Missouri’s National Guard is getting something it has not had for 33 years.
The Guard’s last infantry company was phased out in 19-74 as the Guard gained a greater engineering focus in Missouri. But now it’s forming a new 810-member infantry battalion that will be headquartered in Kansas City with units in seven other cities. Its creation will force adjustments in units in five other places.
Guard spokesman Tammy Spicer says a lot of young men who want to join the Guard want to join the infantry. "If you think about joining the military, most people’s first thought are of the infantryman," she says.
The unit is not likely to ship out for some time. Spicer says it will not be completely formed until 20-10.
The Pentagon is allowing the Missouri Guard to form the Infantry unit and a medical administrative unit because it has exceeded all of its recruiting goals. The Missouri Guard strength is more than 100 percent for both the Army and the Air Guard. The Missouri Army and Air Guard total force is about 8,600.
The addition of the new units will increase total strength to about 9,500.