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“N” is for National Guard

South Carolina from A to Z logo

South Carolina from A to Z: “N” is for National Guard

“N” is for National Guard. The National Guard in South Carolina evolved out of the nineteenth-century organized militia, which was controlled by the governor. The National Defense Act of 1916 completed the conversion of state militia into a national reserve. During World War I, guardsmen were used primarily as replacements. All guard units were mobilized during World War II. Although some units were called up for the Korean War and the Berlin Crisis, the guard’s primary role was that of responding to civil disturbances, or providing manpower when natural disasters struck. The increasing emphasis on the integration of regular and National Guard forces resulted in South Carolina receiving modern, sophisticated equipment and aircraft and a higher level of training. South Carolina National Guard units were deployed during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.