Beekeeping in the National Guard Memorial Museum
It’s not every day you walk through a military museum and find a beekeeping uniform on display. But that is what you’ll find when you walk through the new 9/11 Era Gallery at the National Guard Memorial Museum. The uniform highlights a mission completely unique to the National Guard, one that embodies the tradition of the citizen-soldier.
Sgt. Robert Moore donated the uniform, which he wore when he served in Afghanistan with Agribusiness Development Teams from Tennessee and Kentucky. These teams provide Afghans with a better knowledge of farming techniques in order to improve the country’s infrastructure and promote agricultural production.
ADTs are not a new concept within the National Guard—similar teams operated in Central America beginning in the 1990s. The Missouri National Guard sent the first ADT to Afghanistan in 2008. Since then, dozens of teams have deployed from states around the country. Each team stays in the country for a year, and there is an immense focus on forging strong relationships with local Afghan farmers. ADTs teach skills that range from animal husbandry to soil science.
Moore’s specialty is apiculture, or beekeeping. His expertise has helped Afghans learn how to cross-pollinate orchards and harvest honey using bees. When the 9/11 Era Gallery opened, Moore proudly brought his wife and kids to the museum to see his uniform on display. The uniform symbolizes the dedication of Guardsmen who collaborate with Afghans to improve their economy, and it also reflects the unique ability of citizen-soldiers to apply the skills they possess as civilians to their military service. It is a reminder that in addition to the significant role the Guard has played in overseas combat missions over the past decade, Guardsmen have also provided invaluable expertise in non-combat arenas, helping strengthen the economies and the political stability of developing nations.
Stop by the National Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., to see Moore’s uniform, a beehive donated by the Oklahoma National Guard ADT and other artifacts from ADT missions.
Amelia Meyer is the archivist for the National Guard Educational Foundation. Reach her at email@example.com or by phone at 202-408-5887.