Redstone-Huntsville AUSA chapter celebrates National Guard birthday

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Celebration is in order for the National Guard. Tuesday marks the government organization's 380th birthday.

In the Tennessee Valley, community and government leaders came together to recognize the momentous day.

The Association of the US Army Redstone-Huntsville Chapter organized a breakfast anniversary celebration for the National Guard. Tuesday's speaker, Major General Don Tatum, saidthis anniversary marks change for the guard.

"We as a guard, 15 years ago, essentially changed from a strategic reserve to an operational force, so a lot more training, a lot more requirements of army national guard soldiers," said Major General Tatum.

The Alabama Guard is the third largest employer for the state and the fifth largest guard in the US. Although, some still aren't sure exactly what the Alabama National Guard is responsible for.

"Not only are we here to protect the citizens of Alabama through disaster preparedness, we certainly do that, but we're nested within the active army as an operational force," said Major General Tatum.

All of this to say, it wouldn't be possible without the support from surrounding communities.

"There are so many demands on National Guard soldiers now, so community support is important for that soldiers resiliency," said Major General Tatum.  "The outpouring of support from Huntsville has always been tremendous."