The National Guard is the compelling account, in words and pictures, of the nation’s oldest military institution. From the defense of the Jamestown settlement in 1607 to peacekeeping missions in the Balkans and, most recently, to their participation in the war on terrorism, the citizen-soldiers of the National Guard have always been an integral part of America’s first line of defense. The guard fought at the battles of Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, New Orleans, First Bull Run, San Juan Hill, the Meuse-Argonne, Omaha Beach, Operation Desert Storm, and in many, many other engagements. With nearly half a million members in the year 2002, the Air and Army National Guard are as important as ever to America’s security.Featuring a wide array of rarely seen prints, vivid photographs, and informative narrative text, this handsome volume tells the inspirational story of those dedicated part-time soldiers who, throughout the past 400 years, have provided full-time service to their states and to their nation. It charts the National Guard’s evolution from ragtag militias to sophisticated, modern armed forces by describing units, individuals, weapons, equipment, vehicles, and service throughout the guard’s storied history. The paperback second edition features updated text and twenty new photos to cover the National Guard's recent service in Afghanistan, Iraq, homeland security, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.The first comprehensive illustrated history of the guard ever published, The National Guard will be treasured by citizen-soldiers, by their families, and by military history enthusiasts nationwide.