Army National Guard


I received the following email from Ron that merits posting. He is referring to the article titled “Army“, posted on June 13th. Here is his note in its entirety:

I enjoyed “The Army” but there are a couple of points to make. The oldest branch of the service is the Army National Guard, whose citizen soldier tradition predates the Revolutionary War. The heraldry of the oldest National Guard units carry streamers from Lexington and other engagements fought before there was an officially organized Continental Army in June of 1775. From the Army National Guard website: “The National Guard, the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation’s longest enduring institutions, celebrated its 366th birthday in 2002. The National Guard traces its history back to the earliest English colonies in North America. Responsible for their own defense, the colonists drew on English military tradition and organized their able-bodied male citizens into militias.”

Also, the average age of the US Army soldier is much older than 19. I noticed a recent breakdown but can’t remember the exact number, but I think it’s in the mid twenties. The stats are out there, but I could not find them quickly to send with this. (Note: I checked with the Army and he’s right – the average age of all deployed regular Army personnel is around 25. For the National Guard, as would be expected, the average age is closer to 31. Figures include enlisted and officer combined.) The average age of casualties in OIF is older than you might think as well, as shown here under the graphical breakdown.

The running joke I used in Iraq when the young kids would make fun of my run times (I met standard, but not by what you would call a large margin) was “I’m too damned old to run; I have to stand and fight.”

Thanks for keeping me honest, Ron, and thanks for serving our country.


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