KEY EVENTS OF THE 70s
A Communist-led insurgency erupts in South Vietnam. The U.S. sends military advisors to train the South Vietnamese Army, but the army does not defeat the insurgents. The U.S. deploys over 500,000 American troops to Vietnam. 58,159 Americans were killed in the conflict. The war in Vietnam was fought almost solely with Regular Army forces.
THE MYTH OF THE WEEKEND WARRIOR
The war in Vietnam created intense controversy and debate. The Selective Service Act authorized the government to draft men for military service. The draft laws exempted anyone who volunteered for six years of National Guard service. As the war escalated, many young men sought to join the National Guard to avoid combat in the jungles of Vietnam.
The National Guard training mantra "one weekend a month; two weeks a year," resulted in the derogatory nickname, "Weekend Warriors." New York's National Guard focused on improved training and provided vital assistance during emergencies across the state.
American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1972. When the draft ended in
1973, the importance of a well-prepared reserve force to support the all-volunteer military became critical.