3¢ National Guard
Issue Date: February 23, 1953
City: Washington, D.C.
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Bright blue
U.S. #1017 commemorates the contributions of the U.S. National Guard in both peace and wartime. The stamp pictures a National Guardsman ready for action. The two background images picture a guardsman in a war scene and another protecting life and property.
The U.S. National Guard
The National Guard traces its roots back to the citizen militias of the British North American colonies. Several modern regiments are directly descended from the Massachusetts Bay Colony regiments that were created in the 1630s. The colony’s various militias were ordered to organize North, South, and East regiments. This same legislation required that white males between 16 and 60 years old take arms and defend their communities through nightly guard details and weekly drills. From such organization, state militias were created.
When the Marquis de Lafayette visited the U.S. in 1824-25, one New York battalion called themselves the “National Guard,” honoring Lafayette’s famous Garde Nationale de Paris.
In 1903, part of the Army was renamed the National Guard and set aside as a Reserve force. During World War II, the National Guard accounted for 40% of the U.S. fighting divisions in France. The National Guard was officially established in 1916 and was made up of 19 divisions during World War II.
The National Guard are state-based military forces that are equipped, trained, and paid by the federal government. The President can call them to active duty in the regular armed services.