Today marks a historic day in our state. The South Dakota National Guard, comprised of the Army and Air National Guard, is celebrating 155 years of service to our state and nation.

At the time of the Guard's formation, the then Dakota Territory was being settled by mostly German, Swedish, and Norwegian immigrants. Once the Civil War broke out, troops stationed at Fort Randall were withdrawn to fight the Confederacy.

Photo Courtesy SD National Guard
Photo Courtesy SD National Guard
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To fill the gap, Territorial Governor William Jayne called for volunteers to create two companies of citizen soldiers. The first of which, Company A of the Dakota Cavalry, was formed in Yankton on January 27, 1862.

The South Dakota Air National Guard was federally recognized in 1946 and is currently headquarters to the 114th Fighter Wing.

Waiting for big brother
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Caycee Cook
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Since that day the SDNG has seen combat in the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, Operation Just Cause, and Operation Desert Storm.

Since September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, all 22 of the National Guard communities has had a unit mobilization, deploying over 7,800 men and women.

Photo Courtesy SD National Guard
Photo Courtesy SD National Guard
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