Τhe National Guard is an organized military force, and it is found as an institution under this name in other countries as well. In Greece, it surfaced since the establishment of the Independent Greek State, aiming to cover the need to organize the population, so that the multiple security problems that emerged at the time would be faced.
As an institution it was established by legislation in 1843, yet in 1879 it was abolished with the passing of the Law “On Conscription”.
In 1944, a National Guard Command was formed, at Division level, consisting of 40 Units. In 1949, the institution of the National Guard was revived and the National Guard Defense Battalions were organized. In 1950, the National Guard Directorate was established under the HELLENIC ARMY GENERAL STAFF.
Legal Order 485/1970 regulates the issues regarding the National Guard; it was repealed by Law 1295/1982 which set out the current legal framework for the operation of the National Guard until today.
In 1988, by decision of the Higher Military Council, the National Guard Directorate at peacetime was disbanded and the handling of National Guard matters was assigned to the HELLENIC ARMY GENERAL STAFF Infantry Directorate.
The National Guard, according to Law 1295/1982, is established at peacetime as an institutional Armed Force of the Land Army. The personnel and the materiel for the staffing and equipment of the National Guard Units are set up in their Tables of Organization and Equipment (TOE).
The reservists of the National Guard Units are called National Guardsmen; they are considered active military, and are subject to military laws and regulations, only for the time they are performing ordered service. Those who have been assigned to carry out a military mission, service or training are considered to be performing ordered service only for their extent. In 2017, the HELLENIC ARMY GENERAL STAFF established the new Directorate of the National Guard and processes a modification of the current Law, in order to modernise the institution and generally upgrade training of the National Guard Battalions.