Defense Authorization Act Of 1916 Research Paper

Length: 15 pages Sources: 28 Subject: Military Type: Research Paper Paper: #39128135 Related Topics: August Wilson, Book Of Acts, Hurricane Katrina, Army
Excerpt from Research Paper :

The National Guard, as anticipated by the Constitution's framers, was now a military reserve ready to serve the national interest. The National Guard, while getting large amounts of federal funds and growing in size, continued to struggle to find its true role in military operations and readiness. The natural disasters and civil disorder incidents in which Guardsmen were called to help supported their cause. These included such events as the San Francisco earthquake in 1906; over 21 times" (Smith 1990 P. 11-12).

In Florida, National Guard served the role of preventing the lynching of black, and they maintained order during worker strike in several states. Despite the Dick Act, the National Guard became less favorable before many Americans. Typically, when citizens went into labor strikes across the country and action taken by the undisciplined National Guard against the strikers was very questionable. Typically, National Guard underwent massive massacre of citizens during the Colorado labor strike known as Ludlow Massacre. In April 20, 1914, the National Guard fired at miners who were on strike and the miners fired back, and at dusk, the National Guard set fires on the tents and killed 13 people with gunfire. The action of the National Guard made the miners to fire back. Eventually, President Wilson set federal troop to restore the order. (Groark, 2004). With the conduct of the National Guard during that period, it was revealed that the National Guard was still ill trained.

Despite the conduct of National Guard, Dick Act of 1903 had immediate impact on the National Guard, and by 1911, National Guard had a reformed standard units of infantry, coast artillery, field artillery and engineer. (Doubler. 2011). With the Dick Act, the federal government disbursed funds for the National Guard, and with the federal aid, National Guard was able to improve on their training and organization. By 1911, National Guard has been reformed into the standard units of infantry. The flood of new weapons strengthens the National Guard and by the end of 1916, the National Guard grew to 132,194 soldiers. In 1908, there was an important amendment to the Dick Act. The Dick Act stated that National Guard force were mandated to go to war as units, and a division of Militia Affairs was created within the War Department with the overall responsibility for the administration of National Guard. To ensure that National Guard was fully prepared for war, they were placed under the direct control of the Army chief of staff.

Despite the preparedness of the United States for the internal and external aggression, American watched Europe plunged into World War 1 in August 1914, and within 12 months, the fighting degenerated into a bloody stalemate. With the fear that the United States might be drawn into the bloody World War 1, many counties started the preparedness movement and emphasized the readiness of America in the case of war. The War Department in Washington advocated for a Continental Army in order to build a suitable army for the European warfare. With the intensity of fighting in Europe, it was revealed that National Guard lacked the preparedness for the modern war. Thus, a suitable means to organized large army for the war generated a sharp debate and the arguments favored the National Guard leading the federal government to pass National Defense Act of 1916. (Doubler, Listman, & Goldstein, 2007, Doubler, 2011).

To enhance greater understanding of the operational preparedness of National Guard after the National Defense Acts of 1916 and 1920, the study develops the research hypothesis and null hypothesis.

H1: "The National Defense Acts of 1916 and 1920 help mature the National Guard into an operational ready force to be called upon anytime during natural or man-made disasters. The National Defense Acts of 1916 and 1920 was also needed in order to establish the National Guard as a force to augment the regular Army in times of crisis that may require for quick mobilization for overseas missions. This established a dual role for the National Guard, now the Guard was recognized as a force to be called upon for both domestic and foreign missions."

H0: "The National Defense Acts of 1916 and 1920 does not help the National Guard to mature into an operational ready force to be called upon anytime during natural or man-made disasters. The National Defense Acts of 1916 and 1920 was also not needed in order to establish the National Guard as a force to augment the regular Army in times of crisis that may require for quick mobilization for overseas missions. This does not establish a dual role for the National...


The study also makes a comparison of the operational readiness of National Guard before 1916 and after 1916.

National Defense Act of 1916

The National Defense Act of 1916 was very important in the history of National Guard, and Defense Act of 1916 came because of preparedness movement that swept all over the United States. Fundamental objective of Defense Act of 1916 was to prepare the United States for modern war. The Act specifically designated the National Guard to serve as primary reserve for the regular Army, and the State militias was abolished and all units were designated as National Guard. With Defense Act of 1916, Congress increased the funding on the National Guard and authorized the expansion of National Guard to 450,000. The law also allowed the National Guard forces to take dual oaths for the national duties as well as using them for the oversea duties. (Whiteclay, 2000). "The act stated that the National Guard was an integral part of the Army of the United States when in federal service. However, when they were called out through the governors, the Guardsmen remained within the organized militia under the control of the state." (Smith 1990 P. 12)

The Defense Act of 1916 greatly increased the power of federal government over the National Guard and the National Guard was to respond both the state and federal government. Typically, the Act recognized the National Guard as an integral part of regular army. To enhance the preparedness of National Guard, the Act doubled the training required for the National Guard forces and the federal government made funds readily available to enhance the effectiveness of National Guard. With increase in the power of National Guard with the Defense Act 1916, there were several indications to show the operational readiness of the National Guard.

First, within 15 days after the passage of Defense Act 1916; the National Guard was called upon to defend the territorial integrity of the United States. In 1915, tension between the United States and Mexico tremendously increased because of the civil war that raged in Mexico. Pancho as a dominant warlord during the period conducted cross boarder raid at American Mexican boarder and the holocaust resulted to the killing of 17 Americans.

"In response, President Woodrow Wilson ordered a large punitive expedition into northern Mexico to track down the bandits. He asked the governors of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to provide additional Guardsmen for border protection. By May 11, 5,260 Guardsmen were headed for the border." (Doubler, 2011 P. 5).

By 11 May 1916, the total number of 5,260 Guardsmen was mobilized for the Mexican boarder. Under the command of Brigadier General John. J, the Guardsmen made slow progress. However, the Mexican government feared that the U.S. forces were penetrating into the Mexican territorial integrity warned Brigadier General John to cease advancing. With the fear that further advancement of the National Guard forces could lead to war; President Wilson ordered a partially stop of the advancement of National Guard and partially called-up them on June 18, 1916. President Wilson called-up the National Guard because of the critical shortage of equipment and transportation largely impeded the mobilization. Within few days, the problem was abated, and over 112,000 Guardsmen were along the Mexican border. Although, the National Guard did not engage in a military combat with Mexico, the mobilization proved very valuable making the National Guard to be familiar with practical field experience. The mobilization also provided the valuable experience for the states. The experience of Mexican and the U.S. conflicts also made

"the states also became familiar with the complexities of moving great numbers of troops, and commanders received experience in handling large troop formations. Individual Guardsmen also benefited from better training and physical conditioning. By the early spring of 1917 the crisis had passed, and most Guardsmen headed home only to face an even greater emergency." (Doubler, 2011 P. 5).

Another indication to reveal the operational readiness of National Guard after the Defense Act of 1916 was the breaking out of the World War 1 leading the government to mobilize…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bowman, S. Kapp, L. & Belasco, a. Hurricane Katrina: DOD Disaster Response. CRS Report for Congress.2005.

Doubler, M.D. Listman, J.W., & Goldstein, D.M. "An Illustrated History of America's Citizen-Soldiers the National Guard".. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books. 2007.

Doubler. M.D. The Guard Century Series: 1900-1920 Century of Change, Century of Contribution: A Militia Nation Comes of Age. National Guard Association of the United States. 2011.

Coasts, J.A. Base Closure and Realignment: Federal Control over the National Guard. University of Cincinnati Law Review. Vol 75. P 343-370. 2006.

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