District of Columbia National Guard

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District of Columbia National Guard
D.C. Armory - Washington, D.C..jpg
Armory of the District of Columbia National Guard
Active As militia: 1776-1903
As reserve: 1903-present [1]
Country  United States of America
Allegiance  District of Columbia
Branch  United States Army
 United States Air Force
Role State militia, reserve force
Part of National Guard
Garrison/HQ D.C. Armory
Commanders
Current
commander
Major General Errol R. Schwartz
Notable
commanders
William H. Abendroth
Charles L. Southward

The District of Columbia National Guard is the branch of the United States National Guard based in Washington, D.C.. It comprises both Army National Guard and Air National Guard components.

The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of the National Guard of the District of Columbia at all times. Command is exercised through the Secretary of Defense and the Commanding General, Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia National Guard. The Secretary of Defense has delegated his command authority to the Secretary of the Army for the District of Columbia Army National Guard and the Secretary of the Air Force for the District of Columbia Air National Guard. The District of Columbia National Guard is commanded by a Major General with a Brigadier General as his or her adjutant. The Mayor of the District of Columbia, or the United States Marshal for the District of Columbia, or the National Capital Service Director, may request the Commander in Chief to aid them in suppressing insurrection and enforcement of the law.

History[edit]

It descends from the 25th Battalion of the Maryland Militia, headquartered in Georgetown, Maryland, formed 1776 to fight in the American Revolutionary War. After Congress established the Federal District in District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, local Militia units were reorganized again, to form what would become the District of Columbia National Guard.

Francis Scott Key, a Georgetown lawyer, was an artillery officer in this local militia. During the War of 1812, Key went on a mission of mercy to Baltimore, Maryland after the invasion and burning of Washington, D.C., seeking the release of a local doctor who had been arrested for arresting British Army looters. Key watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and wrote a poem that became the United States National Anthem.

The Headquarters and Headquarters Company/372nd Military Police Battalion (ARNG DC), which traces its lineage to the Columbian Division, is one of only nineteen Army National Guard units with campaign credit for the War of 1812.

Supervision and control of District of Columbia National Guard was delegated by the President of the United States to the Secretary of Defense pursuant to Executive Order 10030, 26 January 1949 with authority given to the Secretary to designate officials of the National Military Establishment to administer affairs of the District of Columbia National Guard. The Secretary of the Army was directed to act for the Secretary of Defense in all matters pertaining to the ground component, and the Secretary of the Air Force was directed to act in all matters pertaining to the air component of the District of Columbia National Guard by Secretary of Defense memorandum, 2 February 1949.

Unique law[edit]

Normally American federal law specifically charges the U.S. National Guard with dual federal and state missions. As the U.S. federal government abolished the jurisdiction of the state of Maryland and states rights in Washington, D.C. to establish a federal district, there is no elected governor to command this guard unit. This is the only national guard unit that reports only to the U.S. president.

The U.S. National Guard is the only United States military force empowered to function in a state or in this case a district status. Those functions range from limited actions during non-emergency situations to full scale law enforcement of martial law when local law enforcement officials can no longer maintain civil control. The National Guard may be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress.

When the U.S. National Guard is called to federal service, the U.S. President serves as Commander-in-Chief. The federal mission assigned to the U.S. National Guard is: "To provide properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, National emergency or as otherwise needed."

Units[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "District of Columbia National Guard". National Guard Educational Foundation. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 

External links[edit]