National Guard - America's Militia Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In 1903, groundbreaking national defense legislation hiked up the role of the United States National Guard as a reserve force for the U.S. Army. In fact, all this legislation did was render legitimate the purpose of the Guard as it was used since 1776. In World War I, which the U.S. entered in 1917, the National Guard made up an incredible 40% of the U.S. combat divisions in France; in World War II, National Guard units were among the first to deploy overseas and the first to fight.

In essence, the Guard has long been the backbone of the United States military, but only in 1903, finally, did it get at least Congressional recognition and appropriation for its roles in all major United States conflicts.

The purpose of the Ohio National Guard was particularly notable during the War of 1812. After receiving statehood in 1803, Ohio continued the law creating a body of "state troops" with each significant village or county providing its own local unit. "The military readiness of these local militia units varied greatly as did their uniform and armament. The monthly militia muster was supposed to train the members in close order drill and marksmanship, but in many cases was more of a social and political event. Moreover, each unit was responsible for electing its own officers with the victors often being the most popular or the one best able to furnish a ready supply of sour mash." Even with this obvious difficulties, the Guards continued to contribute greatly to military success.

With the start of war with Great Britain in 1812, there began renewed interest in increasing the size and effectiveness of the militia. Ohio's Governor Meigs formed three regiments of Ohio militia in response to the proposed invasion to drive the British and their Indian allies from Canada with a view towards annexing our northern neighbor to the United States. The first try culminated with the famous surrender of Fort Detroit to the English by the incompetent Gen. William Hull in late 1812. Although not represented in overwhelming numbers, Ohio militia were integral to the campaign's success and paroled shortly thereafter with the promise not to engage in any further hostilities. "Ohio militia also played a role in the efforts of Gen. William Henry Harrison to re-capture Fort Detroit and decisively defeat the British at the Battle of the Thames."

And the Ohio experience is just one of the tails of success of the Guard during every major military conflict in America's history. Today, the Guard has an additional role: protecting America from a homeland security perspective, and truly acting as the military at home on American soil. With the concept of posse comitatus, the conventional military has little to no role in protecting American soil from terrorists, but the National Guard may indeed do so.

The current role is a national extrapolation of the Guard's incredible role in our nation's military history between 1776 and 1917, with specific incalculable contributions during the War of 1812 and the Spanish American war.

Bibliography

Ohio National Guard. 2004. A brief history.

Snook, David. 2004. History of the Iowa National Guard. Iowa National Guard.

NGB. 2004. About The National Guard. The National Guard Board.

Baker, Bonnie. 1999. The Origins of the Posse Comitatus. Air and Space Power Chronicles, Nov. 1, 1999.

Depart of Justice. 2005. Posse Comitatus…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Ohio National Guard. 2004. A brief history.

Snook, David. 2004. History of the Iowa National Guard. Iowa National Guard.

NGB. 2004. About The National Guard. The National Guard Board.

Baker, Bonnie. 1999. The Origins of the Posse Comitatus. Air and Space Power Chronicles, Nov. 1, 1999.

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