President Woodrow Wilson began to federalize units of the NJ National Guard in March of 1917, as war clouds gathered on the horizon. After the formal declaration of war on Germany on April 6, more men were called up and by June the entire National Guard was in federal Service, guarding sites around the state and preparing Camp Dix for an influx of drafted men.
The Guard units were sent to Alabama, where they joined units from other states in forming the 29th Division, which left for France in the summer of 1918. In late July the Division replaced French troops in the line in Alsace. In September the 29th participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. In 21 days of hard fighting, the division lost 30% casualties and captured 2,500 Germans.