National Guard Educational Foundation Museum Tour
Floor Plan

1. Welcome to the Museum.
a. “Welcome to the National Guard Memorial Museum, dedicated to telling the story of the National Guard from inception in December of 1636 to present day, serving the needs of the American people around the world.”

2. How to use the Virtual Tour.
a. “The Museum comprises over 5,600 square feet and seven galleries to provide a visual, textual, and interactive experience covering nearly 400 years of world history.”
b. Detail use of the virtual tour – which I don’t yet have information on.

3. The Role of the Guard.
a. “Deeply rooted in Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution of the United States, the National Guard answers the mandate:
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

4. Introduction to Video.
a. “The visitor is first invited to view an introduction to the heritage of the National Guard in a four-minute video.”

5. Early History.
a. “Fleeing the oppression of 16th Century Europe, newly arriving Americans were quick to form Militias to protect their villages from Indian raids. To that end, local men from ages 16-40 met at the weekend to practice formations and drill.
These events were as much militia training as community functions. As the colonies began to take form in the 17th Century, structured Militias began to be associated with each.”
b. “By the 18th Century, the established colonies experienced organized conflict with the native indian population. Then Major George Washington honed his skills in the French and Indian War in 1757, abilities he later used in the Revolutionary War against the British redcoats.”

6. “DON’T MISS: Militia Order.
a. Issued on the day following the shot at Lexington Bridge and Concord, explore the original militia order from 1775.”
“To James Briggs Corporall: You are hereby command to warne (in conjunction with the other corporals) every inlisted soldier of the 3rd company of militia of the town of Cranston to appear at the dwelling house of Christ. Lippitt Esq. on Fryday the 21 day April 1775 by seven of the clock in the forenoone acct according to Law together with seven days provision, a blanket & knapsack. Each soldier and then and there to hold them selves in readiness bo obey the commands of your superior officers. Given under my hand & selae this 20th day of April, 1775. Edward Knight, Capt.”

7. Revolutionary War to Spanish-American War.
a. “View original 18th Century artifacts from the militias as we march through the Revolutionary War, the era of post-colonial growth, and into the cataclysmic American Civil War. Forged through fire and fury, the National Guard came into its own, suppressing the civil disorder brought on by the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th Century. The National Guard Association of the United States, formed in 1878, protected the interests of the Guard in Washington, DC, while the country fought overseas in the Spanish-American War. Original artifacts tell the story of soldiers’ service in Cuba, and later in the Philippines.”

8. Coming of Age (Dick Act, Aviation, WWI)
a. “With the turn of the century, the National Guard comes of age. Transitioning from a militia to a professional army, in 1903, Congress passed The Dick Act. This legislation helped define and solidify the National Guard into a formidable fighting force – ensured top equipment, training, pay, and benefits. The Dick Act paved the way from rag-tag militia to today’s Total Force Policy, where Guardsmen fight shoulder to shoulder with the Federal Active Duty.
b. By 1916, the National Guard was protecting the Texas-Mexican Border and entering into the nascent field of aviation.

9. DON’T MISS: African-American Service – Trenching.
a. “In 1914, Europe descended into World War I – the War to End All Wars. Unable to avoid the horrors, the United States entered the War in 1918. Fresh off the fields of the Texas-Mexico border, National Guardsmen answered the call. Members of the segregated 369th Infantry Regiment, formed from New York’s 15th Regiment, defended the trenches in Maffrecourt, France. Known as the “Harlem Hellfighters”, these heroic men never lost a trench to the enemy.”

10. DON’T MISS: Reno Collection.
a. “Don’t miss the entire, complete 1918 collection from the family of Private Tommy Reno who served in World War One in Pennsylvania’s 28th Infantry Division. On exhibit you can see his bible, letters home, dog tags, his gas mask, helmet, and rifle along with other original artifacts. At the touch of a button, listen to the narrative of this typical soldier, told from the standpoint of a young man excited to go to war and, then, after a year’s fighting in the trenches of Europe, tired and ready to come home.”

11. Between Wars-Pearl Harbor.
a. “At the end of World War One, nine infantry divisions of National Guardsmen who served bravely, returned to the United States and civilian life. The 1920’s ushered in the build-up of the National Guard Army Air Corps. By 1926, pilots like Charles A. Lindbergh of the 110th Missouri Observation Squadron were honing their skills. In 1929, the National Guard opened its armories to American citizens devastated by the catastrophic Stock Market Crash. While the nation reeled from that event, Congress passed the Militia Act of 1933, establishing The National Guard Bureau and ushering in the era of the Modern Guard.”
b. “By September 1940, National Guard Infantry Divisions began to prepare for potential involvement in the war in Europe. 18 Divisions in all, the entire National Guard took part in the Great Maneuvers throughout the United States, amassing mainly in the central southern regions of the country.”

12. DON’T MISS: Marshall Uniform.
a. “Don’t Miss General George C. Marshall’s uniform jacket. In the late 1920s, then Brigadier General Marshall trained the Illinois National Guard, preparing them for service in support of the regular, full-time Army forces. The jacket is on exhibit as part of the activation of the National Guard in the Great Maneuvers of 1940.

[Mobilization Slide] “Between 1940 and 1941, nearly every Infantry Division in the National Guard mobilized to join in the Great Maneuvers. Watch as the slide presentation depicts their movements from activation to federal service and on to deployment throughout the country. The divisions participated in war-games until the attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, brought the harsh reality of World War Two into American lives.”

13. Pacific Theatre.
a. “After the fall of France in 1940, the United States Congress and President authorized immense maneuvers of mobilized National Guardsmen across the nation. Unbeknownst to them, on December 7th, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor put all that training to immediate good use. On that day, all 18 National Guard Infantry Divisions were sent into action across the globe. Already established in the Pacific theatre before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard, defended the Philippines from Japanese attack. Soon, nine full Infantry Divisions were caught up in the action and fought side-by-side with their federal army equals. Be sure to see artifacts from Guardsmen in the Bataan Death march and witnessing the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima.”

14. Atlantic Theatre (North Africa, Italy, Europe).
a. “Meanwhile, National Guardsmen shipped out from the East Coast of the United States to the United Kingdom for training. Follow the 34th Infantry Division from there to North Africa as they fought in Tunisia to break the back of Field Marshall Rommel at Hill 609 outside of Tunis. Follow the 45th Infantry Division as it joined the 34th to fight up the boot of Italy and into the soft underbelly of Europe. Witness as the 29th Infantry Division lands on Omaha Beach in June of 1944 and as the 28th Infantry Division fights in the Argonne.”

15. DON’T MISS: Pistol.
a. “Don’t miss the pistol used by then LtCol. Felix Sparks of the 45th Infantry Division to stop the pandemonium when the gates of Dachau Concentration Camp were opened in April of 1945, mere days before Chancellor Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker.”

16. Bill Mauldin/Guardsman at War Area
a. “Commiserate with Willie and Joe, the famous common soldiers of Bill Mauldin’s wickedly funny artistry. A member of the 45th Infantry Division and a cartoonist for Stars and Stripes, Bill Mauldin, twice Pulitzer Prize winner, drew a special “Willie and Joe” for the National Guard Association of the United States for the 40th Anniversary of the end of World War II. On display in the Gallery, see the cartoon and a special dedication from the artist to the Association.”

17. WW2 Casualties.
a. “Don’t miss the World War II graphic display table which will walk you through the Division movements from The Great Maneuvers, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the island-hopping warfare through the Pacific theatre, the climb from North Africa through Italy, the drama of D-Day on the beaches of Normandy, and culminating in a powerful slide which shows the National Guard casualties of war. This interactive map takes you through the War at your own pace and under your control.”

18. Cold War Introduction.
a. “The end of World War II marked a dramatic change in the National Guard – from an international global force to the frontline of domestic defense during the Cold War. National attention quickly turned from the clear, obvious aggressor of the Axis Powers in Europe and Japan, to the greyer enemy of creeping Communism.”

19. Korea.
a. “The Korean War marked a turning point for the Air National Guard when 45,000 Guardsmen were activated and Guard fighter pilots logged more than one hundred kills. While thousands of National Guardsmen saw service in the cold terrain of Korea, the Guard continued its integration of the forces with the admission of Captain Norma Parsons Erb into the ranks of the Air National Guard. Her service in the medical corps in Korea is represented by her full blue Air Guard Uniform from 1956.”

20. DON’T MISS: Millett Items.
a. “One of the most colorful National Guardsmen to serve in Korea was Captain Lewis Millett, hero of the taking of Hill 180 located on the present day site of Osan Air Force Base. In the cold night of February 7th, 1951, Millett fought hand-to-hand leading two units up the hill. Although wounded, Millett led his troops to victory in a fierce bayonet attack, earning him the Medal of Honor for his courageous efforts. Don’t miss Captain Millett’s bayonet complimented by a hand-crafted diorama of the taking of Hill 180, on display in the Medal of Honor Gallery, and the cold weather gear on display in the Korean War Gallery.”

21. Guard at Home.
a. “During the 1950s, 60, and 70s, the National Guard was called in to stabilize the country during outbreaks of civil disorder brought on by court-ordered school integration, civil rights unrest, and lingering Vietnam War protests. Read narratives and see photos from those eras. See Russel Schwieckarts’ Apollo 9 uniform patch worn on his NASA orbital mission. The Air National Guard was an integral force in the most visible events of the Cold War – being there at the creation of the Berlin Air Corridors in 1961 and, coming full circle, helping Europe recover from the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989, marking the Cold War’s end.”

22. Vietnam.
a. “Caught up in the political struggles of the Long Hot Summers in the United States, over 9,000 National Guardsmen saw duty in the jungles of Vietnam. The 151st Rangers of the Indiana National Guard earned more Medals of Honor than any unit to see action. See a complete Ranger uniform used during the war. Also on display, the full flight suit of the famous “Taco” crew from the New Mexico Air National Guard.”

23. The Modern Minuteman.
a. “Battered by the events of the domestic unrest in the United States during the Vietnam War era, the National Guard was recognized by General Creighton Abrams as essential to the future of the American Fighting Force. Drawing on the inclusion started in 1903 by the Dick Act, he said that the United States would never return to war without the reserve component. As the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the modern National Guard Minuteman rose to the call as the equal of America’s finest soldiers with the inception of the Total Force Policy.”

24. 9/11.
a. “The future of the National Guard forever changed on that fateful day on September 11th, 2001. When the twin towers fell in New York, the Pentagon burned in Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania reeled at the impact of United Flight 93, the National Guard raced to perform its emergency duty as America’s first line of defense. Read the original fax sent by then Vice President Cheney to all fighter pilots authorizing them to “shoot to kill” any civilian aircraft deviating from air traffic controllers.”

25. OEF.
a. “Within weeks, the new mission envisioned by General Abram’s Total Force Policy was put into effect and the Guard deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom. Never before had both the domestic and international missions of the National Guard interwoven so seamlessly. See artifacts from Operation Bulldog Bite and Guard contributions to Special Operations in Afghanistan.”

26. OIF.
a. “By 2003, the National Guard deployed Divisions and Wings to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Interact with artifacts from the Pentagon’s west wall and girders from the twin towers in New York City, carry a Kevlar vest to experience the weight and force of equipment used by Guardsmen in desert warfare, program two rugged combat computers used in both Afghanistan and Iraq.”

27. DON’T MISS: Women in Combat.
a. “Consistently on the forefront of social integration, marvel at the uniform of Capt. Heather Penney, a DC National Guardsman, she was one of the first F-16 pilots over the Pentagon on September 11th. Don’t miss Sgt. Leanne Hester’s uniform, on exhibit. A military police officer of the Kentucky Guard, Sgt. Hester is the first woman to receive the Silver Star Medal in recognition of outstanding performance under combat conditions.”

28. Introduction to the Wall.
a. “Take a minute or an hour to contemplate the ultimate sacrifice given by National Guardsmen from all 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia in the Global War on Terror. 785 names are listed on the Wall of the Fallen commemorating the members of the National Guard family who gave their lives in service to their state and country. Here, solemn respect is due and paid.”

29. Other Missions.
a. “Marvel at the uniform of General Craig McKinley, the first four-star general of the National Guard and the first National Guardsman on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Congressional leaders and the National Guard Association of the United States, we joined the finest services in the world at the table.”
b. “Making the National Guard unique from any other service, Guardsmen deployed throughout the world bring their civilian experience to teach others how to use their knowledge to local advantage. Agricultural Development Teams show Afghans how to keep bees and harvest apples from orchards grown with American techniques. The National Guard had a strong presence in the Bosnian war of the early 1990s.”
c. “The future of the National Guard is represented by visual representation of the State Partnership Program – over 70 countries and all 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia are partnered to exchange experiences through peace and reconciliation. Incorporating both the domestic missions and the new international presence of our National Guard, we spread out across the world bringing education and information with a global reach.”
d. “The dual role of the National Guard makes it unique in the world. While supporting national interests abroad, the domestic mission remains paramount in state involvement. In 2005, the largest humanitarian deployment of National Guard troops within the United States represented the reaction to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. Over 75,000 Guardsmen were activated in performance of that recovery mission.”
e. “The National Guard maintains special missions around the globe, including supplying McMurdo Station in Antarctica, and supporting the nation’s highest dignitaries with executive travel in secure, executive commercial jets.”
f. “Dedicated to the support of the community, the National Guard is involved in local events through recruiting and employment. Check out NASCAR and Indy Racing uniforms from drivers who actively take part in supporting the National Guard and its mission.”

30. MoH Gallery and Library-Archive.
a. “Don’t miss the Medal of Honor Gallery and research Library and Archives joining the Museum. Stop for a moment to view special exhibits on rotation in the Museum lobby.
b. “Move to the Library and Archives to take the opportunity to join in our efforts to spread the incredible story of America’s oldest and greatest fighting force, the National Guard of the United States, forged in the crucible of the Revolutionary War, formed by the many Militia Acts, and expanded across the Globe since the events of 9/11.”

31. Conclusion and Thank You.
a. “The proud heritage of the National Guard of the United States is memorialized, told, and archived here at the National Guard Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Brought to you by a dedicated staff of the National Guard Educational Foundation, the story of our brave Minutemen who rose to the call of duty on April 19th, 1775 and continue today to protect the profound vision and hope of the citizens of the United States, the Memorial Museum welcomes you to visit. Located at One Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, in our Nation’s Capital, we are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm and are available for private tours upon request.”
All audio transcripts