Michigan's Early Organized Militias Pre-dating the state, Michigan's first militia was organized at Detroit. The Michigan National Guard's proud history of service to state and nation is built on these humble beginnings.
The War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War In the War of 1812, Michigan militiamen fought for the United States. Hardship during the march to the Mississippi took its toll on Michigan's participation in the Black Hawk War.
The Toledo War Long before the war-of-words ever started between Wolverine and Buckeye fans...before Michigan football, or even a State of Michigan, Michigan's territorial militia marched toward the Ohio border prepared for battle in 1835.
The Patriot War Following the Toledo War and statehood, a band of U.S citizens attempted to gain control of part of Canada, then under British control. Michigan's militia became involved and played a role in keeping Canada intact.
War with Mexico Michigan's military served to protect the state and in the battle area during the war with Mexico. The conflict raged from 1846 until 1848.
The Civil War President Lincoln exclaimed "Thank God for Michigan!" when told of the arrival of the First Michigan Volunteers in answer to his call for troops at the start of the Civil War. Eventually, 23% of Michigan's male population would fight for the Union cause.
Post-Civil War Spurred on by the events of the Franco-Prussian War, the state legislature formed the Michigan State Troops.
World War I National Guardsmen from Michigan and Wisconsin formed the 32nd "Red Arrow" Division, so named because of their quick advances through German lines.
Labor Troubles in Flint The Governor called on the Michigan National Guard to help restore order in Flint in the wake of labor disputes there.
Preparing for World War II The U.S. military underwent a major reorganization in 1940. Under these auspices, several Michigan National Guard units were mobilized for training. They did not return home until 1945-46.
32nd "Red Arrow" Infantry Division in WWII Michigan and Wisconsin National Guard soldiers were the first U.S. troops to see combat during World War II. Units of the 32nd hold the record for most days in continuous contact with the enemy during the war.
1279th Combat Engineers Michigan's only all-African-American unit set a record during the Korean War that still stands today.
Interesting Michigan Military History
The Brady Guards Named for Hugh Brady, a U.S. Army general, the Brady Guards became Michigan's oldest military organization.