KEY FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Miss. --
National Guardsmen from around the state traveled over 3,000 miles in three days to witness history at its best and forge comradery among service members.
Over 100 Airmen and Soldiers with the Mississippi National Guard (MSNG) participated in the MSNG 2017 Senior Leader - Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill - Staff Ride to Massachusetts from Sept. 15 – 17, 2017, to gain a better understanding of the foundation for the National Guard – the Minuteman, and his role in the American Revolutionary War.
“When I came into this job last September, I wanted to do something different for our Staff Ride,” Maj. Gen. Janson D. Boyles, the Adjutant General for Mississippi, said. “I couldn’t think of a better place to start doing something different, than where our country began.”
Guardsmen departed from Jackson, Mississippi on the 15th to begin their whirlwind trip to Massachusetts, a state rich in American and military history. The visit began with a lecture on the beginnings of the American Revolutionary War and the role that the Minutemen played in defending their homeland from the British.
Service members traveled the same path that the Minutemen traveled beginning at Lexington on the Battle Green where eight Minutemen lost their lives, and then onto Concord where the Battle of Lexington and Concord occurred.
A tour of Bunker and Breed’s Hill rounded out the trip with National Guardsmen reflecting on the strategy and bravery of their forefathers. Although the militia was well out-numbered and eventually overtaken, they took out close to 1,000 British while defending their homeland which boosted the colonists’ morale and patriotism.
All along the tour route, statues of Minutemen stood guard over historic sites, reminding Airmen and Soldiers of their commitment to protect and defend our country at a moment’s notice during war and natural disasters.
Last on the tour was the U.S.S. Constitution, a frigate ship launched in 1797, involved in the War of 1812, and still commissioned today.
The MSNG’s symbol and legacy can be traced back to the brave actions of the Minutemen who fought to protect their homes and freedom.