Organized in 1861 as the Concord Volunteers—now its official nickname—the 197th Fires Brigade in the New Hampshire Army National Guard has undergone a dozen redesignations, eight reorganizations, and three consolidations since that time. It has been mustered, drafted, called, or inducted into Federal service nine times, three of which are specified for “active service” in the Brigade’s lineage compiled by the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Its dedication to its motto, "Live Free or Die," is evidenced by its participation in more than two dozen campaigns dating back to the First Battle of Bull Run in the year it was established.

Its first designation as an Artillery unit came in 1922 when it was reorganized and Federally recognized as the 197th Artillery (Coast Artillery Corps). It was redesignated as a Fires Brigade in September 2008. While the Army has announced it was eliminating Fires Brigades and returning to a Division Artillery system with Field Artillery Brigades, there is no public indication that the 197th has been redesignated as such. Further, the Brigade’s Web site hosted by the New Hampshire National Guard still lists it as a Fires Brigade, and it has several subordinate units of the type associated with the organization of a Fires Brigade (a Brigade Support Battalion and a Signal Company).

We suggest that customers who are purchasing the 19th Fires Brigade Combat Service ID Badge visit our Web pages dedicated to the 197th Fire Brigade unit crest (Distinctive Unit Insignia) and Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, colloquially called a unit patch.

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