First established in 1636 by the Massachusetts General Court in Salem, your friendly neighborhood militia predates the U.S. Army (June 14, 1775), Navy (Oct. 13, 1775), and Marines (Nov. 10, 1775).
Bonus trivia: Perhaps in keeping with the modern tradition of conducting drills on weekends, Dec. 13, 1636 fell on a Saturday.
In honor of this day, here's a quick list of possible National Guard recruiting slogans for the next 375 years, suitable for fish wrap, T-shirts, and bumper stickers:
- "The National Guard: You can't go to war without us!"
- "Freedom isn't free, but it can be a part-time job!"
- "The National Guard: Freedom's first-responders!"
- "The National Guard: The original 2nd Amendment protection!"
- "The National Guard: 'Citizens' before 'soldiers.'"
- "Be all that you can be ... in your free time."
- "The National Guard: Defending the Homeland since before there was one."
- "Embrace the Suck: At least one weekend a month, two weeks a year."
- "The National Guard: We do more before 9 p.m. Friday than most people do all weekend."
- "The National Guard: The most fun you can have while wearing cargo pants."
- "The National Guard: Your neighbors wear combat boots."
- "See the world ... at least once every 5 years!"
- "The National Guard: Because standing armies ... shouldn't!"
- "Da Guards! Da Red Bulls! Da Mockracy!"