National Guard Fast Facts

(CNN)Here’s a look at the National Guard, a reserve military force and the oldest component of the US armed forces.

The National Guard was formed in 1636 as the militia of the colonists in North America, and is guaranteed by the US Constitution.
The Marquis de Lafayette, on a visit to the United States in 1824, popularized the term “national guard” as a description for the various states’ militias. The title was formalized by federal legislation in 1903.
    Other reserve groups have no affiliation with the National Guard. (Ex. Army Reserve)
    Each US state, territory and Washington DC has its own National Guard.
    The National Guard takes an oath to perform state or federal missions and can be deployed for either. A governor can call up troops to assist in national disasters or civil disturbances, and the president can order troops for federal missions both domestically and in foreign nations.
    In times of peace, the National Guard trains or “drills” one weekend a month and two weeks during the year.
    Ohio Governor James Rhodes called up approximately 100 Ohio National Guardsmen in May 1970 to disperse an angry crowd of students at Kent State University. Guardsmen shot and killed four students, and injured nine others.
    Some of the National Guard’s international federal mobilizations include the Berlin crisis of 1961 and peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    Recent Wartime International Mobilizations:
    National Guardsmen have fought in every US war since 1637.
    World War II (300,000 mobilized)
    Korean War (183,000 mobilized)
    Vietnam War (23,000 mobilized)
    Persian Gulf War (75,000 mobilized)
    Timeline of Domestic and Other Federal Mobilizations:
    April 1906 –
    In the wake of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, about 30,000 National Guard troops are federalized and deployed.
    May-June 1916 – President Woodrow Wilson requests Texas, New Mexico and Arizona send troops to protect the Mexico border after Pancho Villa raids Columbus, New Mexico. Within six weeks, 112,000 Guardsmen are patrolling the border, but Villa evades capture.
    1957-1958 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower places the Arkansas Guard under federal control and sends 1,000 paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division to assist in maintaining order in Little Rock after rioting breaks out following the desegregation of Central High School.
    September-October 1962 – President John F. Kennedy calls up 10,927 Mississippi guardsmen, after University of Mississippi fails to follow a court order to enroll James Meredith.
    June-July 1963 – President Kennedy federalizes the Alabama National Guard after Governor George Wallace blocks the doorway of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa to prevent integration.
    September 1963 – Precipitated by the integration of Tuskegee High School in Alabama, President Kennedy federalizes the Alabama Guard and holds them on standby for four days.
    March 1965 – During the Selma to Montgomery March, state and local law enforcement beat marchers near Selma, Alabama. President Lyndon B. Johnson federalizes the Alabama National Guard to protect marchers as they start again two weeks later.
    April 1968 – Rioting in Chicago, DC and Baltimore after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. precipitates the federalization of nearly 15,000 National Guardsmen.
    March-April 1970 – During the New York City Postal Strike, President Richard Nixon authorizes the federalization of 28,100 Guardsmen to deliver and sort mail, and keep strikers from interfering with delivery.
    September 1989 – In the wake of Hurricane Hugo, President George H. W. Bush federalizes nearly 1,000 Guardsmen following violence and looting in the Virgin Islands.
    May 1992 – Following the acquittal of officers involved in the beating of Rodney King, President Bush federalizes California Guardsmen to combat rioting in Los Angeles.
    August-September 2005 – More than 50,000 Army and Air Guardsmen provide security and help following Hurricane Katrina, which is the largest domestic mobilization of National Guardsmen in history.
    October 16, 2014 – President Barack Obama authorizes the National Guard to be called up to assist in containing Ebola in West Africa.

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