Splendid Service: The Montana National Guard, 1867-2000

Splendid Service: The Montana National Guard, 1867-2000

by Orlan J. Svingen


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The origin of Montana's militia dates to 1867, when a politically ambitious acting governor organized frontiersmen in supposed fear of Plains Indian incursions into the territory's mining camps and other settled regions. After establishing posts on the upper Missouri, some skirmishing with warriors occurred, but within months these unruly volunteers were disbanded after mutiny in the ranks, their harsh punishment of horse thieves, and disputes over federal provisioning. Afterward, the U.S. Army took the forefront in the Indian campaign.

Nevertheless, from this roughhewn beginning arose a professional band of citizen soldiers, serving honorably in the Spanish-American War, the 1916 Mexican border crisis, both World Wars, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and most recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Adding to their merit, the Montana National Guard has provided vital assistance to Montana communities and government agencies in dire need during natural disasters and domestic emergencies.

From the 1880s to the end of the 20th century, evolving state, national, and international developments presented new challenges for the Montana National Guard. Splendid Service recounts the proud moments and achievements, as well as the sacrifices and temporary setbacks. This extensively researched volume describes key individuals from all ranks, and outlines the organization's frequent restructuring, wartime activations, and call-ups for natural disasters in a geographically vast state. The Montana National Guard's long-standing and commendable service has indeed left a legacy for future generations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874222869
Publisher: Washington State University Press
Publication date: 11/28/2010
Pages: 526
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Foreword Brigadier General Bill Yeager vii

Foreword Brigadier General Hal Stearns ix

Introduction and Acknowledgments Orlan J. Svingen xi

Contributors xvii

1 Stampede! The Montana Territorial Volunteers of 1867 1

2 Men, Do Your Duty: Montana Territory, 1876-1889 27

3 From Territorial Militia to State National Guard, 1889-1897 53

4 Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, 1898-1899 71

5 Dick Act and National Reorganization, 1900-1910 113

6 Trials of Reorganization: Peacekeepers or Tin Soldiers, 1911-1914 139

7 "Splendid Service": The Mexican Border, Labor Conflict, and World War I, 1915-1919 163

8 Rebuilding to Stability: The 1920s 195

9 From Peace to War: The 1930s 211

10 Answering FDR's Call to Arms: The 163rd Infantry Regiment, 1940-1942 231

11 Twenty-two Days of Combat in Papua: The Sanananda Front, 1943 257

12 Island Hopping in the Pacific: New Guinea and The Philippines, 1943-1945 289

13 Post World War II Period: Reorganization, 1945-1955 335

14 Building a Cold War Army and National Guard Partner, 1955-1965 365

15 Reserve Forces Act (1955): 6-Months Active Duty, Monthly Training, and 2-Week Summer Camp, 1955-1965 385

16 The Vietnam Era, 1965-1975 409

17 Total Force Policy and the Post-Vietnam Era, 1976-1990 425

18 "Brave Cameras": 103rd Public Affairs Detachment, Gulf War, 1990-1991 445

19 Launching an Air Squadron into the Big Sky 471

20 Air Defense and State Service: The Montana Air National Guard, 1947-1998 487

Epilogue-Operation Big Sky: Reorganization in the Modern Era Colonel Raymond K. Read 515

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