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From the beginning of European colonization of North America, communities along the Atlantic seaboard required able-bodied males to participate in the defense of their towns and colonies. These militia units served as the backbone of protection from Native American tribes on the frontier and foreign foes like the French. Most militias would muster and train in town and county centers at least two times a year. As tensions grew between the colonies and Great Britain, some companies met more often establishing a more professional level of training. Militias were the main colonial military organization for defense, but they were only part-time and when rebellion became war, many men became full time soldiers in state or Continental Line regiments.