THE Army National Guard, which Defense Secretary McNamara is determined to reform, can rightfully claim that it is older than the nation. It grew out of the "citizen-soldiers" of the colonial militia and gradually evolved into state-organized units that have fought in every war from the Revolution to Korea. In World War II, 18 National Guard divisions went into combat. It took up to two years of training to get them ready—a traditional weakness of the Guard—but they went on to compile a record of gallantry on every front.

Political Pals. In war, the...

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