The Army National Guard is one of the three components of the US Army, the other two being Active Army and theArmy Reserves. The Army National Guard has been an integral part of the US Army for around 366 years.
The Army National Guard consists of traditional Guardsmen- civilians who serve their country on part time basis, which is usually a weekend each month and two weeks during the summer. The President has the powers of activating the army to participate in federal roles like combating the terrorism in Middle East or peace operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.
The state missions of Army National Guard include local or state emergencies such as storms, earthquakes, civil disturbances, fires and providing security for the Olympics while in States. They need to be always ready with well-maintained and trained units promptly available with adequate equipment during national emergencies or wars. The Governor through the state Adjutant General commands such army missions.
The Army National Guard comprises of state guard forces. However, they are not a part of the main militia though they may be at any time called for duty to assist them. Mobilization of such members of the army is possible only as a part of their respective units and through voluntary transfers.
In 1903, a part of the US Army became the Reserve Force for the army. This was the Army National Guard. This army made up for 40% of the US combat divisions in World War I and around 19 divisions in World War II. Korean War saw one hundred and forty thousand members of this force in action and over 63.000 during Operation Desert Storm assisting the general armed forces. They were also a part of the US peacekeeping forces in Somalia, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bosnia and Kosovo.
After the World War II, the Air National Guard came from the Army National Guard aviation units, today functioning with more than 106,000 army personnel.