KEY EVENTS OF THE 80s
The U.S. begins covert military aid to Afghan resistance fighters.
Berlin Wall Collapses, 1989
Popular uprisings across Eastern Europe climax in the destruction of the Berlin Wall. The Soviet Union dissolves and democratically elected governments emerge, causing an end to the Cold War.
REBUILDING AND REVITALIZATION
The Army had adopted a "Total Force" policy to fully incorporate the National Guard with the Regular Army. The number of realistic training exercises involving both Guard and Regular Army units increased substantially.
The 1980s resulted in a massive defense buildup under President Ronald Reagan. The National Guard received increased funding, modern equipment, and improved annual training. By 1989, the National Guard's strength reached to a national peacetime high.
(right) During the Reagan Administration, the National Guard saw an increase in funding and an improvement in equipment. During this time, the 27th Brigade was armed with the Army's newest M1 Abrams battle tank.
Photo Courtesy of the New York State Military Museum, Division of Military and Naval Affairs.