Gov. Baker revives a significant military tradition

The ceremony has not taken place in decades

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker revived a significant military tradition at the State House on Friday. He commissioned new officers to the Massachusetts Army National Guard, a ceremony that has not taken place in decades.

104th Fighter Wing Colonel James Keefe told 22News, “I think the last time this was done was after World War II 1948, so he’s bringing back the tradition of the governor, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard in Massachusetts, commissioning the newly minted officers.”

Major General Gary Keefe of the Massachusetts National Guard presented Governor Baker with the Commander-in-Chief flag. The traditional flag represents the Governor’s role as the head of the state militia and is to be displayed at official military events.

Massachusetts has a rich military history. The Massachusetts Army National Guard has the four oldest U.S. Army organizations in the nation dating back to year 1636.

Miguel Atila Gonzalez of Southampton was commissioned to the National Guard on Friday. He said, “I’m all about tradition. My father was in the army. My sister is a West Point graduate and she was in the army and you know, I just want to make my family proud.”

The newly-commissioned military officers will also receive a federal commission from the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.