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State Guards History

State Guards History

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Published by CAP History Library

Civil Defense

Civil Defense

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: CAP History Library on Dec 28, 2012
Copyright:Public Domain

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09/17/2013

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Volunteer Military Organizations: An Overlooked Asset3
 
Published herein with permission from the author. Initially published in the
 Joint Forces Quarterly Forum
,
a
Issue 43, 4 Quarter 2006, pp. 29-32. The version herein is the final version submitted for final publication;
th
hence, there may be a few very slight modifications for printing purposes.
VOLUNTEER MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS: AN OVERLOOKED ASSET
 
a
LTC Brent C. Bankus (Cavalry, AUS-Ret.)With the current operations tempo for Federal forces, the availability of manpower for homelandsecurity is a major concern. Today’s missions are full spectrum: traditional operations in Iraq andAfghanistan, peacekeeping in the Balkans and the Sinai, and defense support to civil authorities inhurricanes Katrina and Rita.President George W. Bush’s National Security Strategy makes it clear that “defending ourNation against its enemies is the first and fundamental commitment of the Federal Government.” With
1
the gradual reduction in force and increased deployments, however, commanders are asked to do morewith less. As troops engage in overseas operations, for example, they are tasked with additional short-notice contingencies that further exacerbate the problem.Given the needs of the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command, theincreased use of National Guard and Reserve units, and the many and varied asymmetrical threatsconfronting the Nation since 9/11, it is questionable whether sufficient forces will be available.
2
Therefore, a serious study of expanding the use of legitimate volunteer military organizations is longoverdue.These groups are not new in America and are divided into state and Federally sponsoredorganizations. State-sponsored organizations include State Defense Forces (SDFs) and Naval Militias,while elements such as the U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol and the Coast Guard Auxiliary are sponsoredby the Armed Forces.
History
From the colonial period through the early 20th century, militia or volunteer units shoulderedmuch of the responsibility for national defense since the regular, or full-time, U.S. military wascomparatively small. Militia units augmenting Active forces sufficed until the Spanish-American Warin 1898. As the 20th century dawned and the United States became increasingly involved in overseas
3
operations, decision makers began to reassess the capabilities of such units.Several pieces of landmark legislation were passed to enhance the militia (for example, the Dick Act of 1903 and the National Defense Act of 1916). Through this legislation, the organized militia wasrenamed the National Guard, given the official role of America’s second line of defense, and providedFederal funds for training and equipment. Consequently, the Federal Government had a better-trainedand more capable militia at the beginning of the 20th century than ever before. Federal service was
4
quickly tested as most National Guard units were mobilized for the Mexican border campaign in 1916,and then all were activated for World War I. However, the prior legislation was a curse and a blessing.
 
Report Documentation Page
Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188 
Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering andmaintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information,including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, ArlingtonVA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if itdoes not display a currently valid OMB control number.
 
1. REPORT DATE
 
2006
 
2. REPORT TYPE
 
3. DATES COVERED
 
00-00-2006 to 00-00-2006
4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE
 
Volunteer Military Organizations: An Overlooked Asset
 
5a. CONTRACT NUMBER
 
5b. GRANT NUMBER
 
5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER
 
6. AUTHOR(S)
 
5d. PROJECT NUMBER
 
5e. TASK NUMBER
 
5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER
 
7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)
 
State Defense Force Publication Center,19819 MaycrestWay,Germantown,MD,20876-6339
 
8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATIONREPORT NUMBER
 
9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)
 
10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S)
 
11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORTNUMBER(S)
 
12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT
 
Approved for public release; distribution unlimited
 
13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES
 
See also ADA494463. Pub in: State Defense Force Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Fall 2006. ? 2008 State DefenseForces Publications Center. Creative Commons Attribution License.
 
14. ABSTRACT
 
15. SUBJECT TERMS
 
16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF:
 
17. LIMITATION OFABSTRACT
 
Same asReport (SAR)
 
18. NUMBEROF PAGES
 
9
 
19a. NAME OFRESPONSIBLE PERSON
 
a. REPORT
 
unclassified
 
b. ABSTRACT
 
unclassified
 
c. THIS PAGE
 
unclassified
 
Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98)
 Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18
 
4State Defense Force Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, Fall 2006
With the entire National Guard deployed, states were ill prepared for either self-defense or response tonatural or manmade contingencies.But the mobilization of the National Guard for World War I was not an insurmountable problembecause 34 states organized Home Guard or State Guard units as replacements, allowed under Section61 of the National Defense Act of 1916. These volunteer units used prior service personnel (Spanish-American War and Civil War veterans) as training cadre, performing duties mostly in a non-pay status.For example, well-trained Home Guard units from Connecticut and Massachusetts provided valuablemanpower, transportation, and medical assets during the Spanish influenza outbreak in 1918. Texas also
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organized State Guard cavalry and infantry regiments to patrol the Mexican border. In all, State Guardunits provided an additional 79,000 troops for state duty; however, they were never called up for combatoperations in World War I and were quickly disbanded after the Armistice.
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Volunteer military organizations were especially important early in World War II. As with ourBritish colleagues, every available resource was used due to the huge mobilization effort, includingHome or State Guard units and the fledgling Coast Guard Auxiliary and Army Air Force Civil AirPatrol. These latter two elements represented a phenomenon not seen before: volunteer militaryorganizations sponsored by Federal branches of the U.S. military. Nonetheless, World War IIrepresented a high-water mark for the use of voluntary military bodies, particularly the Home or StateGuard.By the fall of 1940, all National Guard units were again called to Federal service. Recognizingthe impending dilemma, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the State Guard Act on October 21,1940. Consequently, Home Guard units, composed of retired or prior service personnel, were again
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mobilized in all but four states. They were charged with protecting critical infrastructure sites under thedirection of each state adjutant general.Additionally, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Army Air Corps Civil Air Patrol providedvalue-added assets in the event of either prolonged air or amphibious attacks by submarine. As recentlyreleased archives prove, the Axis powers considered both concepts. Regardless, both state and Federalvolunteer military organizations were valuable assets. In fact, the Civil Air Patrol was credited withsinking several German U-boats, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary rescued hundreds of stranded sailors.While there are differences between present operations and those in World War II, there are alsosimilarities. During the 2005 flood season, a substantial portion of the Louisiana Army National Guardwas unavailable, so state and Federal assets from neighboring states were used in disaster recovery. Inaddition, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, and at least five states contributed their StateDefense Forces to the relief effort, and all indications are that the volunteers were effective. Thus, toprepare for future contingencies, regardless of location, the increased use of volunteer militaryorganizations seems a common sense approach to provide additional capable assets.
Civilian Authority Support
Since homeland security is the major focus of volunteer military organizations, missions mayinclude meeting domestic emergencies, assisting civil authorities in preserving order, guarding criticalindustrial sites, preventing or suppressing subversive activities, and cooperating with Federal authorities.

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