Milton Reckord

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Milton Atchison Reckord
Milton A. Reckford.jpg
Reckord as a Major General.
Born (1879-12-28)December 28, 1879
Harford County, Maryland
Died September 8, 1975(1975-09-08) (aged 95)
Ruxton, Maryland
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1901–1920, 1941–1945 (US Army)
1920–1941, 1945–1966 (National Guard)
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held Maryland National Guard
58th Infantry Brigade
29th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Pancho Villa Expedition
World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Bronze Star Medal
Legion of Honor

Milton Atchison Reckord (December 28, 1879 – September 8, 1975) was an important figure in the history of the National Guard of the United States. He also served as Adjutant General of the State of Maryland

Early life and family[edit]

Reckord was born to John and Lydia (Zimmerman) Reckord at their home in Harford County, Maryland. He commenced work at his father's milling plant in 1896 upon his graduation from Bel Air High School. He was married to Bessie Payne Roe from 1910 until her death in 1943, and had one daughter with her, Gladys Atchison Reckord.

Military career[edit]

Reckord expressed desire to serve in the military, but, at the request of his mother, delayed entry into service until he turned 21. He enlisted in Company D, 1st Maryland Infantry, Maryland National Guard on February 15, 1901, and would eventually rise to command the same company when he was commissioned as a captain in December 1904. As a major, in 1916, Reckord was given command of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Maryland Infantry, which deployed to the Mexican border and served in the Mexican Expedition commanded by Gen. John J. Pershing. When the 29th Infantry Division was created on the eve of World War I in 1917, Reckord was given command of one of its regiments, the 115th Infantry, which saw combat during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In 1920, he was appointed Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard and, in 1934, while still serving as Maryland's Adjutant General, he assumed command of the 29th Infantry Division.

During the years between the First and Second World War, Reckord was a leading advocate for increasing the role of the National Guard in the United States' national defensive strategy. From 1923 to 1925, he served as president of the National Guard Association of the United States. In 1933, he authored legislation that permanently gave National Guard personnel status as both state and federal troops.

General Reckord speaks to a special services volunteer

Reckord was mobilized for World War II with the 29th Infantry Division in February 1941 and took a leave of absence from his post as Maryland's Adjutant General. Deemed by the Army to be too old to command a division in combat, he was relieved of command and assigned as the commander of the III Corps Area. He later deployed overseas and was named Theater Provost Marshal, European Theater of Operations.

After World War II, Reckord returned to his post as the Adjutant General of Maryland. He received a state promotion to Lieutenant General from Governor J. Millard Tawes in 1961, and continued to serve as Adjutant General until his retirement in 1966.

Legacy[edit]

The Reckord Trophy is a prize awarded annually to the Army National Guard battalion(s) that achieves the highest standards of training and readiness. The Reckord Trophy is one of the highest peacetime awards given to National Guard units.

Reckord Armory, a recreation and athletics building on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park, was named for Milton Reckord in 1961. There is also a National Guard facility in the town of Bel Air, in Harford County, Maryland known as Reckord Armory. It is now a recreational facility.

Awards and medals[edit]

Reckford´s decorations include the following:

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Army Distinguished Service Medal w/ 3 Oak Leaf Clusters Bronze Star Medal
2nd Row Mexican Border Service Medal World War I Victory Medal w/ two battle clasps American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal
3rd Row European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ 3 service stars World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal National Defense Service Medal
4th Row Alabama Distinguished Service Medal Virginia Distinguished Service Medal Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal State of Maryland Distinguished Service Cross
5th Row Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath Officer of the Legion of Honour French Croix de guerre 1914–1918 w/ palm French Croix de guerre 1939–1945 w/ palm

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • The Maryland National Guard: A History of Maryland's Military Forces 1634-1991, by Joseph M. Balkoski
Preceded by
Henry M. Warfield
Adjutant General of the state of Maryland
1920–1966
Succeeded by
George M. Gelston