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Transformation of the Army National Guard: Guard 4.0

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Since its inception in 1636, the Army National Guard militia continually responded to change through transformation and adaptation. The Army National Guards transition from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve set in motion the current transformation christened as Guard 4.0. The objective of Guard 4.0 is to place the Army National Guard on a path to meet the nations security challenges as an integral part of the US Army. Early transformation of the militia revolved around equipping and limited utilization by states or the Federal Government but remained localized and fragmented. Following the Efficiency of the Militia Act Dick Act of 1902, sweeping changes transformed the Army National Guard through federal equipping, funding, and standardization. These changes improved the readiness the Army National Guard and parity to the Regular Army. Over the next several decades the Army National Guard fulfilled its role as a strategic reserve, providing individual soldiers and entire units in multiple conflicts and two world wars. A pivotal turning point for the National Guard emerged, following the political policy of the Vietnam conflict to limit National Guard involvement. The result of these decisions, following the conflict, spawned Guard 1.0 1973-1984, the initial total force transformation initiative. In 1984, Guard 2.0, and later Guard 2.5 1992-1993 continued to refine the Army National Guards role in Cold War planning and through mobilization in support of Operation Desert Storm. Guard 3.0 began on September 11, 2001, following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. During this transformative period, the National Guard took on the role of an operational reserve, as designated by the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. In this role, the Army National Guard committed thousands of soldiers and hundreds of units on rotational mobilizations alongside the Regular Army.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

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