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Historical roots

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  • 1. They fought alongside one Historical Roots another in the Revolutionary War, only to conduct counter-battery A little more than 375 years fire against each other as rivals in ago, the Massachusetts legislature the Civil War on the blood-soaked ordered the organization of militia battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, companies in the towns around South Carolina and Florida. Boston into three regiments, to better In World Wars I and II, the defend the lives and liberties of the howitzers of the 1-101st and 1-118th colonists there. And so the military united yet again to fight for America, militiaman, and later minuteman organization we know today as the this time on European battlefields. and Guardsman, that came before National Guard came into existence And as the sun set on the 1-118th’s us. When the Army, Navy, and with that direct declaration on Dec. tenure in Afghanistan this year, their Marines were being organized in 13, 1636. responsibilities passed on to an old 1775, already our predecessors had That organization’s original friend in a new century. seen long service to our country, charter reflects an aspect of our In many ways, the story of these and decisive service at Lexington national character – a tendency not two units is indicative of the larger and Concord. Today we continue to maintain a large standing military, story of the Guard. Our nation’s that tradition with ready, relevant and even when we go to war, to keep minutemen have risen to protect forces decisive both at home and one hand on the plow and get back their communities time and again, abroad; and for all this, we should to our homes and businesses as soon war after war, conflict after conflict, be proud of being members of the as we can. for 375 years. National Guard. Guard historians contend that In December 2011, the Guard Although the country’s growth Massachusetts is the birthplace of celebrated nearly four centuries of and expansion has made the United the National Guard because the service to state and nation, from States a large military force around North, South and East regiments the earliest colonial days to today, the world, the National Guard still created by the legislative action whenever and wherever there has remains a community cornerstone – taken 374 years ago can prove their been a threat to our citizens, our just as did that when it was given continuous and unbroken existence values or our way of life. birth in 1636. since 1636. Our Nation’s Guardsmen have Yet the respect and gratitude The Massachusetts Army played a premier role in homeland shown to Citizen-Soldiers and Guard’s 181st Infantry, 182nd defense since the inception of the Airmen by their communities has Cavalry, 101st Field Artillery United States. Indeed, it was the never been greater. Without the and 101st Engineer Battalion are blood of our militiamen in the continued support of communities descendants of those regiments Revolutionary War who first ensured and employers, service members and are the oldest units in the U.S. our right to refer to ourselves as the could not do what they do 24-hours military. United States of America. a day, seven days a week as a central The nation’s second oldest field Today, thousands of national element of homeland defense. artillery unit belongs to Georgia – guardsmen and women from around the 1-118th, or “Old Hickory” as the country continue to build on this it’s sometimes referred to. In fact, proud heritage, performing missions in 2010, Massachusetts’ 101st met around the world their forefathers in up with our 118th for a transfer 1636 never could have imagined. of authority ceremony at Camp The National Guard has never Phoenix in Afghanistan. But Camp been more central to our nation’s Phoenix is not the first time these defense or more important to the units have run into each other. The success of our active military history between our nation’s oldest components in the warfight. two artillery units spans hundreds of It is good to remember, too, the years. long and storied tradition of the45 | Georgia Department of Defense

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