"To mobolize, deploy, and conduct combat support operations with critical missions of maneuver and mobility support operations, area security, law and order, internment and resettlement operations, police intelligence and military operationsother than war, and conduct sustainment operations in support of a TSC"
The 169th Military Police Company, Rhode Island Army National Guard, is located in the Warren Armory, 104 Market Street, Warren, Rhode Island. Soldiers in this unit are trained as Military Police (MOS31B). The 169th MP Company is the oldest active unit in the Rhode Island National Guard. The unit was first organized in 1755 and is entitled to credit for the Revolutionary War.
The 169th claims to be one of the oldest units organized in the National Guard of the United States. The basis for this claim being a petition granted by King Charles of England in 1736, at the request of the people in Westerly, Charlestown, and Hopkinton, for an Artillery Company for the defense of the western part of Rhode Island.
In 1745 the Company numbered one hundred men and was charged with the defense of the coast. Later that year four Companies were recruited from Westerly and the surrounding area to recapture Port Royal which had been restored to the French after it’s earlier capture. During the American Revolution a Regiment from Westerly saw duty in many of the major battles of the war, one notable incident was a march from Newport, Rhode Island to Virginia completed in twenty-four days. The march was led by General Samuel Ward, later Governor of Rhode Island.
This unit earned battle streamers bearing the names:
RHODE ISLAND 1777 RHODE ISLAND 1778
The War of 1812 saw the unit mustered as Captain Coe's Company, an element of Wood's State Corps with duties at Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island.
This unit earned battle streamers bearing the names:
WAR OF 1812 (no inscription)
The Westerly Light Infantry saw service in the Dorr Rebellion in 1842, the outfit remained idle for several years after this.
The beginning of the Civil War saw the officers and men of the The Westerly Rifles form as Company "I", 1st Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was sent to the defense of Washington, D.C. and earned a battle streamer bearing the name:
BULL RUN (1st MANASSAS)
In 1873 The Westerly Rifles were expanded to form a regiment. Members of this regiment were used in 1898 to form Company "K", 1st Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry and inducted into service against Spain. After eleven months they were mustered out of Federal service never serving overseas due to Spanish-American War ending. To celebrate this event the men burned the Armory, the building laden with gunpowder burned to the ground.
The unit was later designated as Company "E" 1st Regiment Inf. R.I.M., this was changed in 1908 to 5th Company, CAC. Until 1917 they had their encampments at forts on Narragansett Bay. March 16, 1917, the Company was inducted for duty in World War I, serving in the coastal defenses of Narragansett Bay, and returned to Westerly in 1919.
After World War I the 5th Company CAC was reformed, designations changed from the 5th Company, CAC, then the 349th Company, CAC, and then to Battery "E" 243rd Coast Artillery Regiment, this Battery did tours of duty in the Great Strike in 1934, and the Hurricane of 1938. Battery "E" was called for active duty in 1940 for World War II, serving in the coastal defenses of Narragansett Bay until April of 1945.
April 23, 1947, with Captain Theodore Matzko in command of twelve Enlisted men the Battery was given Federal recognition as Battery "D" 705th AAA Gun Bn.
August 14, 1950, under command of 1st Lt. Frederick T. Rodgers with two Officers and seventy Enlisted men the Battery was called into active Federal service. The Battery moved to Georgia, first to Camp Gordon for a short time and then to Camp Stewart. Here the Battery overcame many difficulties, rain, and dust, as well as many tests proved them to be equal to any situation that might arise. The Battery Mess Hall was rated one of the best on the Post, and the battery received a superior score in the detection phase of the last and most important test. Battery D, along with the rest of the battalion served in the Anti-Aircraft defense of the Japanese Islands and the Sea of Japan. The battalion remained on active duty until late 1952 when all National Guard AAA battalions were recalled to the United States for reorganization and a new mission involving the defense of the United States during the "Cold War."
Former members of Battery "E" 243rd CAC, who were inducted with Battery "D" were 1st Lt. James F. Gormally, WOJG Michael Halleck, and SFC Arthur S. Ferraro.
Original members of Battery "D" were WOJG Michael Halleck, 1st Sgt. Douglas G. Barber, SFC Warren H. Salisbury, and SFC Earle Travis.
On 1 April 1959, the 243rd Artillery Regiment was reformed as Air Defense with the "old" 705th elements forming as the 1st battalion (Automatic Weapons) of the regiment. This unit retained it's Battery "D" designation.
In the '60's, the battalion was again reorganized due to the changing mission requirements and converted to Engineers. Battery "D" was redesignated as Company C, 243rd Engineer Battalion.
In 1968, the battalion was broken up it's companies were reorganized and Company "C" became the 169th Military Police Company.
One of the next major state activation's came in 1978. The "Blizzard of '78" crippled the state and forced all units to be called to duty from 6 - 16 February 1978. The 169th performed traffic control to allow the engineers to perform snow removal. MP's were stationed throughout the downtown area to prevent looting. There had not been a statewide call up since the "Hurricane of '38", thirty-nine years earlier.
On 20 April 1995, the 169th was consolidated with the former 1111th MP Company [organized on 7 May 1929; and inducted into Federal service in 1941; Detached from the 43rd Infantry Division in 1942 and served as an Engineer Company in Alaska]. Added to the unit's history from this consolidation is the following credit for World War II:
Today, the citizen soldiers of the 169th Military Police Company, Rhode Island Army National Guard, continue to carry on the proud traditions of their forefathers and stand ready to answer the call to defend the nation or provide emergency services to the State of Rhode Island and its residents.