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Records Relating to Office of the Adjutant General | State Archives Catalog

The Adjutant General of the state of Rhode Island is appointed by the Governor and serves at the will of the Governor. The Adjutant General assumes three distinct roles: The Adjutant General of the state of Rhode Island, The Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard, and the Director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.

The Adjutant General is a member of the State Cabinet who is responsible for providing the overall leadership and tactical coordination for security preparedness and emergency response systems in the state. He is the strategic leader and Chief Executive Officer to the Governor for the agencies assigned and as the representative for the State to the lead Federal coordinating agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard Bureau, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard.

Additionally, he is responsible as the lead coordinating agency within the scope of emergency preparedness for collaboration with the first response agencies and municipalities within the state, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services and the military. He is responsible to support those agencies to ensure they are well equipped, trained, and prepared.

The Adjutant General is the strategic leader of the State military forces. The Adjutant General directs the establishment, operation, organization, and maintenance of the military forces of the state, which are comprised of the Rhode Island Army and Air National Guard, and the State Historic Militia. The Adjutant General’s primary responsibility is to ensure that Soldiers and Airmen are well equipped, well trained, and well lead such that they can perform their federal and state military duties.

The Adjutant General is responsible for mission readiness and training of Army and Air National Guard forces to conduct and perform their respective Federal missions, which includes war fighting and support to local agencies for domestic emergencies.

Major responsibilities of the Adjutant General, in his capacity as the Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard, include: Mobilization, Force Structure, Equipment Modernization, Training Management, Facility Management, Military Construction, Officer and Non-Commissioned Officer Career Management, Personnel Administration, Family Assistance Programs, Special Programs, Military Property and Army/Air National Guard Operations.

The Adjutant General maintains close association and communication with the National Guard Bureau, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Air Force, Northern Command, Air Mobility Command, First Army, Fifth Army, First Air Force, Third Air Force, Cyber Command, and Transportation Command. Associations and memberships may include all veteran’s organizations, as well as professional military organizations. Most notably he maintains active participation in the Adjutant General Association of the United States through the National Guard Association of the United States.

The Adjutant General oversees the Governor's plan for Homeland Security through the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) by planning and implementing all state preparedness programs. Primary areas of responsibility include grant funding for state and local disbursement, state wide interoperability, intelligence fusion center, and plans and response teams.

RIEMA is responsible for analyzing and formulating tactical state response plans to maximize the effectiveness of security systems to respond to both natural and terrorism-based state emergencies.

Additionally, the Adjutant General is the primary representative of the State for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Other agencies and organizations to which the Adjutant General is the primary representative are: the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the Governor’s Association Homeland Security Committee, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC).

Rhode Island Adjutant General – Timeline

1638  1st militia law enacted.  Trained bands of 12 men authorized for each town.

1667  1st commissioned officers appointed by colonial legislature.  John Cranston chosen Captain – in – Chief of trained bands / ten companies of foot

1682      Naval office established; Governor to appoint annually

1719      Providence Troop of Horse – 1st chartered military organization

1737      1st military draft

1775      regimental organization of trained bands

1779    offices of Directory & Purveyer General of the Military Hospital, Surgeon & Physician General, Adjutant General, Quartermaster General, & Commissary General established, Oct. 30th pursuant to “Act for Better Forming, Regulating & Conducting the Military Force of this State” (C#00210 – Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, 1779 – 1780, Vol. 7 # 19; abstract, “Schedules”, October Session, p. 33)

1780    1st appointment by colonial legislature, Archibald Crary chosen Mar. 6th; re-affirmed May Session; member of staff department of governor C#00204 – Rhode Island Colony Records, 1779 – 1781, Vol. 11, pp. 66 – 67; 84; Journal of the House of Deputies, Feb.1780

1794  Annual military returns mandated by “An Act to organize the Militia of this State” passed April 5, 1794 (C#0210 - Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, 1791 - 1794, Vol. 27#162); abstract March Session, 1794, pp. 14 - 25.    There shall be an Adjutant-General appointed in each state, whose duty it shall be to distribute all orders from the commander in chief of the State to the several Corps; to attend all public reviews when the commander in chief of the state shall review the militia, or any part thereof; to obey all orders from him relative to carrying in execution and perfecting the system of military discipline established by this Act; to furnish blank forms of different returns that may be required, and to explain the principles on which they should be made; to receive from the several officers of the different Corps throughout the State, returns of the militia under their command, reporting the actual Situation of their arms, accoutrements and ammunition, their delinquencies, and every other thing which relates to the general advancement of good order and discipline; All which the several officers of the division, brigades, regiments and battalions, are hereby required to make in the usual manner, so that the said Adjutant-General may be duly furnished therewith; from all which returns, he shall make proper abstracts, and lay the same annually before the commander in chief of the state.

1822    Militia arranged into 1 Division; 4 Brigades; 14 Regiments; 91 Companies (excluding independent chartered organizations); Governor as Captain General; Militia Returns furnished by Adjutant General; Annual training during month of September; Director & Purveyor General of military hospital & Commissary General established with rank of Colonel; Chartered companies to make returns to General Assembly; Quartermaster General annually appointed Act to Organize the Militia – pp. 320 – 329 (Statutes of 1822)

1824 – Adjutant General to procure blank militia returns for a term of five years    C#00210 – Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, 1822 – 1826, Vol. 36 #77)

1840 – Rank of Colonel established “Act to Regulate the Militia” C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, 1839 – 1840, Vol. 42 #93, Sec. 7,11

1842 – Appointment of assistants authorized C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, June Session

1844 – Rank of Brigadier General; may appoint assistants with rank of Captain; election by General Assembly “Act to Regulate the Militia, C#00210 – Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, 1844, Vol. 45, #24, Sec. 19, approved Feb. 13th

1856 – Chief of staff department; duties as inspector general; orders, returns & reports submitted through; election by grand committee of General Assembly “Act to Regulate the Militia – C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, 1856, Vol. 51 #83, approved Mar. 6

1876 – To print, bind & distribute stationery, blank books, forms, etc. relating to militia C#00210 – Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Public law, Chapter 543, sec. 18, approved April 20th

1879 – Additional duties as Paymaster General C#00210 – Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Public law, Chapter 760, approved, April 4th

1881 – Assistant with rank of Lieutenant Colonel. C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Public Law chapter 852, approved April 8th 1883 – Election by grand committee of legislature, term of five years C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Public Law chapter 345, approved Mar. 22nd

1935 – Appointment at pleasure of Governor; additional duties as quartermaster general C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Public Law chapter 2250, Sec. 15, approved June 1st

1956 – Rank of Major General C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Public Law 1956, Ch. 3742 “An Act to Establish a Military Code, thereby Revising the Law relating to the Militia & Armed Forces of the State.” H – 949, approved April 26th

1966 – Appointment by governor, four year terms commencing, January,

1967 #00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Chapter 42 # - 265a, approved April 14th

1969 – Commanding General of Rhode Island Army & Air National Guard C#00210, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, Public Law Chapter 64 H – 1636, approved May 7th

Current Statutes, RI General laws, Title 30-2-12

Adjutant Generals of Rhode Island: Archibald Crary (1779 - 1788); William Barton (1788 - 1789); George Waterman (1789 - 1791); Simeon Martin (1791 - 1793); Robert Rogers (1793 - 1798); Daniel Sheldon (1798 - 1799); Ebenezer Burrill (1799 - 1802); Samuel W. Bridgham (1802 - 1810); Nathaniel Searle Jr. (1810 - 1816); Louis Rousmaniere (1816 - 1818); Bernon Helme (1818 - 1820); Bennett H. Wheeler (1820 - 1822); Josiah Whitaker (1822); Silvanus G. Martin (1822 - 1823); Thomas F. Carpenter (1823 - 1826); Levi Haile (1826 - 1831); George Rathborn (1831 - 1833); John Cross (1833 - 1834); Elisha R. Potter (1834 - 1837); Jesse S. Tourtellot (1837 - 1838); Nathan F. Dixon (1838 - 1839); Edward H. Hazard (1838 - 1840); Elisha Dyer Jr. (1840 - 1845); Thomas A. Jenckes (1845 - 1856); Edward Carrington Mauran (1856 - 1875); Hebert LeFavour (1875 - 1878); C. Henry Barney (1878 - 1881); William W. Douglas (1882); Elisha Dyer Jr. (1882 - 1895); Hunter C. White (1895); Frederic M. Sackett (1895 - 1911) & Charles W. Abbot Jr. (1911 - 1923); Henry DeWitt Hamilton (1923 - 1924); John J. Richard (1924 - 1926); Arthur C. Cole (1926 - 1931); Herbert R. Dean (1931 - 1941) Peter Leo Cannon (1941 - 1957); James A. Murphy - acting (1941 - 1955); John M. McGreevy - acting (1957 - 1959); Daniel S. T. Hinman (1959 - 1961); Leonard Holland (1961 - 1983);John W. Keily (1983 - 1990); N. Andre Trudeau (199- - 1995); Reginald A. Centracchio (1995 – 2005); John L. Enright Sr. (2005) Robert T. Bray ( 2006 - 2011); Kevin R. McBride (2011)

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