Last week I wrote about the "birthdays" of five (of the seven) uniformed services: Army 4 June 1775; Navy Birthday 13 October 1775; Marine Corps 10 November 1775; Coast Guard 4 August 1790, and; Air Force 18 September 1947. This week what follows is a little about the remaining ten, including the two "other" uniformed services - the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service.
Army National Guard Birthday December 13, 1636 - Going on 370 Years
The Army National Guard began on December 13, 1636, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend against the growing threat of the Pequot Indians. It is a component of the United States Army and is part of the United States National Guard. The Army National Guard officially received its title in 1798. It is administered by the National Guard Bureau and a unit may be activated by both the President of the United States and the governor of the state in which it resides.
Army Reserve Birthday is April 23, 1908 - 98 Years Strong
In 1908, Congress established the Medical Reserve Corps to provide a reservoir of trained Officers in times of war, and then expanded the Reserve force in 1916 and 1920. It is the Federal Reserve force of the United States Army. Together, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard constitute the reserve components of the Army. Reserve soldiers usually perform only part-time duties until they are called upon to do full-time "active" duty. Army Reserve soldiers may be soldiers who left the active Army after a period of service, or they may have enlisted directly into the Reserve.
Navy Reserve Birthday June 12, 1775 - 231 Years Strong
On June 12, 1775, inspired to act after hearing the news of Minutemen and British regulars battling on the fields of Lexington and Concord, citizens of the seaside town of Machias, Maine, commandeered the schooner Unity and engaged the British warship HMS Margaretta, boarding her and forcing her surrender after bitter close quarters combat. In the ensuing years of the American Revolution, the small size of the Continental Navy necessitated the service of citizen sailors, who put to sea manning privateers, their far-flung raids against the British merchant fleet as important as the sea battles of John Paul Jones in establishing the American naval tradition. The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the reserve component of the United States Navy.
Marine Corps Reserves Birthday - Perhaps Over 300 Years Strong
The Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES or MFR and also known as the United States Marine Corps Reserve - USMCR) is a part of the United States Marine Corps. And while I can tell you the mission of the MFR is to augment and reinforce active Marine forces in time of war, national emergency or contingency operations, provide personnel and operational tempo relief for the active forces in peacetime, and provide service to the community (for example, through Toys for Tots), I am not sure what they consider is their birthday. Even contacting the MFR Public Affairs Office in New Orleans did not get me a date other than the birthday of the Marine Corps itself - November 10, 1775. So if any reader can enlighten me, please do.
Air National Guard Birthday September 18, 1947 - 59 Going On 370, As They Tell It
The official birth date of the Air National Guard is September 18, 1947; the same day the Air Force became a separate service. The men and women of the Air National Guard are the epitome of our nation's first militia dating as far back as the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636. In those days, every able-bodied man had a weapon and could be called upon to lay aside the plow in defense of the state. It is part of the United States National Guard and a reserve component of the United States Air Force. It is administered by the National Guard Bureau and a unit may be activated by both the President of the United States and the governor of the state in which it resides.
Air Force Reserve Birthday December 1948 - 58 Years Strong
In December 1948, the Air Force acted to improve the Reserve by forming Continental Air Command to direct the Reserve from its headquarters at Mitchell Air Force Base, New York. The Air Reserve Personnel Center opened for business in Denver, Colorado, in 1954, and remained at that location until moving to Lowry Air Force Base in September 1976. For over forty years, ARPC has provided personnel and administrative services for the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. The Air Force relies on those services to activate reservists during a national emergency or in time of war.
Coast Guard Reserve Birthday February 19, 1941 - 65 Going On 68
The Coast Guard Reserve was established by the passage of the Coast Guard Reserve and Auxiliary Act of February 19, 1941, and was modeled after the Naval Reserve as a military component. In 1939 it was a civilian reserve, and is now the military reserve component of the United States Coast Guard. It is organized, trained, administered, and supplied under the direction of the Commandant of the Coast Guard through the Director of Reserves and Training.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Birthday October 3, 1970 - 36 Years Strong
In a July 1970 statement to Congress, President Nixon proposed creating NOAA to serve a national need "...for better protection of life and property from natural hazards... for a better understanding of the total environment... [and] for exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources..." On October 3, NOAA was established under the Department of Commerce. Thirty-six years later, NOAA still works for America every day. From providing timely and precise weather, water and climate forecasts, to monitoring the environment, to managing fisheries and building healthy coastlines, to making our nation more competitive through safe navigation and examining changes in the oceans, NOAA is on the front lines for America.
Public Health Service Birthday 1798 - 208 Years Strong
The Public Health Service can be traced to the passage of an act in 1798 that provided for the care and relief of sick and injured merchant seamen. The earliest marine hospitals created to care for the seamen were located along the East Coast, with Boston being the site of the first such facility; later they were also established along inland waterways, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf and Pacific Coasts. Reorganization in 1870 converted a loose network of locally controlled hospitals into a centrally controlled Marine Hospital Service, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The position of Supervising Surgeon (later Surgeon General) was created to administer the Service. At first open only to physicians, over the course of the twentieth century, the Corps expanded to include dentists, sanitary engineers, pharmacists, nurses, sanitarians, scientists, and other health professionals.
State Defense Forces Birthday - At Least 370 Years Strong
State Defense Forces (also known as State Guards, State Military Reserves, or State Militias) are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government, although they are regulated by the National Guard Bureau of the United States Army. They are authorized by state and federal law and are under the command of the governor, as State Defense Forces are distinct from the National Guard in that they are not federal entities - all National Guard units were federalized under the National Defense Act of 1933. Although every state has laws authorizing State Defense Forces, only approximately twenty-five states, in addition to Puerto Rico, currently have active State Defense Forces, each with different levels of activity, state support, and strength. With the recent emphasis on homeland security, and after the September 11, 2001, attacks, State Defense Forces are receiving new attention at the state and the federal levels as a trained corps of responders that can be called upon to assist authorities in the event of major emergencies. State defense forces have, in fact, have been called upon to carry out such varied missions as helping to provide security during the G-8 summit at Sea Island, Georgia in 2004 and assisting in the medical evacuation of victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
--- Regards, Walt Schmidt