Kentish Guards

Rhode Island Historic Militia
Chartered October 29th, 1774


The Kentish Guards is a historic military organization that was chartered by the Colony of Rhode Island on October 29, 1774. Originally formed to protect the town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island from Tory attack, the Kentish Guards served with distinction throughout the American Revolution, War of 1812, The Dorr Rebellion, Civil War, and to Present Day. The Kentish Guards has a long and rich history that spans four centuries and is the 5th oldest military organization in continuous service in the United States.

The Kentish Guards continue to serve under their charter and the laws of the state of Rhode Island, and are subject to its good regulation, including inspection by the Rhode Island Adjutant General and the command of the Governor. They were most recently activated by the Governor in 1994 for ceremonial duties connected with the commissioning of the USS Rhode Island. Each year, they participate in the state-run musket competition / qualification that is held for all the militia companies.

The Kentish Guards, a Rhode Island Historic Militia, participate in many local and state parades and civil events. They are most notably present at local Memorial and Veteran’s Day parades. In 1868, along with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the Kentish Guards started the Memorial Day tradition in East Greenwich, known then as Decoration Day, to honor the fallen during the Civil War 1. The Guard also participates in several St. Patrick Day parades, Gaspee Day, and Bristol 4th of July. We also participate in many Fife and Drum Corp musters held in the local region.

The Kentish Guards is a member of the Centennial Legion of Historic Military Commands, Inc.

Armory tours are always available. Please contact us or visit on Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 7:00pm when the armory is open. The Guards are available for Color Details, historical lectures, and music support for events. Please contact us for details.

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