Archives of NGAUS

The NGAUS Archives chronicles the history of the National Guard Association of the United States, extending back to 1878. These records document the legislative influence of the National Guard Association on the evolution of the modern National Guard. The archives also documents other NGAUS functions and/or subsidiaries such as National Guard Magazine, the National Guard Educational Foundation, and NGAUS membership.

Please check this page as more records are added to the pathfinder. Current as of 3/9/20. 

I. Records of the National Guard Educational Foundation

The National Guard Educational Foundation was originally founded as the Historical Society of the Militia and National Guard, in 1975. It is a 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to educating the public about the history and traditions of the National Guard. NGEF is essentially the charitable arm of the National Guard Association, and emerged around the same time that the museum was first established in 1976.

NGEF maintains historical records and artifacts pertaining to National Guard History. The NGEF record collection includes archival records that were collected for their intrinsic historical value, and/or document the functions of the HSM&NG/NGEF since its inception in 1975. Jump to series: 
                 AR2016:1, Tharp Library Volumes
                 AR2017:3, Historical Rosters of National Guard Units
II. Legislative Records of the National Guard Association of the United States

The legislative records of NGAUS document consist of correspondence of past NGAUS presidents and other association leaders. These records are the official “desk files” of NGAUS officials, most of which document a variety of NGAUS-related affairs, initiatives, concerns/areas of interest, and perceptions in the Cold War era. Although these records reference a variety of subjects, their focus is principally on legislative topics. Evidence of NGAUS legislative research includes records from the National Guard Bureau, used to develop relevant statistics. Jump to series:

Correspondence Collections  
                 AR2016:2, Greenlief Papers
                 AR2016:3, Reckord Papers
                 AR2016:4, Walsh Papers
                 AR2016:5, Waterbury Papers
                 AR2016:6, Orders, Reports, and Tables of the National Guard Bureau

The legislative records collection also consists of conference proceedings of the National Guard Association extending back to the organization’s founding in 1878. While the conference has grown into a multi-faceted business event with important industry and membership aspects, it has consistently served as a legislative workshop since the first conference in 1878. Jump to record series:

Conference Proceedings Collections
                 AR2017:1, Modern NGAUS Conference Proceedings
                 AR2017:2, Early NGAUS Conference Proceedings

III. Records of NGAUS Public Relations (Communications)

The Office of Public Relations (Communications) serves as the official voice of NGAUS. Records currently found within this collection relate primarily to National Guard Magazine, with monthly issues dating back to 1947. Jump to series: 

Public Relations (Communications) Collections

AR2018:1, Records of the National Guard Magazine, 1947 – 1983

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I. Records of the National Guard Educational Foundation

Archives ID:AR2016:1

Title: Tharp Library Volumes, 44 volumes, 1876 – 2009. 3 linear feet. Unarranged.

Date (inclusive): 1876 – 2009

Extent: 3 linear feet.

Name(s) of Creator(s): Charles Dick; Charles Tharp; NGAUS.

Scope and Content:  This record series contains 43 volumes pertaining to late 19th century politics in the United States, as well as volumes on the Spanish American War. Full bibliography enclosed with temporary custody agreement pertaining to artifacts loaned by Charles Tharp in March, 2015.

The volumes include part of the Cyclopaedia of American Biography (9 volumes), edited by Charles Dick; various histories of American statesmen and summaries of the War in Cuba; and the Presidential Papers compiled by James D. Richardson, 1789 – 1897. Many of these volumes were part of Sen. Dick’s personal library and contain bookplates identifying them as part of the library collection. Some of the volumes are recent publications which were collected by Tharp for contextual purposes. The volumes were retained by the family after Sen. Dick’s death, and were donated to the NGAUS library and archives in March, 2015 by Charles Tharp, the great-grandson of Charles Dick.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted


Archives ID: AR2017:3

Title: Select World War I Rosters, 1916 – 1918, Arranged alphabetically.

Date (inclusive): 1906 – 1953

Extent: 9 boxes (4 linear feet).

Name(s) of Creator(s): State Military Departments; National Guard Bureau; National Guard Educational Foundation.

Scope and Content: This record series contains rosters, registers, and directories of National Guard personnel created by the military departments of the states, territories, and District of Columbia from 1906 through 1953. The bulk of these records date to the Mexican border mobilization and World War I period.

These rosters only include officers and do not include enlisted personnel. Typical information found in these records includes name, rank, company, regiment, and in some cases other details such as home address or date of rank or date of enlistment.

These records were originally used as a status report to the National Guard Bureau for current listings of officers and units. These records may have been used by NGAUS as a means to track prospective members of the association. The records were acquired by the National Guard Educational Foundation because of their instrinsic historical value and contain primary information about various National Guard units activated during the conflicts of the early 20th century.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Access restricted (preservation reasons). Ask archivist.


II. Legislative Records of the National Guard Association of the United States


Archives ID: AR2016:2

Title: Greenlief Papers, 1946 – 1996, 6 boxes (2 linear feet). Arranged chronologically, some contents arranged by subject.

Date (inclusive): 1946 – 1996

Extent: 6 boxes (2 linear feet).

Name(s) of Creator(s): MG Francis Greenlief; NGAUS.

Scope and Content: This record series contains letters sent, letters received, memorandums, dispatches, photographs, press releases, reports, military service records, and other documents pertaining to the military career of MG Francis S. Greenlief (1921 – 1999). Details concerning MG Greenlief’s career include his WW II service as a Lieutenant in the 134th Infantry Regiment, promotion to Major General, appointment as Deputy Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and appointment as Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

After his retirement in 1974, Greenlief later served as a senior NGAUS officer, including in the capacity of Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President and later as Executive Vice President. Greenlief also later served as Executive Director of the Historical Society of Militia and National Guard. The record series contains evidence of General Greenlief’s influence and prominence in the Guard community and his impact on the legislative outreach of NGAUS. Among the many military and congressional officials to correspond with MG Greenlief include Governor Ronald Reagan of California; General and Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland; MG Edgar C. Erickson, MG D.W. McGowan, and MG Winston P. Wilson, Chiefs, National Guard Bureau; Frank Marsh, Secretary of the Army; U.S. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter.

The record series contains many photographs of General Greenlief with various dignitaries such as General Westmoreland. Other photographs include Greenlief receiving the Distinguished Service Medal, his trips to Norway, and attending various conferences and ceremonies.

This record series contains information about FORSCOM’S study of Reserve Component Forces’ training in 1974, the integration of women in the ARNG and ANG, growth of the technician program, and recruitment/retention in the National Guard. Other topics include Greenlief’s networking with the Norwegian Home Guard, and Greenlief’s ambitious certification as an army aviator, late in his own military career.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted


Archives ID: AR2016:3

Title: Reckord Papers, 1928 – 1973. 1 Box (5 inches). Arranged chronologically.

Date (inclusive): 1928 – 1973.

Extent: 1 box (5 inches).

Name(s) of Creator(s): MG Milton Reckord; NGAUS.

Scope and Content: This series contains letters sent, interviews, speeches, histories, and proceedings compiled by MG Milton A. Reckord, former President of the National Guard Association of the United States from 1923 – 1925 and Adjutant General of Maryland. He was a close colleague of MG Ellard Walsh and routinely advocated for the Guard in legislative affairs, particularly against amalgamation of the National Guard under control of the federally-controlled Army Reserves. These records include Reckord’s perspectives on the role of the National Guard in the post-World War II era, as well as volunteer service during the Cold War/Vietnam War era. These records include histories which were referenced by Reckord for background information about the McPherran Plan, the formation of the National Guard Bureau, and the National Defense Act of 1916.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted


Archives ID:AR2016:4
Title:Walsh Papers, 1941 – 1975. 42 Boxes (17 1/2 linear feet). Arranged alphabetically/chronologically.

Date (inclusive): 1941 – 1975.

Extent: 42 boxes (17.5 linear feet).

Name(s) of Creator(s): MG Ellard Walsh; NGAUS.

Scope and Content: MG Ellard A. Walsh (1887 – 1975) served as NGAUS President from 1928 – 1930, as well as from 1943 – 1957. Walsh was also commander of the 34th Infantry Division just prior to the American entry into World War II, and served as the Adjutant General of Minnesota during World War II.

This record series contains letters sent, letters received, memorandums, issuances, magazine articles, dispatches, reports, minutes, circulars, and legislative bills and legal briefs written or compiled by MG E.A. Walsh primarily during his 2nd term as NGAUS President, between 1943 and 1957. These records are his official papers while working in that capacity.

This series contains the original alphabetical correspondence files of MG Walsh, as well as other chronologically arranged correspondence files which were probably selected and rearranged for research purposes by subsequent custodians of these records. Walsh’s correspondence shows various levels of interaction from enlistedmen to prominent officers and congressmen. He routinely corresponded with Pennsylvania Governor and State Senator Edward R. Martin, Maryland Adjutant General Milton Reckord, and various other TAGs and congressmen from various states; MG Jim Dan Hill, commander of the 32nd Infantry Division; Lewis B. Hershey, Director of Selective Service; Army Chiefs of Staff Dwight David Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, and George C. Marshall; various Chiefs of the National Guard Bureau, including former commander of the 35th Infantry Division, Butler B. Miltonberger; New Mexico Adjutant General and WWII commander of the 200th Coast Artillery, MG Charles Gurdon Sage.

Topics in these correspondence files relate to various legislative subjects which were at the forefront of American military planning in the early Cold War years, particularly with respect to Universal Military Training; amalgamation of the National Guard into the Organized Reserve Corps under the auspices of Secretary of Defense Forrestal at the direction of the so called “Gray Board,” named for Assistant Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray; perceived discrimination of National Guard officers at the hands of their regular army counterparts; non-disability benefits for National Guard officers; armory construction, maintenance, and repairs; the Reserve Officers Personnel Act.

The Walsh correspondence files also contain information about the establishment of the National Guard Magazine Publishing Company in 1947, under the guidance of experienced book publisher MG James Stackpole of Harrisburg, PA; the history of the NGAUS headquarters locations at Stoneleigh Court, the Letter Carriers Union building at 100 Indiana Avenue, and later at 1 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington D.C.; and the origins of the NGAUS library and archives. Considerable data related to NGAUS membership enrollment, early magazine circulations and mailing lists, and the National Guard Memorial Building fund may also be found in this record series.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted


Archives ID: AR2016:5

Title: Waterbury Papers, 1923 – 1949, 1 box (5 inches), Unarranged.

Date (inclusive): 1923 – 1949

Extent: 1 box (5 inches)

Name(s) of Creator(s): BG Frederick Waterbury; NGAUS.

Scope and Content: This record series contains letters sent, letters received, speeches, reports, memorandums, constitutions, and bylaws created or compiled by BG Frederick M. Waterbury, who served as NGAUS Secretary during the World War II era under the direction of MG Ellard A. Walsh. Waterbury was evidently one of the first NGAUS officers to take a keen interest in collecting documents and volumes pertaining to NGAUS history, and he is essentially the father of what eventually became known as the Edward R. Martin Memorial Library. Waterbury’s correspondence chronicles the conceptualization of the library as a memorial akin to the American War Memorial in Paris, dedicated after the First World War.

Waterbury corresponded with NGAUS President MG Ellard A. Walsh,  NGAUS Executive Councilman MG Washington Bowie, National Guard Magazine editor Allan Crist, and NGAUS Executive Assistant Major George Morey.

Topics included in this record series includes procurement of National Guard officers’ pensions for veterans who served in the Spanish-American War; legislation related to wartime veteran Guard officers’ eligibility for retirement pay; and Universal Military Training. Other topics include original copies of the NGAUS constitution and bylaws from 1923.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted


Archives ID: AR2016:6

Title: Orders, Reports, and Tables of the National Guard Bureau, 1924 – 1967. 31 boxes (13 linear feet). Arranged chronologically and/or alphabetically.

Date (inclusive): 1924 – 1967

Extent: 31 boxes (13 linear feet).

Name(s) of Creator(s): National Guard Bureau; NGAUS.

Scope and Content: This record series includes reports, orders, memorandums, lists, rosters, and state military codes created or compiled by the National Guard Bureau. These records were subsequently collected by NGAUS for legislative purposes.

Research topics include Air National Guard casualty reports from the Korean War, which typically contain the name of the deceased, unit affiliation, rank, cause of death, location, and date of death. These reports also include Battle Damage Assessments which include information such as number of sorties, amount of expended munitions, number of personnel transferred to other units, and mobilization statistics pertaining to deployments in Europe, the United States, Korea, and Japan.

Topics also include Federalization Orders from 1927 – 1964, which typically include information such as unit redesignations under federal control, location and changes of station, date of federal recognition, troop allotments, unit reorganizations, and dates of withdrawal from federal service.

Other topics include morning reports submitted by National Guard units from around the country, which include names, ranks, units, state, and city of inducted officers and warrant officers in the Guard. The morning reports are somewhat akin to a census return and show the location and status of National Guard units around the country as of 1961 – 1962. Other records include the state military codes which were collected by the National Guard Bureau in order to publish and present each state’s National Guard history in a consolidated pamphlet. Tables of Organization and Equipment from 1947 – 1967 were also collected and detail data pertaining to unit composition of Infantry Divisions, Armored Divisions, Division Artillery, and headquarters detachments of National Guard units. The tables act as a blueprint showing personnel and equipment allotments, with cumulative totals of personnel and officers to staff/command these various units. These TO&E’s were apparently compiled by the NGB and obtained by NGAUS.

All of these records were probably used by NGAUS to gather documentation about National Guard units, particularly their preparedness to mobilize, cost-effectiveness, combat-capabilities, and other primary information necessary to formulate legislative arguments or to otherwise advocate for the Guard in Congress.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted



Archives ID: AR2017:1

Title: Modern NGAUS Conference Proceedings, 1897 – Present Day, 39.5 linear feet, arranged chronologically.

Date (inclusive): 1897 – Present Day

Extent: 39.5 Linear Feet

Scope and Content: This record series contains the Annual Conference Proceedings of the National Guard Association from 1897 to the present day. The conferences consist of presentations on subjects relevant to the Guard, speeches by persons of note, and debate and discussion of legislation for the improvement of the National Guard

The first National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) was originally founded in 1878. This association operated until 1891, by which point it no longer held meetings. In 1897, the first meeting of the Interstate National Guard Association of the United States (INGA) was held. The most striking evidence of this is the speech given by General Bend of Minnesota. He states, on page 22 of the 1897 conference, “There is an association called the U.S. National Guard, which is conspicuous for what it doesn’t do. the last meeting was in Washington in 1891. We accomplished nothing about as thoroughly as anything you ever saw in your life.” This archive maintains the existing records of the original NGAUS, found in record series AR2017:2, because while they may have been distinct organizations, the mission and spirit first embodied in the 1878 association was carried on by INGA, which would go on to become the NGAUS seen today.

General Charles Dick, the driving force behind the Militia Act of 1903 (also known as the Dick Act), was the president of INGA. Sometime between the conferences of 1909 and 1910, when the Presidency moved from General Dick to General Thomas Stewart, the name of the association was changed from the INGA to NGAUS. While there is no record of this in the conference proceedings, the association is referred to interchangeably as INGA and NGAUS during the conference and the 1909 proceedings were published under the title of INGA. In the 1910 conference, only NGAUS is used and the the proceedings are published under that same name. It is most likely that the name change was made during an executive board meeting, of which the records are missing.

In the early 1940’s, Brig. Gen Fred M. Waterbury, the Association Secretary, began investigating the history of NGAUS at the request of the Association. He uncovered the minutes of the October, 1897 convention in St. Louis. Based upon the printed title of the proceedings, the executive board believed that this was the original founding date of the Guard Association of which they were members and altered the conference numbers accordingly.

There are 3 distinct periods in the records examined so far.
1897-1903: This period was the Association building itself up. the conferences are focused primarily upon administrative and legislative work. It’s during this time that the Militia Act of 1903, known as the Dick Act after General Charles Dick, was drafted by the Association and passed by Congress.
1904-1915: Between the passing of the Dick Act and WWI, the Conferences took a step back from legislation, having more presentations on military technology, tactics/strategy, and the relations between the National Guard and other parts of the Military. What legislation was discussed centered on the training of the Guard.
1916-1926: Because of the National Guard’s role in WWI, the conferences during this time were spent on making sure the Guard was prepared for the conflict overseas and in adjusting the Association to fit the new role. After 1919, there were several years without conferences as a new constitution and by-laws were being drafted to appropriately reflect the new of the National Guard in national defense both domestically and abroad.

Language of Material: English

Conditions Governing Access: Restricted



Archives ID: AR2017:2

Title:  Early NGAUS Conference Proceedings, 1879 – 1881, 1 Volume, Arranged chronologically.

Date(s): 1879, 1881

Extent: 1 Volume (21 cm; 55 p).

Scope and Content: This record series contains the Conference Proceedings of the National Guard Association founded in 1878 and existed until probably at least 1896. This volume of proceedings represents the earliest iteration of the present-day NGAUS. Interest in creating a National Guard Association was driven by the American Civil War, which drew heavily from state volunteer forces, “the example of Great Britain in creating her great army of volunteers for home defense, and of the Dominion of Canada, in establishing her militia on such an efficient footing,” (p.1-2), as well as the labor strikes of 1877. There were three meetings in the 1878 – 1879 period; the first conference was held in Richmond, Virginia in 1878 but only included volunteer officers “to discuss measures of practical reform.” On 16-17 January 1879, the “National Militia Convention” convened in New York City “to consider this great subject,” expounding upon the efforts of the first meeting in Richmond. These two meetings culminated in a third meeting which occurred at the Armory of the 1st Regiment MO NG, in St. Louis, Missouri on 30 September 1879.  The proceedings indicate that this conference was the first voting convention in which the states of  “Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Michigan” were represented (p.3).

The purpose of this organization, as seen in the discussions which took place in the records this archive does have, was to draft and promote legislation for the benefit of the National Guard. This particular organization, however, proved ineffective in this goal, leading to the creation of the Interstate National Guard Association, whose conference records are found in AR2017:1

Language: English

Conditions Governing Access: Restricted


Archives ID: AR2018:1

Title:  Records of the National Guard Magazine. 1947 – 1983 (9 linear feet). Arranged chronologically.

Date(s): 1947-1983

Extent:  21 boxes (9 linear feet).

Scope and Content: National Guard Magazine was first published in 1947 by the National Guard Association of the United States. It features articles related to legislative news, military affairs, military technology, mobilizations and military exercises involving the National Guard. The magazine was distributed to members of the National Guard Association, comprising commissioned officers across the 54 territories, states, and District of Columbia. Feature stories were inserted by individual states, such as Florida, to customize their magazine for their local National Guard audience. Prominent articles in the magazine include NGAUS general conference summaries, NGAUS trophy and awards recipients, legislative developments related to the National Guard, mobilizations for natural disasters or civil disorders, federalizations during periods of conflict, and defense news. The magazine offers a “snapshot” of affairs important to the National Guard Association, and illustrates the changes in culture of a span of decades. Notable content includes enlistment ceremonies of minorities and feature articles about Guard “families” in the service together.

Records of the National Guard Magazine include photographs submitted for publication; many of these originally derive from the United States Signal Corps, National Archives, or individual guardsmen and/or unit photographers. Photographs were used for a variety of articles, and reference hundreds of commissioned officers or enlisted personnel and their units.

Language: English

Conditions Governing Access: Restricted (preservation reasons). Ask archivist.