Illinois National Guard

Revolutionary War
War of 1812
Seminole War
Civil War
Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Since Vietnam
    World War II
    In preparation for America's entrance into World War II, the GRS was reactivated with 13 companies, each with a strength of 125 personnel. They became frontline combat troops. A private relates seeing the men of the GRS burying men and taking cover in the open graves as shells went off around them. They were in the initial push into Normandy, and began burying casualties immediately so that the follow on troops would not be met be the remains of their comrades. The soldier's unit was responsible in getting the dead back to the collection points. Once there, the GRS would take over the processing. This tied up unit assets in vehicles and personnel, but showed the importance of the treatment of our war dead. Because the sooner identification and processing took place, the more accurate it was and thus, cemeteries were placed close to the front lines. A policy was established that whenever the frontlines moved further than 100 miles away from a cemetery, a new one would be established. Units began recruiting chaplains to provide funeral services for those killed, and the GRS held funerals at the end of every day. They consisted of full military honors and a religious service. The importance of rendering honors is demonstrated by the designation of personnel whose sole duty was to provide honors for the fallen. After the war, Congress would again call for an unknown to honor. No sooner was the project approved than America again found itself in another war.