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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

State Rep. Swanson: 'Happy 386th birthday to the National Guard!'

Illinois State Representative Dan Swanson commemorated the birthday of the National Guard in a Facebook post published on Tuesday.

"Since 1636, members of the National Guard have been "Always Ready, Always There" to support our nation. Happy 386th birthday to the National Guard and thank you to all who have served!"

The official National Guard website shared information regarding the organization's history in a 2012 article celebrating its 376th birthday.

"The military organization we know today as the National Guard came into existence with a direct declaration on December 13, 1636," the article read. "On this date, the Massachusetts General Court in Salem, for the first time in the history of the North American continent, established that all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the militia. The North, South and East Regiments were established. The decree excluded ministers and judges. Simply stated, Citizen-Soldiers who mustered for military training could be and would be called upon to fight when needed."

The website also commemorated its 386th birthday with a 2022 article reflecting on the organization's past.

"We recognize Dec. 13 as the birthday of the National Guard," the article read. "On this date in 1636, the first militia regiments in North America organized in Massachusetts. Based upon an order of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s General Court, the colony’s militia was organized into three permanent regiments to defend the colony better. Today, the descendants of these first regiments – the 181st Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, the 101st Field Artillery, and the 101st Engineer Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard – share the distinction of being the oldest units in the U.S. military. Dec. 13, 1636, thus marks the beginning of the organized militia, and the birth of the National Guard’s oldest organized units is symbolic of the founding of all the state, territory and District of Columbia militias that collectively make up today’s National Guard."

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