National Guard celebrates 377th birthday - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

National Guard celebrates 377th birthday

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By: Bill Schammert

Tuesday morning, the Nebraska National Guard celebrated the 377th anniversary of the nation's first militia.

The guard can draw its heritage back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when in 1636, the General Court established that all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the militia. 

Since that day, members of the National Guard have fought in every single one of America's wars and continue to serve overseas in Kosovo and Afghanistan. 

Along with Gov. Dave Heineman and Sen. Bill Avery, Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac spoke to dozens of guardsmen and women at the Capitol Rotunda.


"Over the past decade we've sent thousands of committed National Guardsmen into harms way around the globe," the adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard said. "We've also stood ready to serve our state and nation when natural disasters strike."

Closer to home the National Guard continues to provide support for emergencies like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires.

"Today's guardsmen and yesterday's minute men both serve the conviction that service represents the very best of American ideals," Sen. Avery said.

The Nebraska National Guard will celebrate it's 159th birthday this month. It was founded in 1854 when the territorial governor at the time, Thomas B. Cuming, recommended citizens organize into volunteer companies.

The first legally authorized militia consisted of two regiments, one to the north and one to the south of the Platte River.

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