How is the National Guard different from the Army or Air Force Reserve?
The Army and Air Force Reserves are completely controlled by the Federal Government and serve as reserves to the active Army and Air Force. The National Guard, on the other hand, is controlled by the state and the federal government--we have a dual mission. The governor can call the Michigan National Guard into action to assist in the case of local emergencies or civil disturbances. In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard to serve along with active duty forces in foreign wars or national emergencies. This was most recently portrayed during the Persian Gulf Crisis and the Bosnian Crisis.
During the war on terrorism, many reserves from all branches have been called up. In the case of the National Guard, some have been called up in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and some are on active duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom.