Browsing articles tagged with "The Old Guard Archives - Historic Fort Myer VIRGINIA"
Jun
5

Happy Birthday Fort Myer – Defending the Capital for 150 Years

hq ft myer 150x150 Happy Birthday Fort Myer   Defending the Capital for 150 YearsBeginning as Fort Whipple in 1863 as one of the Defenses of Washington, Fort Myer continues today in its original mission of defending Washington DC. Fort Marcy may have a sign on the George Washington Parkway… Fort Stevens has been partially reconstructed and preserved as is Fort Ward. But ONLY Fort Myer continues to defend with the celebrated Oldest Infantry Regiment in the US Army – the 3d — The Old Guard.

The acres have changed much in those century and a half. The drill field where hundreds of horses with mounted riders rode, kicking up dust or where the Wright Flyer flew overhead, the rustic trails where the troopers practiced their saber charge and trenches were dug to train for WW I and later where the Jeep from Bantam Car Company was tested and approved, are gone.

Where Rodney retired and a tribute to the US Army Remount Service was made with the movie “Keep ‘Em Rolling” – The first commercial movie filmed on Fort Myer, including the first instance of “caisson drag racing” on the drill field.

chapel arlington cantonment 150x114 Happy Birthday Fort Myer   Defending the Capital for 150 YearsSouth Post – Fort Myer where during WW II nearly 2000 WACs (Women’s Army Corps) lived and a complement of Soldiers who worked in the newly built Pentagon. Also the site of the “Troop Chapel” dedicated by Chief of Staff George Marshall – and then was duplicated 500 times across the US Army. The Military Police school called South Post home from the beginning.

US Army units that have called Fort Myer home have included numerous Cavalry Regiments – Capped off by the 3d - “Brave Rifles” and squadrons of the 9th and 10th – The “Buffalo Soldiers”. Home to the Signal Corps School where General Albert J Myer continued the use of the acres after the Civil War was over to teach the wig-wag system of signaling as well as the heliograph. The National Weather Service was born and developed on these historic acres with the needs promoting the exploration into aerial flight.

Alexander Graham Bell’s invention saw its first use among the US Army Signal Corps as the first long distance line ran between Fort Myer and their headquarters across the Potomac in Washington.

The mark of Patton … among each of his tours on Fort Myer,  General George S. Patton, Jr., he left an imprint that affected the US Army old post chapel 142x150 Happy Birthday Fort Myer   Defending the Capital for 150 Yearsand or the Post, from the Society Circus, to the iconic “Old Post Chapel”  - the design borrowed by the US Navy.   Patton Hall, known to most as “the O Club” is a standing tribute recognizing his contributions to Fort Myer.

Even the US Navy left an imprint upon the acres when it erected the first radio towers, “The Three Sisters” which enabled communication with the fleet and capability to communicate with Europe and across the United States.

Fort Myer is home to the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” since the 1940s.  The other long time resident unit is the 3d Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard”.   Together. they form a partnership to perform all the ceremonial duties and events within the National Capital Region – the most honorable among those duties and events is the support for the final honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Whipple, Myer, Patton, Marshall, Pershing are only a few of the names that are among those who over the years set their mark on the Arlington Heights acres.

Happy Birthday Fort Myer!

PS …  You too can own an autographed copy of the book “Images of America – Fort Myer” … The First Book About this Historic US Army Post.  It contains over 200 “timeless historic photographs” which chronicle the first 100 years of the Post.made in usa 150x150 Happy Birthday Fort Myer   Defending the Capital for 150 Years

Jan
19

Happy Birthday Blackjack !

Some 65 years ago on 19 January 1947  from the US Army’s Quartermaster – Remount Service came a foal that would become one of the most famed and visible horses that ever came from the service’s four decades of operation.

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Sep
25

He Bought the Book

We were sent this message and here in his own words is the reaction to the book about Historic Fort Myer:

Recently I purchased a copy of John Michael’s outstanding book, “Images of America: Fort Myer”, where he is recounting the history of Fort Myer, Virginia, a military outpost, if you will, that is bathed in American Military history.

His work is truly a mini-museum laid out before you on 127 pages, that are filled with photographs, and I mean priceless photographs, and reinforced with factual information relating to the chronological events that not only shaped America, but its Army.

I couldn’t begin to share with you all that I read and saw within the pages of the magnificent book, because I don’t think I could do it it justice. John Michael has truly poured his heart into his prose, and I personally believe that if you are either a history buff, or a Soldier who has once served on this Post of Generals, this book needs to be in your library, with many a “dog eared” page.

Bernie Bernwall (Wilson)
Author of “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?”
And, And, veteran of The Old Guard of the US Army, 3d Infantry Regiment”

Get a copy of Bernie’s book from Amazon:

 He Bought the Book He Bought the Book

May
18

Brave Rifles – The First “President’s Own”

2d Squadron Brave Rifles 300x225 Brave Rifles   The First Presidents Own
“AI-EE-YAH!” the Regimental Battle Cry of the Brave Rifles announced their arrival…
It was 1919, World War I was over and those who went  “Over there…” began to return home to the United States.  The 3d Cavalry Regiment came home to Boston with Headquarters and 1st Squadrons moving onto Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont.
Fort Myer would then receive 3d Squadron, but it would be re-designated 2d Squadron when the 3d Squadron was deactivated.   Over the next two plus decades, the troopers of 2d Squadron would  defend the nation’s capital and also be called upon to provide ceremonial support – honor guards and escorts for visiting dignitaries, final honors support within Arlington National Cemetery which earned them the title of the “President’s Own” for their service.

Escort to First Unknown Soldier

In 1921 when the first unknown was laid to rest within Arlington National Cemetery near the amphitheater, the “Brave Rifles” provided the ceremonial escort.  It was the regimental bugler, Staff Sergeant Frank Witchey, who would sound TAPS at the ceremony.  Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were provided by the 3d Cavalry until 1941.

Display of Skills and Talents

brave rifles saddle blanket Brave Rifles   The First Presidents Own

Saddle Blanket Insignia

Over the years while at Fort Myer, the troopers of the “Brave Rifles” would delight and entertain the residents of Washington DC with their excellent horsemanship skills and talents during horseshows, polo matches and  the Society Circus.  The latter  is an event that has evolved into today’s Spirit of America hosted by the US Army and executed by the US Army’s 3d Infantry Regiment - “The Old Guard” and The US Army Band - “Pershing’s Own” within the Washington DC area and several US cities.
The “Brave Rifles” would ultimately relinquish their horses and leave Fort Myer in February 1942.  They would head to Georgia – Fort Ogelthorpe first then onto Fort Benning to get mechanized in preparation to deploy during World War II.
“Images of America – Fort Myer” which is based on over two years of research, contains over 200 historical photographs that presents the first one hundred years of this US Army Post with origins during the US Civil War when it was known as Fort Whipple.
Apr
6

Sixty Three Years Ago

TOG COA 171x300 Sixty Three Years Ago

The date 06 APRIL is a significant milestone in Fort Myer history, for it was on that day in 1948 that one of the most historic and oldest infantry regiments within the US Army would be re-activated after World War II and call this historic US Army Post home.  The regiment, like many after World War II, was inactivated, however there was a major need  for a unit to provide for the defense of the National Capital of Washington DC while also providing  ceremonial support.  Military District of Washington did have a cermonial company to provide for ceremonial company that did ceremonies.  So when the US Army’s  3d Infantry Regiment was reactivated, they were included within the regiment.

The 3d Infanry of the US Army, also known as The Old Guard, a name given to them by General Winfield Scott can trace its beginnings to the United States revolution with the date of its origination of JUNE 1784.  From the start, the regiment has served and fought valiantly to protect and defend the United States.

Since its beginnings, the 3d has fought in

  • War of 1812
  • Mexican-American War 
  • American Civil War 
  • Indian Wars
  • Spanish-American War
  • Philippine-American War
  •  World War II  
  • Vietnam
  •  Iraq War

So it was 06 APR 1948 when the US Army 3d Infantry Regiment was reactivated on the steps of the US Capitol and then took up home at Fort Myer.  Known also as “The Escort to the President” – The Old Guard is the primaryunit within Presidential Inaugurations and state funerals.

Nostalgic Video

The video below, courtesy of the US Army, provides an historic look back in time to about 1955.  Accompanied by the US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own”, it shows the dual mission which the Old Guard continues until today.

Within Arlington National Cemetery, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded day and night all year round by Sentinels who are carefully selected and trained as Tomb Guards from this regiment.  Over the years, the regiment has added several distinguished specialty platoons / companies to address the ceremonial needs of the Military District of Washington and the US Army.  These include:

  • The Presidential Salute Battery
  • The Caisson Platoon
  • The Continental Color Guard
  • The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
  • The US Army Drill  Team
  • The Commander-in-Chief’s Guard

In the book “Images of America – Fort Myer”  many historic photographs of the 3d Infantry Regiment are displayed along with many more about Fort Myer.   

Note:  06 APRIL was officially designated as Army Day by Congress.  The last one that was celebrated nationally was in 1949.

Please feel free to comment and share.

Mar
3

The Custis-Lee Estate

The Custis-Lee Estate consisted of 1,100 acres of land which from the high ground, one has a panoramic view of the nation’s Capital.   That still is the LOC 07322r 300x237 The Custis Lee Estatecase when one stands in front of Arlington House, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion or on what is currently  Whipple Field within present day Fort Myer it was the site of Fort Whipple.  According to sources, the high ground originally consisted of orchards.

Those 1,100 acres also contained some great flatland near the Potomac River where the Custis-Lee’s farmed growing crops for use within the estate and to sell in the neighboring City of Alexandria and markets within Washington DC.

The book “Images of America – Fort Myer” contains over 200 historic photographs that provide an insight to this outstanding US Army Post with orgins from the Custis-Lee estate built during the US Civil War and first known as Fort Whipple.

Please sign up below to get announcements of more in-depth views and insights about Historic Fort Myer, Virginia

Mar
2

Fort Myer – Virginia…

MG Albert J  Myer 236x300 Fort Myer   Virginia...

MG Albert J. Myer

When most people hear the name Fort Myer, they don’t think Virginia, but a place much further south in the United States.  

The other location is an attractive place for tourism and nearby beaches with palm trees on the Gulf of Mexico.   This other location WAS an US Army Fort built in 1850 as a military fort in response to Seminole Indians that were in conflict with the area’s few settlers.

So the confusion continues… perhaps once people begin reading the book “Images of America – Fort Myer” they’ll get a better understanding that Fort Myer is in Virginia   (first named Fort Whipple during the US Civil War) and is home to the US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own”, the US Army’s 3d Infantry Regiment – “The Old Guard”. The fort  is located right next to Arlington National Cemetery.  It was named after General Albert J. Myer, the US Army’s first Signal Officer, the inventor of the wig-wag signaling method  (the insignia of the US Army Signal Corps are a pair of crossed Wig-Wag Flags), who also started the National Weather Service.

Today, Fort Myer, Virginia with over a century of service to the United States of America is as an outstanding US Army Post, defending the Nation’s Capital – Washington, DC with origins during the US Civil War.   Many more events and people who were stationed there have had major influences on the United States and the world.

Please sign up for more- info, history and announcements …  see the form on this page.  You can also buy the book,  “Images of America – Fort Myer”

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