Special Report

States With the Most Americans Serving in the US Army and Air National Guard

Facts surrounding the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob on Jan. 6 continue to emerge, revealing more about possible involvement of some members of the Capitol police and several lawmakers. Prosecutors also filed conspiracy charges against several people, the most severe to date.

While the extent of the conspiracy is unclear at this time, the attack — during which five people were killed — was at the very least a massive national security failure, especially for a city as heavily policed and protected as the nation’s capital. (Here is How much money goes to police departments in America’s largest cities).

There will likely be a strong effort by defense agencies to avoid another security failure and prevent similar violence from occurring again during the inauguration of Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

To add further context and provide a bigger picture to the security event, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed DoD statistics to identify the states with the largest national guard units. This data reflects active duty units as of September 2020.

Click here to see the states with the most Americans serving in the US Army and Air National Guard.

More than 25,000 national guard men and women from all 50 states and territories are currently deployed to support the inauguration event, according to a recent press briefing by the Pentagon. Across the entire National Guard, 91,000 are on duty, including 22,000 for COVID-19 response, 16,000 overseas, and 6,000 protecting selected infrastructure and capitol buildings in 30 states. This represents 21% of the 434,334 National Guard men and women, according to the Pentagon.

The Guard consists of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard and serves primarily for disaster relief, military support, and law enforcement. For example, the Guard was deployed during the historic 2020 wildfire season that ravaged California, Oregon, Washington, and other areas. In 2019, the Guard responded to seven severe storms, 19 floods, and 12 fires.

During the pandemic, the National Guard has supported new technology rollouts, conducted contact tracing, operated testing sites, and assisted first responders across the country.

To identify the states with the most national guard personnel, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Department of Defense’s “Number of Military and DoD Appropriated Fund (APF) Civilian Personnel Permanently Assigned,” a statistics file maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) under the Secretary of Defense. We added together and adjusted to the population the total Army National Guard and Air National Guard units in every state. These data are current as of Sep 2020.

Total active duty personnel and the largest active duty branch in every state were also obtained using the DMDC file.

The DMDC data only reflects personnel who are permanently assigned for duty at these locations. The table does not include personnel on temporary duty, or deployed in support of contingency operations.