BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts National Guard is celebrating their 386th birthday Tuesday.

The National Guard is one of the oldest military forces in the country and Massachusetts was the first state in the country to organize the first militia regiment. On December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts Bay General Court created the North, South and East Regiments through legislative act.

Today, the 101st Engineer Battalion, the 101st Field Artillery Regiment, the 181st Infantry Regiment, and the 182nd Infantry Regiment can all trace their lineage back to those first regiments and are considered the oldest unit in the U.S. military.

Since their creation in 1636, the Massachusetts National Guard has participated in each of the nation’s conflicts. More than 20,000 Massachusetts National Guard soldiers and airmen have been deployed since September 11, 2001.

A ceremony was held at the Boston State House Tuesday with Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe in attendance to celebrate the birthday. The celebration was full of pomp and circumstance as the Governor Honored the brave men and women of the National Guard.

Governor Baker spoke about how the National Guard has served Massachusetts over his eight years in office, “You represent the very best of who we aspire and hope to be as a people and as a Commonwealth.”

Baker touched on how the National Guard responded when the state needed them the most, from powerful snowstorms, to the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, to most recently the pandemic. He also spoke about the Massachusetts National Guard that was deployed to Washington D.C. after January 6th.

The event wrapped up with the Governor, alongside the youngest and oldest serving National Guard member, cutting the birthday cake with a ceremonial sword.