Ohio National Guard

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Seal of the Ohio National Guard Ohio National Guard Logo.png
Seal of the Ohio National Guard

The Ohio National Guard comprises the Ohio Army National Guard and the Ohio Air National Guard. The commander-in-chief of the Ohio Army National Guard is the governor of the U.S. state of Ohio. If the Ohio Army National Guard is called to federal service, then the President of the United States becomes the commander-in-chief. [1] The military commander of all forces in the State of Ohio is the Adjutant General, Major General John C. Harris, Jr. is responsible for the command of 17,000 members, preparedness and readiness, installation management, and budget of the Ohio National Guard. The current Assistant Adjutant General for Army, with responsibility for overseeing the Ohio Army National Guard training and operations, is Brigadier General Thomas E. Moore II. [2] The current Assistant Adjutant General for Air is Major General James R. Camp with responsibility for overseeing the Ohio Air National Guard. [3]


Ohio Army and Air National Guard units can be mobilized at any time by the governor of the State of Ohio upon declaration of a state of emergency or by the presidential order to supplement regular federal armed forces. Unlike Army Reserve members, National Guard members cannot be mobilized individually (except through voluntary transfers and temporary duty assignment (TDY), but only as part of their respective units). However, there has been a significant number of individual activations to support military operations since 2001. The legality of this policy has been a source of contention in some quarters. The Ohio Military Reserve and the Ohio Naval Militia constitute Ohio's state defense force, and augment the Ohio National Guard during stateside missions, especially when units of the National Guard are federalized.

The Ohio National Guard is made up of Citizen-Soldiers, meaning that the members of the National Guard lead civilian lives in addition to their duties as a soldier. As a Citizen-Soldier members only train with their National Guard Units for roughly two days a month (one weekend), and two weeks of training in the summer, called Annual Training (AT).



In 1803 every state had a militia, so when Ohio was first formed as a state a militia for the state was created. This Ohio Militia was an important factor in the state's early history. The militia helped to subdue the Native American population in the state and aided in the War of 1812. After this the militia experienced a decline and lost funding. This became a large problem at the onset of the Civil War seeing as Ohio's militia was extremely underdeveloped and the Governor had to ask communities to supply units. Once more the Ohio Militia experienced a decline after the Civil War. [4]

The Dick Act

In 1903 the federal government enacted the Dick Act. The Dick Act is responsible for creating the National Guard. The law was enacted mainly because of the poor condition of state militias, and allowed the federal government to nationalize the National Guard and send them overseas or elsewhere in the country to assist with the Active Military. [5]

World War I

In 1917 the draft was instituted in each state because of the Selective Services Act. The enactment of this law greatly expanded the Ohio National Guard and gave rise to the 37th Division. Dubbed the "Buckeye Division," they were sent to France as a part of the American Expeditionary Force. The 37th gained a reputation as a "crack unit" by displaying great combat effectiveness during multiple battles, including the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and the St. Mihiel Salient. This led to the unit being rated as one of the best six American Divisions by the German General Staff.

World War II

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States entered the Second World War. During this time the 192nd Tank Battalion was stationed in the Philippines. This unit became a large part of the "Battling Bastards of Bataan," who attempted to stem the invasion of Japanese forces in the Philippines. The 192nd was put into POW camps when the Japanese took the islands in 1942, along with the remainder of the US forces there. The "Buckeye Division" served during the battle of Guadacanal, New Guinea and when the Philippines were re-taken. Despite suffering thousands of casualties throughout the war, the "Buckeye Division" had seven soldiers who were awarded the Medal Of Honor for their heroic actions.


During the Korean War there were no major units within the Ohio National Guard that were deployed to the conflict. Instead the "Buckeye" Division was mobilized as a training division in Fort Pol, Louisiana. It was also during this time that the Air Force broke off from the Active Duty Army which subsequently created the Air National Guard.


The Vietnam War saw many Ohio Army and Air National Guard units deployed in order to help protect South Vietnam from communism. During this time the Guard also helped local authorities back in the United States. This led to the Guard helping quell a rebellion at the Ohio Penitentiary, and help stop violence during the trucker's strike in 1970, and eventually the Kent State Shootings.

Kent State Shootings

On May 1, 1970 a protest of the Vietnam War was held on the campus of Kent State University. This protest led to reports of students lighting bonfires in streets and throwing bottles at police cars. There were also reports of violence between police and students. This led to reinforcements being called for from neighboring towns and the Governor by the mayor of Kent, Leroy Satrum. This led to the Ohio National Guard being sent to Kent State on the night of May 2, 1970. These Guardsmen stationed themselves at the then burned down ROTC adjacent to the commons of the university. On May 4, 1970 a protest took place on the commons of the university. The National Guard and police asked the protesters to disperse and when they refused the Guardsmen, armed with M -1 military rifles, pushed the group towards a football practice field. The protesters then threw rocks at the Guardsmen, who following that retreated up to the top of a hill where they began to fire shots. Some Guardsmen fired in the air while others fired directly into the crowd of protesters, killing four of them. (For more information see Kent State Shootings) [6]

Operation Desert Storm

During Operation Desert Storm the Ohio National Guard mainly supported the larger military force. The Guard sent small units and provided transportation and supplies to the war front. Following Desert Storm Ohio National Guard units were mobilized to continue the military presence in the region.

Post 9-11

Following the events of September 11th, 2001 the US Military was sent to the Middle East. The Ohio National Guard also took part in these operations, sending individuals and small units to assist the larger military force there. In the fall of 2011 though, the Ohio National Guard sent the 37th infantry division (the 'Buckeye' Division) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This was the largest overseas mobilization since World War II for the Guard. The Ohio National Guard has also assisted in more domestic tragedies, having sent assistance during Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Irma. [7] Assistance was also sent to Puerto Rico following the disaster caused by Hurricane Maria. [8] In fall of 2019 legislation creating the Ohio Cyber Reserve was passed. [9] [10]


The Ohio National Guard participates in an annual event put on by the Army called the Army Communities of Excellence. This program evaluates different organization's in the military based upon the performance of an Army installation run by the organization. The Ohio National Guard has won this award multiple times. The Guard won in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009. 2015, and in 2018. The Ohio National Guard also won Rookie of the Year in 2002. [11]

Related Research Articles

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Massachusetts National Guard Armed Forces of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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Mississippi National Guard

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Indiana National Guard Component of the US Army and military of the state of Indiana

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Kansas National Guard

The Kansas National Guard, is the component of the United States National Guard in the U.S. state of Kansas. It comprises both the Kansas Army National Guard and the Kansas Air National Guard. The Governor of Kansas is Commander-in-Chief of the Kansas National Guard when in state use. The State's highest-ranking military commander, the Adjutant General of Kansas, serves as the military head of the Guard and is second only to the Governor.

Minnesota National Guard

The Minnesota National Guard is the National Guard of the state of Minnesota, United States. It has more than 13,000 soldiers and airmen, serving in 61 communities across the state.

Nevada National Guard U.S. National Guard component for the state of Nevada

The Nevada National Guard is the component of the United States National Guard in Nevada. The governor of Nevada may call individuals or units of the Nevada National Guard into state service. The Constitution of the United States charges the National Guard of each state to support its dual federal and state missions.

New Mexico National Guard

The New Mexico National Guard is part of the armed forces of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It comprises the New Mexico Army National Guard and the New Mexico Air National Guard. The history of the New Mexico National Guard is unique; it has existed since the 1500s under many names, from the time of the Spanish and Mexican established Nuevo México to the present.

Oklahoma National Guard

The Oklahoma National Guard, a division of the Oklahoma Military Department, is the component of the United States National Guard in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It comprises both Army (OKARNG) and Air (OKANG) National Guard components. The Governor of Oklahoma is Commander-in-Chief of the Oklahoma National Guard when not on federal active duty. The state's highest-ranking military commander, the Adjutant General of Oklahoma (TAG), serves as the military head of the Guard and is second only to the Governor. The TAG is served by three Assistant Adjutants General, all brigadier generals, two from the Army Guard in the state, and the other the Air Guard chief. These positions are held by Army BG Steve D. Elliott, Army BG Louis W. Wilham, and Air Force BG Thomas W. Ryan. The two components each have a senior noncommissioned officer, State Command Sergeant Major for Army, currently CSM Tony F. Riggs, and State Command Chief Master Sergeant for Air, currently CCMSgt Ronald D. Teague. The TAG is also served by his Director of the Joint Staff or Chief of Staff, who has direct oversight of the state's full-time National Guard military personnel and civilian employees. This position is held by Army BG Jon M. Harrison.

Pennsylvania National Guard

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Texas State Guard

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Ohio Army National Guard

The Ohio Army National Guard is a part of the Ohio National Guard and the Army National Guard of the United States Army. It is also a component of the organized militia of the state of Ohio, which also includes the Ohio Naval Militia, the Ohio Military Reserve and the Ohio Air National Guard. The Ohio Army National Guard consists of a variety of combat, combat support and combat service support units. As of September 2010, its end strength exceeded 11,400 soldiers. Its headquarters is the Beightler Armory in Columbus, Ohio. Many units conduct Annual Training at Camp Grayling, Michigan.

District of Columbia National Guard Component of the US National Guard of the District of Columbia

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South Carolina State Guard

The South Carolina State Guard (SCSG) is the designated state defense force for the state of South Carolina.

Militia Act of 1903

The Militia Act of 1903, also known as the Efficiency in Militia Act of 1903 or the Dick Act, was legislation enacted by the United States Congress to create an early National Guard and which codified the circumstances under which the Guard could be federalized. It also provided federal funds to pay for equipment and training, including annual summer encampments. The new National Guard was to organize units of similar form and quality to those of the regular Army, and intended to achieve the same training, education, and readiness requirements as active duty units.

Rhode Island Army National Guard Component of the US Army and military of the U.S. state of Rhode Island

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153rd Infantry Regiment (United States)

The 153d Infantry Regiment is a United States infantry regiment, currently represented in the Arkansas Army National Guard by the 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry, headquartered at Malvern, Arkansas, and 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry, headquartered at Searcy, Arkansas, elements of the 39th Brigade Combat Team. The regiment was also represented by the 3rd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment headquartered at Warren, Arkansas until that unit was deactivated on 5 September 2005. The regiment was activated as the 1st Arkansas Volunteer Infantry for the Spanish–American War, but did not deploy overseas. The regiment was activated for World War I, redesignated as the 153rd Infantry and shipped to France as a part of the 39th Division, but became a replacement division and personnel were reassigned to other AEF units. The regiment was activated for World War II and deployed to the Aleutian Islands, participating in the Aleutian Islands Campaign. Recently, elements of the regiment have participated in two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2004 and again in 2008.

Arkansas National Guard during World War I

The history of the Arkansas National Guard and World War I begins with the reorganization of the Arkansas State Guard following the Spanish–American War. As a result of difficulties encountered during the mobilization of state militia forces, the United States Congress passed new legislation which resulted in the renaming of the Arkansas State Guard as the Arkansas National Guard. The new federal legislation resulted in increased funding and training for the guard. The newly reorganized Arkansas National Guard was call upon by the President to help defend the border with Mexico in 1916 in response to cross border raids during the Mexican Revolution. The Arkansas National Guard had just returned from the Mexican Expedition in 1917 when it was activated for World War I. As a part of their incorporation in the United States Army, all National Guard units were renumbered in accordance with a federal system. The Arkansas National Guard units were incorporated into the 39th Infantry Division and after training at Camp Beauregard, were shipped to France in August and September 1918. The 39th Division was broken up, with some units being used as replacements for other divisions. Most former Arkansas National Guardsmen returned to the United States in February through June 1919 and were demobilized.

The history of the Army National Guard in the United States dates from 1636, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony's government organized existing militia companies into three regiments. The National Guard's history continued through the colonial era, including the French and Indian War, and extends into the modern era, including participation in the War on Terror.


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  2. "Ohio Army National Guard". The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  3. "Ohio Air National Guard". The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  4. "Ohio National Guard - Ohio History Central". www.ohiohistorycentral.org. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  5. Parker, James (1903-08-01). The Militia Act of 1903. JSTOR. The North American Review.
  6. "Kent State Shooting". HISTORY. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  7. Rotuno-Johnson, Michelle (2017-09-09). "Ohio sending up to 3,500 National Guard soldiers to Florida". WCMH. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  8. Zachariah, Holly. "Ohio National Guard members head to Puerto Rico". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  9. Bischoff, Laura. "Ohio lawmakers vote to set up a cyber reserve to fight, prevent attacks". daytondailynews. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  10. "DeWine Signs Law Enhancing Ohio Efforts Against Cyberattacks". radio.wosu.org. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  11. "Ohio National Guard wins top honors in national contest". daytondailynews. Retrieved 2018-10-24.