DRAPER, Utah -The Utah National Guard’s 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion will celebrate its 50th anniversary at a ceremony Saturday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m. at Draper headquarters. The 142nd Military Intelligence Linguist Company was created Feb. 12, 1960, based at Fort Douglas, Utah. Having suffered from a lack of proficient linguists during conflicts in World War II and Korea, the Department of the Army founded the linguist company in Utah to take advantage of the unusually high number of foreign-language speakers in Utah. Lieutenant Col. Walter C. Blakemore was the first commander of the 142nd, which soon grew to include 90 members speaking a variety of languages to include German, French, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. The company was reorganized as the 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion in 1980 and later was divided into two battalions (the 141st and 142nd) in 1988, thus creating the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade. The 300th currently manages over 1,600 linguists in eight states, half of which reside in Utah, and who collectively speak and are trained in over 25 languages. Speakers at the commemoration ceremony will include former commanders of the 142nd: Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard; retired Col. Robert J. Stack; and retired Col. Richard Roberts, author of Legacy: A History of the Utah National Guard. Current and former members of the 142nd, its sister unit, the 141st, as well as the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade, are invited to attend. At the ceremony, a video detailing the history of Military Intelligence linguists will be shown.
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