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Col. Fred Best

c. early-mid 20th century

Oil on canvas. The portrait shows a middle aged man with a mustache in uniform.

In 1916, Fred C. Best, from Milwaukee, was an aide to the Brigadier General of the 1st Brigade Infantry of the Wisconsin National Guard. At the time he was also the 1st Lieutenant of the 1st Infantry within the Brigade. By September 1st, 1916 the entire National Guard from WI were stationed on the Mexican-American border as guards near Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas. The Guard had been called into Federal service to deter bandit raids along the border. The Secretary of War for the United States considered these raids the first steps towards war with Mexico. Although the National Guard helped to deter this war, nothing could be done about WWI. War was declared in 1917 between the U.S. and Germany. The National Guard was ordered for duty in the Regular Army and restructured. Following the restructuring, Fred C. Best was named the Captain of the Headquarters Company within the 5th Infantry Regiment of WI. He worked his way up the ranks eventually reaching the status of Colonel.