Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, Missouri adjutant general, and Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general, will attend the April 6 ceremony at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, commemorating the United States’ entry into World War I in 1917.
Danner and Tafanelli will be representing Missouri and Kansas National Guards. Maj. Gen. Victor Braden, commanding general of the 35th Infantry Division, will also be in attendance. The 35th ID was originally stood up for federal service in World War I.
In August 1917, most of the Kansas Guard, along with the Missouri Guard, was federalized into the 35th Infantry Division. The division trained at Camp Doniphan and departed for France in 1918, where it was primarily involved in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in September-October.
This year, approximately 300 Missouri and 200 Kansas National Guard Soldiers from the 35th Infantry Division will deploy to the Persian Gulf region to enhance ongoing theatre security operations in support of Operation Spartan Shield. This is the first time the division has been tasked as an entire unit since World War II.
Unlike other military branches in the state, the National Guard has a dual mission: to respond within the state in times of disasters and other domestic emergencies, and to support the nation when called to federal service.