Monday, February 27, 2023

History and Heraldry of the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard


The distinctive unit insignia of the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion, pictured in October 2021 in Macon, Ga. Photo by Maj. William Carraway.


On February 27, 2009, The US Army Institute of Heraldry approved the distinctive unit insignia of the 48th Brigade Special Troops Battalion which was subsequently redesignated the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion. The insignia incorporates the color scarlet to represent the engineer heritage of the battalion. Scarlet also symbolizes valor and sacrifice while gold symbolizes honor and high achievement. The castle further symbolizes the engineer’s role in fortification. Combat multiplier capabilities of the battalion, such as infantry, chemical, military police, transportation, and engineers, are represented by the bayonet, cobalt blue, green, brick red, and scarlet, respectively. The lightning bolt emblazoned on the bayonet highlights the communication units that provide the "voice of command" as well as the historical ties between the battalion and the 48th Infantry Brigade. The battalion’s military intelligence capability is represented by the sphinx which symbolizes the ability of military intelligence to "know all" on the battlefield. Seven stars on the insignia commemorate the four decorations and three major campaigns in which the unit has participated. The stars are arranged in an arrowhead formation symbolic of the Sapper’s mission of breaching enemy defenses.

Lieutenant Col. Bothwell Johnson commanded
the 101st AAA and 2nd Gun Battalion, 214th AAA from
1953-1960. Georgia National Guard Archives.
Unit History

Headquarters Company, 177th BEB was originally constituted in the Georgia Army National Guard in Statesboro, Ga. as Battery A, 264th Coast Artillery Battalion March 14, 1930.[2] On October 1, 1939, the 264th CAB was reorganized as the 1st Battalion 214th Field Artillery Group[3] with Battery A, commanded by Capt. Bothwell Johnson, reorganized as Battery C. Activated in 1941,  the 214th was mobilized to the Pacific Theater of Operations and underwent reorganization in November 1943. The 1st Battalion 214th was redesignated the 528th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion with the Statesboro unit redesignated Battery C. The unit maintained this designation through the war. The 528th, and other units of the 214th Field Artillery Group, provided air defense for Henderson field at Guadalcanal.  The Battalion was inactivated in December 1945 at Camp Stoneman, Calif.


The 528th AAA was reestablished July 11, 1946 as an element of the Georgia National Guard’s 108th Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade.[4] In October, the 528th was consolidated into Headquarters Battery, 101st Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, and the resulting unit was designated Headquarters Battery, 101st Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion.[5] The unit was reorganized and federally recognized June 17, 1947 in Statesboro.


STATESBORO, Ga. November, 1949 – The Statesboro-based Headquarters Battery and Battery A, 101st Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion paid Guardsmen
in silver dollars to show the merchants of Statesboro how much money the Guard brings into circulation each month. Georgia National Guard Archives.

On August 14, 1950, the unit was ordered into federal service due to the outbreak of hostilities in Korea. As part of the 108th AAAB, the unit was initially mobilized to Camp Bliss, Texas. The 108th AAA Brigade provided air defense over industrial areas from Chicago to Philadelphia until released from federal service in April 1952.[6]


On October 1, 1953, the unit was redesignated as Headquarters Battery, 101st Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion.[7]


Soldiers of the 2nd Gun Battalion, 214th Artillery Regiment adjust a radar antenna for use during annual training at Fort Stewart in July 1959.
Georgia National Guard Archives.

On July 1, 1959, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters Battery, 2nd Gun Battalion, 214th Field Artillery Regiment. This unit was converted and redesignated as Headquarters Company, 265th Engineer Battalion May 1, 1962.


The unit was consolidated with Company A, 265th Engineer Battalion January 1, 1968 and the units were converted and redesignated as Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion 214th Field Artillery Regiment.


648th Engineer Battalion sign from the Statesboro armory. Georgia National Guard Archives.

On September 1, 1993, the unit was converted and redesignated as Detachment 1, 848th Engineer Company. One month later, the unit was expanded, reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters Company, 648th Engineer Battalion. [8] The 648th was heavily involved in the Georgia National Guards response to the 1994 floods that impacted southern Georgia counties.

FORT STEWART, Ga. 1996 - Second Lt. Rob Utlaut and 2nd Lt. Felix Childs during annual training for the 648th Engineer Battalion at Fort Stewart.
Photo courtesy of Matt Shannon.

The 648th Engineer Battalion was redesignated as the 48th Special Troops Battalion September 1, 2007.[9] The 48th BSTB was ordered into active federal service April 21, 2009 at home stations for service in Afghanistan with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The 48th BSTB was released from active Federal service May 25 2010 and reverted to state control.

Georgia Army National Guard soldiers from Statesboro's Headquarters Detachment 48th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
deplane at Hunter’s Army Airfield March 17, 2010 following deployment to Afghanistan. Georgia National Guard  Archives.

Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion was converted and redesignated September 1, 2015 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 177th Engineer Battalion, an element of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.[10] Since 2020, the 177th has been an active part of Georgia’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic providing personnel to hospitals for medical support and constituting infection control teams. During that time period, the 177th also mobilized personnel to the Country of Georgia for exercise Noble Partner 2020 and to the Southwest Border of the United States in 2021. In January 2021, the 177th BEB mobilized personnel to Washington DC to provide security during the presidential inauguration. The Soldiers departed the weekend prior to the inauguration and established security positions near the nation's capitol. By January 25, most of the Soldiers had either returned home or were in transit from Washington DC while others, joined by Soldiers of the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and TF 201st, remained on duty through March 13.


Soldiers of the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion discuss the plan for disinfecting Dodge County Hospital April 27, 2020. Photo by Spc. Andre Josey.

Most recently, Soldiers of the 177th BEB trained side by side with Soldiers of the Country of Georgia. The training, which took place in the Country of Georgia from December 5-9, 2022 provided the Soldiers with the opportunity to share their expertise in combat engineering with Soldiers of the Georgia Defense Forces. 

Soldiers of the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion and Soldiers of the Georgia Defense Forces conduct combat engineer training in the
Country of Georgia December 5-9, 2022. Photo courtesy of the 177th BEB.

[1] The Institute of Heraldry. “Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 48th Brigade Special Troops Battalion.”

[2] Military Department, State of Georgia. Pictorial Review of the National Guard of the State of Georgia. (Atlanta: 1939), 215.

[3] Center for Military History. “214th Lineage and Honors Certificate, 214th Field Artillery.”

[4] Military Department, State of Georgia. “General Order No. 17. Atlanta, Dec. 31, 1946.”

[5] Center for Military History. “214th Lineage and Honors Certificate, 214th Field Artillery.”

[6] Center for Military History. “214th Lineage and Honors Certificate, 214th Field Artillery.”

[7] Center for Military History. “214th Lineage and Honors Certificate, 214th Field Artillery.”

[8] Enter for Military History. “Lineage and Honors Certificate, 648th Engineer Battalion.”

[9] OA 112-08.

[10] OA 434-14, Corrected Copy 1, 3 February 2015.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

History of Company A, 1-121st Infantry Regiment

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

Guidons representing the history of Company A, 1st Battalion 121st Infantry Regiment in the 48th Infantry Division and 48th Armor Division.
Georgia National Guard Archives.

Organized and federally recognized in the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Infantry Division as the Cannon Company, 122nd Infantry Regiment February 26, 1948 in Covington, Ga., the company was reorganized as the 122nd’s heavy mortar company November 1, 1948[1]

FORT MCCLELLAN, Ala. August 20, 1955 - Having just dropped a round into their 4.2-inch mortar, these men of Covington's Heavy Mortar Company,
122nd Infantry Regiment, Georgia National Guard, await the blast that will send the projectile to its mark. Left to right are Pfc. Roger Bell,
Pfc. Albert Anglin and Pfc. Herman Shannon. Georgia National Guard Archives.

With the conversion of the 48th ID to Armor in October 1955, the company was redesignated Company A, 161st Tank Battalion.[2] A 1959 reorganization of the 48th AD prompted the company to reorganize as Company B, 248th Signal Battalion.[3] In 1963, the Georgia National Guard received all units of the 48th AD. In the reorganization that followed, Company B was redesignated Company A, 248th Signal Battalion.[4] With the inactivation of the 48th AD, Company A was redesignated the 180th Signal Company effective December 14, 1967.[5] The 180th served for more than decade before it was redesignated Company A, 111th Signal Battalion April 1, 1979.[6] The following year, the 111th Signal Battalion was reorganized as the 1st Battalion 122nd TOW Light Anti-Tank with the Covington unit serving as Company B.[7] 

FORT STEWART, Ga., July 1984 - Private Jimmy Nowell of Athens, a member of the Georgia Army National Guard's Company B, 1st Battalion, 122nd Infantry
at Covington, camouflages his TOW light anti-tank weapon while undergoing two weeks of annual training at Fort Stewart, Ga. Photo by the 124th MPAD.

In September 1992, the TLAT was inactivated and the Covington armory became home to Detachment 1, Company A and Detachment 1, Company B, 2nd Battalion 121st Infantry.[8] The detachments were consolidated September 1, 1993 to form Company A, 121st Infantry Regiment.[9] In 2004, Company A was consolidated in Lawrenceville with Company D, 1-121 and the consolidated unit was designated Company A.[10]

Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment during a unit assembly in February 2023.  Photo courtesy of Company A, 1-121.

[1] NGB AROTO 325.4-Ga. May 5, 1949.

[2] NG AROTO 325.4 (27 Jan 56)-Ga. March 6, 1956 effective March 26, 1956.

[3] RA 73-59 June 10, 1959, effective July 1, 1959.

[4] RA 57-63 March 21, 1963 Effective April 16, 1963.

[5] RA 71-67 December 14, 1967 Effective January 1, 1968.

[6] RA 64-79 March 20, 1979 Effective April 1, 1979.

[7] OA 182-80 September 26, 1980 effective October 1, 1980.

[8] OA 261-92 October 21, 1992 effective September 1, 1992.

[9] RA 169-93 August 9, 1993, effective September 1, 1993.

[10] OA 180-04 September 24, 2004 effective September 1, 2002.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The 201st RSG Embarks on First Stage of Overseas Deployment

By Maj. William Carraway, Historian, Georgia National Guard


Left: The shoulder-sleeve insignia of the 201st RSG. Right: Specialist Caleb Moore, from Rome, Ga., assigned to the 201st Georgia Agribusiness
Development Team shakes hands with local Afghan boys at the Khoshi District Center, Logar province, Afghanistan, May 12, 2012. Moore is a part of a
mission to inspect cool storage units to help the Afghans become better farmers. Georgia National Guard Archives.

The Georgia National Guard continued its two-decade history of continuous global engagement Monday, February 13, 2023 with a departure ceremony for Soldiers of the 201st Regional Support Group the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga. The Soldiers will train stateside at a pre-mobilization station before deploying overseas later this year.


Brigadier General Dwayne Wilson, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard addresses Soldiers of the 201st Regional Support Group at a departure
ceremony held at the Clay National Guard Center February 13, 2023. The Soldiers will conduct premobilization training stateside before embarking
 on their overseas mission. Photo by Maj. William Carraway.

“The Soldiers you see before you represent the very best of our nation,” said Brig. Gen. Dwayne Wilson, commander of the Ga. Army National Guard during the 201st RSG departure ceremony. “This organization has a rich history supporting the Army National Guard’s two missions: responding during domestic response operations and fighting and winning as the primary combat reserve of the Army.”


Soldiers of the 201st Regional Support Team case their colors during a departure ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center February 13, 2023.
The Soldiers will conduct premobilization training stateside before embarking on their overseas mission. Photo by Maj. William Carraway.

The 201st Regional Response Group is a unique structure within the Georgia National Guard. Comprised of a diverse group of units with specialty response missions, the 201st RSG is equally capable of supporting overseas combat operations and domestic emergency response operations. Two battalions, the 170th Military Police Battalion in Decatur and the Marietta-based 265th Chemical Battalion can mobilize Soldiers to perform security and response operations overseas and augment civil authorities within the Federal Emergency Management Area Region IV response area when natural disasters strike the southeast United States. Rounding out the 201st RSG force structure is the 870th Engineer Detachment and the 4th Civil Support Team Weapons of Mass Destruction. A full-time unit capable of rapid response, the 4th CST WMD regularly trains with federal and state response agencies and routinely supports large-scale public events, notably Super Bowl LIII, in Atlanta to ensure public safety.


FOB SHANK, Afghanistan, June 15, 2011 - The Georgia Army National Guard's 201st Regional Support Group Agribusiness Development Team 1
 assumed responsibility for the ADT mission in southeast Afghanistan from Nevada Army National Guard. Pictured is the command team of the 201st RSG
 ADT 1: Colonel Bill Williams III (center), and Command Sgt. Maj. Randall Parker (right). Georgia Army National Guard Archives.

The 201st RSG has deployed units and personnel multiple times since it was federally recognized as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 201st Quartermaster Battalion July 9, 2004 in Newnan, Ga.[1]. Fifty eight personnel of the 201st Headquarters Detachment were ordered into active federal service April 22, 2011 as Agribusiness Development Team 1[2]. With a command team of Col. Bill Williams III and Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Parker, ADT 1 assumed responsibility for the agribusiness development mission at Forward Operating Base Shank in Southeastern Afghanistan from the Nevada National Guard June 15, 2011. Agribusiness Development Team I returned home to Fort Gordon April 21, 2012[3] and was released from active federal service May 25, 2012.[4] They were replaced by ADT 2 which was composed of Georgia Guard Soldiers of the 265th Regional Support Group.


The 201st RSG provided the third and last of Georgia’s agribusiness development teams. ADT 3 and its 48 personnel were ordered into active federal service with the command team of Col. Barry Beach and Command Sgt. Major Melvin Dover January 3, 2013 at Fort Gordon[5],[6]. While ADT 3 was in Afghanistan, the 201st changed station to the Marietta-based Clay National Guard Center.[7] The station changing was prompted by a reorganization of the Georgia Guard which assigned the 201st RSG to headquarters command of the Region IV Homeland Response Force mission on October 1, 2013[8].


Returning to CNGC November 23, 2013, ADT 3 was released from active federal service February 6, 2014 and reverted to state control.[9] ADT 3 was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for “Exceptionally meritorious service during the period 15 January 2013 to 23 November 2013… The unit displayed outstanding performance in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.” [10]


FORT GORDON, Ga. August 15, 2015 - Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers of the 278th MP Company, 201st Regional Support Group establish
security on a landing zone while a UH-60 Medevac Black Hawk prepares to land. Photo by Capt. William Carraway

Also mobilized to Afghanistan in 2013 were more than 140 Soldiers of the Fort Gordon-based 278th Military Police Company. The Soldiers returned from Afghanistan in February 2014. The 278th had previously deployed to Iraq in 2008 while assigned to the Georgia National Guard’s 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.


The 248th Medical Company deployed more than 40 Soldiers to Egypt in June 2015. In the course of nine months, the 248th provided health services in support of multinational forces and observers. The 248th MED was again called to serve overseas in 2019, mobilizing with life-saving medical support capability in response to Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.


MARIETTA, Ga. January 21, 2017 - Brigadier General Tom Carden, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard talks speaks with Soldiers of the
Marietta-based 248th Medical Company during a unit training assembly. Photo by Capt. William Carraway.

Mobilizing overseas in 2021, the 138th Chemical Company provided chemical response support in South Korea while the 202nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company provided life-saving explosives ordnance response and disposal capability in support of Operation Spartan Shield.


The 138th CM CO (Area Support), 265th Chemical BN cased its guidon May 20, 2022 at Camp Humphreys, signifying a successful finish to their
deployment to the Republic of Korea. Photo courtesy of the 138th Chemical Company.

On July 15, 2018, Soldiers of the 201st mobilized to Iraq where they served as the Base Operating Support Integrator in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. The Soldiers returned April 23, 2019.[11]


In addition to providing trained units to support overseas combat operations, the 201st has repeatedly answered the call at home in response to natural disasters. When Winter Storm Leon and Pax struck Georgia communities in January and February 2014, units of the 201st RSG were called to active state service to assist stranded motorists and provide emergency response capabilities. In October 2015, more than 100 Soldiers of the 810th Engineer Company and 278th MP Company responded following unprecedented rainfall in South Carolina. The Soldiers, assisted by YCA cadets and State Defense Force volunteers, filled more than 9,000 sand bags for flood control operations[12].


HEPHZIBAH, Ga. October 4, 2015 - A Georgia Army National Guard engineer delivers a load of sandbags while Guardsmen of the 810th Engineer
Company and 278th Military Police Company fill sand bags in preparation for possible flooding. The Soldiers, along with Georgia State Defense Force
volunteers and Youth Challenge Academy Cadets filled more than 8,000 sandbags for use in the Augusta area. Photo by Capt. William Carraway.

When not actively responding to hurricanes such as Irma, Matthew and Michael in recent years, the 201st conducted multiple training missions to hone its response capability. In 2017, units of the 201st participated in Vigilant Guard 2017, culminating with search and rescue operations at the Perry Center, [13] where they conducted search and rescue operations in simulated rubble honing the skills necessary to respond to major earthquakes such as the one that struck Turkey in February 2023.


The Georgia National Guard hosted a ceremony February 4, 2019 for the personnel supporting Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. Service members from the
Georgia National Guard's 4th Civil Support Team worked alongside Puerto Rico, Washington, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
Minnesota National Guard and other state and federal agencies to ensure public safety. Georgia National Guard Archives.

Soldiers of the 201st were the first Georgia National Guardsmen called to extended active duty service in support of Georgia’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 in March 2020. Units of the 201st staffed infection control teams, operated COVID-19 test and immunization stations and provided trained medical support teams to augment hospitals across the state. In May 2020, the 201st RSG was called to support civil authorities in response to civil unrest in Atlanta in 2020 and augmented security during the presidential inauguration in Atlanta and Washington DC in January 2021.

[1] National Guard Bureau, OA 142-04, July 30, 2004.


[2] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 1A-10-135-008, May 15, 2010.


[3] William Carraway, “ADT Returns from Afghanistan,” The Georgia Guardsman, May 2012, 5-6.


[4] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 1A-10-135-008D, June 1, 2012.


[5] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 1A-12-144-011 (A1).


[6] William Carraway, “ADT Returns from Afghanistan.” The Georgia Guardsman, January-February 2013, 18


[7] National Guard Bureau, OA 902-13, November 19, 2013.


[8] Ga. DoD Ga. DoD Annual Report, 2013, (Atlanta: 2014), 17.


[9] William Carraway, “ADT 3 returned to the Clay National Guard Center.” The Georgia Guardsman, November 23, 2013.


[10] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 216-03, August 4, 2014.


[11] William Carraway, “Key Date Tracker”, Georgia National Guard History Office, unpublished manuscript (typescript).


[12] Ga. DoD, Ga. DOD Annual Report, 2015, (Atlanta: 2016),19.


[13] Ga. DoD, Ga. DoD Annual Report, 2017, (Atlanta: 2018),20.

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