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.

Key Moments

April 4, 1870

General Order 1 establishes Wyoming Militia

November 1889

Wyoming Girl Guard organized

July 10, 1890

Col. James W. Meldrum, appointed in March, serves the state’s first Adjutant General

March 1894

First field artillery unit formed in Rawlins

May 2, 1898

Soldiers mustered to federal service for Spanish-American War

August 1917

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

1972

WyANG begins flying C-130s

1975

WyANG begins flying MAFFS mission

1990

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

December 2001

WyANG activated for Operation Enduring Freedom

January 2004

WyARNG activated for Operation Iraqi Freedom

July 2006

30th Airlift Squadron, first active associate unit for Air Mobility Command, activated at WyANG