Major Gen. Patrick Murphy, Adjutant General of New York, will use his sabre to slice a cake commemorating the 375th birthday of the National Guard.
The traditional military cake-cutting ceremony is planned this afternoon at the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters.
The National Guard began on Dec. 13, 1636, when the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a law establishing formal militia companies.
In New York, the first citizen soldiers were members of the Burgher Guard, organized by the Dutch East Indian Company in 1640 to protect New Amsterdam from English neighbors in Massachusetts and Virginia or from hostile natives.
More than 100 members of the New York National Guard are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations around the world