Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Mark Celinscak


This thesis examines the Nebraska National Guard from 1919-1945 and demonstrates how interactions between the troops and their communities were effectively leveraged by Guardsmen to increase the morale of their soldiers in peacetime as well as wartime. The thesis consists of an introduction, five chapters, and a conclusion. The introduction contextualizes the Nebraska National Guard in U.S. military policy and the reasons for its reorganization after World War I. Chapter one describes the reorganization and structure of the Nebraska National Guard. Chapter two examines the Nebraska National Guard in its communities: its personnel; how they were involved in their communities in both military and civilian contexts; the Guard’s activities after the beginning of World War II in Europe. Chapter three covers the Nebraska National Guard during training in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee after it was mobilized for one year of training in December 1940. Chapter four describes the Nebraska National Guard’s stateside training from 1941-1944 after U.S. entry into World War II. Chapter five chronicles the exploits of Nebraska National Guard units fighting in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in 1944-1945, aided by Omaha World-Herald newspaper reporter and war correspondent Lawrence W. Youngman, whose articles and photographs allowed Nebraskans a first-hand look at what their friends and family members were experiencing in combat overseas in the Nebraska National Guard.


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