The Next Generation is Now...Begin Your Journey Now!
The roots of the D.C. Army National Guard are older than the District of Columbia, older than the active duty military and older than the United States. Before there was a District of Columbia, Citizen-Soldiers were forming militia units in Georgetown and Bladensburg. The D.C. Militia was made up of ordinary citizens that would put down their plows and pick up weapons to protect families and towns from hostile attacks. The D.C National Guard was offically formed in 1802 by President Thomas Jefferson to defend the newly created District of Columbia. Today, Citizen-Soldiers of the D.C. Army National Guard uphold a long and storied tradition of excellence in our nation's capital. Our Citizen-Soldiers hold civilian jobs or attend college while maintaining their military training part time, always ready to defend the American way of life in the event of an emergency.
The Army National Guard (ARNG) is one component of The Army (which consists of the Active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve). The Army National Guard is composed primarily of traditional Guardsmen -- civilians who serve their country, state and community on a part-time basis (usually one weekend each month and two weeks during the summer). Each state, most territories and the District of Columbia have its own National Guard, as provided for by the Constitution of the United States.
The D.C. Army National Guard Today
Most recently, following the attacks of September 11, 2001, D.C Army National Guard members were called up by the Federal government to provide security in the District and combat terrorism abroad. Tens of thousands of Soldiers and Airmen across the nation have served in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror in what has been the largest mobilization and deployment since the Korean War. Their contributions have effectively transformed the National Guard from a strategic reserve force into a combat-ready operational force.
Domestic operations continue to require the D.C. Army National Guard's unique and special skills. In the largest and swiftest response to a natural disaster in history, the Guard deployed more than 50,000 troops in just over two weeks to support the Gulf States following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The D.C. Army National Guard plays a significant role in Presidential inaugurations. Since 1860 and the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, the D.C. Army National Guard has consitently supported the peaceful transfer of power. A number of smaller operations continued to require attention as well, including the State of the Union address, summits, dignitary visits, marches, parades and protests. The D.C. Army National Guard continues its historic dual mission, providing trained and equipped units to protect life and property and to the nation in order to defend the United States and its interests worldwide. Simply put, the D.C. Army National Guard is a critical element in the nation's defense.
Why the D.C. Army National Guard?
The D.C. Army National Guard does whatever is needed, wherever it is needed, As a D.C. Guard Soldier, your primary area of operation is within the District of Columbia--our Nation's Capital and center of power. The Commanding General of the D.C. Army National Guard is subordinate solely to the President of the United States. This authority to activate the D.C. Army National Guard has been delegated, by the President, to the Secretary of Defense and further delegated to the Secretary of the Army. The D.C. Army National Guard is the only National Guard unit, out of all of the 54 states and territories, which reports only to the President. Our versatility enables us to respond to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and more. The D.C. Army National Guard always responds with speed, strength and efficiency helping to defend American freedom and ideals. This is what makes the D.C. Army National Guard a unique and essential element of the U.S. military.