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The Nation’s First celebrates 373rd birthday 
 
Cake Cutting 
Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard, assists Sgt. Weicong Zheng, training noncommissioned officer for Joint Force Headquarters, Milford, in cutting the birthday cake commemorating the National Guard’s 373 years of dedicated service to the Commonwealth. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs)
By Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs 

MILFORD, Mass.
– The Nation’s First celebrated its 373rd birthday by sharing a cake cutting ceremony via video teleconference, with deployed members of one of the nation’s oldest units on Dec. 11, 2009.

December 13, 1636 is recognized as the birthday of the National Guard as the Massachusetts Bay Colony divided its militia, into the North, South and East Regiments.

Soldiers of the 101st Engineer Battalion, who trace their lineage back to the East regiment, the 101st Finance Detachment and the 211th Military Police Battalion, joined with Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard and members of the command staff for a VTC link between Iraq and Joint Force Headquarters, Milford.

Lt. Col. Chuck Cody, commander of the 101st Engineer Battalion, emphasized the lighthearted mood of the event by donning protective eyewear while using a carpenter’s hand saw to cut the cake in Baghdad.

The Massachusetts National Guard is proud to have the four oldest organizations in the U.S. Army serving within its ranks.

The military lineage of the 101st Engineer Battalion, the 101st Field Artillery, the 181st Infantry, and the 182nd Cavalry, which are all still part of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, are all traced back to the original 1636 regiments.

Only three other organizations have a longer continuous lineage than these original regiments.

The Swiss Guards, who protect the Vatican (1512), London's Honorable Artillery Company (1537), and the Royal Scots (1633), are the only organizations that predate our National Guard’s oldest units.

12/13/2009