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On December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts legislature formalized the colonial militia into three regiments, laying the foundation for the National Guard. The units were known as the Minutemen for their ability to respond rapidly. The University of Massachusetts honors their instrumental role in the American Revolution by nicknaming their athletic teams the Minutemen/Minutewomen.

For 384 years, citizen soldiers have volunteered to serve. Today, members of the Army and Air National Guard sustain full time civilian jobs while serving their communities on drill weekends, temporary duty assignments and deployments. Since September 11, 2001, over 650,000 Guard members have been activated to support domestic and overseas contingency operations. We are forever grateful for the sacrifices, both great and small, these men and women have made on our behalf.

Today, we honor that service, those sacrifices and the extraordinary history of the National Guard.

Would you like to give back to the Guard community? Contact your local Army or Air National Guard office or Veteran Service Organization such as Disabled American Veterans or Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Happy 384th Birthday National Guard!

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