MediaAdvisory: DNG Celebrates 360th Anniversary

Release Number: 010815

Delaware National Guard

250 Airport Road

New Castle, DE 19720

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Delaware National Guard celebrates 360th Anniversary

Anniversary celebration held at Fort Christina

On Monday, August 31st, the Delaware National Guard will celebrate their 360th Anniversary beginning at 10 a.m. at Fort Christina, 1110 East 7th Street, Wilmington, Del. The celebration is open to the public and the media are invited to attend.

Governor Jack Markell, Senator Tom Carper, and Senator Chris Coons will offer remarks at the celebration.

The Delaware National Guard, originally known as the militia, came into being on August 31, 1655. Delaware was under Swedish rule and an invading Dutch force was about to attack the Swedish Fort Christina. The commander of the fort organized Delaware's first militia by riding up and down the length of New Sweden, calling on the settlers to take up arms and defend the fort "in the name of the Queen."

Untrained as they were, the Swedish citizens-in-arms were no match for the Dutch force, but the occasion is significant as the first time in Delaware that the citizen-militia was called on to perform military service.

Several years later, under the Dutch, the militia was given a formal organization under officers. The Dutch system was taken over almost intact by the English when Delaware passed to the control of the Duke of York.

Since then, the Delaware National Guard has served admirably in every major conflict our nation has faced.

"I am honored to host an anniversary celebration to commemorate the formation of our Delaware National Guard," said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard. "Over the last 360 years the Guard has grown and evolved into the amazing force it is today."

For more information please contact Lt. Col. Len Gratteri at 302-540-0134 (leonard.a.gratteri.mil@mail.mil ) or 2nd Lt. Wendy McDougall at 302-270-0720 (wendy.m.mcdougall.mil@mail.mil ).

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