I am a soldier. I retired in 2006 after 20 years in the United States Army…active duty for four years, and the remainder in the Virginia Army National Guard. Being in the VARNG was the hardest job I ever had. I held down a full time day job during the week, drove almost two hours to my unit on the first Friday afternoon of every month, trained all weekend, and then started all over again on Monday…for almost 17 years.

So, in honor of the Army’s 424th birthday and the Army National Guard, I am going to showcase each state’s Guard in the Watercooler. Nothing expansive,…rather, an introduction to our “citizen soldiers” and their units. And, since I am partial to troopers from the Old Dominion, we will start with Virginia.

Virginia Army National Guard


The Virginia Army National Guard is composed of approximately 7500 soldiers and maintains 46 armories in communities throughout the Commonwealth. The Governor may call individuals or units of the Virginia National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. Virginia Army National Guard units are trained and equipped as part of the United States Army.

The Army National Guard

The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is a militia force and a federal military reserve force of the United State. They are simultaneously part of two different organizations, the National Guard of the several states, territories and the District of Columbia (also referred to as the Militia of the United States), and the National Guard of the United States. The Army National Guard is divided into subordinate units stationed in each of the 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia, and operates under their respective governors.

June 14th: The Birthday of the U.S. Army

The U.S. Army was founded on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year. The 14 June date is when Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in The Committee of the Whole.

Go Guard!…and enjoy the open thread…