National Guard Celebrates 379 Years

According to*, 379 years ago on December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts General Court in Salem declared that “all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the militia.” This was the first time for this to happen in the history of North America and with this order, “the North, South, and East Regiments were established.”
The Massachusetts frontier experienced many failures in the attempts of English settlement in North America but leaders thought that “a proactive and ready state of mind” was key to future settlement and freedom for all citizens.
“Being part of citizenry in the small villages meant that a price must be paid for the freedoms that could potentially be enjoyed, were the colony to ultimately succeed. That price exacted meant taking responsibility for defending the settlements of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.”
After this Massachusetts militia was born, “the entire New England region defended itself against the aggression of the Pequot Nation.” Other colonies rallied militia units to fight the Indian tribe as well and succeeded with the Pequot’s surrender in 1638. If it were not for the declaration of this citizen militia, the colonies could have failed once again leading to a weaker and less confident settlement as a whole.
When other colonies such as Virginia, Florida, and New Mexico joined the United States, they too “utilized military protection in order to allow settlers safe passage and to defend against aggressors.”
Massachusetts was the “first entity to have its government establish and raise a militia” while other colonies’ militia service were short-lived. “The tie to legal precedent in this manner remains to this day. That record of service has remained continuous and unbroken, no matter the change in each unit's function as a part of the militia or the National Guard.”
Because of this, Massachusetts is recognized as the birthplace of the National Guard.
“With the North, South, and East Regiments established, its exemplary military tradition continues through this day with four Massachusetts National Guard units -- the 101st Engineer Battalion, the 101st Field Artillery, the 181st Infantry Regiment, and the 182nd Infantry Regiment."
Today, “the National Guard still consists of Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen providing protection from natural disaster, training regularly to uphold high standards of readiness, and also deploying to far-away countries to protect the United States' national interests abroad.”
Though the National Guard has vastly expanded into a large U.S. military force around the world, “it still remains a community cornerstone – just as it did when it was given birth on December 13, 1636.”
Today, TSSi wishes to honor the National Guard on their 379th year of existence and celebrate the men and women who serve, sacrifice, and fight for this country!