Ohio National Guard

Last updated
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 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 Colonel Daniel Shank. The current Assistant Adjutant General for Air is Brigadier General James R. Camp with responsibility for overseeing the Ohio Air National Guard. (The above command appointments are current as of 10/25/19.)


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 armed federal 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 activation's 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. [2] 

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. [3]

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 1st, 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 2nd, 1970. These Guardsmen stationed themselves at the then burned down ROTC adjacent to the commons of the university. On May 4th, 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) [4]

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. [5] Assistance was also sent to Puerto Rico following the disaster caused by Hurricane Maria. [6] In fall of 2019 legislation creating the Ohio Cyber Reserve was passed. [7] [8]


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. [9]

Related Research Articles

United States National Guard Reserve force of the United States Army and Air Force

The United States National Guard is part of the reserve components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force. It is a military reserve force composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, for a total of 54 separate organizations. All members of the National Guard of the United States are also members of the Organized Militia of the United States as defined by 10 U.S.C. § 246. National Guard units are under the dual control of the state governments and the federal government.

Air National Guard Air warfare component of the United States National Guard

The Air National Guard (ANG), also known as the Air Guard, is a federal military reserve force as well as the militia air force of each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It, along with each state's, district's, commonwealth's or territory's Army National Guard component, makes up the National Guard of each state and the districts, commonwealths and territories as applicable.

Massachusetts National Guard Armed Forces of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts National Guard is the National Guard component for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Founded as the Massachusetts Bay Colonial Militia on December 13, 1636, it contains the oldest units in the United States Army. What is today's Massachusetts National Guard evolved through many different forms. Originally founded as a defensive militia for Puritan colonists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the militia evolved into a highly organized and armed fighting force. The Massachusetts militia served as a central organ of the New England revolutionary fighting force during the early American Revolution and a major component in the Continental Army under George Washington.

Mississippi National Guard

The Mississippi National Guard is both a Mississippi state and a federal government organization, part of the United States National Guard. It is part of the Mississippi Military Department, a state agency of the government of Mississippi. The Adjutant General of Mississippi (TAG), Major General Janson Durr Boyles, serves as the executive director and is subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief, the Governor of Mississippi, in matters relating to the department and the state militia forces.

Indiana National Guard Component of the US National Guard of the state of Indiana

The Indiana National Guard is the armed force of the state of Indiana. It consists of the Indiana Army National Guard and the Indiana Air National Guard, and is part of the larger Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. With roots dating back to 1801, Indiana units first served in a national conflict in 1846 during the Mexican–American War, and were reorganized into their current configuration in 1903. Since then the guard has served at home and abroad as a part of multiple wars, disaster relief actions, and putting down strikes and riots.

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

The 'Nevada National Guard' is the state’s military force that remains ready, available for response to natural and man-made disasters in the state and in support of federal contingency efforts overseas. 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.

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.

Vermont National Guard The unit of the US Army National Guard for the State of Vermont

The Vermont National Guard is composed of the Vermont Army National Guard and the Vermont Air National Guard. Together, they are collectively known as the Green Mountain Boys, despite the inclusion of women in both branches since the mid-twentieth century. Both units use the original Revolutionary War-era Flag of the Green Mountain Boys as their banner. Their strength in 2009 was 2,660.

Washington National Guard

The Washington National Guard is one of the four elements of the State of Washington's Washington Military Department and a component of the National Guard of the United States. It is headquartered at Camp Murray, Washington and is defined by its state and federal mission. At the call of the Governor, the Washington National Guard will mobilize and deploy during times of state emergency to augment local jurisdictions and responders in their efforts to protect lives and property. The Washington National Guard is also subject to the call of the President of the United States to serve as part of the total U.S. Military force.

Kansas Army National Guard

The Kansas Army National Guard is a component of the Army National Guard and the Kansas National Guard. Kansas Army National Guard units are trained and equipped as part of the United States Army. The same ranks and insignia are used and National Guardsmen are eligible to receive all United States military awards. The Kansas Guard also bestows a number of state awards for local services rendered in or to the state of Kansas. It is, along with the Kansas Air National Guard, an element of the Kansas National Guard.

Texas State Guard

The Texas State Guard (TXSG) is the state military force of Texas, and one of three branches of the Texas Military Forces. Along with the other two branches, the TXSG falls under the command of the Governor of Texas and is administered by the Adjutant General of Texas an appointee of the Governor. The other two branches of the Texas Military Forces are the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard.

Ohio Army National Guard National Guard Branch

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.

Louisiana Army National Guard

The Louisiana Army National Guard is a component of the United States Army and the United States National Guard. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. When not Federalized the National Guard is the only United States military force empowered to function in a state 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.

Militia Act of 1903

The Militia Act of 1903, also known as "The Efficiency in Militia Act of 1903", also known as the Dick Act, was legislation enacted by the United States Congress which created an early National Guard and 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. This new entity was to organize units of similar form and quality to those of the regular Army, with intents to meet the same training, education, and readiness requirements as active duty units.

Rhode Island Army National Guard

The Rhode Island Army National Guard (RIARNG) is the land force militia for the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It operates under Title 10 and Title 32 of the United States Code and operates under the command of the state governor while not in federal service. National Guard units may function under arms in a state status, therefore they may be called up for active duty by the governor to help respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, such as those caused by hurricanes, floods, or civil unrest.

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.

Tennessee State Guard

The Tennessee State Guard (TNSG) is the state defense force of the state of Tennessee. The TNSG is organized as an all-volunteer military reserve force whose members drill once per month unless called to active duty. The TNSG is a branch of the Tennessee Military Department, alongside the Tennessee Army National Guard, the Tennessee Air National Guard, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. The State Guard acts as a force multiplier for the state's National Guard. As a state defense force, the Tennessee State Guard cannot be federalized, and is not deployed outside the borders of Tennessee, as it is a purely state-level unit. It answers solely to the Governor of Tennessee, unlike the dual federal and state controlled National Guard. The creation of a state military force is recognized under Tennessee Code Annotated 58-1-401.

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.


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