Thursday, February 24, 2022

The 170th MP Battalion: Heraldry and History

By Major William Carraway

Historian, Georgia National Guard

 

Left: The distinctive unit insignia of the 170th MP Battalion. Right: The 170th command team circa 1978. 


Unit Insignia of the 170th MP Battalion.

On February 24, 1971, the US Army Institute of Heraldry approved the distinctive unit insignia of the 170th Military Police Battalion. The colors green and yellow represent the Military Police. The gothic arch symbolizes the areas comprising the Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns and is used to represent the unit's participation there as the 179th Field Artillery Regiment during World War II. Red and green refer to the French Croix de Guerre awarded the unit for action along the Moselle River represented by the wavy beam. The fleur-de-lis is symbolic of France and refers to both the Normandy and the Northern France campaigns. The black disc simulates a cannon ball and together with the colors scarlet and gold (yellow) alludes to artillery, the unit's former designation. A doorway implies protection and barrier, and with the scale of justice refers to the overall mission of the organization. The unit motto, first in peace and in war is inherited from the 122nd Infantry Regiment which was redesignated the 179th Field Artillery Regiment in 1939.[1]

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 122nd Infantry Regiment participate in a machine gun drill with an M1917A1 water-cooled machine gun in 1939.
Georgia National Guard Archives.


Formation and Early History[2]

The predecessor unit of the 170th MP Battalion was organized and federally recognized March 5, 1924 in the Georgia National Guard in Atlanta as Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion and Company C, 200th Infantry. On June 9, 1924, the unit was redesignated as Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, and Company C, 122d Infantry Regiment. 

On July 1, 1939, the unit was converted and redesignated as Headquarters Battery and Combat Train, 1st Battalion, and Battery C, 179th Field Artillery. One year later the unit was reorganized and redesignated 1 July 1940 as Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 179th Field Artillery.

 

World War II[3]

The 179th FA was inducted into federal service Feb. 24, 1941 in Atlanta. And on Feb. 8, 1943 was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters Battery and Battery C, 179th Field Artillery Battalion.

After serving in the European Operations, the 179th FA was inactivated Dec. 9, 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry, Va.

ATLANTA, April 21, 1955 Two- and-1/2-ton trucks of the 179th Field Artillery, 48th Armored Division loaded full of troops move out
from the Atlanta Armory during Operation Minuteman. Georgia National Guard Archives.

 

Post WWII Reorganizations

Upon the reorganization of the Georgia National Guard in July 1946, the 179th FA Battalion was assigned to the 48th Infantry Division.[4] The 179th was reorganized and federally recognized May 2, 1947 in Atlanta.[5] On Nov. 1, 1955, the 48th was reorganized as the 48th Armored Division and the 179th was redesignated as Headquarters Battery and Battery C, 179th Armored Field Artillery Battalion.[6]

 

FORT STEWART, Ga.  1959 - Two 8-inch self-propelled howitzers of the 1st Rocket/Howitzer Battalion, 179th Artillery from Atlanta, Ga. during
annual training of the 48th Armored Division at Fort Stewart, Ga.  Image courtesy of the National Guard Educational Foundation, Washington D.C.

Subsequent reorganizations in 1959[7] and 1963 established the unit as Headquarters Battery and Battery C, 1st Rocket Howitzer Battalion, 179th Artillery and Headquarters and Service Battery and Battery D, 1st Battalion, 179th Artillery, respectively. 

A reorganization of the 48th Armor Division January 1, 1968 consolidated Headquarters and Service Battery and Battery D. The consolidated unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 170th Military Police Battalion.[8].

The 170th MP Battalion was initially comprised of a headquarters detachment and the 178th and 190th MP Companies.. The 178th was organized in Monroe where it is currently stationed. Originally organized in Atlanta, the 190th relocated to Kennesaw in 1997 after a brief stationing at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.[9]

On Sept. 30, 1999, Headquarters Detachment, 170th MP Battalion was consolidated with the 190th MP Company. The 190th MP Company carried forward the lineage and heritage of the 170th.[10]

Soldiers of the 170th Military Police Battalion salute the colors during the battalion change of command ceremony March 11, 2018 in Decatur, Ga.
Georgia National Guard photo by Capt. Charlie Emmons


The 170th was reorganized in Decatur September 1, 2007[11] and on Sept. 1, 2019, the 190th MP Company was consolidated with Headquarters Detachment. The lineage of the original 170th MP Battalion was thus restored to the 170th.[12] As of this date, the 170th MP Battalion, 178th and 179th MP Companies are assigned to the Marietta-based 201st Regional Support Group.

Soldiers of the 170th Military Police Battalion, 201st Regional Support Group, Georgia Army National Guard stand in formation to receive instructions
Sept. 1, 2021, at the battalion headquarters in Decatur, Georgia prior to mobilizing to Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeron Walker.



[1] The Institute of Heraldry. “Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 170th MP Battalion.” https://tioh.army.mil/Catalog/Heraldry.aspx?HeraldryId=7011&CategoryId=3937&grp=2&menu=Uniformed%20Services&from=search

[2] Center for Military History. “190th MP Company Lineage and Honors Certificate.”

[3] Center for Military History. “190th MP Company Lineage and Honors Certificate.”

[4] Center for Military History. “190th MP Company Lineage and Honors Certificate.”

[5] Center for Military History. “190th MP Company Lineage and Honors Certificate.”

[6] NG AROTO325.4 October 17, 1955.

[7] RA 73-59 10 June 1959.

[8] RA 71-67 December 14, 1967, effective January 1, 1968.

[9] OA 199-97 August 22, 1997, effective September 1, 1997.

[10] OA 252-90 October 11, 1990 effective September 30, 1990.

[11] OA 97-05 October 28, 2005, effective September 1, 2007.

[12] OA 337-19 November 18, 2019 effective September 1, 2019.

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