The Connecticut National Guard’s longest serving cavalry unit still serves today. Two hundred years of service of escorting the Governor and many other duties, including being called up to serve during wartime in Europe.
With severe budget cuts in the military, all units keep doing “more with less” and that includes the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard (2GHG). While they stand at the ready to receive the call to action for local emergencies, their mission is not strictly military in nature. The 2GHG’s mission from their website:
Our primary mission is to serve the Governor and the State of Connecticut as a dress and ceremonial Unit of the Connecticut Army National Guard. 2GHG is also dedicated to community service and preserving the traditions of the Cavalry in Connecticut. Troopers ride in 1928 McClellan saddles – the last issued by the U.S. Army.
Military Drill – both mounted and un-mounted – is practiced at weekly mandatory drills. 2GHG Troopers and Mounts march in over a dozen parades annually, and attend many events and ceremonies. We wear the uniforms of the Connecticut National Guard proudly, and honor traditional Army values:
- Personal Courage
2GHG participates in parades and ceremonies including all Connecticut gubernatorial inaugurals, New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, Memorial Day parades across Fairfield County, Colonial Days in Ridgefield, Powder House Day in New Haven, the Newtown Labor Day Parade, Governor’s Day at the Big E, Hartford’s Veteran’s Day parade and Stamford’s Cable Vision Parade.
Giving rides to handicapped children is one of the 70+ annual events and ceremonies and after each ceremony, the antique saddles and tack must be cleaned and stored and the horses, which have been donated to the unit by private benefactors, need daily care. National Guardsmen and volunteers make up the unit and perform all of the daily tasks to the best of their abilities.
Getting back to the budget cuts brings up a point: the 2GHG needs help in maintaining the horses, equipment and daily and ceremonial uniforms. The recent cuts in funding have eliminated the budget for maintaining the horses. Without the horses, the history of the organization will be just that- a piece of history about which one can only read. To donate, please click here.
My hat is off to a unit, made up of mostly volunteers, who have accomplished so much for so many others and still selflessly give.