Even though it’s not a federal holiday, the birthday of the U.S. National Guard — celebrated on December 13 — is an important event to note. Established in 1636, the National Guard is the oldest military organization in America. Its members serve during times of war and emergency. Take time to honor those who have protected our country for centuries.
U.S. National Guard Birthday - History
The U.S. gave joint control of the National Guard to both the federal and state governments.
The term “National Guard” became the official name
The term "National Guard" made its debut
Marquis de Lafayette, a French military officer who fought in the Revolutionary War, used the term “National Guard” as a way to characterize each state’s militia.
Small local units of militia merged into one
This creates the first colony-wide militia — setting the stage for a truly "National" Guard.
The first militias formed
This takes place during England’s colonization of the Americas.
How to Observe U.S. National Guard Birthday
1. Give to a worthy cause
Donating to charities such as the The National Guard Educational Foundation is a great way to make an impact. Want to be more hands on? Check out NGAUS.org for other ways to take action.
2. Hold a service
Reach out to local clubs and set up up a commemoration service for the people in your community who serve in the National Guard. Gather photos from family members and light candles to honor those who are making the sacrifice.
3. Host an event
A golf tournament or bake sale, for example, will help support the men and women of the National Guard.
5 Bold Reasons To Back Your U.S. National Guard
1. It’s the oldest military force in the U.S.
National Guard militias were used beginning in 1636 to protect British colonies — making the Guard older than the U.S. Army, which wasn’t created until the Revolutionary War.
2. There’s only one U.S. territory without a National Guard unit
That would be American Samoa.
3. Members had a famous nickname
During the Revolutionary War, National Guard units were called Minutemen because of how quickly they responded.
4. It's America's second largest militia force.
The U.S. Army is #1.
5. The National Guard plays a crucial role in our security
The National Guard has fought in every U.S. war since 1936.
Why U.S. National Guard Birthday is Important
A. It's part of our history
The birthday of this prestigious militia reminds us of our country’s past and can be used as an opportunity to delve further into its history.
B. It honors heroes
Celebrating the birthday of the National Guard helps show our respect to those who risk their lives for America and its citizens.
C. It can unify communities
Not many things can bring an entire community together, but celebrating the birthday of a militia filled with brave, self-sacrificing individuals is certainly one of them.