National Guard Association of Tennessee Celebrating 100th Anniversary in Murfreesboro

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National Guard of Tennessee
The National Guard of Tennessee’s logo for their 100th Anniversary celebration (illustration by Rob Pennington)

This year, the National Guard Association of Tennessee celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding and hosts its annual conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro from February 23-25.

Nearly a thousand officers with the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard will meet in Murfreesboro to discuss the current state of the organization, how to better serve Tennesseans, and celebrate this historic milestone.

“For the last century, the association has been promoting and supporting our national defense, the welfare of Tennessee National Guard members, and building stronger relationships between the public and the National Guard,” said retired Col. Byron Deel, the NGATN Executive Director. “This year, our conference will highlight all of the good we have done for the state and how we will continue to improve those relationships and better serve and protect our communities.”

The National Guard Association of Tennessee is a non-profit organization created in 1924 to help promote and encourage legislation that would assist with the defense of Tennessee and the maintenance of its militia force. It also helped state leadership and the public understand the role of an organized militia following World War I.

“During the Great War, nearly the entire Tennessee National Guard was mobilized to fight in France with the American Expeditionary Forces,” said Lt. Col. Darrin Haas, the historian for the Tennessee Military Department. “When the ‘war to end all wars’ was over, some state leaders felt that there was no longer a need for the Guard and proposed to limit funding, not reconstitute deployed units, and even proposed to disband the Guard. Many retired and current military leaders knew that was a detriment to the public defense and organized the National Guard Association of Tennessee to build better relationships between the state and the communities the Guard serves.”

During the conference, there will be events to honor the anniversary and the association will continue developing ways to strengthen relationships between the Tennessee National Guard and Tennesseans.

“It is an important opportunity for National Guard leaders to share ideas and build strong relationships with other service members, civic leaders, and defense industry representatives,” said Deel. “We gather annually to discuss the status of our association and how to better serve the citizens in our communities.”

The association hosted a ribbon cutting to officially start the conference on Friday morning.