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On December 13, 1637, regiments of what would become the United States National Guard were assembled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. 
 
The National Guard is a reserve component of the U.S. military. Most members of the National Guard serve part-time, with the traditional service requirement being “one weekend a month, two weeks a year.” Some members, such as pilots, serve more often. National Guard troops are often called up to serve as disaster response teams during floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes. 
 
The first “national guard” were militias from different communities in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Colony leaders assembled the groups to strengthen their defenses against the indigenous Pequot people.
assemble
Verb

to put together.

colony
Noun

people and land separated by distance or culture from the government that controls them.

component
Noun

part.

cot
Noun

light, portable bed.

disaster response
Noun

procedures and actions taken after a natural or man-made incident causes loss of life, livelihood, or property.

electricity
Noun

set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

Noun

overflow of a body of water onto land.

hurricane
Noun

tropical storm with wind speeds of at least 119 kilometers (74 miles) per hour. Hurricanes are the same thing as typhoons, but usually located in the Atlantic Ocean region.

Adjective

characteristic to or of a specific place.

Noun

bank of a river, raised either naturally or constructed by people.

military
Noun

armed forces.

militia
Noun

group of armed, ordinary citizens who are called up for emergencies and are not full-time soldiers.

National Guard
Noun

military force controlled by a U.S. state but funded by the federal government and called up as part of the Army during national emergencies.

natural disaster
Noun

an event occurring naturally that has large-scale effects on the environment and people, such as a volcano, earthquake, or hurricane.

Olympics
Noun

international sports competition divided into summer and winter games held every four years.

Pequot
Noun

people and culture native to what is today the U.S. state of Connecticut.

regiment
Noun

military group.

reserve
Adjective

not habitually used, but quickly available.

security
Noun

safety or stability.

shelter
Noun

structure that protects people or other organisms from weather and other dangers.

tornado
Noun

a violently rotating column of air that forms at the bottom of a cloud and touches the ground.

troop
Noun

a soldier.