Just like the United States Marine Corp, this SVR Regiment is always looking for volunteers, but our standards are high, and our level of commitment is even higher.
By joining this Regiment, you will become an integral part of a “Band of Brothers” who take very seriously our participation in this organization, and our missions to preserve and restore Civil War Monuments; to promote a true and accurate understanding among the general populace of the American Civil War; to support our nation's active military and it's veterans; to support to the fullest the Iowa Battle Flags Conservation Project and other efforts of the Iowa State Historical Society; and, to register the final resting places of all veterans who lay buried under Iowa sod as well as to try to identify the final resting places of all of our Iowa dead across the battlefields of the war.
What we ARE and what we ARE NOT.
For us it is all about accomplishing our missions.
And we do so by our involvement in patriotic celebrations across the state and nation; by engaging in direct support of our military at ceremonies for departing National Guard and Reserve Units and participation in training exercises for units that are not deployed. By supporting programs like the United States Marine Corps' “Toys for Tots” at Christmas-time every year; and by providing volunteer services to the Iowa State Historical Society and the Salvation Army. We do myriad public appearances where we educate the public about the Civil War and Iowa's enormous contribution thereto; and we solicit funds from that same public that allow us to fund the repair/replacement/or restoration of Iowa monuments wherever we may find them to be in need.
We constantly tramp Iowa's cemeteries recording the final resting places of all identifiable veterans of the Civil War and assure that those whom we find get registered on the National Graves Registration database of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. In the process of accomplishing this mission, we undertake another; and, that is to replace or restore gravestones for our own Civil War ancestors wherever we find them to be in need.
And, all the while we are doing these things, we are also spending a great deal of time, effort, energy, and no small amount of monies in trying to look like we just stepped off of a recruiting poster for the Regular Army of 1863! If you are not “into” spit and polish you can stop reading right here...because we are not for you.
What we are not is “re-enactors”.
If you are looking for the sound to rattling musketry, and the wearing of smelly and grass-stained wool uniforms while participating in the “re-enactment” of battles that never occurred on Iowa soil, we are not for you. Gosh, we don't even participate in the much over-done (and usually done incorrectly) “21 gun salutes” as the firing of volleys has come to be erroneously known as. This is a military tradition that originated in the Napoleonic wars and from a strict military perspective is completely inappropriate unless done at the FUNERAL for a service member being laid to rest; or, as a salute to a visiting Head of State if ordered by the President of the United States.
What we do perform is the slow and dignified tolling of an angelus bell (another British Army military tradition from the Napoleonic Wars) in honor of the comrades at rest during memorial ceremonies.
We also do not participate as a unit in “re-enactments”, although some of our members do so as individual members of other SVR Units and “Re-enacting Clubs”. We have, on occasion, set up static displays and/or informational stations at some re-enactments around the state of Iowa, but these appearances are rare as they do not bring us the financial gain that the same amount of time spent at other v venues or events.
While not wishing to sound completely self-serving (okay maybe a little bit) let's look at the facts, as they will help you to understand our Esprit d' Corps:
We must be doing something right because we have grown from no members(May 2009) to the largest, most decorated, and most highly recognized SVR Unit in the nation in just slightly over one year's time(June 2010).
We have accomplished many “firsts” along the way:
First SVR Unit in history to be honored by the National Parks Service for the total funding of the restoration of a Civil war monument at the Vicksburg National Battlefield Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi.
First SVR Unit in history to have received the Iowa Deputy Adjutant General's Award “For Excellence”. (First ever to go to a non-serving “military unit”).
First SVR Unit in history to be named “Defenders of the People” by the Ho-Chunk Nation (Black River Winnebago).
First SVR Unit in history to enlist a brother from the People's Republic of China into the ranks of the Regiment.
First Iowa SVR Unit in history to be named “The Governor's Own” by Gubernatorial Proclamation for our on-going work in support of Veteran's Affairs, and our restoration of Iowa Civil War monuments.
First Iowa SVR Unit to be asked to officially represent the SUVCW at the annual “Juneteenth Celebration” at Cornerstone Family Church in Des Moines, Iowa.
First Iowa SVR Unit to be recognized with a Governor's Volunteer Award for our on-going support and participation in the Iowa Battle Flags Project of the State Historical Society of Iowa.
And, last, but certainly not least, First “First Year” SVR unit to be recommended for a Meritorious Unit Citation by the Commander of the 4th Military District (SVR) to our National Headquarters.
If you are accepted into the Regiment, your initial year of “enlistment” will be upon a probationary status to allow you to see if we are for you; and for us to see if you are for us.
You must first be a member in good standing of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to join ANY SVR unit, but you do not necessarily have to be a resident of Iowa to belong. Although, we are a participatory unit, and you must maintain a certain number of functions per year (unless under prior agreement and approval of the commander you are excused) to remain on the rolls of the Regiment. We will drop people from the rosters for non-participation.
So, all of this being said......if you are still interested in joining the largest, most active, and most highly visible SVR Unit in the Nation, contact me either through this site, or at the numbers listed below, and we will talk.
Yours most sincerely,
1/Sgt. David M. Lamb Commanding The Governor's Own Iowa Rifles Company “A” 49th Regiment Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Honor Guard Regiment for the Department of Iowa