Friday, June 20, 2008

This Week in Guard History 6.19.08

June 18, 1916: Washington D.C. — President Woodrow Wilson, acting only 15 days after he signed the historic National Defense Act of 1916, calls up most of the National Guard for duty along the Mexican Border. Because the National Guard is called up under the militia clause of the Constitution, it is restricted to service within the borders of the United States to "repel invasion" by Pancho Villa's bandits.

By July 31, more than 110,000 Guardsmen have joined the 5,000 Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico Guardsmen who had been called in May for service on the border. The Guard's deployment frees Gen. John Pershing to lead an expeditionary force composed of Army regulars into Mexico in a futile attempt to track down Villa.

Over 40,000 Guardsmen are still serving on the border when war is declared against Germany in April 1917. The border experience proves valuable training for the Guard prior to World War I, particularly because it gave officers and men extensive experience in working with large formations of troops that could rarely be assembled in peacetime.

Posts I've trackbacked to: The Power To Be Afraid, The World According To Carl: Obama’s Pseudo-Presidential Seal Illegal?, The World According To Carl: Reese's Racist?, Mark My Words: Barack Obama - a Steven Seagal fan?, third world county: The Great Seal of Obamaland, Pirate's Cove: And More More Obama Seals!, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: A quick look back and then a gaze into the future.

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