The National Guard is a state-based military force that becomes part of the reserve components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force when activated for federal missions. It is a military reserve force composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, for a total of 54 separate organizations.
It is officially created under Congress’s Article 1 Section 8 ability to ‘raise and support armies’. All members of the National Guard are also members of the organized militia of the United States as defined by 10 U.S.C. § 246. National Guard units are under the dual control of the state governments and the federal government.
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.
The National Guard began on Dec. 13, 1636, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend against the growing threat of the Pequot Indians. Today, the Army National Guard continues its historic mission of providing defense for the nation.
According to www.military.com; nationaltoday.com. Source of photos: internet