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The Guard: 377 Years Young

America's oldest force is prepared for the battlefield of tomorrow

The oldest military branch in America turns 377 today. The National Guard was born on Dec. 13, 1636—that’s almost 140 years before the birth of America itself. On that day in Massachusetts, the first militia companies that had formed earlier were divided into the first military regiments of the New World. They were farmers and merchants—and fighters.

Over nearly four centuries since then, the Guard has defended and protected the United States at home and abroad through wars, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and more.

Today, the Guard is more relevant than ever, and it continues to change with the changing times. Its Soldiers are prepared to confront the most complex challenges with skills and tools on the cutting edge of science and technology. They’re fighters, but also chemists, code breakers, engineers and cyberwarriors.

Know someone who might want to join these new pioneers in America’s defense? The National Guard STEM program is currently looking for more of these special Soldiers. Find out more at