BOSTON (WWLP) – Dozens of National Guard members were recognized by the Governor today for the work they do to keep Massachusetts safe.

The Massachusetts National Guard is the Nation’s First and oldest military force in the Department of Defense. Since 1636, the Massachusetts National Guard has served in each of our nation’s conflicts.

On Friday, Governor Charlie Baker paid tribute to those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe in Massachusetts.

“You’d be extremely hard-pressed to find a 1 percent that’s anything the 1 percent that serves this country and preserves our freedom in our democracy,” Baker said.

Gov. Baker thanked the state’s national guard members for showing strength and resilience in some of the most difficult times.

At the annual ceremony, he also swore in more than a dozen new National Guard members… and gave awards to the top 20 sharpshooters in the military.

This annual tradition is one that the governor said he looks forward to every year because he gets to recognize some of the Commonwealth’s most exceptional residents.