Prelude to the Total Force: The Air National Guard 1943-1969,
OFFICE OF AIR FORCE HISTORY WASHINGTON DC
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The shadow of the Minuteman statue falls across the village green in Lexington, Massachusetts. The statue symbolizes Americas oldest military legacy, the citizen-soldier. In colonial times, minutemen were members of small elite companies within the organized militia. They agreed to turn out for immediate service in defense of their communities while the more cumbersome ordinary militia units were being assembled. Today their historic role is perpetuated by the Air National Guard, an elite volunteer force of citizen airmen maintained in a high state of operational readiness as a reserve component of the United States Air Force USAF. This emphasis was shaped by three primary considerations. First, a review of the literature of American military history revealed that scholars had neglected the military role of reserve programs, especially air components of the American armed forces. Second, I was extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and professional competence of the Air Guard during my own service as an intelligence officer with the Ohio Air National Guards 179th Tactical Fighter Group from 1973 to 1976. Third, it was apparent that the Air Forces reserve components have come to play an increasingly important role in that services ability to carry out its global military missions. For these reasons, I concentrated on the Air Guard as a national military organization focusing on policy issues at the headquarters level and the Air Guards institutional evolution.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics