Kentucky National Guard History

The Kentucky National Guard, like other state National Guards, has been known under various names such as state militia or state guard. It has the distinction of being one of the oldest military forces in the United States. Its history dates back to 1775 when Kentucky was known as Fincastle County, a part of western Virginia. The fundamental concept of a state or local military organization has existed since 1636, when the Colony of Massachusetts formed a regiment of “Trained Bands.”

Throughout her history, Kentucky has cherished the tradition of rendering military duty with zeal when called upon. Kentucky’s history teams with incidents of self-sacrifice unsurpassed in daring and achievement. Kentuckians have answered the call to arms in all wars of our country.

Since its inception, the Kentucky National Guard has not only stood ready as an alert fighting force ready to defend Kentucky and the United States against those who would destroy our democratic way of life but this voluntary citizens Army has also served in times of national disaster. The skill and proficiency with which the Guard has served Kentucky further contributes to the fact that it is, and will continue to be, a necessary and indispensable organization for the continuing existence of the Commonwealth.

To see the more of the rich and distinguished history of the Kentucky National Guard please Click Here.

Click here for information on the Centennial of World War I.

KyNG History Articles

The Kentucky National Guard and the William Floyd Collins Tragedy at Sand Cave
February 10, 2021
Tragedy at Sand Cave

Kentucky's River Raisin Battle Flag: A forgotten relic from the War of 1812
January 22, 2021
A reconstructed image of the Kentucky Battle Flag lost at Battle of Frenchtown and River Raisin, Jan. 18-22, 181

The story of James Tandy Ellis, 26th Kentucky Adjutant General
January 1, 2021
Brig. Gen. J. Tandy Ellis, Kentucky's 26th Adjutant General, dresses as Santa Claus for a crowd, 1926.

The extraordinary life of James Arthur Kehoe, Kentucky’s 31st Adjutant General
November 2, 2020
James Arthur Kehoe, 192

John Brown's raid and the establishment of the Kentucky State Guard
October 14, 2020
John Brown portrait, 1859.

My View: How the Women's Suffrage Movement impacts women in military today
August 26, 2020
Spc. Jesse Elbouab

First Chaplain of the Kentucky Militia – James Moore
July 28, 2020
James Moore, early 1800s. Oil on canvas by Samuel Dearborn

Kentucky picker recovers historical artifacts once belonging to Kentucky Guardsman, World War II prisoner of war (part 2 of 2)
July 1, 2020
Ernest L. Sampson, Jr.

Kentucky picker recovers historical artifacts once belonging to Kentucky Guardsman, World War II prisoner of war (part 1 of 2)
June 19, 2020
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Supreme Court Justice, former Adjutant General, changes view on arbitration, advances civil liberties and equality
June 19, 2020
Justice Harlan, Supreme Court Justice, former Adjutant General

Publications


Bluegrass Guard Magazine

To read past issues of our publication, click the photo above.

Army History Magazine


Army History Magazine

To read past issues of the Department of the Army's Army History Magazine, click the photo above.

Three U.S. Air Force North American F-51D Mustang fighters from the 165th Fighter Squadron, 123rd Fighter Group, Kentucky Air National Guard, in flight. The 123rd FG flew the F-51 from 1946 to 1952.