I am an extreme minority here at Camp Spann. I am a full time active duty service member. There are very few of us in the Northern Region at least. The bulk of forces and units for the US here are either National Guard or Reservists.
I have learned more than a few things about the Guard on this mission. My preconceptions about the National Guard were formed in small town Mississippi. The Armory was a frequent place for Boy Scout camping outings or dances. The Guardsmen were for the most part were not folks you would want in your proximity with many high-powered weapons. It seemed like hunters deer-camp training instead of a true military venture. Well a lot has changed.
Nowadays the Army National Guard is now more a true Reserve of the Army. Since 2001 Governors have basically passed control of their units to the DOD and president. The unit I am here with now has been deployed for 12-15 months every 3 years or so since 2001. That is quite a commitment for a citizien-soldier. They have very good gear, have gone through some good training prior to deploying, and have done it all before.
One of my roomates and I were talking about the merits of the Guard specifically for this type of mission. Now don't get me wrong- if the goal is to close with and destroy an enemy- a young active duty 19-21 year old is the best choice for putting as much lead as possible downrange to win the day. But this is a thinking man's conflict. Counterinsurgency has been called the Graduate level of warfare- since it is so much more than shooting at bad guys. So having a Guard specialist who may be 20, 30 or even 40 years old and has had siginificant life experience may be a better choice. They are more apt to question why a certain person is doing something or acting a certain way before choosing to fire on them. I still find them to be very professional and dedicated to their fellow Guardsmen, some of which have served alongside each other for 20 years in the same unit. Granted that every unit has some areas to improve, but overall I agree with my roomate that the Guard is a good selection for this job.