This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Army and Navy Union of the United States of America

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Army and Navy Union of the United States of America
PredecessorRegular Army Union of the United States of America
FormationMarch 31, 1888; 134 years ago (1888-03-31)
Legal statusFederally chartered corporation
PurposeTo alleviate suffering among soldiers and sailors
HeadquartersNiles, Ohio
ServicesEmployment assistance, caring for the sick, burial service help
Veterans and active duty personnel of United States Armed Forces
Official language
Don Youngblood
Senior Vice Commander
Raoul Helwig
WebsiteOfficial website
Formerly called
The Regular Soldiers' Union

The Army and Navy Union of the United States of America is the oldest veterans' organization in America. It was conceived in 1886 and the concept came from nineteenth-century war fighting groups that had the same common interests. Its name changed over time from just a soldier's union to take account for all sailors and soldiers in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

Its membership is open to all those who had served honorably or are serving members of the US Armed Forces. The mission and purpose of the organization is to alleviate suffering of veterans or active duty personnel by providing needed services with the help of fraternal comradeship.


Pacific Coast SF monument
Army and Navy Union monument
The monument inscription at base

The basis of the organization came in 1841. The organization transmuted further from other war fighting groups like The General Society of the War of 1812, The Grand Army of the Republic and The Order of Indian Wars. All these had the same general philosophy, so had a common ground.[1] By 1886, it was realized that these organizations would naturally become extinct due to deaths of the veterans if something wasn’t done to give them new life. The idea came about to restructure all these individual organizations into one permanent organization. These fighting group organizations founded the Army and Navy Union of the United States of America that was open to all who had served honorably or are serving in the United States Armed Forces.[1]

A bill was introduced on July 17, 1985 in ninety-ninth Congress (1985–1986) to recognize the Army and Navy Union of the United States of America. It was signed by then US President Ronald Reagan to be put into force from November 6, 1986.[2] This patriotic organization[a] was originally formed in Ohio by 30 men as "The Regular Soldiers' Union" on March 31, 1888.[3] The organization's name was amended to "Regular Army and Navy Union of the United States of America" on November 11, 1891[4] It was then reincorporated under the laws of Ohio on October 15, 1897.[5] It was made official throughout the United States on October 19, 1899.[6] The federally chartered corporation is an organization under U.S. Code Title 36, Subtitle II (Patriotic and National Organizations) of Part B (Organizations) as chapter 229.[7][8][9][10]

Notable incidents and contributions[edit]

In February 1897, it was announced in the San Francisco Call newspaper that a stone monument to the memory of dead soldiers and sailors was to be raised at the United States national cemetery, located in the Presidio of San Francisco, California. It was placed northeast of the Officer's Circle and finished on May 30. The veteran monument was dedicated on the following day, the Memorial Day, to the memory of past soldiers, sailors, and marines of the United States by the Army and Navy Union. There is an inscription on the front that says it was put up by the Pacific Coast garrisons.[11]

The 17.2 feet (5.2 m) monument has on top of the base an 8.4 feet (2.6 m) statue of a soldier defending the flag. On the base is displayed the coat of arms of the United States and a stack of arms. There is also an image of light artillery on the front bottom. On the right cap is a flaming shell, on the die the American flag and jack, drums, and cannonballs. The initiative to provide the monument was by 11 California garrison .[11]

The Wisconsin department of the Army and Navy Union announced that it was on record as of August 1930 as favoring the state option of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The department was planning to pass on their commitment to the national convention at Buffalo, New York, in October that they favored individual state laws instead on liquor control.[12]

The Army and Navy Union awarded publisher William Randolph Hearst the Gold Medal of Honor for distinguished service in June 1945.[13] The Kings County division of the Union was awarded a plaque for outstanding service to convalescent sailors by the Brooklyn Naval Hospital on May 24, 1946.[14] The Brooklyn Navy Yard garrison sponsored a reception at their headquarters on May 25, 1946, for Lieutenant Charles W. Shea, the recipient of Medal of Honor, and Colonel Richard E. Cole who had just returned from overseas duty.[15] The Union through their Cincinnati, Ohio, division adopted a resolution on August 13, 1948, asking the government to provide a bonus for World War II veterans.[16]

A district supreme court chief justice decided at the end of 1906 that a higher organization body cannot confiscate the property of one of the Union's garrisons. The decision then did not restrict admitting someone and/or their funds they were entitled to, to be admitted into a particular garrison.[17]

The Army and Navy Union of the United States of America provided medals of honor to certain union soldiers in 1905, who volunteered for duties above and beyond the call of duty. Their service, of which they did not receive pay for, was done in Maryland and Pennsylvania in 1863 during the American Civil War.[18][19]

Historical activities[edit]

On May 30, 1906, then US President, Theodore Roosevelt, delivered a memorial address to thousands at Portsmouth, Virginia under the auspices the Army and Navy Union that concluded with the unveiling of a monument erected at the local Naval Cemetery.[20] The Union began its thirteenth biennial convention in the GAR Hall on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on July 17, 1907. It was also the ninth anniversary of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. They sent a telegram of fraternal greetings to President Roosevelt that morning. A few hours later they received a telegram back from the President's secretary of thanks and best wishes for success of the Union.[21]

On September 8, 1909, the Army and Navy Union began its fourteenth biennial convention in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the local Chamber of Commerce. There were over 200 delegates that attended the opening session, among who were veterans of the American Civil War. The assembly sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the beginning. There were some women that attended, that were members of the Auxiliary to the Army and Navy Union. It was proposed at this assembly that Congress be petitioned for the raising and restoration of Perry's old ship Niagara.[22]

On January 17, 1911, the Army and Navy Union announced its upcoming fifteenth biennial convention in Rochester, New York, at the local Chamber of Commerce for sometime in August.[23] The time was being changed from the scheduled encampment in September, because of requests from the city Convention Committee.[23] Two other conventions were to be scheduled at the same time in August, Grand Army of the Republic and the Ladies Auxiliary to the Army and Navy Union.[23] At the fifteenth biennial convention that happened in the third week of August there were added ten thousand members from the Seamen's Gunners' League.[24] This in effect doubled the size of the organization.[24] A topic discussed at this convention was if any loyal woman from the Ladies Auxiliary could become a member of the Union.[24]

On September 8, 1913, the Army and Navy Union began its sixteenth biennial national encampment convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Some of the delegates took a river steamer trip the next day and went up the Delaware River from the Arch street wharf to Port Richmond. They were shown various piers and shipbuilding yards and stopped at League Island. Colonel H. Ogden Lake was presented as the next commander of the national organization, since Commander Downs retired from the position. There were about a thousand delegates that attended this convention.[25]

On September 20, 1915, the Army and Navy Union began its seventeenth biennial convention in Washington, D.C. The encampment was coordinated by General Oden Lake, their national commander. There were about 25,000 visitors during this convention, including members of the Army and Navy Union. There was a suite of rooms reserved at the New Willard Hotel for encampment headquarters from June 1 to September 30. A large parade was part of September convention, which involved all the veteran organizations of the Washington area garrisons. The program of events included a grand military ball and a banquet with high ranking government officials.[26]

On September 12, 1917, the Army and Navy Union began its eighteenth biennial convention at the Bohemian Hall in Baltimore, Maryland. The welcome address was given by Maryland governor Emerson Harrington to 500 delegates. General Oden Lake also spoke at this convention and announced that he would not be running again as their national commander. The next day was scheduled a banquet reception and later in the week an old-time campfire event. Overall there were about 2000 visitors to this convention.[27]

Freedom Train of 1947

On September 27, 1947, the Kings County council in New York City of the Army and Navy Union under the command of General Samuel Hoch made available an escort party for the families who were having their soldier dead brought home from World War II.[28] The organization participants gathered at the Flatbush Post of the American Legion on Nostrand Ave at 9 AM to get their instructions from Hoch. He also coordinated the Brooklyn Naval Yard Garrison of the organization later, that participated in the Freedom Train Brooklyn display at the Vanderveer Park freight yards of the Long Island Rail Road.[29] There were thousands that saw the one-day Brooklyn event that displayed Americana and original nineteenth-century historical documents in the rail cars.[30] Many were not able to get to see the displays that day and planned on viewing the next day when the train would stop a few miles away at Jamaica, Queens, New York.[30]

Badge and medals[edit]

The original badge of the Army and Navy Union was patented as design No. 21640 on June 21, 1892.[31] The distinctive badge has been used since then and worn on public occasions and ceremonies by its members.[32][33] The badge of the Army and Navy Union received can be worn on Army or Navy uniforms.[34] The United States Congress in 1913 authorized the use condemned American Civil War cannons to be melted down to provide medals to the members of the organization.[35]

Qualifications and duties[edit]

There are no prescribed qualifications on time or length of service. The principal duty of the Army and Navy Union members is the upholding, guarding and protecting the integrity of the United States government and its constitution.[36] Other duties include helping ex-service personnel who need help in getting employment, caring for the sick, and needed burial services.[37]

The mission and purpose of the Army and Navy Union are to bind together in fraternal comradeship all comrades, shipmates, soldiers, sailors and marines, regular and volunteers, veterans of all wars in which the United States has been or may be engaged in.[38] Besides patriotic, other purposes for the organization are for history and genealogy records.[39] The main goal of the organization is to fraternally join all these veterans in a common semi-military group with similar backgrounds.[40]

Present organization[edit]

The Army and Navy Union's fundamental objective is national security and defense. Its overall purpose is to encourage and preserve fraternal comradeship among those who have rendered service in the United States Armed Forces. The organization has the ideal to continue high principles of patriotism, loyalty, justice, and service to the United States. It is the oldest veterans' organization in America.[41][42][43][44][45]

The Army and Navy Union of the United States of America continues to operate garrisons in many states. Its National Headquarters is in Niles, Ohio. The national commander of as 2016 is Don Youngblood with his senior vice commander Raoul Helwig.[46] Any person who received an honorable discharge from or is now serving in the armed forces (active or reserve components) of the United States of America is eligible to become a member.[47][48][49] The following were listed on the Army and Navy Union's website in October 2016 as their garrisons scattered throughout the eastern United States.[50][51]

  • 1 Gen. George Washington Garrison, Cincinnati, OH
  • 51 Garrison, NJ
  • 52 Garrison, National Park, NJ
  • 65 Defenses of Washington Garrison, DC
  • 66 Garrison, Young Harris, GA
  • 97 C. "Russ" Casto, Sr. Garrison, Columbus, OH
  • 102 John W. Wagner Garrison, Akron, OH
  • 137 Garrison, Marion, OH
  • 146 Garrison, South Bend, IN
  • 150 William F. Cody Garrison, Canton, OH
  • 207 Harold "Jiggs" Jacobs Garrison
  • 244 Niles Garrison, Niles, OH
  • 250 Firestone Park Garrison, Akron, OH
  • 252 Steve Hallock Garrison, Niles, OH
  • 271 J.G. Chicko Garrison, Newton Falls, OH
  • 273 Gen. A.C Voris Garrison, Lakemore, OH
  • 283 Capt. Nathaniel Lang Garrison, Warren, OH
  • 302 Lt Col Henry du Pont Garrison, Wilmington, DE
  • 360 George C. Kuzman Garrison, Youngstown, OH
  • 411 Ashtabula Garrison, Ashtabula, OH
  • 422 John D. Massey Garrison, Girard, OH
  • 426 Gerald Jones Garrison, Warren, OH
  • 628 William F. Unger Garrison, Coshocton, OH
  • 987 Dale Albright Garrison, Galion, OH
  • 1978 Donald D. Graham Garrison
  • 1982 Bolivar Army Navy Garrison, Bolivar, OH
  • 1984 Garrison, Massillon, OH
  • 1988 Shady Rest Garrison, Beach City, OH
  • 2005 Marlin Dowden Memorial Army & Navy Garrison
  • 2460 Garrison, Youngstown, OH
  • 3697 Garrison, Largo, FL


  1. ^ Under U.S. Code Title 36, Subtitle II (Patriotic and National Organizations) of Part B (Organizations) as chapter 229.
  1. ^ a b "The Army and Navy Union USA". Military National. Together We Served. 2003–2011. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  2. ^ 99th Congress (1985) (July 17, 1985). "S. 1456 (99th)". Legislation. GovTrack.usaccess-date=October 12, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "Patriotic Organization". Denton Journal. Denton, Maryland. January 31, 1925 – via open access.
  4. ^ USGovernment 1906, pp. 173.
  5. ^ "New Garrison To Embract Many". Wilkes-Barre News. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. January 9, 1906 – via open access.
  6. ^ USGovernment 1906, pp. 174.
  7. ^ United States Government 2015, p. 8.
  8. ^ US Government Printing Office 2003, p. 537.
  9. ^ "United States Code, 1994 Edition, Title 36 – Patriotic Societies and Observances, Chapter 71 Army and Navy Union of the United States of America". U. S. Code. United States Government. 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2016. The Army and Navy Union of the United States of America, organized and incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio, is hereby recognized as such and is granted a charter. (Pub. L. 99–604, §1, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3446.)
  10. ^ "H.R. 897 (99th): A bill to recognize the Army and Navy Union of the United States of America". GovTrack. Civic Impulse LLC. 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "New Monument to Dead Heroes". San Francisco Call. San Francisco, California. February 7, 1897 – via open access.
  12. ^ "Favors State Option in Matter of Prohibition". Manitowoc Herald-Times. Manitowoc, Wisconsin. August 15, 1930 – via open access.
  13. ^ "Of This ... And That". The Decatur Herald. Decatur, Illinois. June 19, 1945 – via open access.
  14. ^ "Vet Group Honored For Service to Hospitalized Tars". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York. May 25, 1946 – via open access.
  15. ^ "Brooklyn Navy Yard Garrison". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York. May 23, 1946 – via open access.
  16. ^ "Ask Bonus". The Evening Independent. Massillon, Ohio. August 14, 1948 – via open access.
  17. ^ "Barry Garrison Upheld". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. December 23, 1906 – via open access.
  18. ^ "Senate and House". The Culver Citizen. Culver, Indiana. March 2, 1905 – via open access.
  19. ^ "Right Thing or Nothing". The Semi-weekly Times-Democrat. New Orleans, Louisiana. February 28, 1905 – via open access.
  20. ^ "President in Memoriam". The Charlotta Observer. Charlotta, North Carolina. May 31, 1906 – via open access.
  21. ^ "Veterans in Reunion". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. July 18, 1907 – via open access.
  22. ^ "Army and Navy Union begins its fourteenth biennial convention". The National Tribune. Washington, D.C. September 16, 1909 – via open access.
  23. ^ a b c "Will Install Local Garrison Officers". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. January 17, 1911 – via open access.
  24. ^ a b c "Army and Navy Union Expands". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. August 22, 1911 – via open access.
  25. ^ "Army-Navy Union faces Hot Fight". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. September 10, 1913 – via open access.
  26. ^ "25,000 Expected to Visit Capital / Army and Navy Encampment will be held here in September". The Evening Star. Washington, D.C. – via open access.
  27. ^ "To Greet Army Navy Union". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. September 12, 1917 – via open access.
  28. ^ David Doyle (September 21, 1947). "Army Navy Union". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York – via open access.
  29. ^ "Army-Navy Union". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York. September 27, 1947 – via open access.
  30. ^ a b "See Freedom Train". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York. September 28, 1947 – via open access.
  31. ^ US Congressional Edition 1906, p. 173.
  32. ^ USGovernment 1906, pp. 173–174.
  33. ^ Beyer December 16, 2007, Kevin. "Army & Navy Union Membership badge". Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  34. ^ "Wear of ANU Badges". Garrison #302; Wilmington, Delaware. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  35. ^ "Congressional Series of United States Public Documents, Volume 6330". January 17, 1913. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  36. ^ United States Government 2015, p. 145.
  37. ^ "Army and Navy Union of the United States Membership Badge, officer". Medal-Medaille. 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  38. ^ State of Wisconsin 1927, p. 431.
  39. ^ State of Wisconsin 1927, p. 438.
  40. ^ State of Wisconsin 1927, p. 432.
  41. ^ "Army & Navy Union USA". Retrieved December 14, 2015. The Army & Navy Union USA was organized in 1886 and is the oldest, perpetual membership veterans organization in the United States.
  42. ^ "Army and Navy Union – Defenses of Washington Garrison No.65". Army and Navy Union. 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. Organized in 1886, it is the oldest, perpetual membership veterans organization in the United States.
  43. ^ "Army And Navy Union Of The United States Of America: Department Of Ohio (Information Provided By: Mental Health And Recovery Services Board Of Allen, Auglaize And Hardin Counties)". Mental / Behavioral Health Service Directory. Huron County Health and Addiction Services. June 4, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  44. ^ Coit, Daniel; Gilman, Harry; Peck, Thurston; Moore, Frank (1907). "Army and Navy union of the United States". The New International Encyclopædia. Vol. 4. Mead and Company. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  45. ^ "Congressionally-Chartered Veterans Service Organizations (By Date of Charter)". Veterans Service Organizations. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Archived from the original on January 2, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  46. ^ "National Corps Officers". National Corps Officers. Army & Navy Union USA. 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  47. ^ "Join us". USA&N Home page. Army & Navy Union. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  48. ^ "36 USC Ch. 229: ARMY AND NAVY UNION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA From Title 36 – Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies and Organizations, Subtitle II – Patriotic and National Organizations Part B – Organizations". Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  49. ^ The Army and Navy Union of the United States. United States Congressional serial set. June 19, 1906. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  50. ^ "Army & Navy Union USA Garrison List". Army & Navy Union USA. 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  51. ^ "Wilmington, Delaware Garrison". Army & Navy Union USA. 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.


External links[edit]