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National Guard of the United States

National Guard (United States)
Military unit
Unit nameNational Guard of the United States
Founded1636-present
CountryUnited States
AllegianceState (32 U.S.C.)
Federal (10 U.S.C.)
BranchUnited States Army &
United States Air Force
RoleReserve force
Size467,587 end strength (FY2009)
Part ofNational Guard Bureau
Garrison/HQAll 50 states, as well as organized territories
NicknameAir Guard
Army Guard
Motto"Always Ready, Always There"

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The National Guard of the United States is a reserve military force composed of state National Guard militia members or units under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States. Militia members are citizen soldiers, meaning they work part time for the National Guard and hold a civilian job as well. The National Guard of the United States is a joint reserve component of the United States Army and the United States Air Force and maintains two subcomponents: the Army National Guard of the United States for the Army and the Air Force's Air National Guard of the United States.

Established under Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code, state National Guard serves as part of the first-line defense for the United States. The state National Guard is divided into units stationed in each of the 50 states and US territories, and operates under their respective state governor or territorial adjutant general. The National Guard may be called up for active duty by state governors or territorial adjutant general to help respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

The National Guard of the United States is administered by the National Guard Bureau, which is a joint activity under the Department of Defense. The National Guard Bureau provides a communication channel for state National Guard to the Department of Defense. The National Guard Bureau also provides policies and requirements for training and funds for training for state Army National Guard and state Air National Guard units, the allocation of federal funds to the Army National Guard of the United States and the Air National Guard of the United States, as well as other administrative responsibilities prescribed under . The National Guard Bureau is headed by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (CNGB), who is a four-star general in the Army or Air Force.


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