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Iowa National Guard

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Iowa National Guard

The history of the National Guard is really the history of America itself. The roots of the National Guard go back to the various colonial militias organized by English colonists in the 1600s. The name "National Guard" was first applied to units of the New York State Militia. It was a tribute to the Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, during his visit to the United States in 1825. After the American Revolution, the Marquis had returned to France where he commanded the Paris militia, the famous "Garde Nationale," during the French Revolution. By the 1880s, the new designation had been adopted by state militias throughout the United States. In 1877, the Iowa Militia was officially redesignated as the Iowa National Guard.


Whether as militiamen or Guardsmen, citizen soldiers have played a central role in every major military conflict in our nation’s history. Even so, the topic of National Guard history has been generally overlooked by professional historians. There are only a few ....

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