United States National Guard

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
U.S. National Guard logo
Joseph L. Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau (2016)

The drawn up in 1903 National Guard of the United States ( English United States National Guard , shortly National Guard , akronymisiert USNG ) is a National Guard , the second instance of the military reserve of the United States Armed Forces .

The members of the National Guard are voluntary service payable militiamen . Each state , most territories (e.g. Puerto Rico ) and the District of Columbia maintain their own national guard , which is subordinate to the respective chairman of the executive branch , usually the governor . Since 1903, this has been closely linked to the army and air forces under federal law and institutionally , so that under certain circumstances the federal level can fall back on it with the consent of Congress . Separate from this are the state guards , the so-called state defense forces , which are solely committed to their federal state.


The National Guard consists of the two branches of the Army and Air Force , namely the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard . The National Guard is controlled by the National Guard Bureau (Arlington, VA), a semi-independent organizational unit of the Department of Defense . Current commander of the National Guard Bureau ( Chief of the National Guard Bureau ) is General Joseph L. Lengyel . He is advised by the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard Bureau on all matters relating to the training and use, health of the forces, and the professional development of National Guard soldiers and airmen .

The National Guard is organized in units assigned to the 50 states and the overseas territories. The respective governor is the commander-in-chief of the respective units , and the President of the United States for operations at the federal level . In the case of the District of Columbia National Guard , in which the District of Columbia is not a state but a federal district , the President of the United States is the sole commander in chief.

Historically, there are no National Guard units with warships, but the National Guard units of the states of New York and Maryland have naval units . The so-called Army National Guards of all states together comprise around 358,000 soldiers, all Air National Guards have a strength of around 104,000 people (2012).


Guardsman (1917)

The National Guard originally emerged from the militias of the War of Independence . The regular army was weak throughout the 19th century. This regulation was intended to prevent the individual states from being pressured by the US federal executive branch or Congress through the use of force.

In the Mexican-American War , at the beginning of the American Civil War, and in the Spanish-American War , the militias made up the largest proportion of all American soldiers.

They have been called the National Guard since they were founded by Congress on January 21, 1903 and have been used in every major conflict. During the First World War , two-fifths of the troops fighting in France were national guards; 190,000 of them were deployed in World War II and 140,000 in the Korean War .

After segregation was abolished, the Arkansas National Guard was used to maintain segregation. The so-called Little Rock Nine were the first black students to attend Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas , three years after the official desegregation in American schools in 1957 . The then governor of the state, Orval Faubus (Democrat), had the Arkansas National Guard deployed under him on the evening before the first day of school on September 2, 1957, in order to deny the approximately sixteen-year-old students entry into the building. In addition, angry whites demonstrated in front of the school building. The governor had to withdraw the National Guard from school on September 20th due to a court decision. To enforce federal law, President Eisenhower placed the 10,000-strong Arkansas National Guard under federal command on September 24, 1957. At the request of the Little Rock Mayor, he sent federal troops (1,200 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division ) to the city to break up the gatherings of white demonstrators around the school. The federal soldiers protected the black students on the way to school and in the building right up to the classroom doors.

National Guards assist the security forces during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago .

During the Vietnam War , Presidents Johnson and Nixon refused to send the National Guard into battle. Johnson wanted as long as possible to keep the appearance that the (already unpopular) Vietnam War was not a real war , and the mobilization of the National Guard would have destroyed that appearance. As a result, Vietnam veterans occasionally make accusations against national guardsmen. They only volunteered to avoid being drafted and thus deployed in Vietnam. A prominent target of such allegations was George W. Bush , who served in the Air National Guard .

During a demonstration in front of Kent State University after the outbreak of the Vietnam War , the Ohio National Guard shot dead four students on May 4, 1970 and injured nine others, some seriously. The act went down in history as the Kent State massacre and sparked international protests.

National Guard helicopters during relief operations after Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Since January 2005, units of the National Guard can be deployed overseas for up to 24 months. Under former President Bill Clinton , the time span was six months; George W. Bush extended it for a second term of office for 18 months shortly after he was sworn in.

In 2005 the National Guard was called in as a result of Hurricane Katrina and 125,000 National Guardsmen were deployed. But since most of the National Guard and especially the well-equipped combat troops with their own equipment were deployed in Iraq , the situation was criticized with the term Katrinagate .

In Operation Jump Start , the Army National Guard has been entrusted with the temporary guarding of the border with Mexico since May 2006 until the extension of the border fence and the increase in the United States Border Patrol have been completed.


After several weeks of basic training, further training courses and several years of service must be completed. In peacetime it is usually “two days a month, two weeks a year”. This was an official slogan of the recruitment offices until the Iraq war . National Guardsmen received among other 200 dollars pay per month. Many states also pay young members the cost of college education. Ever since National Guard units came into use in Iraq, recruitment agencies have often struggled to find people for the job. Since during the Iraq war more than 50 percent of the guardsmen were sent to Iraq at times, there was a lack of crews and fire-fighting helicopters in large forest fires at home, most of which are fought by the National Guard.


The equipment of the US National Guard is essentially the same as that of the regular armed forces of the United States, but National Guard units do not always have the most modern equipment.

The Army National Guard (ARNG) currently provides 27 Brigade Combat Teams (combat brigades) with around 3,500 to 4,000 soldiers each, as well as eight Army Aviation Brigades ( aviation brigades ). The support area includes around 200 units of battalion and brigade strength, e.g. B. Combat support and artillery brigades. There are three differently equipped types of Brigade Combat Teams:

The Army National Guard's Army Aviation Brigades are a multifunctional mix of attack ( Apache ), reconnaissance , general-purpose ( Black Hawk ) and cargo helicopters ( Chinook ), as well as the ability to evacuate medical services . These units also play an important role in natural disasters and similar events.

For air fleet of the Air National Guard (ANG) 1,300 machines include all types of aircraft US Air Force , except for the stealth aircraft B-2 and the MH-53 Pave Low helicopter, the B-1 - Bombers and the AC-130 Gunship .

The governor of each state deploys his state's National Guard in the event of natural disasters and similar events. The equipment of the National Guard therefore includes: a. Lockheed C-130 with MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire-Fighting System) can also be converted into fire-fighting aircraft .

Distribution to states and territories

Data collected from the Defense Manpower Data Center (as of 2017)

designation State / Territory Army National Guard Air National Guard total
Alabama National Guard Alabama 9,766 2.224 11,990
Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs - Alaska National Guard Alaska 1,746 2,021 3,767
Arizona National Guard Arizona 5,279 2,482 7,761
Arkansas National Guard Arkansas 6.158 1,843 8.001
California National Guard California 13,846 4,378 18,224
Colorado National Guard Colorado 3,603 1,580 5,183
Connecticut Military Department - National Guard Connecticut 3,483 1.004 4,487
Delaware National Guard Delaware 1,513 1,094 2,607
Florida National Guard Florida 9,447 2.017 11,464
Georgia National Guard Georgia 10,789 2,687 13,476
Hawaii National Guard Hawaii 2,996 2.172 5,168
Idaho Military Department - National Guard Idaho 3,042 1.317 4,359
Illinois National Guard Illinois 9,810 2,894 12,704
Indiana National Guard Indiana 11,483 1,789 13,272
Iowa National Guard Iowa 6,799 1,728 8,527
Kansas National Guard Kansas 4,286 1,988 6,274
Kentucky National Guard Kentucky 6,501 1,219 7,720
Louisiana National Guard Louisiana 9,626 1,492 11,118
Maine Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management - National Guard Maine 1,974 1,097 3,071
Maryland Military Department - National Guard Maryland 4,225 1,834 6,059
Massachusetts National Guard Massachusetts 5,863 2.114 7,977
Michigan National Guard Michigan 7,989 2,197 10.186
Minnesota National Guard Minnesota 10,927 2,305 13,232
Mississippi National Guard Mississippi 9,547 2,582 12,129
Missouri National Guard Missouri 8,397 2,193 10,590
Montana National Guard Montana 2,566 957 3,523
Nebraska National Guard Nebraska 3,288 968 4,256
Nevada National Guard Nevada 3,271 1.103 4,374
New Hampshire National Guard New Hampshire 1,625 1,029 2,654
New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs - National Guard New Jersey 5,819 2,306 8,125
New Mexico National Guard New Mexico 2,839 971 3.810
New York National Guard New York State 10.123 5,539 15,402
North Carolina National Guard North Carolina 10.113 1,360 11,473
North Dakota National Guard North Dakota 2,917 992 3,909
Ohio National Guard Ohio 10,445 4,882 15,327
Oklahoma National Guard Oklahoma 6,409 2.161 8,570
Oregon Military Department - Oregon National Guard Oregon 5,660 2,190 7,850
Pennsylvania National Guard Pennsylvania 15,476 3,799 19,275
Rhode Island National Guard Rhode Island 1,992 1,028 3,020
South Carolina National Guard South carolina 9.094 1.314 10,408
South Dakota National Guard South Dakota 3,000 1,042 4,042
Tennessee National Guard Tennessee 9,128 3,273 12,401
Texas National Guard Texas 17,270 3,086 20,356
Utah National Guard Utah 5,372 1,373 6,745
Vermont National Guard Vermont 2,582 969 3,551
Virginia National Guard Virginia 6,876 1,302 8,178
Washington National Guard Washington 5,934 1,959 7,893
West Virginia National Guard West Virginia 4.137 2.120 6,257
Wisconsin National Guard Wisconsin 7.112 2,091 9,203
Wyoming Military Department - National Guard Wyoming 1,508 1,170 2,678
Puerto Rico National Guard Puerto Rico 6,198 1,151 7,349
Guam National Guard Guam 1,092 355 1,447
District of Columbia National Guard District of Columbia 1,358 1,248 2,606
Virgin Islands National Guard Virgin Islands 703 55 758
total 332.721 101,897 434,618


  • John K. Mahon: History of the militia and the National Guard , New York (Macmillan et al.) 1983. ISBN 0-02-919750-3
  • Jerry M. Cooper: The rise of the National Guard. The evolution of the American militia, 1865-1920 , Lincoln (University of Nebraska Press) 1997. ISBN 0-8032-1486-3
  • Jim Dan Hill: THE NATIONAL GUARD IN CIVIL DISORDERS: Historical Precedents , in: Robin Higham (ed.): Bayonets in the streets. The use of troops in civil disturbances , Lawrence, KA (University Press of Kansas) 1969, pp. 61-83.
  • Clarence C. Clendenen: SUPER POLICE: The National Guard as a Law-Enforcement Agency in the Twentieth Century , in: Higham, Bayonets , pp. 85-111.
  • Henry A. Bellows: A treatise on riot duty for the national guard , Washington DC, United States Government Printing Office , 1920.
  • Charles A. Peckham: The Ohio National Guard and Its Police Duties, 1894 , in: Ohio History , Vol. 83, Winter 1974, pp. 51-67, online version: [1]
  • Paul A. Gilje: Rioting in America , Bloomington, IND (Indiana University Press) 1999. ISBN 0-253-32988-4
  • Clayton D. Laurie / Ronald H. Cole: The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders, 1877-1945 , Washington, DC (Center of Military History, US Army) 1997. ISBN 0-16-048983-0
  • Paul J. Scheips: The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders, 1945-1992 , Washington, DC (Center of Military History, United States Army) 2005. ISBN 978-1517253783

Web links

Individual evidence

  2. ^ Army announces conversion of two brigade combat teams . US Army. 20th September 2018.
  3. ^ DoD Personnel, Workforce Reports & Publications . DoD. Retrieved September 25, 2017.