National Guard Birthday
The oldest organized military establishment in the Americas, the National Guard of the United States, was founded December 13th, 1636. (Yes, 1636 -- less than a generation after the founding of the Plymouth Colony, and only 29 years after the first permanent British presence in the New World began at Jamestown, Virginia). From Wikipedia:
"On December 13, 1636, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had ordered that the Colony's scattered militia companies be organized into North, South and East Regiments--with a goal of increasing the militias’ accountability to the colonial government, efficacy, and responsiveness in conflicts with indigenous Pequot Indians. Under this act, white males between the ages of 16 and 60 were obligated to possess arms and to play a part in the defense of their communities by serving in nightly guard details and participating in weekly drills. After the United States came into existence, state militias would develop out of this tradition."
According to Title X of the U.S. Code, Section 311, the militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and ... under 45 years of age who are ... citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard. This militia is organized into two parts: the National Guard, and the "unregulated militia".
Happy Birthday, National Guard!