U.S. National Guard

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How does the National Guard work, and how do they decide what emergencies they are equipped for– or should be equipped for? Why is it separate from other branches?

Edit:. Does anything change when the U.S. gets a different president?

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Back in the Revolutionary times, each state had it’s own militia, under command of the state governor. Both under the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, these could be used to help defend the nation from external threats.

They have always been separate from the Regular Army. The state militias eventually morphed into the National Guard. The states keep them trained and equipped, usually with generous help and monetary donations from the Defense Department, and in return can be called up if needed by the Federal Government. Usually, what happens is when regular army troops are sent overseas to fight, some NG units will be activated to replace them stateside until they return. But if the NG can also be sent directly to the conflict area, many were sent over to Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

The President is the wartime Commanderin-Chief, but inormal times, the NG is under the authority of the Governor of the state they’re based in. In special circumstances, NG units can be “Federalized” by the President for limited purposes. As far as training and equipping, NG units train with their active military counterparts regularly, are similarly equipped, and perform a multitude of combat, combat support, and especially combat service support (e.g., logistics, medical) functions.

Not to hijack the post, bust I am curious as to wether or not the National Guard has any Special Operations units?

There are special ops opportunities with the Army, Navy, and AF, though they vary from one service to another in number, function, and career potential.

The USNG is essentially a “special” militia; normally, the militias are run by the States, and the Feds are prohibited from operating them (under the 2nd Amendment). The USNG, however, is special in that the Feds help fund and arm them, and in return the USNG is allowed to operate and coordinate across state lines, and can be taken away from the States under special circumstances by the POTUS. 90% of the time, though, the National Guard regiments are run by their parent States, and are always brought out in times of unrest or disasters for all sorts of duties.