Established in 1636 when ordinary citizens formed militias to defend against hostile attacks, the National Guard is the country's oldest military branch. The Guard's citizen-soldiers have served as the nation's first line of defense since America's birth and have fought in every major conflict in America's history, contributing to the organization's expansive history and invaluable legacy.
With its dual mission, the National Guard is a reserve force with both state and federal responsibilities. The National Guard provides protection of life and property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, forest fires and hurricanes, support to civil defense authorities, and counter-drug operations. The National Guard's federal mission is to maintain well-trained unites available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies.
The National Guard, Always ready and always there.