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America's Oldest Military Unit in Continuous Operation Dates Back to 1771

(Photo: Connecticut National Guard Foundation)

Pictured above are a few of the members of the First Company of the Governor's Foot Guard of the Connecticut State Militia. It is now a ceremonial unit. But when it was formed in 1771--while Connecticut was a colony, not a state--it was trained and equipped to protect the Governor and capital city of Hartford.

In 1775, then Patriot leader Benedict Arnold led a mob into the Foot Guard's armory, demanding arms necessary to raise a second company to defend the state against the British menace.

(Video Link)

Aside from brief and uneventful deployments during the American Revolutionary War, the Governor's Foot Guard has maintained a quiet and peaceful existence. The members march in parades in old style uniforms and offer military honors at appropriate events. They do, however, remain a part of the military forces maintained by the State of Connecticut and so are hypothetically subject to more hazardous duties. Presumably these infantrymen might be accompanied by the Governor's Horse Guard, which is Connecticut's horse cavalry force.

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