The Army National Guard is the oldest military organization in the US, tracing its origin to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. On December 13, 1636, three militia regiments were organized to defend against the growing threat from the Pequot Indians. Patterned after English militia systems, all males between 16 & 60 were obligated to own arms & take part in the defense of the community. The 101st Engineer Battalion, the 101st Field Artillery, the 181st Infantry Regiment & the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Massachusetts Army National Guard carry forth the lineage and honors of the “North,” “South” & “East” Regiments formed in 1636. They are the oldest military units in the US Armed Forces & rank among the oldest in the world. Notable members of these units include Captain Myles Standish (first commander of Plymouth Colony’s militia), Corporal Nathaniel Allen (received Medal of Honor for valor at Gettysburg) & actor Walter Brennan.
The Army National Guard continues its historic mission of providing security to our nation – both at home and abroad. Today, its strength stands at 350,000. Many have served on active duty since September 11, 2001. They have fought, bled and died in our nation’s defense. Continuing their long heritage as citizen-soldiers, our Army National Guard, many of them our friends and neighbors, have accomplished missions in Bosnia, Haiti, Iraq & Afghanistan – indeed, around the world! And they also selflessly respond to important missions in our home communities whenever called.
Happy 378th Birthday, Army National Guard.