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The history of the National Guard began on December 13, 1636, when the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered the organization of the colony's militia companies into three regiments: the North, South and East Regiments.  The colonists had adopted the English militia system which obligated all males, between the ages of 16 and 60, to possess arms and participate in the defense of the community.  The early colonial militia drilled once a week and provided guard details each evening to sound the alarm in case of attack.  The growing threat of the Pequot Indians to the Massachusetts Bay Colony required that the militia be in a high state of readiness.  The organization of the North, South and East Regiments increased the efficiency and responsiveness of the militia.  Although the exact date is not known, the first muster of the East Regiment took place in Salem, Massachusetts.  The National Guard continues its historic mission of providing units for the first-line defense of the nation.  The 101st Engineer Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard, continues the East Regiment's proud heritage of 350 years of service. (First Muster, a National Guard Heritage Painting by Don Troiani, courtesy the National Guard Bureau.) A guard for men and mice, 380 years ago
It may pass unnoticed like the cat in the crowd this Spring – except in Massachusetts – that America celebrates 380 years since a militia first gathered together in defense of the community.
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Noncommissioned officers from five nations and the United States tour Fort Loudoun State Historic Area Sept. 20, 2016, in Vonore, Tenn., as part of a cultural day. The area is a Tennessee River peninsula that surrounds Fort Loudoun. The fort once housed British soldiers as a western outpost from 1756-1760 and served relations with the Cherokee. The Air National Guard's I.G. Brown Training and Education Center is hosting the NCOs this week for the International Noncommissioned Officer Development Seminar. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith) Generations of militia account for today's Guard
Known originally as the militia, the National Guard turns 379 years young Sunday, Dec. 13.
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