Happy Birthday National Guard: 10 Facts You May Not Know

National Guard Birthday

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a National Guard spouse. My husband enlisted as a Guardsman for two years before becoming an active duty soldier, then to the Reserves and back to the National Guard. We’ve been in all three branches of the Army and being a National Guard spouse has surely come with an interesting set of challenges that the other two branches did not. But even though it has not been an easy ride, I wouldn’t change a thing. Being a Guard spouse has been life changing, making me appreciate the smaller things and growing closer to this branch that many still don’t understand.


I have a genuine love for the National Guard; proud of their sacrifice and commitment to their state and country. On December 13th, the National Guard will be turning 380 years old. How could I not write about this special occasion?


To honor the National Guard birthday, I have put together a fun list of facts you may have not known.


  1. A National Guard service member must swear to uphold both state and federal constitutions.

  2. Founded in 1636, the National Guard is the oldest branch around – even older than our country! The Army was not formed until the Revolutionary War, but militias we used stateside to protect British colonies. Although they weren’t called the National Guard until 1916.

  3. The National Guard is the second biggest when it comes to enlisted service members, the Army is number one.

  4. It has been 15 years since we have been in a time of peace, but during that time the National Guard only trains one weekend a month, as well as two weeks of training per year.

  5. There are two branches connected to the National Guard, Army and Air Force.

  6.  The National Guard motto, “Always Ready, Always There” is not just catchy – it is true! Units were originally called Minutemen because they were quick to respond and always available when needed.

  7. Guardsmen have fought in every major conflict since 1637, up until the most recent.

  8. Since the National Guard answers to both state and federal governments, they can be activated by both the governor of the state or by the President of the United States. The Washington DC National Guard is only controlled by the President.

  9. The only territory of the United States that does not have a National Guard unit is American Samoa.

  10. Only two Presidents have served in the National Guard; President George W. Bush and Harry Truman.

Now that you know a little bit more about the National Guard, join me in wishing them a very Happy Birthday in the comments below!





Additional Resources:

National Guard

National Guard Army on Facebook

Air National Guard on Facebook


About the blogger:
Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband of 11 years and two children.


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