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Home > Resources > Military Museum > The Nation's First

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

The 101st Engineer Battalion, the 101st Field Artillery Regiment, the 181st Infantry Regiment, and the 182nd Infantry Regiment trace their lineage to the North, South and East Regiments which were formed by legislative act of the Massachusetts Bay General Court on December 13, 1636. This date is recognized as the birthday of the National Guard.

The regiments were designated by geographic part of the colony: the North Regiment, from which the 181st Infantry and 182nd Infantry are descended, consisted of companies in the North and West including Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Medford and Concord; the South Regiment, known today as the 101st Field Artillery, consisted of companies in Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, Weymouth and Hingham; and finally, the East Regiment, forbearer of the 101st Engineer Battalion, consisted of companies in the Northeast from Salem, Saugus, Ipswich, and Newbury.

The 101st Engineers, 181st Infantry and the 182nd Infantry Regiment are the only units in the U.S. Army who can display the Lexington-Concord battle streamer since units they are descended from fought battles in Lexington, Concord and Arlington on April 19, 1775 at the opening of the Revolutionary War.

The 181st Infantry was the first Union regiment to mobilize, deploy and shed blood during the Civil War.

The 101st Field Artillery was one of the first U.S. artillery units to shell German positions during World War I.

The Infantry was one of the first U.S. Army regiments to enter combat in World War II.

These four organizations, which have served the commonwealth and the nation for more than 375 years and have participated in nearly every American war from 1775 to the present, are proud to be the Nation’s First!