The Iowa National Guard is a state agency of Iowa, and a reserve component of the United States military. It is empowered to function under control of the Governor, as a State asset in times of emergency or natural disaster, or if needed to carry out limited actions during non-emergency situations.  The National Guard may also be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress.

The headquarters of the Iowa National Guard reside in Johnston, Iowa. The Iowa National Guard includes both Army and Air components, providing a wide variety of professions for Soldiers and Airmen. Members of the Iowa National Guard receive the same training as their active duty counterparts, and serve across the state either through drilling status—on weekends, during annual training, or full-time through various programs.

The Iowa Army National Guard was originally formed in 1838. The Militia Act of 1903 organized the various state militias into the present National Guard system. The 133d Infantry Regiment, formerly the 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry, served as part of the 67th Infantry Brigade, 34th Division, during World War I. The 67th Infantry Brigade was disbanded in February 1919, but formed again in 1921, still as part of the 34th Division. From 1921 to 1942, it was part of the Guard in Iowa, comprising the 168th Infantry Regiment.


The Iowa Air National Guard origins date to the formation of the 132d Fighter Group at Des Moines Municipal Airport, Des Moines, receiving federal recognition on 23 August 1946. It was equipped with F-51D Mustangs and its mission was the air defense of the state. In addition, the 174th Fighter Squadron was formed at Sioux Gateway Airport, Sioux City, receiving federal recognition on 23 August 1946. 18 September 1947, however, is considered the Iowa Air National Guard’s official birth concurrent with the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate branch of the United States military under the National Security Act.


Soldiers and Airmen of the Iowa National Guard have participated in every major conflict in which the United States has been engaged. In addition to combat service, many Iowa Guard Soldiers and Airmen have assisted their communities in times of emergency, most recently such as responding to COVID-19 and to a devastating derecho that struck Iowa in August of 2020.


If you would like to learn more about the history of the Iowa National Guard and military service of Iowans, please visit the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum located on Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa.
In future, historical content will also be published here on the website.

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