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http://www.beaufortgazette.com/local/story/583569.html

Storied Beaufort National Guard unit won't be sending in the cavalry anymore

Kate Ferris / The Beaufort Gazette
Pfc. David Schwalbauch switches his patches from the 202nd Cavalry to the newly formed 131st Military Police Company, 51st Military Police Battalion on Sunday. The South Carolina National Guard Troop B, 202nd Cavalry was reorganized and redesignated as the 131st Military Police Company in September.
Published Mon, Oct 13, 2008 12:00 AM
MEGHANN ACKERMAN
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843-986-5537
When one historic National Guard unit in Beaufort is deployed again, it won't be sending out the cavalry.

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In a nod to modern times, Sunday marked the end of the South Carolina Army National Guard's Troop B, 202nd Cavalry and the beginning of the 131st Military Police Company.

With a rip of fabric fastener, members of the company traded in their crossed-sword arm patches for ones with crossed revolvers. Officers promised that regardless of their name, they would always remain the "guardians of the Lowcountry."

"This unit has been here since 1776 -- a long time," said Capt. Brendan Cooney, the commander of the 131st. "We will still strive to work hard for you, the community. You all are who we work for. You all are who we protect."

The troop officially was deactivated and reactivated as a military police company Sept. 1, but a ceremony to honor the troops who had served in Afghanistan last year and to recognize the changeover was held Sunday at the National Guard Readiness Center.

Sunday's ceremony emphasized the National Guard unit's long history in Beaufort.

The 202nd Cavalry was officially recognized in 1776 during the Revolutionary War, though the BeaufortVolunteer Artillery had existed before that.

Under various names, the 202nd served in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, both World Wars and, most recently, in Afghanistan. On Sept. 1, the 131st became the first military police unit formed in Beaufort.

"I will assure you of the preservation of your rich and well documented history in the 51," said Lt. Col. Lawrence Miller, battalion commander of the 51st Military Police Battalion, of which the 131st is a part. "It's not going away. The unit will still be called the Guardians of the Lowcountry."

The National Guardsmen also were praised for their work while they were deployed in Afghanistan.

In February 2007, the 202nd was activated to serve at Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Robert Livingston, the former commander of the 218th Enhanced Separate Brigade, of which the 202nd was a part, said members of the troop worked well with Afghani civilians.

"You served the people of Afghanistan rather than ruling over the people of Afghanistan," he said. "We don't change the world by killing; we do that sometimes to stay alive. We change the world by changing how other governments, other security forces treat their citizens."
 
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