News: Proclaiming March as North Carolina National Guard Heritage Month
Story by Sgt. Leticia Samuels
RALEIGH, N.C. - With this proclamation, March will become a month for the promotion of the North Carolina National Guard and an opportunity to inform and educate the citizens of North Carolina on all the programs and benefits that the NCNG brings to local communities.
“For 377 years, the National Guard has been alive and well” said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina.
On March 24th, 1663 the Carolina Charter granted the early colonial government here the authority to “… levy, muster and train men …” in order to defend the property and peoples of the Carolinas. The NCNG has been on duty ever since.
“During my first thirteen months in office we have had two of the biggest snow storms in history, and guess what the National Guard and our Emergency Response team has been there” said McCrory.
North Carolina National Guard citizen soldiers and airmen for 351 years have been trusted by their neighbors to bear arms in defense of liberty, state and nation. Heritage Month gives our soldiers and airmen a chance to show our citizens what we do as we defend our nation overseas and train and deploy to support civilian authorities across the state.
“I just want to say thank you” McCrory replied.
McCrory spoke to the over 400 Guardsmen and civilian employees in attendance about his grandfather’s service in WWI.
“He was a pharmacist from Milwaukee Wisconsin when he signed up in 1918 to fight. At the processing station, the clerk did not know how to spell his occupation - pharmacist, so the clerk wrote “farmer,” and he was responsible for caring for the hundreds of horses in his unit.”
The Guard is one of the oldest institutions in our state and has served with distinction in World War I, World War II and the Global War on Terror. Countless business, civic and religious leaders served in the NCNG throughout its history.
Overseas, the NCNG is decisively engaged with its State Partnership Programs in Moldova and Botswana and continues to mobilize units for overseas contingency operations.
Since September 11, 2001, more than 21,000 N.C. National Guardsmen deployed for wartime service. The NCNG was the first to deploy a Reserve component attack aviation battalion into Afghanistan in 2002, and the only state to have an Armored Brigade Combat Team deploy twice as a maneuver brigade commanding its own battle-space in Iraq.
During that same time frame, the North Carolina National Guard has provided over 6,100 citizen soldiers and airmen for “state active duty” missions as directed by the Governor or at the request of other states.
“It’s not if we are ready, it’s when we are ready, I know the North Carolina National Guard will be there. They live by their motto, Always Ready, Ready Team!” said McCrory.