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  1. #1
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Anyone have experience with state defense forces?

    Based on my research, state defense forces (aka state military reserves, state militias, and state guards) are similar to the National Guard, but most of them are no longer trained for combat. They have more of an emergency management role responding to natural and man-made disasters. They are authorized by the Constitution and federal law. They became important during WWII because most of the National Guard forces were deployed. Currently, about 21 states and Puerto Rico have active state defense forces, and three states are attempting to reactivate theirs. Unlike the National Guard, state defense forces are only under the control of the state government. They can only be deployed outside of their states with the authorization of the commander-in-chief (governor) and with permission of the state government they're aiding.

    Even though members are not paid unless they are on active duty, some of the state defense forces have great benefits. Mississippi offers free and discount police officer , firefighter, and EMT training. California offers a grant that is more than $12,000 per year for a UC or private college, more than $5,000 for a CSU campus, and over $1,600 for a community college. Texas will offer $2,250 or $4,500 per semester (the higher amount is for high needs applicants) for non-profit schools headquartered in Texas, but limits the award to 30 state guard members. A member of the Texas legislature introduced a bill that would allow all Texas State Guard members to attend a public college or university for free, but it didn't go anywhere. According to the Texas Military Department, the Texas State Guard is faster at responding to emergencies than other government agencies and saves the state almost $5 million each year.
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  2. #2
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Massachusetts has one, for years it was named the Massachusetts State Guard, now it's the "Massachusetts State Defense Force". I was in the MA Army National Guard for 6 years, and never saw or even heard about them, even when we were state-activated for natural disasters.

    When I was deployed for Gulf War I, my brother joined the then-state guard, he says because he felt guilty and was medically excluded from enlisting in the US Armed Forces. From what he told me, it was a bunch of yahoos who either couldn't or wouldn't commit to enlisting in the real thing, and liked to play dress-up and talk about what they would have done if they were allowed to enlist, with many of them not being "allowed" because they weighed 300lbs.

    That's directly from my brother who saw it first hand; as I said, I knew and know nothing about them.
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  3. #3
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    I heard that about half of the Texas State Guard consists of veterans (a lot of the older ones are out of shape) and many of the rest are medical professionals, police officers, and firefighters. For the past year or so, they've started enforcing height/weight standards for new recruits.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
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  4. #4
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    This made me curious whether there's one of these in Virginia, and there is. I'm not sure the lax fitness requirements matter a whole lot, though, as it looks like they get called up to do things like direct traffic at the Apple Blossom Festival and things like that. (Yes, actual example.)
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  5. #5
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    In between disaster relief efforts, there is not much for them to do. In Texas, they mostly respond to floods and hurricanes and operate shelters during mass evacuations. They helped rescue people during the floods this year and last year. After Hurricane Katrina, they helped with the evacuees. The Medical Brigade offers free healthcare in the Rio Grande Valley. They have also been deployed to the border to help gather intelligence and rescue immigrants in distress. I guess much of what they do is done by agencies that have no physical fitness requirements i.e. the Red Cross. The search and rescue operations are really the only things that require physical fitness. But, then again, most U.S. military occupations don't require physical fitness either.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  6. #6
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    It's groups like this that interest me. No government affiliation at all, which is the true militia.

    Texas Militia
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  7. #7
    Life Long Learning is offline Registered User
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    Oregon was dissolved with over 300 qualified ham radio operators leaving. Some States are just stupid. In real disasters ham radios are priceless and height weight issues have no meaning. They are NOT kicking in doors.

    Heck, REAL Soldiers get deployed over weight and unable to pass a PT test to combat.

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  9. #8
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Life Long Learning View Post
    Heck, REAL Soldiers get deployed over weight and unable to pass a PT test to combat.
    When we deployed, if you didn't pass the PAT by the time of movement, they issued Article 15's for not maintaining physical fitness.

    Of course, when we came back, we were sunburned & emaciated from 6 months in the desert, living like animals, so I doubt any of us could pass the PAT then.

    BTW and for the record, when I said that groups like the Texas Militia interest me, I meant that I'm interested in how and why they exist, I'm not looking to "enlist".
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  10. #9
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    I have no interest in private militias because I have no irrational fear of the government in its current form. Being involved with one of these groups can also get you disqualified for numerous law enforcement , corrections, community corrections, EMT/firefighter, and other public safety /homeland security -related jobs if there is any hint of them making plans to overthrow the government, calling for resistance against the police, and/or having hate group undertones. Plus, these groups aren't out helping people. My interest in the state defense forces and military auxiliary organizations (Coast Guard auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, etc.) is that they actually do some good. Private militias just train for years and years just in case the government tries to take their guns. They're pretty much useless and made up of the tin foil hat, low IQ, low education crowd. This particular group teaches the same fighting tactics used by terrorist groups, and any group that listens to Alex Jones is a group made up of idiots.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
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  11. #10
    Life Long Learning is offline Registered User
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    Article 15's for not maintaining physical fitness was not the norm in 2004-2008 in Afghanistan. The fattest man I ever saw in uniform was a Georgia Lawyer in the IRR who deployed to the big "A." He was grossly overweight but did combat patrols with British Gurkhas. He was a great asset and very bright. The second fattest man in uniform was a Regular Army NCO at NTC that I ever saw in three decades in the infantry.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    When we deployed, if you didn't pass the PAT by the time of movement, they issued Article 15's for not maintaining physical fitness.

    Of course, when we came back, we were sunburned & emaciated from 6 months in the desert, living like animals, so I doubt any of us could pass the PAT then.

    BTW and for the record, when I said that groups like the Texas Militia interest me, I meant that I'm interested in how and why they exist, I'm not looking to "enlist".
    Last edited by Life Long Learning; 09-06-2016 at 08:39 PM.

  12. #11
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post

    BTW and for the record, when I said that groups like the Texas Militia interest me, I meant that I'm interested in how and why they exist, I'm not looking to "enlist".
    Thank goodness. You posted when I was typing my last post. The reason why these militias exist is pretty simple: they either don't trust the government or don't believe the government is doing a good job protecting the homeland. I study these groups the same way I study other domestic terrorist and militant groups, such as the Black Panthers, Ku Klux Klan, and eco-terrorists. One can find paramilitary terrorist groups in many countries. Some of the private militias are harmless (in addition to being useless), but some call for the shooting of police officers.

    What interests me about the state defense forces is that they could be a cost effective way of bolstering homeland security and disaster relief.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  13. #12
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Life Long Learning View Post
    Oregon was dissolved with over 300 qualified ham radio operators leaving. Some States are just stupid. In real disasters ham radios are priceless and height weight issues have no meaning. They are NOT kicking in doors.

    Heck, REAL Soldiers get deployed over weight and unable to pass a PT test to combat.
    I saw that Oregon recently suspended their defense force. I guess some states don't see the need for them. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania, Florida, and another state are trying to reactive theirs. If used properly, they can improve the response time to disasters, provide more manpower for coverage, and save the government money.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  14. #13
    Life Long Learning is offline Registered User
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    It is my understanding the State of Washington gives their State Defense Forces a mission and gives them money to train. Oregon did neither. It cost Oregon nothing. Oregon is very short sighted and anti-volunteer. I hear some of these ham radio types and a few special forces in Oregon want their own force which now scares Oregon. I am getting this very second hand. I prefer not to get close to the State as the FBI chased out the last Governor not that long ago.

    CERT would be another option to look into. Team Rubicon is another!



    Quote Originally Posted by sanantone View Post
    I saw that Oregon recently suspended their defense force. I guess some states don't see the need for them. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania, Florida, and another state are trying to reactive theirs. If used properly, they can improve the response time to disasters, provide more manpower for coverage, and save the government money.
    Last edited by Life Long Learning; 09-06-2016 at 08:56 PM.

  15. #14
    Life Long Learning is offline Registered User
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    They are real volunteers and non-union...go figure!

    Quote Originally Posted by sanantone View Post
    . According to the Texas Military Department, the Texas State Guard is faster at responding to emergencies than other government agencies and saves the state almost $5 million each year.

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  17. #15
    Life Long Learning is offline Registered User
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    National Voluntary Organizations Active In Disaster (VOADs) are another great option. They all qualify for FEMA FREE $$$ training and some of that = FREE College ACE Credits!
    National Organization Members
    Last edited by Life Long Learning; 09-06-2016 at 09:06 PM.

  18. #16
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanantone View Post
    I have no interest in private militias because I have no irrational fear of the government in its current form.
    I don't think fear of the government in its current form is irrational. However, I see little point to the militia movement. If they had any intention to fight the federal government physically they'd have done it by now. And best for them that they're all talk, because if they stood up against the feds they'd get mowed down like last week's grass.
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