Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
The California National Guard Reserve
CNGR: Real Enthusiasm Keeps This Outfit In Shape
The following artilce appeared in the November-December edition of the 40th Armored Division's magazine, The Grizzly.
The socaIled "militia clause" of the U. S. Constitution gives the people the right to keep and bear arms. This right takes the form of maintenance of the National Guard by the various states.

But when the whistle blows, the drum beats, and the bugle blares the National Guard promptly shoulders arms and marches off.

And at that point the people are no longer exercising their right to keep and bear arms and, on top of that, they no longer have the military muscle to back up the civil processes of state government.

It wasn't until World War I that anything was done to fill the void left when National Guard armories were emptied of their men and equipment. The Home Guard came into being at " that time as strictly a state force subject only to the orders of the governor.

Home Guard Disbanded

Although the Home Guard was disbanded after the war, a good many realists felt there might be need for it again and in 1938, while Messrs Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo were making military noises, what was called the State Guard came to life in California.

It too was strictly a state force but that it was doing an effective job is proved by the fact that within a relatively few hours of the Pearl Harbor bombing the California State Guard had placed its 10,000 man·force in the field guarding vital instaIlations--harbors, dams, bridges, power plants and stations... all of the saboteur's delights.

State Guard Disbanded

As the urgent need for drastic security measures slacked off troops were relieved and went back to drilling once a week. In 1947 the State Guard wound up its business.

That potential void still bothered a good many of these individuals so -without a legal leg to stand on the 40th Division Reserve came into being as successor of the State Guard.

The outfit rocked along under its own steam, with some help from the 40th in the way of advice and counsel and armory space. Meantime Reservists, who seem to know their way around the halls of the legislature and who don't know when to quit, promoted formal establishment of the California Defense and Security Corps. This was in 1950.

Because of this cumbersome name's obvious conflict with Civil Defense, the following year the legislature changed it to California National Guard Reserve.

About that time the local team became the 1st Division, CNGR, a designation that lasted until last July when it was reorganized under a brigade T/0 and became the 1st Brigade, CNGR, with headquarters directly under General Eaton's office at the Hope Street armory.

In the process of this conversion some small or inactive units were eliminated. Others were consolidated into Battalions. Battalions became independent of the Groups which formerly had been charged with their administration. Some armories were vacated, while others gained in the number of Reservists.

The sum total of the conversion and reorganization is a new, streamlined, and more flexible organization to be trained and prepared for its missions under the California Emergency Plan.

Guiding this band of never-say-die enthusiasts is Maj Gen Ivan L Foster, a retired Regular officer who at one time was senior advisor of the 40th.

Currently 1st Brig, CNGR, three groups and 12 separate battalions are in 40th armories in Inglewood, Manhattan Beach, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Arcadia, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, and El Centro.


To the surprise of everyone except the sharp-eyed and trigger-steady noncommissioned officers concerned, when the last shot had been fired and the final scores tallied at the State Championship Rifle Matches, held at Irvine Range, Sgt Jack L Murrell and M/ Sgt Gerald R Cherry, 11th Bn, CNGR, had walked off with second and fourth places respectively. In fact, three of the first four places in the Individual Matches were captured by Reservists.

Sergeant Murrell is a San Diego county surveyor in civil life. His prior service consists of six months in the California State Guard in 1945-46, Sergeant in AUS, 1946-47, Sergeant in CAL NG, 1950 to 1953. He joined the National Guard Reserve in March of this year and has proven himself to be an invaluable member.

Master Sergeant Cherry, father of three children, is employed by Convair, in San Diego. At the age of nineteen, he enlisted in the Marines, in which he served until April 1948, when he received a medical discharge. Meanwhile, however, he earned a succession of promotions, until in 1944, he was promoted to Tech Sergeant. He enlisted in the 11th Battalion of the CNGR early this year.


As part of the parade and ceremonies which marked the close of the Brigade-wide Assembly and Rifle Match held at the Ontario Armory late in October, Col N 0 Thomas, special assistant to the Adjutant General, presented the Medal of Merit to Brig Cen Azro J Maxham, Brig executive officer, and to Lt Col George T Rhodine, adjutant and active duty administrative officer. Both were cited for long and faithful service with the old 1st Div and the new 1st Brig.

Lowe to AD

Lt Col Sherman L Lowe was ordered to full time active duty as training and supply supervisor for the Brigade. After spending two weeks at Camp Roberts with the 1st Composite Group, CAL NG, Colonel Lowe assumed his new duties at Brigade Hq. In his reserve capacity, Colonel Lowe is brigade operations officer (S-3) , after having served for a year and a half as G3 of the 1st Division.

In private life, Colonel Lowe, whose military career dates back to 1917, is a motion picture, television and magazine writer. "Ramar of the Jungle," which starred Jon Hall on television, was originated and mainly written by this officer.

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