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National Guard Celebrates the 377th First Muster at Salem 
 
Story by National Guard Spc. Luke Prikazsky, Video by National Guard Sgt. Dave Wilkinson, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center 


SALEM, Mass.
- Soldiers of the Massachusetts National Guard, along with several veteran’s organizations, military re-enactors and living history groups joined together in Salem today to commemorate the first formation of the American militia.

The event was a celebration commemorating significant moments in the history of the Massachusetts National Guard, as well as the origin of the Army National Guard.

In January 2013, President Barack Obama signed legislation sponsored by Massachusetts Congressman John Tierney designating Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard.

A wreath laying ceremony at St. Peter’s Church in Salem at the grave site of Capt. Stephen Abbott started the event. Abbott founded the 2nd Corps Cadets and served as its first commander. The lineage of the 2nd Corps is now carried by Battery A, 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of the Massachusetts National Guard.

“After 377 years, we have set our mark, our place in history,” said Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard. “It is wonderful to see our National Guard here today as we carry on our remembrance of where we began, here on the Salem Common.”

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery RegimentOn Dec. 13, 1636 the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered the organization of the Colony’s militia companies into three regiments: North, South, and East. The colonists adopted the English militia system, which obligated males between the ages of 16 and 60 to possess arms and participate in the defense of their community.

America’s National Guard heritage can be traced back to the First Muster in Salem more than 377 years ago. Today, National Guardsmen from Salem and throughout Massachusetts continue a tradition of service at home and abroad.

The ceremony continued with the 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guardthe 101st Engineer Battalion, the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment and the 1st Battalion, and the 181st Infantry Regiment mustering on the Salem Common.

The 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment provided a 13-gun salute; to honor past and present troops.

The ceremony and day’s events concluded with a Pass in Review, wherein each unit takes its turn marching across the common for the commander.

 

More Photos on Flickr

4/7/2014 
Lt. Col. Shawn Cody
 
SALEM, Mass. – Lt. Col. Shawn Cody, battalion commander, 101st Engineer Battalion and his Soldiers conduct a pass and review inform of the commanders and dignitaries during a ceremony honoring the anniversary of the National Guard's first mustering of troops. Soldiers, Airmen, political leaders and civilians gathered on the Salem Common here to celebrate the 377th anniversary, which is credited as being the birthplace of the National Guard. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Steven C. Eaton, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center, Massachusetts National Guard/Released)

Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice

SALEM, Mass. – Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice (right), The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard and Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, City of Salem, conduct and inspection of the troops during the celebration of the 377th anniversary of the National Guard's first mustering of troops. Soldiers, Airmen, political leaders and civilians gathered on the Salem Common here to celebrate the anniversary, which is credited as being the birthplace of the National Guard. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Steven C. Eaton, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center, Massachusetts National Guard/Released)

Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard

SALEM, Mass. – Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard and Col. George J. Harrington, commander of the 51st Troop Command, salute soldiers during a pass and review as part of the a ceremony honoring the 377th anniversary of the National Guard's first mustering of troops. Soldiers, Airmen, political leaders and civilians gathered on the Salem Common here ...to celebrate the anniversary, which is credited as being the first mustering of troops in the United States Military. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Steven C. Eaton, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center, Massachusetts National Guard/Released)
 
Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Massachusetts Army National Guard
 
SALEM, Mass. – Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Massachusetts Army National Guard, honor The Adjutant General of Massachusetts and dignitaries in attendance of the 377th Anniversary of the first muster of troops of the National Guard with a 13-gun salute, here April 5, 2014. The annual event, held on the Salem Common, celebrates the National Guard’s birthplace and continuing service to the United States of America. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Steven C. Eaton, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center/Released)