Happy 104th Birthday National Guard


I am not anti-National Guard.  I lived with the 2-136 CAB of the MNARNG in Iraq.  Good people.  Good soldiers.  Long live the National Guard. 

But the National Guard is not the militia the Second Amendment is all about, and it is not the militia the Militia Act of 1792 is all about.  The National Guard became the “Organized” Militia by legislative fiat in 1903, when the United States Congress bribed states with federal funds into keeping their Volunteer Regiments raised for the Spanish-American War in existance as part-time soldiers.  The National Guard is a Reserve Component of the Federal armed forces

Is this important?  Kinda.  The word “militia”  evokes a mental image in the mind of the 21st Century reader different from that envisioned by the Founders.  Some perfectly good words change connotations over centuries.  Read the Second Amendment and replace the word “regulated” with “drilled” or “trained” and you’ll see what I mean. 

The militia envisoned by the Founders are quite different from the National Guard soldiers of today. National Guard soldiers are part-time Regulars.  In an age of People’s Information War, that part of the people who might care to participate in a virtual militia should know the difference.



Filed under G-2

6 responses to “Happy 104th Birthday National Guard

  1. haha, Nice pic of Iraqi Security Forces hanging out with Jaish al-Mahdi. You’re right, “militia” kind of has an ugly connotation to it in today’s world (especially in Iraq). But, it’s a pretty poor argument when Gun Control fascists start discussing the 2nd amendment only applying to the National Guard and not to everyday American citizens.

  2. Hey LT.

    Here is the definition I wish was still in vogue

    militia denotes the trained bands of a town or country, who arm themselves, upon a short warning, for their own defence. So that, in this sense, militia is opposed to regular or state troops.

    According to the law, I’m too old for the militia.

    But not for the virtual miitia.

  3. I think the founders might have seen militia the way the Romans did concerning levies. When there is a danger, you “levy” local forces and group them together for a fight or a war. Whatever organization is appropriate, available, or already constituted is what you then use. A militia seems to connote that it already has a well-established organization and chain of command.

    Only professional and irregular forces such as guerrilla armies have an already established chain of command. Cause they are actual armies. But the Founding Fathers did not have such armies in existence. They had to raise them, and thus the process of raising armies inevitably leds to a necessary division between a militia as constituting an armed force and the potential members of a militia which are not in an armed force.

  4. I think the Founders saw the Militia the way the English and particularly the Scots did, with hostile Indians making “Trained Bands” essential to survival on the frontier.

    18th Century British and Colonial Militia had chains of command. County Lieutenants raised the Militia, and the militiamen organized themselves into messes and elected officers.

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