VISIT OMAHA BEACH, NORMANDY, FRANCE WITH THE NGAUS ANNUAL TOUR, 2017, OCTOBER 1- OCTOBER 8!
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the 29th Infantry Division (MD, DC, VA) stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, and changed the course of World War 2 forever. Within days, the 29th was followed by the 30th Infantry Division (“Old Hickory”) and soon by Pennsylvania’s 28th Infantry Division. Because of the bravery of the National Guard of the United States, allied victory was assured.
From October 1st through October 8th, join the National Guard Educational Foundation on their annual trek around those historic beaches. For $3600, the traveler gets round trip airfare, meals, ground transportation, and guided tours. $500 of the fee goes directly to NGEF (a 501-c-3 non-profit organization) as a tax-free deduction.
Your hotel stay overlooks Omaha Beach and the NGAUS Monument to the National Guardsmen who served so bravely on that fateful day.
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Photo taken this year overlooking Omaha Beach at the NGAUS Monument to all National Guardsmen for their service in wars overseas. June 6, 2017.
SFC Sean M. Cooley
Sgt. 1st Class Sean M. Cooley, MSARNG, was killed in action in Iraq in 2005. His service was recently honored at the Legion De Lafayette Ceremony on March 11th.
The National Guard Enters World War One
On April 6, 1917, the United States entered the war in Europe that would become known as the War to End All Wars. War was declared on Germany. On that day, the National Guard of the United States deployed and made up 40% of the entire US fighting power in the American Expeditionary Force (AEF.) 17 Divisions supported the effort overseas and the 42d Rainbow Division made up the 18th. From the 42d, William Donovan (to become “Wild Bill” and the founder of the CIA) received a Medal of Honor. One of the most important young men to join the ranks was Harry S. Truman of the Missouri National Guard, 35th ID. The “Harlem Hellfighters” 369th Infantry Regiment from New York paved the way for African American soldiers in the US Army. Henry Johnson of the 369th would receive the Distinguished Service Cross which was reissued as a Medal of Honor in 2015.
Although World War One was to “end all wars”, it did not. What it did do was to usher in the conditions that led to World War II and coin the term “the lost generation.” A devastated Europe would never be the same. Nor would the National Guard of the United States, now having served shoulder-to-shoulder with their active duty counterparts in both support and combat.
We may safely say that the Total Force Policy, germinated in 1903 with the passage of the Dick Act, began its path to today’s modern National Guard with roots firmly planted in the Belgian fields of Flanders poppies.
Artifact of the Week
Basic Field Manual
This manual is the FM 21-5, War Department’s basic field manual on “Military Training.” It was printed at the United States government printing office.
The Artifact of the Week program was initiated by NGEF in 2015. The artifact and description can be seen here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. All artifacts are on loan or owned by NGEF and are part of the National Guard Memorial Museum collection.