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The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts is the oldest chartered military organization in the western hemisphere. Its charter was granted in March 1638 by the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay and signed by Governor John Winthrop. The Company was given a charter by the Great and General Court as a volunteer militia company that would train on a regular basis to increase the readiness and military skills of the members. Its inherent mission was to prepare its members to serve as officers in the enrolled militia companies.

The Company was incorporated as The Military Company of the Massachusetts. Circa 1690 it began to be referred to as the Artillery Company and then the word Honorable was used along with Artillery. During an Election Day sermon the preacher used the term "this ancient and honorable artillery" and the name has been used since that time.


We were chartered and established as a military company in 1638 to train young gentleman officers for service in the various militias of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was a noble mission and we were successful in shaping leaders who served Commonwealth and country for over 250 years. Our mission has changed. With the creation of the National Guard and the federalization of officer training ain the early twentieth century, we entered a new phase in our Company's history. Our Company mission has changed to a supportive role in preserving the historic and patriotic traditions of our city, Commonwealth and Nation.



We are a patriotic organization, unabashedly so. We stand for the values of service to the nation and what we believe it stands for. We participate in national holiday celebrations, add a measure of pomp and pagentry to the great events of our city and the Commonwealth and turn out for special commemorations. Doing so, we set a positive example for our fellow citizens that is good to wave the flag and demonstrate pride in our community life.


This company is a service organization. Witness our support for the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program for underprivileged children. Witness our on-going support for the USO and for special charitable causes that arise from time to time. Look also at the individual contributions made by our members, contributions in time and treasure to good works throughout the community. Four members served as President of the United States


Look at our rather unique museum at Faneuil Hall. This company, in and of itself, is living history keeping alive traditions and values dating to 1638 and before.


For over 100 years this Company has represented the Commonwealth and Nation on numerous overseas trips all over this world. Witness the genuine friendships, organizational and personal, nutured with our comrades of the Honorable Artillery Company . Witness the most recent Fall Field Tour of Duty of Hungary, Slovakia and Austria. Our Company contributed to the efforts of the Departments of State and Defense to further developing new friendships with emerging democracies of Eastern Europe.


This Company is a military company in that it is organized as a militia of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This Company counts among its members many military people, veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces of the United States. Several members have been called to active service in support of our national defense since September 111, 2001. While there is now no membership requirement to have served in the military, a great many of our members have done so and with distinction.[Eight members received the Medal of Honor]. Members currently on the roles have served in every war from WWII to the present. Historically, members of this Company have served in every Massachusetts colonial war and national conflict since 1638. Those members who have not worn the uniform have also given support to our armed forces by their very membership in this organization and their material support of military service organizations.


Make no mistake about it; this Company is a fraternal organization comprised of members with common interests who enjoy each other's company. We represent the living proof of the American dream. We have members of many ethnic groups and religions. We are business executives, soldiers, learned professionals, educators and clergy who share a love for each other and the Grand Old Company.

We bear a sacred historic burden to uphold the best traditions of those who have gone before us.

Our motto says it all: Facta Non Verba, Deeds Not Words.

Excerpted from Anniversary Ode: 2002-2003, We Live in Interesting Times
by BG Emery A. Maddocks, Jr.
Several informational links added to text.




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