GUAM

 

U.S. Pacific Territory of Guam

 

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GUAM WAS DISCOVERED BY THE SPANIARDS IN 1521 AND CEDED TO THE United States by the Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish American War in 1898. It was formally purchased from Spain for $ 20 million in 1899. U.S. President William McKinley issued an executive order placing Guam within the administration of the Department of Navy. Captain R. P. Leary was appointed the island's first U.S. Governor.

On December 10, 1941 Guam surrendered to the Japanese South Seas detachment forces and became the only populated U.S. soil to be occupied by another country in World War II. It was renamed "Omiya Jima" by the Japanese.

American forces landed on July 21, 1944 at Asan and Agat beaches. After a bitter three-week campaign Guam was reclaimed and once again came under American administration. Due to its strategic position, Guam was used as a command post for U.S. Western Pacific operations until the War concluded in 1945. On May 30, 1946, the U.S. Naval Government was re-established. As the Westernmost U.S. soil in the Pacific, Guam today remains a strategic outpost for the U.S. military. In 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Organic Act making Guam an unincorporated territory of the United States with limited self-governing authority, which it remains today, and granting American Citizenship to the people of Guam.

 

The arms were adopted 4 July 1917, at the same time as the flag. Flag and arms were confirmed in 1931 and 1947 by the governos. It shows the island seen from the river Agana. On the shore on the right is a coconut palm and in the sea there is an outrigger canoe of the model used by the inhabitants of the island, the Chamorro. In the middle of the shield is the word GUAM in red lettering.[1]

 

Armed Forces

 

Guam Territorial Command

 

HEADQUARTERS & HEADQUARTERS DETACHMENT

TERRITORIAL COMMAND

GUAM ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

 

Guam Army National Guard Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

 

 

Guam Army National Guard Distinctive Unit Insignia

 

 

Guam Army National Guard Crest for Coat of Arms

Shoulder sleeve Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia

Crest for coat of arms

 

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.

Description: On a pointed oval shield, 5.08 cm in width and 7.62 cm in height overall, and within an 0.32 cm scarlet border, a landscape similar to that depicted in the coat of arms of Guam, with sky and sea in light blue, land areas green, palm tree with green foliage and brown trunk and in left foreground a canoe in brown with white sail.

Symbolism: The design is based on the coat of arms of Guam, showing land, sea and sky, with an ancient flying proa (canoe) approaching the beach near the mouth of the Agana River, and a palm tree in the foreground. The shape of the insignia is that of the sling stones used by the ancient Chamorros in hunting and fighting.

Background: The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for the Guam Army National Guard on 26 May 1981. It was redesignated for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Territorial Command, Guam Army National Guard effective 30 December 1983. The insignia was amended to correct the height of the insignia and update the description on 3 December 2001.

 

Distinctive Unit Insignia. Description: A gold color and metal enamel device 2.86 cm in width overall consisting of a scarlet arch with the motto "A' ADAHEN I TANO" in gold letters enclosing a triple arch gateway of the Spanish colonial period in gold metal with gold demi-sun on a blue field behind it and green field within the gateway arches, all upon a heraldic torse of gold and blue.

Symbolism: The gateway, its center gates open to the horizon, symbolizes the Guam seat of government and its accessibility to the Guamanian people. The demi-sun alludes to the fact that, in terms of time, Guam lies half a day ahead of the continental United States. The archway is borrowed from the upper half of the border of the official Guam seal (the basis for the Guam Army National Guard shoulder sleeve insignia) to signify support. The red of the arch refers to the fact that Guam fell under enemy occupation, and Guamanians died for the American cause in World War II. The motto means "Guardians of the Land."

Background: The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the Guam Army National Guard on 10 September 1984. It was redesignated for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Territorial Command, Guam Army National Guard on 18 December 1984.

 

Crest.

Description: That for regiments and separate battalions of the Guam Army National Guard: From a wreath of colors, a demi-sun Or bearing a stylized shield Gules, charged with a triton shell Proper, all superimposed by a triple-arched gateway of the Spanish period, also Proper.

Symbolism: The arched gateway is a symbol of Guam. The demi-sun alludes to the fact that, in terms of time, Guam lies half a day ahead of the continental United States. The stylized shield-shaped, adapted from the Great Seal of the Territory of Guam, suggests a traditional Chamorros weapon. Red, denoting courage and sacrifice, honors the Guamanians who died for the American cause in World War II. The triton is native to Micronesia and has traditionally been fashioned into signal horns, symbolizing vigilance and military preparedness.

Background: The crest was approved for the Territory of Guam on 29 September 1993.

 

Police

 

 

The Guam Police Department was created in 1949. Prior to this, law enforcement on Guam was handled by the U.S. Navy administered Guam Insular Guard and the civilian run Guam Insular Patrol Force

 

 

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Hubert de Vries 2009-12-21

Updated 2011.07.16



[1] Smith, Whitney: The Flag Book of the United States.