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Capital Guardians in the Storm

Military Police were one of the most heavily mobilized branches of the National Guard during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They processed and guarded tens of thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war captured during that short, victorious conflict, conducted security operations, maintained law and order, and controlled both military and civilian traffic. Families of Bedouins carrying all their worldly possessions on an ancient truck were not an uncommon sight in the desert, and searching their vehicles could be a lengthy process.

Thirty states - Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia - as well as the territory of Guam and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico all provided Military Police units during the war. But the contingent of military police from the District of Columbia, three companies and a battalion headquarters detachment, was particularly noteworthy given the size of the DC Guard. When included with the Transportation company and Medical hospital also mobilized for the war, some 60 percent of the DC Army National Guard was deployed to Southwest Asia.

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 372nd Military Police Battalion, was attached to the 14th Military Police Brigade served in a combat support role within VII Corps. It commanded both active Army and Army National Guard MP companies. A proud unit composed largely of African-Americans, it traces its history back to 1802 and carries campaign streamers from the War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and both World Wars. For its participation in Operation Desert Storm, the 372nd MP Battalion added two more campaign streamers to the seventeen already displayed on its battalion colors.

Copyright Notice

Images of these paintings may also be used for educational purposes with an appropriate permission statement, such as: "[name of painting], a National Guard Heritage Painting by [name of artist], courtesy the National Guard Bureau." The U.S. Government retains all copyrights to these paintings. No commercial use is authorized without prior approval.