WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of Congress and Pentagon officials will join National Guard leaders on Capitol Hill this evening for a special cake-cutting ceremony and reception to commemorate the Guard's 381st birthday.
Hosted by NGAUS and the National Guard Educational Foundation, the event is set for the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will celebrate the founding of the nation's oldest military organization.
"On Dec. 13, 1636, the Massachusetts legislature ordered the organization of militia companies in the towns around Boston into three regiments to better defend lives and liberties in the fledgling colony," said retired Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS and NGEF president.
"But tonight we will do more than just mark a date in history," he said. "We will celebrate 381 years of service to state and nation, from the earliest colonial days to today, whenever and wherever there is a threat to our citizens, our values or our way of life."
In Massachusetts, all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60―except ministers and judges―were required to join the militia.
Today, the Guard is an all-volunteer force of approximately 450,000 men and women, most of them part-time soldiers and airmen, who must take time from work or school, as well as families, to train and serve.
About 20,000 of them are deployed overseas or soon will be.
Robinson and Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, will be the featured speakers at the event.
About NGAUS: The association was created in 1878 to provide unified Guard representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by petitioning Congress for more resources. Today, 139 years later with nearly 45,000 members nationwide, NGAUS has the same mission.
About NGEF: The National Guard Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing all 381 years of Guard history. Among its programs is the operation of the National Guard Memorial Museum, a 5,600-square-foot facility located at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE National Guard Association of the U.S.