The National Guard has a unique dual mission that consists of both
Federal and State roles. For state missions, the governor, through the
state Adjutant General, commands Guard forces. The governor can call
the National Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies,
such as storms, fires, earthquakes or civil disturbances.
In addition, the President of the United States can activate the
National Guard for participation in federal missions. Examples of
federal activations include Guard units deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo
for stabilization operations and units deployed to the Middle East and
other locations in the war on terrorism. When federalized, Guard units
are commanded by the Commander-in-Chief (CinC) of the theatre in which
they are operating.
The Army National Guard exists in all 50 states, three territories
and the District of Columbia. The state, territory or district
leadership are the Commanders in Chief for each Guard. Their
Adjutants' General are answerable to them for the training and
readiness of the units. At the state level, the governors reserve the
ability, under the Constitution of the United States, to call up
members of the National Guard in time of domestic emergencies or need.
The Army National Guard's state mission is perhaps the most visible
and well known. Nearly everyone has seen or heard of Guard units
responding to battle fires or helping communities deal with floods,
tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms or other emergency situations. In
times of civil unrest, the citizens of a state can rest assured that
the Guard will be ready to respond, if needed. During 2001, 34,855
Guardsmen were called to duty in response to the needs of their
community or state
During peacetime each state National Guard answers
to the leadership in the 50 states, three territories and the District
of Columbia. During national emergencies, however, the President
reserves the right to mobilize the National Guard, putting them in
federal duty status. While federalized, the units answer to the
Commander-in-Chief of the theatre in which they are operating and,
ultimately, to the President.
Even when not federalized, the Army National Guard
has a federal obligation (or mission.) That mission is to maintain
properly trained and equipped units, available for prompt mobilization
for war, national emergency, or as otherwise needed.
The Army National Guard is a partner with the
Active Army and the Army Reserves in fulfilling the country's military
needs. In fiscal year 2001, Army Guard soldiers pulled duty in more
than 80 countries in a wide variety of operations including
peacekeeping, stabilization, security, nation building, etc.