Celebrate the National Guard’s Birthday with Your Gifts of Volunteerism

NGAC President Appeal to Support Movie on Citizen Soldier’s History

The Citizen Soldier celebrated his 383rd Birthday December 13, 2019, and I can think of no better gift than the National Guard Association of California’s sponsorship of Storyteller Original Films (SOF) production of the “Citizen Soldiers, The History of the National Guard.”

And the gift of time, talent, and treasure of its distinguished historians like COL (Ret) Roger McGrath, BG William Hamilton, COL (Retired) Ken Neilson, Maj. Gen. (Retired) James Delk, Maj. Gen. (Retired) John Harrell, and COL (Ret). Bernd Wiland to occasionally assist with research and historical accuracy of this film with the support of the California State Military Department’s legendary California State Military Reserve History Command to assist these distinguished military historian scholars.

I will ask the NGAC Executive Council to ratify sponsorship of the movie at our Jan. 18, 2020 meeting. I am appealing to our renowned members and the SMR History Command to form a NGAC History Chapter at large to assist SOF Chief Executive Officer Richard Jellerson with research of this film.

There is no state better postured to help Storyteller Productions bring the National Guard’s History alive on the big screen than California. Although never authorized a vibrant Military Historical unit, California is blessed with the CSMR’s Military Historian enthusiasts and celebrated military historians that have been sought by noted history entertainment icons like the History Channel. The NGAC was the Segway for establishing the SMR History Detachment in 1972 and creating the only federal mission for state defense force among the 22 states that have them—maintaining historical artifacts for United States Army History Command. The NGAC was the fulcrum for opening the Citizen-soldier Museum in 1990 thanks to generosity of time, treasure and talent of NGAC members such as Maj. Gen. Robert Thrasher, Delk, Brig. Gen. James Combs, Lt. Gen. Anthony Palumbo, and Former National Guard Bureau Chief Lt. Gen. Herbert Temple.

Fulfilling the 1972 charter of the National Guard Historical Society, founded by Maj. Gen. Ames, Brig. Gen. Thomas K. Turnage, Sgt. Maj. Emery R. Frank, James T. Brewer, Lt. Col. Robert P. Nimmo, and Col. William L. Shaw. Who laboriously initiated the collection of more than 10,000 volumes of citizen-soldier letters, journals, diaries, original unit rosters of early California Militia units, photographs, unit histories, technical and field manuals, biographies and numerous books that found a home in the MG Walter P. Story Library, named in honor of its benefactor who bequeathed the funds toward the original Citizen-Soldier museum.

At one time, the library had a broad array of networks that included the United States Army History Command Archives, the Library of Congress, Center for Army’s Lessons Learned (CALL) and a litany of military libraries throughout the country. It’s Liberians and custodians had a hand in researching  Home Box Office Productions in the making of “Band of Brothers;” and Touchtone PicturesPeral Harbor.”

I’ve asked our legal staff to negotiate the liability insurance parameters and for the NGAC consultation and advice in the production of this documentary movie as part of its sponsorship contract. It’s the best gift California can give to the National Guard, and the best gift we can give to each other by working together to showcase the best history talent we have to give. Volunteerism is priceless, and I’m hoping for your priceless generosity in celebrating the National Guard’s Birthday in the production of this movie documentary.

I will get back with you on the response. Stay tuned.

Stan Zezotarski


President, NGAC