According to Wikipedia, the National Guard operated with a federal budget of $14 billion for the Fiscal Year 2015. Among other things, this budget includes expenses for personnel pay, facilities, maintenance, research and development, construction and equipment.
350,000 Plus Servicemembers
Some people assume that the National Guard is a small branch of the U.S. military, but this isn’t necessarily true. While it’s certainly smaller than the Marines and Navy, it’s still a sizable force. Current data indicates that some 350,000 plus men and women serve in the National Guard.
Disaster Relief Efforts
In addition to protecting the United States from threats, the National Guard may also be called upon for relief efforts. For instance, the President often calls upon the National Guard to respond to hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and civil disorder, both here in the U.S. and abroad in countries of our allies. In the wake of 9/11, some 50,000 National Guard servicemembers were called upon to assist in the relief.
Divided Into Units
It’s a little-known fact that the National Guard is divided into several subordinate units stationed in each state, three territories, and D.C. Each unit of the National Guard operates under their respective government.
Another interesting fact about the National Guard is that each servicemember is sworn to uphold two different constitutions: the federal constitution and the state constitution. This is in stark contrast to many other branches of the U.S. military, which typically only swear to uphold the federal constitution.
Administered by the National Guard Bureau
The National Guard is one of two organizations administered by the National Guard Bureau, with the other organization being the Air National Guard.
Founded in the 1600s
The National Guard has deep roots dating back to the origins of the United States itself. This branch of the U.S. military was founded back in December 13, 1636. Since then, it has played an important role in preserving our nation’s freedom and independence. According to Military.com, the National Guard is older than the Army, as it was used to protect British colonies during the 17th century while the Army wasn’t formed until the Revolutionary War.