MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The National Guard is celebrating its 380th birthday.
The Guard was first established on December 13, 1636, making it 140 years older than the United States.
The Guard was established at a Massachusetts General Court in Salem.
For the first time in the history of the North American continent, all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the militia.
The idea was citizen-soldiers who mustered for military training could be and would be called upon to fight when needed.
According to the National Guard website, other states such as Florida, Virginia, and New Mexico established a militia, but none of them remained continuous.
"This distinction qualifies it as the birthplace of the militia in the United States. With the North, South, and East Regiments established, its exemplary military tradition continues through this day with four Massachusetts National Guard units -- the 101st Engineer Battalion, the 101st Field Artillery, the 181st Infantry Regiment, and the 182nd Infantry Regiment.; The tradition born in Salem continues today," says Bill Boehm from the National Guard Bureau.
The National Guard still consists of Civilian-Soldiers and Airmen that provide protection from natural disaster, and regularly train to uphold high standards of readiness.
In order to be available and ready to deploy to countries to protect the United States' national interests abroad.
The National Guard still remains a cornerstone of communities around the country, and we thank the men and women who serve.