Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Georgia National Guard’s 138th Chemical Company: A Brief History

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

Left: the 138th Chemical Company Guidon with streamer from the 2014 Sibert competition. Right: Sergeant Brady Hudson, a chemical specialist with
the 138th Chemical Company is applauded by Col. Vernon Atkinson, commander of the Marietta-based 201st Regional Support Group, for his performance in
Georgia's Best Warrior Competition Jan 11, 2014. Hudson, a Conyers resident, was the top-finishing NCO from the 201st RSG. Photo by Spc. Darnel Morgan. 

The 138th Chemical Company provides chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear surveillance and decontamination for the 265th Chemical Battalion, part of the 201st Regional Support Group and its Region IV Homeland Response Force Mission. Authorized to organize Sept. 1, 2006.[1] In Decatur, Ga., the unit relocated to Kennesaw where it was federally recognized Jan. 18, 2008.[2]

Georgia Army Guard Soldiers of the Marietta-based 138th Chemical Company – part of Joint Task Force 781, 78th Homeland Response Force, spent
Jan. 7, 2011 learning how to use and maintain the new self-contained breathing apparatus used during evacuation, search and extraction missions.
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Roy Henry.

On July 1, 2011, the 138th relocated from Kennesaw to Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base in Marietta.[3] In 2014, the 138th was established in its present location on Dobbins ARB.[4]

Three years later, the 138th received the Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert Award which recognizes the best Chemical Company in the National Guard.[5]

“They were strong in each category judged compared to all the other units,” said Thomas Crow, a personnel development analyst for the U.S. Army CBRN School. “In fact, it was not even close. The 138th Chemical Company stood head and shoulders above the competition.” Factoring in the judges’ decision was the involvement of the 138th in volunteering activities, training excellence and support to winter storms. The judges also cited the performance of Sgt. Brady Hudson, a chemical specialist with the 138th who represented the 201st RSG in the state Best Warrior competition.

Guardsmen from the Marietta-based 138th Chemical Company perform line decontamination of simulated victims during search and extraction
certification training at Fort Stewart, Ga. March 3, 2018. The victims were extracted from a simulated collapsed building. Photo by Staff Sgt. R.J. Lannom Jr.

The 138th has participated in training exercises and real-world domestic response missions ranging from Exercise Vigilant Guard in 2015 to the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the 138th constituted the first infection control team in the Georgia National Guard in March 2020 and were among the first Georgia Guardsmen mobilized to protect public safety in Atlanta following civil unrest in May 2020. Members of the 138th Chemical Corps are presently deployed overseas supporting missions in the Pacific Command area of operations.

Georgia National Guard Staff Sgt. Jecory Lambert, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialists with the Marietta-based 138th Chemical
Company, 265th Chemical Battalion, 201st Regional Support Group, directs visitors to receive COVID-19 vaccines April 13, 2021
at a vaccination site in Savannah, Ga. Photo by Cpl. Isaiah Matthews.

[1] OA 128-04 June 9, 2004.

[2] OA 59-08 Apr. 3, 2008.

[3][3] OA 217-11 July 17, 2011.

[4] OA 232-14 April 29, 2014.

[5] Will Cox. “138th Chemical Company Receives Sibert Award.” The Georgia Guardsman. July 2014, 10.

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