The Old Guard Association
(3d U.S. Infantry Regiment)
Dear Old Guard Soldiers, Vets, family, and friends,
Several things come to mind as I write to you this holiday season. I’ll try not to dwell on the hurdles of 2020 too much. That’s not what I want this message to be about. But truth be told, it’s been a factor for all of us. I hope you’ve been able to navigate the challenges with minimal difficulty.
You can imagine how hard it’s been for COL Roddy and CSM Brooks this year to keep the Regiment mission-ready while also keeping the Soldiers safe with social distancing and the rest. Adding to the mix was the civil unrest in DC and now the Inaugural approaching. There are many other examples of how they had to respond or pick up the slack. For example, did you know they placed 250,000+ wreaths in ANC recently? I heard that made Flags In seem like a party by comparison. Our Regiment has always answered the call but I say “Hooah!” for the efforts this year under extraordinary circumstances. I also want to take this opportunity to thank RSM Brooks for his many years of service as he prepares to transition into civilian life. We’ve been so fortunate to have him as a senior leader the past two years. We’ll miss him. And, welcome to RSM Whittington! We wish him all the best.
TOGA has already been making plans for the 2021 Reunion. We intend to launch registration in January. Keep an eye on our website at www.oldguard.org for the latest information. Put September 15-19 on your calendar. Contact your TOG buddies and get them to attend too. We’ll share details soon. Join us!
Active-duty Soldiers of the Regiment: Please also keep an eye on our website. The TOGA Board of Directors recently approved a new and exciting program to directly support you.
Speaking of our website, TOGA is looking for a volunteer to manage our website content. We have a great webmaster for all the technical aspects but need someone who can keep the site fresh and assist with the dissemination and posting of information. Use our contact us link if you can help. https://www.oldguard.org/contact-us/
On behalf of the TOGA Board of Directors, our volunteer Action Officers, and staff, I wish you all a blessed holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year.
Flip Godfrey, President
September 11, 2020 — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reopened the registration period for veterans claiming an Economic Impact Payment. Individuals who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement, or certain Veterans benefits – but didn’t receive the $500 payment per child earlier this year – can still file for the $500 payment. You must file by Wednesday, September 30 or wait until next year.
Recent events bring to mind whether The Old Guard has ever been called out in support of civil authorities—to help defend government property or quell domestic disturbances. Here is a brief overview. Thanks to OldGuardHistory.com for much of the information below. For more, follow the links provided and visit the OldGuardHistory.com blog.
In 1877, during the Great Railroad Strike, President Rutherford B. Hayes ordered Federal troops to assist. The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment, stationed at that time in Louisiana, was called in to help quiet down riots in affected areas of Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. The Federal actions taken during the Railroad Strike led to passage in the following year of the Posse Comitatus Act, which specifically forbade the Army from enforcing domestic policy. (see Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and Posse Comitatus Act)
During the 1967 “March on the Pentagon,” the 3d Infantry was part of a defense force organized to control demonstrations against the war in Vietnam in Washington D.C. Apparently, elements of The Old Guard were specifically assigned to the White House and Capitol, but it is not clear whether they were deployed or only placed on alert. As an incidental note, the Army Chief of Staff at the time was General Harold K. Johnson, a former member of the Old Guard. He was a 2LT in the Regiment in 1917, and was a Bataan Death March survivor in World War II. (see National Mobilization Committee)
The 1968 riots in Washington following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. precipitated deployment of some Old Guard companies into the streets of Washington for riot control. (see 1968 Riots)
Finally, The Old Guard was deployed in response to the 1971 May Day demonstrations in Washington, D.C. based on its mission of defense of the White House. Nearly the entire battalion was transported to the Treasury Building, adjacent to the White House, for more than 24 hours waiting for a possible call to action. (see 1971 May Day Protests)
Attention, all former Old Guard members! Please comment below and share your own recollections and photos of the events mentioned above or other times when The Old Guard was called out to support civil authorities. Thanks!