Wyoming Army Guard History
Wyoming took the first steps toward organizing what would become the Wyoming Army National Guard 95 years after the first major battle of the Revolutionary War.
In 1870 Wyoming Territorial Governor John A. Campbell authorized division of the territory into three military districts. A year later, Wyoming’s Territorial Assembly passed a law, effective Dec. 31, 1871, giving legal sanction to the formation of volunteer militia companies of not less than 40 men.
A number of colorful, but apparently short-lived, units, organized over concern of possible conflicts with American Indian tribes, came and went, including the “Cheyenne Rangers,” the 1st Regiment, “Wyoming Home Guard,” and the “Wyoming Rangers.”
The first federally recognized Wyoming unit was the “Laramie Grays,” organized in 1888. The “Grays,” Company A, 1st Wyoming Regiment, was followed the same year by Company B, known as the “Cheyenne Guards.”
Constitutional provisions for units in Buffalo, Rock Springs, Green River, Douglas, Sheridan, Evanston and Rawlins came in 1890 when Wyoming became a state.
In May 1894, a regimental band and the state’s first artillery unit, Battery A, were formed in Rawlins. ” The battery was equipped with two horse-drawn, three-inch Hotchkiss guns.
The first federal mobilization of a Wyoming Army National Guard unit came in 1898 with the Spanish-American War.
Since 1898, the Wyoming Guard has been mobilized for active service in the Mexican Punitive Campaign, both World Wars, the Berlin Crisis, and Korea.
The combat action of the Wyoming Army Guard’s 300th Armored Field Artillery Battalion during the Battle of Soyang in Korea, was commemorated in 1983 as part of the National Guard Heritage Painting series at the Pentagon.
Most recently, Wyoming Army National Guard units have served in Desert Storm and as part of the peacekeeping force in Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Support to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
April 4, 1870
General Order 1 establishes Wyoming Militia
Wyoming Girl Guard organized
July 10, 1890
Col. James W. Meldrum, appointed in March, serves the state’s first Adjutant General
First field artillery unit formed in Rawlins
May 2, 1898
Soldiers mustered to federal service for Spanish-American War
WyNG soldiers join the fight in World War I
Aug. 10, 1946
Wyoming Air National Guard is born
April 1, 1951
WyANG ordered to federal service for Korean War
May 15, 1951
“Cowboy Artillery at Soyang” 300th AFA in Korea
WyANG begins flying C-130s
WyANG begins flying MAFFS mission
WyNG units activated to support Operation Desert Storm/Shield
Nov. 10, 1997
WyANG supports Operation Tempest Rapid, fighting fires in Indonesia
Sept. 11, 2001
WyANG first unit to resume flying after towers hit, ferries blood supply
WyANG activated for Operation Enduring Freedom
WyARNG activated for Operation Iraqi Freedom
30th Airlift Squadron, first active associate unit for Air Mobility Command, activated at WyANG