory, sustained many casualties. The American militia proved to the world that civilian volunteers could be
molded into trained fighting men, thus forging the high tradition of the National Guard.
Primarily the militia fought the battles of Bunker Hill, King's Mountain, Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse. The American militia won
grudging respect from British regulars. Lord Cornwallis officially reported in 1781, "I will not say much in praise of the Militia of the Southern
colonies, but the list of British Officers & Soldiers killed & wounded by them since last June proves that they are not wholly contemptible."
On October 19, 1781, when Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, former militiamen of the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia Lines were
there. Twenty-eight of today's Army National Guard units carry battle streamers on their colors embroidered with the names of the battles of the
Revolutionary War: Lexington, Boston, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Cowpens, Monmouth, Guilford Courthouse and Yorktown.
After the war, the militia was governed by the Militia Act of 1792. States were required to enroll men between the ages of 18 and 45 into
companies, regiments and brigades. Each state appointed an adjutant general and brigade inspectors. As the enrolled militia declined in
importance, the volunteer companies of the organized militia grew in strength. These uniformed, trained and equipped units, grew to a strength
of 25,000 by 1804.
The Marquis de Lafayette, who commanded a Virginia brigade during America's War of Independence, coined the phrase "Garde Nationale" for
his French Revolutionary Army during the French Revolution in the 1790's. Lafayette popularized the term in the United States, during a return
visit in 1824, by applying it to all organized militia units in America. The term immediately began to appear in newspapers and magazines as
popular slang for the militia.
The 2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment of Artillery, New York Militia, voted to rename itself the "Battalion of National Guards" in 1824 in tribute to
Lafayette's command of the Paris militia. New York, by state statute, adopted the term National Guard for its militia during the Civil War. Many
states followed New York's lead after the Civil War by renaming their militias "National Guard." The term was not recognized as the militia's
formal title by federal legislation until the 1916 National Defense Act.
With the start of the War of 1812, the U.S. Army consisted of only 10,000 men. The militia of the states was called into federal service and
489,173 militiamen responded. The most famous militia commander during the War of 1812 was Major General Andrew Jackson, whose
backwoods sharpshooters defeated British regulars at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
Following the admission of Texas into the Union in December 1845, a dispute rose between Texas and Mexico over the southern border of the
new state. This resulted in the Mexican War of 1846-1848, with more than 73,000 militiamen called into federal service. On February 23, 1847, a
regiment of Mississippi militiamen, the famed "Mississippi Rifles," led by their commander, Colonel Jefferson Davis, defeated a much larger
Mexican force in hand-to-hand combat in the mountains near Buena Vista, Mexico. The defeat of the Mexicans at Buena Vista enabled the U.S.
forces to continue their assault, resulting in the capture of Vera Cruz in March 1847 by General Winfield Scott and his 12,000 troops, two-thirds
of whom were militiamen.
Most states recognized the volunteer militia companies - uniformed units that drilled on a regular basis - as the State Organized Militia. These
units responded to President Lincoln's call in April 1861 for 75,000 militia to form the bulk of the Union Army for the first several months of the
No accurate figure can be determined as to the number of militiamen in the Civil War. The figure of 1,933,779 is used for the number of all
volunteers who served in the Union Army. Many militia regiments that responded to the call of 1861 remained in service for the duration of the
war. Other regiments returned to state status and served as cadres for the many volunteer regiments the states furnished to the federal forces.
The initial bulk of the Confederate Army was made up of volunteer militia regiments.
The Battle of Gettysburg is considered to be the turning point of the Civil War. One episode, which helped turn the tide, involved the militia
from Maine. Josua L. Chamberlain, a former professor at Maine's Bowdoin College, commanded the 20th Maine Volunteer Militia. The 20th
was ordered to hold critical terrain between Big and Little Round Top at all cost. They held off six attacks by determined Alabama regiments.
Chamberlain knew his men didn't have the ammunition to fight off a seventh attack. So he ordered his men to "Fix bayonets!" and charge
downhill. The assault stopped the Confederate threat to the Union flank and contributed mightily to an important Union victory.
With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, close to 165,000 National Guardsmen volunteered for active duty. Although only a few
National Guard regiments were sent to Cuba, many Guardsmen were shipped to the Philippines to fight in the Philippine Insurrection.
One of the most famous regiments of the war were the Rough Riders, made up of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas Guardsmen who,
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, assaulted San Juan Hill. Led by Lt. Colonel "Teddy" Roosevelt, the 1st New
Mexico Cavalry, known as the "Rough Riders," actually charged up Kettle Hill. Despite heavy enemy fire they succeeded in reaching the top.
Continuing with the attack, they seized the heights overlooking the city of Santiago. This action is known as the Battle of San Juan Hill, which
led to the Spanish surrender two weeks later.
America's mobilization for the Spanish-American War demonstrated that both the Regular Army and the National Guard were unprepared for
modern warfare. Subsequent battlefield successes notwithstanding, the need for reform was clear to all. The process of reform was initiated, in
1899, by the distinguished Secretary of War, Elihu Root. Advances in weapons, training, financing and organization aided the Regular Army but
failed to benefit the National Guard.
In 1902, Major General Charles W. Dick, commander of the Ohio Division of the National Guard and a member of the U. S. House of
Representatives, became president of the National Guard Association. General Dick, working with Secretary of War Root, proposed legislation
which would place the National Guard on an equal footing with the Regular Army. The final version of the law was a compromise between what
National Guard Association wanted - an organization properly funded, equipped and trained, and what many career officers of the Regular Army
wanted - a federally oriented reserve force, freed from state control.
The modern image of today's National Guard began to emerge in 1903, when the Militia Act (also called the Dick Act) thrust the federal
government into the picture by establishing procedures for a more direct and active role in organizing, training and equipping the National
Guard in line with the standards established for the regular Army.
The 1903 Dick Act, which replaced the old Militia Act of 1792, divided all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 into the organized militia
(National Guard) and the reserve militia. In addition, it mandated that, within five years, the organization, pay, discipline and equipment of the
National Guard be the same as that of the Regular Army. Increased federal funding would compensate Guardsmen for summer training camps
and joint maneuvers with the Regular Army. States were required to hold at least 24 drills (instructional periods) each year, and some National
Guard officers could now attend Regular Army schools. The War Department assigned Regular Army officers to each state as advisors,
instructors and inspectors and enabled states to exchange outdated weapons and equipment for current issue. The War Department also created
the Division of Militia Affairs, the forerunner of the National Guard Bureau, to oversee National Guard organization and training.
Membership in the National Guard remained voluntary, and governors retained control over National Guard mobilization. The Dick Act's
nine-month limit on federal service was an improvement over previous restrictions. Most National Guard leaders, however, favored removing all
limits to federal service. A 1908 amendment lifted the nine-month restriction and permitted Guardsmen to serve outside the continental United
The Dick Act was a landmark. It created a stronger and more professional National Guard to serve as the nation's second line of defense. To
some extent, the new law formalized many already existing practices.
As the result of raids by Pancho Villa on Columbus, NM, and two Texas towns in 1916, President Wilson called the National Guard into service
to patrol the Mexican-American border where more than 158,000 Guardsmen served. Although the National Guard did not see any combat action,
the training received was invaluable when the U.S. entered World War I. In late 1916 and early 1917, as the threat of war with Imperial Germany
began to loom larger, U. S. forces were gradually withdrawn from Mexico.
In June 1916, the National Defense Act was passed which essentially created the modem National Guard. The new act provided increased federal
support and regulation. When officers and units reached Army standards in regard to strength, equipment and skill, they were federally
recognized and eligible for federal support.
Many of the Guardsmen returned from their Mexican border duty only to be called again into federal service in 1917 for World War I, with more
than 379,000 Guardsmen being ordered to active duty. During the war, National Guard units throughout the country were organized into combat
divisions of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), and soon afterwards departed for France to enter combat during World War I.
During World War I, the National Guard supplied 17 combat divisions, or about 40 percent of the entire American Expeditionary Forces. The
Guard also provided three black infantry regiments, the 369th, 370th, and 372nd to the all-black 93rd Division. National Guardsmen from the
26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st and 42nd Divisions saw World War I service. Eleven of
these divisions were noted to have spent more days in actual combat than did the regular Army divisions.
After the end of World War I, following a rapid and haphazard demobilization, it was necessary for many states to rebuild their National Guard
units. The National Guard began the difficult process of reorganizing into companies, regiments and divisions. The National Guard was
reorganized to consist of four cavalry divisions and 18 infantry divisions.
The National Defense Act of 1920 established the Army of the United States, to consist of the Regular Army, the Organized Reserve Corps and
the National Guard, when called into federal service.
An amendment to the National Defense Act passed on June 15,1933 created a new Army component, the National Guard of the United States.
This component, while identical in personnel and organization to the National Guard of the states, was a part of the Army at all times, and could
be ordered into active federal service by the president whenever Congress declared a national emergency. Thus it became possible for the
National Guard to be given an Army mission without having to wait for a "call" to be issued by the various state governors.
In August 1940, President Roosevelt ordered the National Guard of the United States into active service. Between September 16, 1940, and
October 6,1941, the National Guard brought into federal service more than 300,000 men, in 18 combat divisions, as well as numerous
non-divisional units, including 4,800 men from the 29 National Guard observation squadrons. The number of Guardsmen federalized doubled
the strength of the active Army, and the National Guard observation squadrons, due to their high state of training, helped to expand the U.S.
Army Air Forces.
Not only did the Guard provide the Army with an experienced source of manpower, it also provided the expanding Army with leaders as over
75,000 National Guard enlisted men became commissioned officers during World War II, either through OCS programs or by battlefield
During World War II, National Guard units participated in 34 separate campaigns and numerous assault landings in the European and Pacific
Theaters of Operation. Of the first five U.S. Army divisions to enter offensive combat, four of them, the 32nd, 34th, 37th and Americal Divisions,
were Guard divisions. One Guard division participated in the Normandy Omaha Beach D-Day landings on June 6,1944. Again Guard units
served well, with 148 presidential citations awarded to National Guard units for outstanding performance of duty, or for conspicuous valor or
heroism. Individual Guardsmen received 20 Medals of Honor, 50 Distinguished Service Crosses, 48 Distinguished Flying Crosses and over 500
Silver Star Medals.
From the streets of Harlem and other New York City neighborhoods came the African-American National Guardsmen of the 369th Infantry
Regiment. They were assigned to the French Army and took part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. During the attack, the New York City
militiamen fought a brutal struggle with defending German troops. Heavy casualties were sustained on both sides. The Germans nicknamed
these troops "Hell Fighters." Their brave actions earned the French Croix de Guerre award for the entire regiment which was cited as "the
regiment that never lost a man captured, a trench or a foot of ground..."
The 37th Ohio National Guard "Buckeyes" Division took part in the assault to drive Japanese forces out of Manila. It was treacherous fighting.
The Japanese had fortified buildings and the 37th found themselves fighting block-by-block, floor-by-floor and room-by-room. One squad leader
found himself the object of a bayonet charge by six Japanese soldiers from 30 yards away. Sergeant Billy E. Vinson warded off the first bayonet
thrusts, then opened up with his rifle and dispatched the attackers with a single sustained burst of gunfire. He held his ground until all wounded
soldiers in the vicinity could be evacuated. As their Division history states, "For those who missed Normandy or Casino, Manila would do."
With the end of World War II in 1945, National Guard units were demobilized and personnel were returned directly to civilian life through Army
separation centers. For a short period during the winter of 1945-46, there was no National Guard.
The Secretary of War approved plans on October 13,1945, calling for the reorganization of the National Guard. Under those "approved policies"
the Guard was established with a dual status and mission. The National Guard of the United States (NG US), as a reserve component of the Army
of the United States (AUS), was to be an "M-day" (Mobilization Day) force, thoroughly trained, equipped and ready for immediate service to the
nation in case of enemy aggression or a national emergency. The National Guard of the sever2l states was to provide organizations and
personnel for the Reserve (federal) Component, and to preserve peace, order and public safety in their states and during local emergencies. The
Secretary of War's policies provided that the federal government was to supervise military instruction, furnish field training facilities, pay,
uniforms, equipment and ammunition, and contribute a fair portion of the expenses for construction of National Guard armories. The federal
assistance in armory construction marked a new development in the history of the Guard.
The first four post-World War II Guard units were granted federal recognition on June 30, 1946, as was the first Air National Guard unit to
reorganize, the 120th Fighter Squadron of Colorado. On September 18,1947, with the establishment of the U.S. Air Force, a new reserve
component was established, the Air National Guard, and since that date the National Guard has consisted of the Army and Air National Guard.
Black National Guard units had survived since Reconstruction in a few states. In 1946, New Jersey became the first state to officially integrate its
National Guard, two years before the integration of the active Army. But many states in the Deep South with large black populations had rio
blacks at all in their National Guards. This could have been a problem during the civil unrest that sometimes accompanied desegregation in the
1950s and 60s. In 1956, President Eisenhower federalized the entire Arkansas National Guard for a month to prevent the segregationist governor
from using it to stop the court-ordered integration of Little Rock High School. The scene was replayed in 1962 during the desegregation of the
University of Mississippi. In both cases, Guardsmen obeyed the President and helped enforce the law.
On June 30th, 1950, five days after North Korea invaded South Korea, President Truman signed the Selective Service Extension Act. It
continued the draft that had been in effect since 1948 and authorized the call-up of reserve component units for Federal service not to exceed 21
months (later 24 months.
The Korean War brought more than 183,000 Army and Air Guard members to active duty. Army Guard units included eight infantry divisions
and three regimental combat teams. The Air Guard call up included 22 wings and 66 tactical squadrons. During the Korean War, two Army
Guard infantry divisions, the 28th of Pennsylvania, and the 43rd of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and four Air Guard wings were sent
to Europe; four divisions and 17 wings remained in the United States; and two infantry divisions, the 4Oth of California, and the 45th of
Oklahoma, and two air wings fought in Korea. Each Guard division was credited with four campaigns, and four out of 36 jet aces of the Korean
War were Air Guard pilots.
While a small mobilization was planned at first, the disastrous setbacks of those first few weeks of the war made it apparent that a far larger
number of Guard and Reserve units would be needed. In early September four National Guard Infantry Divisions were called to active duty - the
40th (California), 45eh (Oklahoma), 28th (Pennsylvania) and 43d (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont). The 40th and 45th would both see
combat in Korea, while the 28th and 43d would be sent to Germany to help bolster NATO against the ever-present threat of Soviet invasion.
These four divisions were among the first of over 700 Army National Guard units (including four additional divisions) mobilized for the Korean
War. The 138,600 Guardsmen called represented 37 % of the Army National. In addition to the 40th and 45th Infantry Divisions, 42 other Army
Guard units were sent to Korea and thousands of individual Guardsmen went as replacements.
Most Guard units began arriving in Korea in early 1951, at the same time massive Chinese and North Korean attacks were pushing UN forces
south. That spring, as UN forces regrouped and repulsed these massive attacks, three National Guard Artillery battalions, the 196th (Tennessee)
the 937th (Arkansas) and the 300th (Wyoming), and a Transportation Company - the 252d Transportation Truck Company (Alabama)- won
Presidential Unit Citations, the highest award that the Army can bestow upon a unit. A fifth Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to
Pennsylvania's 176th Armored Field Artillery battalion for heroic action in June 1953; in addition, 18 Army National Guard units in Korea were
recognized for their superior service with the Army's Meritorious Unit Commendation.
By the summer of 1951, UN forces were mounting successful limited attacks and peace negotiations had begun. Meanwhile, the 40th and 45th
Divisions remained in Japan, where they had trained and served as the defensive garrison for the island since April 1951. The UN Commander,
General Matthew Ridgeway, was reluctant to send these divisions to Korea, preferring instead to use their soldiers as individual replacements
for units already there. Finally, under pressure from Congress and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Ridgeway agreed in November 1951 to a
"swap in place" of the two Guard divisions for two of his combat-worn divisions.
The following month Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Division switched places with the 1st Cavalry Division, and in January 1952 California's 40th
Infantry Division switched places with the 24th Infantry Division. While the Guardsmen complained about the miserable condition of the
vehicles and equipment they "inherited" from the units they replaced, the relative lull in combat brought on by the frigid Korean winter gave
them time to make repairs before more active hostilities resumed in the spring.
By the spring of 1952, most of the Guardsmen who had been called up in the late summer of 1950 were nearing the end of their term of active
Federal service, and began rotating home in the summer of 1952. While the Guardsmen went home, the Guard units - now filled with draftees
and enlistees - continued on active duty, even after the war ended in July 1953. Not until 1957 was every unit Federalized for service in Korea
returned to state control.
During the Berlin Crisis of 1961-62, two Army Guard divisions, the 32nd Infantry Division of Wisconsin and the 49th Armored Division of Texas
were mobilized on October 15,1961, along with 104 other non-divisional units, for a total Army Guard call up of more than 45,115. None of the
Army Guard units were sent overseas.
Prodded by the National Guard Bureau, the states began to recruit more blacks and minorities, a process hastened by the landmark Civil Rights
Act of 1965. By 1984, minorities made up one quarter of the Army National Guard, and almost 10 percent of its officer corps.
No massive call-ups of National Guard troops occurred to meet the country's military manpower requirements during the Vietnam War.
Mobilization of large numbers of Guardsmen would have been inconsistent with President Lyndon B. Johnson's attempt to portray the war as a
limited conflict that could be fought with resources already available to the regular Army. Johnson chose to rely on an increased draft and a
one-year tour of duty rotation policy to fight the Vietnam War instead of activating significant numbers of National Guardsmen.
The popular perception that National Guardsmen were not used in Vietnam, however, is incorrect. On May 13, 1968, in response to the Lunar
New Year (Tet) communist attacks on South Vietnam, President Johnson activated 20 Army National Guard combat units and 12 combat support
and combat service support units. Of the 12,234 mobilized, 2,729 reported to Vietnam with their units. Of the 9,505 initially remaining in the
United States, 4,311 subsequently were assigned to Vietnam, bringing the total number of mobilized Army Guard members in the Republic of
Vietnam to 7,040. All Army Guard units were released from active duty by December 12, 1969. Included among the more than 4,000 awards
earned by Army Guard members in Vietnam were 55 Silver Stars, 681 Purple Hearts, one Distinguished Flying Cross, 16 Distinguished Service
Medals, six Legions of Merit, and over 1,000 Bronze Stars.
Company D (Ranger) of the 151st Infantry, Indiana Army National Guard arrived in country in December of 1968. The Indiana Rangers were
assigned reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering missions. Operating deep in enemy territory, Ranger patrols engaged enemy units while
conducting raids, ambushes and surveillance missions. "Delta Company" achieved an impressive combat record; unit members earned 510
medals for valor and service.
Many National Guard units not mobilized for the Vietnam War saw action of a different sort during the 1960s. Beginning with Newark, New
Jersey in 1964, racially motivated riots broke out in many large American cities. Units of the National Guard were called out to stop burning and
looting in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Detroit, and a host of other cities. As the anti-war movement gathered momentum in the late 1960s,
Guardsmen were called out to maintain order during large demonstrations.
Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird explained the new "Total Force Concept" in a press conference on 21 August 1970. Laird explained that the
president's requested reductions of defense expenditures would require reductions in all facets of the active forces and increased reliance on the
combat and combat support units of the National Guard and the Reserves. He further stated that "a total force concept (would) be applied in all
aspects of planning, programming, manning, equipping, and employing Guard and Reserve forces. The Total Force Concept brought a new level
of support for the National Guard and Reserves. General Creighton Abrams, United States Army Chief of Staff, reorganized the "Total Army"
so that the Regular Army could not conduct an extended campaign without mobilizing the Guard and Reserves, thus gaining the involvement
and, hopefully, the support of small-town America.
During the 1970s, as America entered the "all-volunteer era," and the Total Force Policy came into being, the Army and Air National Guard
began to receive more modem equipment in larger quantities than it had in decades. Following was the Army's "Steadfast" reorganization in
1972-73. Under this program the Army greatly increased the manpower available to assist the Army Guard in advisory and training missions. The
Army's "affiliation" program also came into being; whereby Army Guard battalions and brigades were affiliated with active Army combat units
with whom they would train and later deploy. Newer helicopters and fixed wing aircraft were received by the Army Guard in addition to upgraded
tanks and artillery pieces, while infantry units replaced their recoilless rifles with TOW and Dragon antitank missiles.
The designation of the Field Training Equipment Concentration Site (Con-Site) was changed to Annual Training Equipment Pool (ATEP) in
1970. A series of Secretary of Defense (OSD) tests were initiated in 1971 in an attempt to maximize reserve components readiness. One of these
tests, known as OSD Test 3, occurred mainly at Fort Irwin. The objective of the test was to determine if higher battalion level proficiency is a
attainable and maintainable for select Reserve Component units when such units are closely associated with and supported by active Army units.
A test group and a control group, each consisting of three National Guard battalions (one armor, one infantry and one artillery), were compared
as to readiness improvement during a year period. The greatly increased training requirements of OSD Test 3 put an extremely heavy work load
on the 44 Fort Irwin ATEP technicians. Aggressive training of OSD Test 3 units and other supported units caused equipment issues to be made
three weekends per month. ATEP technicians worked 6 days a week to make the issues to the brigade. ATEP personnel only had time to repaired
equipment required for issued and by the end of September 1973 the maintenance deadline rate for the 559 vehicles on hand was 38%. With
Fiscal Year 1975, the designation of Annual Training Equipment Pool (ATEP) was changed to Mobilization and Training Equipment Site
Women found a place in the National Guard in the 1970s. Because the Militia Act of 1792 and the National Defense Act of 1916 had both referred
specifically to males, legislation was required to allow women to enlist. The first female in the National Guard was a nurse, commissioned in the
Air National Guard in 1956. For the next 12 years, nurses were the only women in the Guard. A 1968 law authorized prior-service enlisted
women to join the Guard, but the numbers recruited were small. In 1971 non-prior-service women were allowed to enlist. As all branches of the
military began opening previously restricted jobs to women, the number of women in both the Army and Air National Guard rose dramatically.
Opportunities for realistic training began to increase during the 1970s. The first Army National Guard units went overseas to train in 1977. The
first battalion-sized overseas deployment was in 1980, and in 1983 the first Army Guard unit deployed overseas with its equipment. In the winter
of 1986, some 8,000 Guardsmen, including the entire 32nd Brigade from Wisconsin, were sent to Germany for REFORGER, NATO's major
military exercise. Other overseas deployments sent Army Guard units to Korea for Operation Team Spirit and to Central America, where Guard
and Reserve engineers joined forces to conduct major road-building exercises throughout the region.
With more modern equipment and communications capabilities, the Guard was used more for State missions in the 1980s than ever before in the
Guard's history. Floods, forest fires, tornadoes, snow emergencies and energy shortages resulted in hundreds of call-ups during the 80s. Civil
disturbances, police and firemen's strikes and walkouts by state prison employees resulted in other call-ups for domestic emergencies to
maintain safety and law and order.
In the 1980s the Army Guard embarked on the most ambitious modernization program in its history with a goal to be fully equipped with the
Army's best equipment by FY-91. By the end of the 1980s, the Guard had 77 percent of its "go to war" equipment on hand, but needed to procure
additional equipment to be fully combat-ready. By FY-91, the Guard had received 315 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and 557 Improved TOW Vehicles.
In 1984, when the National Guard was asked to take active roles in the nation's war against illegal drugs, 14 states participated in 14 support
missions. The number of states participating and the number of missions supported has increased each year.
The 1989 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to provide funding to governors who submit plans to use their
National Guard members to support drug law enforcement agency requests. Since that time, the National Guard has played a major role in
supporting Federal, state, and local drug enforcement agencies.
Both the Air and Army National Guard were active participants during Operation Just Cause, the United States' invasion of Panama in
December 1989. Missouri's 1138th Military Police Company and Minnesota's 125th Public Affairs Detachment were both in Panama for annual
training at the start of Just Cause. The 1138th MP Co. was, at the time, the only military police unit in Panama trained to process prisoners of
On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Saudi Arabia asked for immediate military support to prevent further aggression from Iraqi troops into
the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia. On August 8, the 82nd Airborne Division began movement to the Middle East as directed by President
Bush. Air National Guard volunteers immediately began transporting troops and equipment to Southwest Asia.
The mobilization of the National Guard affected units in 51 of the 54 states and territories, including Washington. The Army National Guard
mobilized more than 398 units nationwide.
In this first real test of the Total Force Policy, Army Guard units were on active duty a little more than two weeks after Operation Desert Shield
began. A majority of the U.S. Army's combat service support units were now located in the reserve components, and the majority of the first Army
Guard units to be mobilized were transportation, quartermaster, and military police units. Later, two field artillery brigades arrived in the
theater, and three "Roundout" brigades were mobilized but not deployed.
Army Guard units were still arriving in the Persian Gulf in January 1991 as the offensive against Iraq, Desert Storm, was launched by the Allied
air forces. In all, 62,411 Army National Guard personnel were in active federal service, 37,848 of them in Southwest Asia. Women made up 10%
of the total.
The Army activated five ARNG combat brigades and one Special Forces group. Three of these brigades were maneuver and two were field
artillery. The 48th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard, received the alert notification on 15 November 1990, and
entered federal active duty on 30 November 1990. It mobilized at Fort Stewart, trained and was validated at the National Training Center (NTC).
The 155th Armor Brigade, Mississippi Army National Guard, received the alert notification on 15 November 1990, and entered federal active
duty on 7 December 1990. It mobilized at Camp Shelby, trained at Fort Hood, and completed a brigade rotation at the NTC. The 256th
Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Louisiana Army National Guard, received the alert notification on 15 November 1991,and entered federal active
duty on 30 November 1990. It mobilized at Fort Polk, trained at Fort Hood, and was demobilized prior to an NTC rotation.
The 142d Field Artillery Brigade, Arkansas Army National Guard, with a battalion from Oklahoma, received the alert notification on 15
November 1990, and entered federal active duty on 21 November 1990. The 142d mobilized, trained, and was validated at Fort Sill. The Brigade
deployed to Saudi Arabia on 15 January 1991, was attached to the VII Corps, supported the 1st Infantry Division during breaching operations, and
supported the 1st United Kingdom Armoured Division during the ground campaign. The 196th Field Artillery Brigade, Tennessee Army National
Guard, organized with battalions from Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, received the alert notification on 3 December 1990, and entered
federal active duty on 9 December 1990. The 196th mobilized, trained, and was validated at Fort Campbell. The Brigade deployed to Saudi Arabia
on 17 January 1991, was attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps, supported the 6th French Light Armored Division during breaching operations,
and the 24th Mechanized Infantry during the ground campaign.
On February 23, 1991, the coalition forces launched their ground offensive. Air and Army National Guard units, fully integrated into the
coalition forces, supported the plan of action. The Oklahoma Army National Guard was one of the many Guard units assigned to support the
advance into Iraq. Armed with the Multiple-Launch Rocket System, the Field Artillery men of this battalion provided accurate and devastating
fire throughout the entire campaign. The rockets were so deadly, the Iraqi soldiers called them "steel rain."
The campaign's successful conclusion did not end the work of the Army National Guard units in the theater. Army Guard maintenance units
engaged in battlefield recovery of coalition and Iraqi equipment. Medical units continued their work with allied and Iraqi sick and wounded.
Many units and individual Guard members initiated civic action work with Kuwaiti and Iraqi civilians. America's pride in her National Guard
members was shown by the many parades and celebrations upon the return of units from Saudi Arabia.
General Cohn Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said on December 3,1990, "The success of the Guard... participation in Desert
Shield cannot be overemphasized." General Frederick M. Franks, Jr., former Commander, VII Corps, told National Guard senior commanders
on April 3,1992, "You saved the battle."
Beginning in 1991, the Army National Guard began significant cuts to its force structure as part of the downsizing of the U.S. military after the
end of the Cold War. The Guard inactivated several hundred units to include three separate brigades and two divisions.
Army Guard Special Forces and aviation soldiers took part in Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti in 1995. Also that year, the 4th Battalion,
505th Infantry, which consisted of 70 percent Guard soldiers, deployed to the Middle East as part of the Multinational Force and Observers.
Beginning in 1996, both Army and Air Guard personnel began taking part in Operation Joint Endeavor, now Joint Guard, as part of the NATO
peacekeeping force in Bosnia.
The Guard has entered new areas in concert with its theme of "adding Value to America" by establishing programs for youths at risk such as
Challenge, Star Base and the Youth Conservation Corps. The Guard also plays a significant role in many communities by sponsoring drug
demand reduction programs. The Guard is also continuing its efforts in assisting law enforcement agencies in the seizure of illegal drugs.
The Guard continues to play a major role in assisting civil authorities during natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, snowstorms and
hurricanes. During the past several years, nearly every state had Guard personnel on state active duty assisting their neighbors by providing
food, shelter, security, and in many cases, by performing life saving missions.