A Day of Recognition - Tennessee National Guard Day

Friday, March 03, 2017 | 10:19am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee National Guard has been an integral part of the defense and security of the state and nation for 246 years.  To honor the sacrifice of all the Soldiers and Airmen that serve the Tennessee Guard, the Tennessee State Legislature declared March 3 as Tennessee National Guard Day.

Enacted by the General Assembly in 2012, the law states that every “March 3 is a day to honor and recognize Tennessee National Guard personnel for their service and sacrifices in defense of our nation and for responding to domestic missions within the borders of our state.”

For the past year, the Tennessee Military Department has been involved in multiple domestic missions and those overseas.

Thousands of Army and Air National Guardsmen partnered with various state and local agencies to participate in Tennessee Maneuvers ’16. One of the largest statewide disaster preparedness exercises in its history, guardsmen trained to provide military response resources in the event of a catastrophic emergency.

Concurrently, Soldiers from the 230th Sustainment Brigade and the 194th Engineer Brigade have conducted multiple overseas missions in countries like Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, and Romania. They improved infrastructure, security, and partnerships with these nations as well as participated in multi-national training exercises.

In November, Guard helicopters fought wildfires in Sevier County, dropping over 1,000 bucket loads of water to control the fires. When fires ravaged the city of Gatlinburg, hundreds of Guardsmen helped search for victims, perform traffic control, and supported local emergency services.  

Currently, there are hundreds of Tennessee National Guardsmen deployed overseas. More than 60 Soldiers from Athens’ 117th Military Police Battalion are currently deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and more than 130 Soldiers from Nashville’s 230th Signal Company are serving in Kuwait and Afghanistan.  Since the start of the Global War on Terror, Tennessee has deployed more than 29,000 Soldiers and Airmen.

This past January, more than 330 Soldiers and Airmen supported the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. by primarily providing additional security for the celebration.

“For nearly 250 years, local citizens have put down their plows and picked up their weapons in defense of this great state and nation,” said Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee’s Adjutant General. “They are willing to sacrifice their lives at a moment’s notice, and that legacy continues today.”

Haston added, “We are an important part of this nation’s defense, and always have been.”