Shaping the National Guard in a Post-War Environment
Crofts, Shane C.
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The National Guard of the United States is the nations oldest military service, tracing its roots to the Massachusetts Bay Colony of 1636. Since its inception, the Guard has enjoyed a unique dual-role responsibility of supporting state and federal missions, and while serving in every war since the American Revolution, Guardsmen and women have also supported domestic operations from the southwest border to Hurricane Katrina. Today, the Guard is a fully operational reserve, and a critical part of the national security framework. While fully engaged in the Global War On Terror, the Guard has also made great strides toward becoming the lead military agency in domestic missions, which has always been a key mission of the Guard, and which sets it apart from its Title X counterparts. Recently, the Guard has achieved increased relevance and political victories highlighted by the recent National Guard Empowerment Act that gave the Chief of National Guard Bureau membership on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As defense spending and the size of the active force is cut in a post-war environment, this thesis reviews the best future use of the Army National Guard, and offers alternative solutions for increased effectiveness, particularly in a domestic capacity.
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