COLUMBIA, SC, UNITED STATES
Story by 1st Lt. Tracci Dorgan
South Carolina National Guard
The National Guard heritage dates back to the thirteen original colonies in North America. The oldest of its units was organized on December 13, 1636, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony militia. This makes the National Guard the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, and one of the oldest military organizations in the world.
The Founding Fathers recognized the importance of the militia by writing it into the U.S. Constitution. In the case of the militia, power was divided between the individual states and the federal government. This dual state-federal organization still characterizes the National Guard today and is unique in the world.
Currently there are more than 400 S.C. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen deployed around the world. During the past 16 years of conflict, more than 19,000 South Carolina National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed and 16 have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Most recently, more than 800 Soldiers have been activated in response to hurricanes this year. Over 160 S.C. National Guard Engineers, Army Aviators and Air Traffic Controllers deployed to Puerto Rico for restoration efforts after Hurricane Maria in October. The S.C. National Guard helicopter aquatic rescue team also deployed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey in August. Approximately 650 S.C. Soldiers mobilized to assist South Carolina and Florida after Hurricane Irma in September.
“The National Guard’s response around our state and nation during this year’s hurricanes, floods, wildfires and tornados was just the continuation of the legacy of service left from the militia and minutemen we are proud to call our ancestors,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. R. Van McCarty, the deputy adjutant general for South Carolina