A birthday quietly passes as Missouri celebrates a proud tradition. 368 years of service – the Army National Guard traces its beginning to December 13th, 1636, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend against the threat of Indians. Lieutenant Tammy Spicer with the Missouri National Guard isn’t surprised that the birthday slipped by. Once often neglected, both the Army and Air National Guard have become more prominent, as the military leans on them to supplement ranks stretched thin., which has put a strain on the Guard. Spicer says patriotism, though, motivates those in the Guard. More than 10,000 Army and Air Guard members serve throughout Missouri providing homeland security. Nearly 3,000 are mobolized to places such as Iraq.