Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

Original artwork by Ken Hendrickson, a native Maine artist. Mixed Media. Oils on canvas and 20th Maine Flag photograph.

Like Maine itself, the Maine Army National Guard has the distinction of having existed as an organization prior to the existence of the United States itself, and yet not as a state until 1820. Its borders beset by the French and their American Indian allies, at odds with its own neighbor of Massachusetts, Maine was often at the frontlines of American history. As a consequence, Maine developed a population of strong-willed, independent, and innovative men and women.

These men and women have always stepped forward to defend home and hearth, from 1642 until this very day. The famous Maine spirit lives strong within its National Guard. Made up of men and women from local communities throughout the state, the Maine Army National Guard is truly a microcosm of Maine itself.

History has long been important to the military. The past provides lessons to be learned from and shows the way forward. By studying our history, we remember those who have gone before us and who have paid the ultimate sacrifice: giving their lives for their country.

The National Guard itself has a very distinct legacy in that it predates the United States, with a foundation date of 1636. It is the oldest military institution in the country and many of the organizations within the National Guard carry on the lineage of historic units.

The oldest unit in the Maine Army National Guard is the 133rd Engineer Battalion, with an unbroken line of service from 1760 to this very day. The battalion carries campaign honors from the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, World War I, World War II, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Other historic units include the 251st Engineer Company (1810), and 136th Engineer Company (1869).  The newest unit is the 146th Cyber Support Team in Augusta, organized in 2018.

The men and women of the Maine Army National Guard continue to serve in the proud tradition of their ancestors and will meet the challenges of the future with the same determination as those who went before them