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Maryland Army National Guard

The Maryland Army National Guard protects the state of Maryland against attack and disaster, and also contributes to the defense of the nation.

The Maryland Army National Guard maintains 40 armories, and is present in 34 communities.

The Maryland Army National Guard focused on employment and educational opportunities in FY99 while maintaining a high state of readiness. In response to Hurricane Floyd, the MDARNG dispatched trucks and drivers to perform rescue missions in flooded areas and coordinated with a local hospital to transport staff members. Earlier in the year, the MDARNG completed a key revitalization project at the Marshy Hope wetlands. The at-risk youth programs Freestate ChalleNGe and About Face enjoyed high recognition in the media and the community.

International missions included a deployment to provide airlift support for Task Force New Hope, the joint US military effort to assist El Salvador in recovering from Hurricane Mitch. MDARNG members also took part in a $2 million upgrade range project in Grafenwohr, Germany that will save American taxpayers approximately $250,000. In addition, members completed a mission to Estonia to emphasize academic and economic development through the NGB State Partnership Programm.

In FY99 the MDARNG won the Army's Communities of Excellence Competition for the fourth consecutive year, and expanded the Distance Learning Network through a partnership with community colleges and universities that teach classes through the Guard's network.

During the American Revolution, the ancestors of today's Maryland Guardsmen were among the Continental Army's finest troops. Indeed, at the Battle of Long Island in 1776, a small band of Marylanders, later known as the "Maryland 400," gained immortality by charging a vastly superior British force with the bayonet, thereby saving George Washington's Continental Army -- and probably the whole American cause in the Revolution.

During the War of 1812, Maryland militiamen saved Baltimore from destruction at the hands of the British Army. Four decades later, Marylanders fought in both the Union and Confederate armies throughout the Civil War.

After another half-century, Maryland Guardsmen played a critical role in the massive Meuse-Argonne offensive, which helped bring World War One to a successful conclusion in favor of the Allied powers.

As part of the historic Operation Overlord, General Dwight D. Eisenhower selected the 29th Infantry Division, including two Maryland National Guard infantry regiments, to storm Omaha Beach on the morning of D-Day, 6 June 1944. One of these regiments, the 115th Infantry (1st Maryland), won a Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation for its heroic performance on that historic day. Another battalion of the other regiment, the 175th Infantry (5th Maryland), subsequently earned the same prestigious citation later in the campaign.

In 1985 the Secretary of the Army selected the Maryland Army National Guard as a major component of one of the U.S. Army's highest priority National Guard divisions, the famous 29th "Blue and Gray" Infantry Division -- the only "light" division in the Reserve Components. Like the Minutemen of old, the citizen-soldiers and airmen of today's Maryland National Guard stand ready to serve their state and country in time of need.

In late 1990 and early 1991 when several Maryland Army and Air National Guard units were called into federal service by President George Bush in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. By the end of the war in March 1991 six Maryland National Guard units were on active duty in Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm. Indeed, two Maryland military police companies played a vital role in the war by collecting and guarding thousands of Iraqi prisoners captured by American and coalition forces in the four-day ground war.

Many Maryland Army National Guard members volunteered in 1994 to serve on active duty for a year in the Sinai desert. They were part of the first US battalion made up primarily of reserve-component personnel to perform the mission of the Multinational Force and Observers; an independent (non-UN) peacekeeping mission, created as a result of the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1979 Treaty of Peace. The Maryland guardsmen made up part of the 4th Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), which was made up of over 75% reserve-component soldiers. Maryland guardsmen comprised a large portion of this unit. They spent six months training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in preparation for their six-month rotation in the Sinai.

Maryland Army National Guard members also deployed to serve the Nation in Operation "Joint Endeavor." On January 13, 1996, sixteen Marylanders from the 29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment became the first National Guard unit to land in Bosnia-Herzegovina and spent seven months in Bosnia as part of the effort to bring peace to that troubled land. In 1996, 23 separate units of the Maryland Army National Guard deployed overseas for federal missions.

During the Blizzard of 1996, the Maryland Army National Guard provided emergency service. More than 500 Guard members supported the state during this emergency, operating 240 Humvees to perform 130 missions. The Army Guard helped to clear major roads, escort public safety personnel, transport patients and medical personnel to hospitals, and assist stranded motorists. The Guard's communications and power generating equipment also assisted in emergency management efforts. During the floods that followedshortly after the blizzard, the Maryland Army National Guard was on the scene again, transporting drinking water and purifying water for use in Hagerstown when the local water supply was threatened by the floods.



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