April 1, 2018 at 7:11 pm #8360Ronald J. LambertKeymaster
The National Guard was started on December 13th, 1636, with men organizing themselves as the first militia in Massachusetts. They formed artillery, infantry and engineering battalions. To this day, they are recognized as the oldest regiments of the Guard. That day is also marked as the Army National Guard’s birthday in all states, territories, and the District of Columbia.
The National Guard of the United States is a unique service component (Compo 2). Unlike the Active component (Compo 1) and the Reserves component (Compo 3), which are federally controlled and fall under their respective Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corp Commands, the National Guard is primarily responsible to the Governor of its respective State, Territory, and the District of Columbia. The National Guard functions with both an Air Guard and an Army Guard in each State. The State/Territory/District chain of command has both Air Force and Army Leadership.
National Guard Units can be called upon for both State and Federal missions. Under order of the Governor (“State missions”, “State Active Duty”), Army and Air National Guard members can be called upon to provide support during natural disasters like fires, floods, blizzards, and hurricanes. They can also be utilized in times of civil unrest, for search and rescue missions, or to support logistics and maintain order during large planned gatherings where local resources would be overwhelmed without the support (e.g. the Boy Scout National Jamboree, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions). National Guard Soldiers and Airmen can also be activated in a Federal status to provide combat, combat support, and combat service support/medical support units for humanitarian and contingency operations. Many highly trained and qualified Army National Guard Soldiers and Air Guard Airmen have served valiantly alongside Active Component and Reserves component Soldiers and Airmen.
Because of the unique dual mission of the National Guard, two-thirds of the members are part-time service members who are pilots, physicians, dentists, surgeons, nurses, mechanics, teachers, college students, single parents, attorneys, and physician assistants to name a few. These well-trained men and women augment the Reserve Components and Active Component in peace keeping missions, contingency operations, and provide State assistance during natural disasters and manmade situations.
Dental health is recognized as a vital part of a Service Members overall health and wellness. The annual dental exam is a key component of a Service Members overall preparedness check to assure they are fit to serve should the need arise. Approximately 1300 dental personal – dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants – serve in the Army and Air National Guard nation wide. Each state has a State Dental Officer who advises the Leadership about the dental readiness of their force, and helps to coordinate National Guard dental personnel. The dental Officers and Enlisted Service Members perform dental exams, radiographic images, periodontal and soft tissue screenings, and are the Subject Matter Experts to help Service Members fix dental related issues. In an activated status, Dental Officers and NCO’s can also help support medical treatment missions and are trained to act as triage personnel during mass causality scenarios.
The National Guard is often the first military responders called up during State emergencies. The Guard is willing to fight alongside the Active and Reserve components in an international war. The Guard is always ready to serve the federal or state mission.
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