Aviators of the 1-150th Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard, on a search and rescue mission for stranded New Jersey residents following Hurricane Sandy.
"The Guard has proven itself to be the force of first choice, not a force of last resort, across many of our vital missions" - Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
The Army National Guard exists in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. The state, territory or district leadership are the Commanders in Chief for each Guard. Their Adjutants General are answerable to them for the training and readiness of the units.
Army National Guard State Mission
At the state level, the governors reserve the ability, under the Constitution of the United States, to call up members of the National Guard in time of domestic emergencies if needed.
While federalized, the units answer to the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating and, ultimately, to the President.
Even when not federalized, the Army National Guard has a federal obligation or mission. That mission is to maintain properly trained and equipped units, available for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency, or as otherwise needed.
The Army National Guard is a partner with the Active Army and the Army Reserves in fulfilling the country's military needs.