History of the WVARNG

The West Virginia National Guard traces its heritage to the 1735 militia company established in Berkeley County by Morgan Morgan. Originally formed for protection against Indian raids, militia units were quickly mobilized when necessary in war time. Militia units provided frontier service in the French and Indian War and during Dunmore’s War. Men from Western Virginia fought on all fronts in the Revolutionary War. During the War of 1812, Western Virginia militia units took part in the Northwest campaigns, and one company of Cabell County troops fought alongside Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Cabell, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties provided infantry regiments for service in the Mexican War of 1846-1848.

During the Civil War, West Virginia provided some 40,000 men for service in both Northern and Southern forces. Many enlisted in the regiments of bordering states, especially Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These troops primarily saw service on West Virginia soil or in the Valley of Virginia. Federal and Confederate units from West Virginia were present at both the first land battle of the war at Philippi and at the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.

A few ceremonial and social militia companies were formed after the Civil War, but the state did nothing to encourage their formation. Although violence during the Railroad Strike of 1877 led industrialists to plead for more militia companies, organization of the militia continued to be slow due to a lack of popular and legislative support. However, national labor problems and the formation of the National Guard Association as a lobbying group resulted in federal legislation that furnished funding and material for Guard companies. In 1889, the West Virginia legislature renamed the militia the West Virginia National Guard and provided state support. The First Infantry Regiment was organized in northern West Virginia and the Second Infantry Regiment in southern West Virginia.

In 1898, the two regiments were merged into one for service in the Spanish-American War. The First West Virginia Volunteer Infantry was stationed in Georgia. Later, another regiment was formed, the Second West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, which served in Pennsylvania during the war.

The militia or National Guard was activated for service in areas of labor unrest in 1877, 1880, 1894, 1902, and 1912. Though there were hundreds of strikes during this period, most were controlled by local police authorities. When this failed, troops were called to duty. The most prolonged service took place in 1902 when a national coal strike brought miners out in the New River Gorge, and in 1912–13 when miners struck for union recognition on Paint and Cabin creeks in Kanawha County. Martial law was declared for the strike zone in 1912, and miners and mine guards were sentenced to prison for various violations. ‘‘Mother’’ Jones was among those brought before the court-martial.

In 1916, the West Virginia National Guard was activated in response to President Woodrow Wilson’s call for troops to pursue Pancho Villa on the Mexican border. Again, the regiments were merged and the Second West Virginia Volunteer Infantry was sent to the border. After several months the unit returned home, only to be federalized within weeks for service in World War I. The Second Regiment and a newly recruited First Regiment were absorbed into the 38th Infantry Division. The Second Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 150th Infantry while the First Regiment was broken up into support units. The 150th Infantry landed in Europe at the end of the war and saw no action in that conflict.

Following World War I, the 150th and 201st Infantry Regiments were organized in southern and northern West Virginia, respectively. These units were federalized in January 1941 as President Franklin D. Roosevelt prepared the nation for war. The 150th spent World War II defending the Panama Canal while the 201st provided the first line of defense for the Aleutian Islands. The National Guard was dramatically changed after World War II. Artillery units, transportation, and engineering units were added to the 150th Infantry Regiment. Probably the biggest change, however, was the addition of a combat fighter squadron, bringing an important aviation component to the Guard.

Since World War II, the Army and Air National Guard has served in a number of capacities, lending aid to West Virginians during natural disasters caused by periodic flooding and to victims of the coal refuse dam break on Buffalo Creek in 1972. As part of its military mission, elements of the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard were activated for duty during the Korean War, the war in Vietnam, the Gulf War of 1991, the Iraq War, in support of the peacekeeping mission to Bosnia in 1997–98, and more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The West Virginia National Guard was mobilized more frequently after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, than at any other time in its history. Elements of the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard served in action in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

111th Engineer Brigade

111th Engineer Brigade

The 111th Engineer “Black Diamond” Brigade provides command and control of three battalions; The 1092nd Engineer Battalion located in Parkersburg, WV, the 771st Troop Command Battalion located in Gassaway, WV and the 772nd Aviation Troop Command Battalion located in Williamstown, WV, and is responsible for the planning and execution of engineer projects.

Subordinate units of the 1092nd Engineer Battalion: 1092nd HHC, 1092nd FSC, 115th Vertical Construction Co., 922nd Engineer Utilities Det.,

Subordinate units of the 777nd Troop Command (Aviation) include: Det. 3, Co. B, 642nd Aviation Intermediate Maintenance; Co. C, 1-150th Assault Battalion; Co. C, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion; Det. 1, Co. b, 1-224th Security & Support Aviation Battalion; and Det. 28 Operational Support Airlift Activity

Subordinate units of the 771st Troop Command Battalion include: 3664th Support Maintenance Co., 753rd Explosive Ordnance Co., 863rd Military Police Co., 157th Military Police Co., 156th Military Police Co., and 1935th Contingency Contracting Team

77th Troop Brigade

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The 77th Brigade Troop Command is located in Glen Jean, West Virginia. The headquarters provides leadership, support, command and control to three combat arms battalion elements composed of over 1,500 Soldiers assigned from across every community of West Virginia.

The Brigade’s subordinate units include: 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery; 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment; and 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) 

197th Regional Training Institute

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The 197th Regional Training Institute provides institutional training based on the collective requirements identified by National Guard Bureau for Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and active component in support of the Army’s modular force. The RTI also provides coordinating authority, quality assurance, scheduling, and accreditation oversight for functionally aligned units. The RTI provides operational, training, administrative, logistical, and resource management support as required to accomplish the mission to train the Army Warrior within each respective state or territory as specified and approved by the The Adjutant General. The unit is headquartered at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, West Virginia.

Medical Detachment

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The WVNG's Medical Detachment plans, programs, provides, and sustains health force protection and medical/dental support to ensure medical readiness, operations, training, mobilization, and demobilization of West Virginia Army National Guard units. The unit is headquartered in South Charleston, West Virginia.

Army Interagency Training & Education Center (AITEC)


The AITEC has two distinct missions; Directly support the 54 states, territories and District of Columbia and governmental agencies that form the nation’s 10 Homeland Response Forces and 17 CBRN Enhanced Response Forces through training courses and exercise evaluations and conduct mission based risk assessments on critical national defense assets.  This includes critical infrastructure assets in the U.S. and abroad.


Fixed Wing Army Aviation Training Site (FWAATS)

The Fixed Wing Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (FWAATS) operates out of the North Central West Virginia (Benedum/Clarksburg) Airport and is the U.S. Army’s only military-operated fixed wing training site. The FWAATS instructs courses in multiple fixed wing air frames, including all variants of the Beechcraft C-12 Huron, and the Fairchild C-26 Metroliner. Other courses include the C-12/C-26 Aviator Transition Course, the Instructor Pilot Standardization and Qualification Course, the Maintenance Test Pilot (MTP) Course, and the C-12R Recurrent Training Course.

Special Operations Detachment - Europe

The Special Operations Detachment – Europe is based at Camp Dawson W.Va, and is tasked with supporting the United States Special Operations Command – Europe.  The SOD-E’s primary mission is to provide command and control of Special Operations Forces under the command of SOCEUR.