National Guard celebrates 387th birthday

Retired Nevada Army Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Willson, left, and Pfc. Alexis Baugh cut a cake to celebrate the National Guard’s 387th birthday on Dec. 14. (Nevada Guard photo)

Nevada National Guard

The Nevada National Guard celebrated the National Guard’s 387th birthday on Dec. 14 at the Nevada Army Guard’s Plumb Lane Armory in Reno.

The event featured remarks  from Chief Master Sgt. Cameron Pieters, the senior enlisted leader of the Nevada Guard, and historical talks by retired Nevada Army Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Willson and former historian and current public affairs officer Capt. Emerson Marcus.

The National Guard is the oldest component of the United States Military predating the formation of the first Continental Army in 1775. On Dec. 13, 1636, 140 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first militia regiments in North America were organized in Massachusetts. Based upon an order of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s General Court, the colony’s militia was organized into three permanent regiments to better defend the colony.


The National Guard now has more than 450,000 soldiers and airmen nationwide serving in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. In comparison to the origin of the National Guard, the Nevada Guard was established more than 200 years later in 1861. The Nevada Guard includes about 3,500 Soldiers and 1,200 Airmen serving the nation and state in its dual mission as both the state’s military resource for domestic contingencies and a federal reserve force of the Army and Air Force.

The National Guard’s 387th birthday comes in the midst of a busy holiday season of domestic assistance for the Nevada Guard; the Nevada Guard just assisted first responders at the Las Vegas Formula One race and it is set to support southern Nevada’s first responders during the annual Las Vegas New Year’s Eve celebration and also the upcoming Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

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