Monday, August 30, 2021

History and Tradition Celebrated at Granite Battalion Change of Command Ceremony

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

The 1st Battalion 214th Field Artillery Regiment at their home station in Elberton Aug. 29, 2021. Photo by Maj. William Carraway. Inset: Maj. Gen. George Hearn,
 Georgia's Adjutant General speaks at the dedication of the new Elberton Armory May 21, 1960. Georgia National Guard Archives


The Georgia Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion 214th Field Artillery bid farewell to Lt. Col. Nathaniel Knight and welcomed Lt. Col. Davis Mitchum as its new commander during a ceremony at the unit’s headquarters in Elberton, Ga. Aug, 29, 2021.

Left: Lt. Col. Nathaniel Knight. Right: Lt. Col. Davis Mitchum. Photos by Maj. William Carraway

“Today is another chapter in the long lineage of the Granite Battalion,” said Knight addressing the assembled Soldiers. “It is a celebration of what you have and will accomplish.”

Georgia Army National Guardsmen with the Elberton-based 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery Regiment conduct movement during the Kansas National
Guard's Big Bow, a brigade artillery exercise featuring Guardsmen from Kansas, Missouri and Georgia at Fort Riley, Kan., on June 11, 2019. The battalion
conducted three weeks of active-duty training focused on combined fire capability with other National Guard units. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class R. J. Lannom Jr.

Knight, who assumed command of the Granite Battalion in February 2019 recalled pivotal events over the course of his command tenure. He narrated battalion exercises and achievements from the Big Bow exercise at Fort Riley, Kansas under the Kansas National Guard’s 130th Field Artillery Brigade June 1-19, 2019 through civil support missions in 2020 and culminating with fire missions in Morocco in support of Exercise African Lion from June 7-18, 2021.

A U.S. Army M109A6 Paladin howitzer with the Ellenwood-based Charlie Battery, 1-214th FA, observes fired artillery observation rounds during African Lion
2021, at the Tan Tan Training Area, Morocco, June 13, 2021. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr. 

“I look back over the past 20 years and I have loved every minute of it,” said Mitchum. “This is my battalion; I have always thought of it as my battalion, and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back.”
In his first remarks as commander of the 1-214th, Mitchum echoed the theme of history observing that he began his National Guard career nearly 20 years ago when he walked through the doors of the Elberton Armory Sept. 8, 2001.

The Granite Battalion’s history encompasses service in the American Civil War as well as overseas service in World War I in France and World War II in the European and Pacific Theater of Operations. Units of the 214th performed active-duty service during the Korean War and as part of Operation Noble Eagle in 2003. Units of the 1-214 also mobilized to Iraq and Afghanistan where the battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation.  



Specialist William Mance of Battery B, 1-214th FA adjusts a howitzer tube bracket during maintenance annual training at Fort Stewart, Ga. July 12, 1986.
Georgia National Guard Archives.

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