Guide to Federal Records

Records of the National Guard Bureau [NGB]


(Record Group 168)
1822-1974

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 168.1 Administrative History
  • 168.2 Records Relating to the Militia Prior to the Passage of the Militia Act of 1903 1822-1903
  • 168.3 Records of the Militia Division and the Division of Militia Affairs, 1903-16
    • 168.3.1 Records of the Militia Division
    • 168.3.2 Records of the Division of Militia Affairs
  • 168.4 Records of the National Guard Bureau and its Predecessors, the Militia Bureau and the National Guard Bureau (War) 1916-74
  • 168.5 Motion Pictures (General) 1946-62
  • 168.6 Still Pictures (General) 1898-99, 1922-35

168.1 Administrative History

Established: As a joint bureau of the Departments of the Army and the Air Force by order of the Secretary of Defense, effective April 27, 1948, and by Joint Army and Air Force Adjustment Regulation 1-11-20, May 4, 1948, implementing provisions of the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 495), July 26, 1947. The chief of bureau is a general officer serving jointly on the Air Staff and the Army Special Staff.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the War Department:

  • Militia Division (1903-8)
  • Division of Militia Affairs (1908-16)
  • Militia Bureau (1916-42)
  • National Guard Bureau (1942-47)

Functions: Advises the army and air force chiefs of staff, and serves as their liaison with the states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia on matters concerning the National Guard.

Finding Aids: Lucy E. Weidman, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the Records of the National Guard Bureau and Its Predecessors, 1822-1941," PC 33 (Jan. 1946); records of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, 1923-54, in Helene L. Bowen, Mary Joe Head, Jessie T. Midkiff, and Olive K. Liebman, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Army Staff, 1939- ," NM 3 (1962).

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the National Guard Bureau in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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168.2 Records Relating to the Militia Prior to the Passage of the
Militia Act of 1903
1822-1903

Textual Records: An incomplete series of annual returns of militia and abstracts of returns submitted by the states, 1822- 1902. Correspondence dealing with inspection of state troops; and with ordnance, clothing, and personnel, 1885-1903. Account books, 1887-1902.

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168.3 Records of the Militia Division and the Division of Militia
Affairs
1903-16

History: Militia Division established in the Adjutant General's Office (AGO), 1903, to replace a militia section of the Miscellaneous Division, AGO, which had been established subsequent to the passage of the First Militia (Dick) Act (32 Stat. 775), January 21, 1903, making the state militias and national guards the reserve component of the federal army. By War Department order, February 12, 1908, confirmed by the Second Militia (Dick) Act (35 Stat. 399), May 27, 1908, Division of Militia Affairs, superseding the Militia Division, established in the Office of the Secretary of War. Transferred to the Office of the Chief of Staff, July 25, 1910, and renamed the Militia Bureau by the National Defense (Army Reorganization) Act (39 Stat. 203), June 3, 1916. See 168.4.

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168.3.1 Records of the Militia Division

Textual Records: Correspondence, 1903-8, with record cards and index. Account books, 1903-8.

Related Records: Most documents cited in the record cards and index are filed in the general correspondence in RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917.

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168.3.2 Records of the Division of Militia Affairs

Textual Records: Correspondence, 1908-16 (90 ft.), with record cards (42 ft.) and index (16 ft.). Quarterly reports of regular army sergeants assigned to National Guard units, 1908-16. Account books, 1908-16.

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168.4 Records of the National Guard Bureau and its Predecessors,
the Militia Bureau and the National Guard Bureau (War)
1916-74

History: Militia Bureau established by the National Defense (Army Reorganization) Act (39 Stat. 203), June 3, 1916, and renamed the National Guard Bureau (NGB) by the National Defense Act (48 Stat. 159), June 15, 1933. NGB placed under the AGO in the Services of Supply (SOS), effective March 9, 1942, by Circular 59, War Department, March 2, 1942, implementing the reorganization of the army mandated by EO 9082, February 28, 1942. Became a separate administrative service in SOS by General Order 9, SOS, April 9, 1942. Assigned to Director of Administration, Army Service Forces (ASF, formerly SOS), by Circular 30, ASF, May 15, 1943. Placed directly under Commanding General, ASF, by Circular 118, ASF, November 12, 1943. Designated a Special Staff unit of the War Department General Staff by General Order 39, War Department, May 17, 1945. Became a joint army-air force bureau, 1948, following abolishment of the War Department and establishment of the Departments of the Army and the Air Force by the National Security Act of 1947. See 168.1.

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1916-23, with index. Central decimal correspondence, 1922-62, and central correspondence ("TAFFS" arrangement), 1963 (513 ft.). Administrative decimal file, 1920-53. State Guard decimal correspondence, 1941-49, concerning state units organized in World War II to replace National Guard units called into federal service. Account books, 1916-42. History files of the Army National Guard Organization, 1949-63; and the Air National Guard Organization, 1949-69. Central subject file, 1964-74. Formerly security classified central subject file, 1964-71.

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168.5 Motion Pictures (General)
1946-62

United States Air Force Presents Military Command Airlift (1 reel). Air National Guard Story (1 reel). For the Record: The National Guard in the Mobilization Of 1961 (1 reel).

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168.6 Still Pictures (General)
1898-99, 1913, 1922-35

Photographs: U.S. Army personnel and activities in Cuba, 1898-99; Oklahoma National Guard, 1924; and crests, coats of arms, and National Guard activities, 1922-35 (G, 609 images). Panorama of the Joint Camp, Lyons, IL, 1913 (HTA, 1 image).

Subject Access Terms: California (photographs of); Pennsylvania (photographs of); Haiti (photographs of); Puerto Rico (photographs of).


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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