CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, March 28, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1339, a bill to amend title 32, United States Code, the body of laws of the United States dealing with the National Guard, to recognize the City of Salem, Massachusetts, as the Birthplace of the National Guard of the United States, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced by Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) on April 1, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Armed Services.
The legislation would amend section 102 of title 32, United States Code, to provide the following: “Recognition of Salem, Massachusetts, as National Guard Birthplace - The City of Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the first muster of a militia regiment in 1637 in what became the United States, is hereby recognized as the Birthplace of the National Guard of the United States.”
According to the findings stated in the legislation, in 1629, Captain John Endicott organized the first militia in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Salem. At the time, the colonists had adopted the English militia system, which required all males between the ages of 16 and 60 to possess arms and participate in the defense of the community.
Later, in 1636, the Massachusetts General Court ordered the organization of three militia regiments, designated as the North, South, and East regiments. These regiments drilled once a week and provided guard details each evening to sound the alarm in case of attack.
The East Regiment, the predecessor of the 101st Engineer Battalion, assembled as a regiment for the first time in 1637 on the Salem Common, marking the beginning of the Massachusetts National Guard and the National Guard of the United States. Since 1785, Salem's own Second Corps of Cadets (101st and 102nd Field Artillery) has celebrated the anniversary of that first muster.
As the policy contained in section 102 of title 32, United States Code, clearly expresses, the National Guard continues its historic mission of providing units for the first line defense of the United States and current missions throughout the world.
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate for this bill.