Essay: IT'S TO CHANGE THE GUARD

I bled at Bunker Hill and froze at Valley Forge. I rode with Washington across the icy Delaware. I am defender of our nation. Now and forever, I am the Guard.

—Ballad of the National Guard

THIS glowing view of the militia in wartime was hardly that of General Washington himself. While the Revolution was still raging, he angrily told the Continental Congress that if the colonies had "formed a permanent army in the beginning, which, by the continuance of the same men in service, had been capable of discipline, we never should have...

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