House Joint Resolution No. 22

Introduced By pavlovich, galvin, quilici, harrington, tropila, menahan, ryan, j. johnson

A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana commemorating the 130th anniversary of Montana's Military experience and recognizing all persons who have in the past been in or who are currently in service to the Nation and State.

WHEREAS, on July 14, 1867, Montana Territorial Governor Green Clay Smith issued General Order No. 1 in Virginia City, officially authorizing the organization of Montana volunteer forces and formally naming them the First Regiment of Montana Volunteers; and

WHEREAS, the Montana volunteers, including a volunteer cavalry regiment, were initially the Montana Territorial Volunteers and were mustered by Territorial Secretary Thomas Meagher while serving as Acting Governor in 1867 during Governor Smith's absence; and

WHEREAS, on July 27, 1877, Montana Territorial Governor Benjamin F. Potts issued a proclamation that authorized activation of volunteers, called the Montana Territorial Volunteer Militia; and

WHEREAS, in 1885, House Bill No. 20 passed, authorizing the organization of a national guard for the territory, and the First Montana Infantry, National Guard, mustered its first company in Virginia City; and

WHEREAS, because the need for a State Militia was recognized, the Montana Infantry Regiment was reorganized as the Montana National Guard, effected under the Territorial Legislative Act entitled "An Act to Organize and Regulate the Militia, Approved March 10, 1887"; and

WHEREAS, on May 2, 1898, Montana was authorized to raise volunteers for a regiment of infantry, the 1st Montana Infantry Regiment volunteered as United States Volunteers, and under the command of Colonel Harry C. Kessler, the regiment served in the Spanish-American War and subsequently the Philippine Insurrection, in 1898-99, in which it participated in seven major battles as part of the overall command of Major General Arthur MacArthur; and

WHEREAS, the 2nd Montana Infantry, as successor to the 1st, participated in the Mexican Border Conflict in 1916, and under the command of Colonel "Dynamite" Dan J. Donohue, its mission was to protect border towns and U.S. holdings along the Arizona border; and

WHEREAS, the 2nd Montana Infantry, on August 5, 1917, was redesignated as the 163rd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division, and went on to fight in World War I along with many fellow Montanans who volunteered or were conscripted to serve, and according to Joseph Kinsey Howard, "In World War I, more Montana boys marched away in proportion to population than any other state and more than any other state, proportionately, would never march anywhere again...."; and

WHEREAS, the 163rd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division, responded to the call of 1 year of duty on September 16, 1940, which turned into 5 years of military service during World War II, and of the regiment, Joseph Kinsey Howard said, "In World War II as in World War I, Montanans were quick to enlist, and they were healthy.... on the home front Montana also had the record of oversubscribing in 8 World War II Savings Bond drives"; and

WHEREAS, Montana men and women have proudly served the nation and state in the forgotten Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, and the Cold War; and

WHEREAS, in 1991, the Montana National Guard served the nation as represented by the 103rd Public Affairs Detachment in Southwest Asia during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, along with other Montanans serving in the active and reserve components; and

WHEREAS, in 1996, the 103rd Public Affairs Team served in peace enforcement duties as a part of Operation Joint Endeavor, along with active and reserve component service members from Montana; and

WHEREAS, the fine tradition of service to Montana and the United States is ably demonstrated by the nearly 100,000 Montana veterans who have participated in all branches of the service during the past 130 years, and veterans continue to contribute their strength to Montana by providing leadership in business, government, and industry and continue to add value to Montana; and

WHEREAS, the Montana Military Museum, located at Fort William Henry Harrison, has as a goal to tell the story of Montana's military experience.


That the Legislature recognize the many Montanans who have served in the past and who currently serve to make Montana and the United States a better place.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature declare that 1997-99 be recognized as the Commemorative Years of the Montana Veteran and encourage that expressions of recognition be afforded

to veterans.