To be fair I owe a great deal of explanation to everyone on the subject of State Defense Forces, what they are, how this is proposed to work, and especially what they are not. This post is long with a lot of links to reference materials, Q&A on things I get asked often, and different rabbit holes. I would implore everyone to dig deep and hard on the subject.
First and foremost a simple understanding, a State Defense Force aka State Guard or, State Regulated Militia is not a hodgepodge of loose bands of unregulated militia factions. It is legally recognized by all state and federal government entities and agencies as a genuine Regular Army under the absolute and sole control of each individual state. This much less to do with that Second Amendment jargon commonly thrown around about the right to unregulated militias and much more to do with the Common Clause.
First and foremost, if your state has an active State Defense Force, go join it tomorrow! Vets whom wish to teach and share skills, this is your chance. Private citizens whom need to get proper military training, this is invaluable! Patriots who want to fight, this is where you need to be, this is where we organize.
State Defense Forces, sometimes called “State Guard” are easily defined as, an Army which is beholden exclusively to the state, that can not be called upon or commanded by the Federal Government, and is at the sole command of a State’s Governor. I use the term Army correctly because a State Defense Force is not what would be commonly defined as an “unregulated militia” or “private militia”.
Wait, are you talking about the National Guard or Reserves? – No, the National Guard is “the National Guard” and commanded by State’s Governor the same way a State Defence Force. The difference being the National Guard CAN be ordered into Federal service. The Army Reserves are a faction of the Armed Forces under the command and control structure of the DoD.
State Defense Forces are guaranteed to the states under the Common Clause , Second Amendment and several pieces of US Code.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
If you are asking… Wait, doesn’t that specifically state that No State shall keep troops? Yes, yes it does but don’t ignore the first part “without the consent of Congress”. this is where the rabbit holes of law take over and half of the reason our country is in the trouble it is in. You can not cherry-pick any part of Federal law to suit your purpose it must be taken as a whole.
The easiest way I can explain that is to bullet pointing out the legislation.
- Article 1, Section 8 – Incorporated the original Confederation articles regarding state control of the militia and its officers
- Article 1, Section 10 – Of the Constitution mandated consent of the Congress for states to keep military
- units during peacetime.
- The Second Amendment allowed the states to retain their militias.
- Title 32 U.S. Code Sec. 109 also reaffirmed (1998) for a state the right to maintain troops “within its borders in time of peace” or for policing actions.
For a fully detailed explanation of how that all goes together and the full history of State Defense Forces, (and how not to requisition a tank) I would direct you to this .mil document Titled AMERICA’S STATE DEFENSE FORCES: AN HISTORICAL COMPONENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE which covers all of the legislative history and the full SDF history from the 1700s to present date.
Wikipedia has a page up on State Defence Forces that is a much shorter and fairly accurate read however I am not linking to Wikipedia because if the subject takes off, so will the liberal propaganda of discredit.
Let’s talk about the word “militia” for a moment and what it means but first I am going to clarify something to readers because of the raging threads all over the internet that become of this subject and I don’t wish to engage in them for the context of this conversation. I will go on record and state that I personally have nothing against “private” or “unregulated” or any of the numerous names used to describe what I will simply define as “private groups of armed citizens” who have formed under the name “militia”. I would however ask that the members of these groups HIGHLY consider joining in unity with our cause and seek the protections offered under your state standing up a regulated militia of citizens.
Any military force, Army, Navy, Air Force, Nation Guard, Marines, State Defense Force including “private groups of armed citizens” is in legalese is called “The Militia” as defined in 10 U.S. Code § 246. Within that that naming convention you have two classes of Militia, Organized Militia and Unorganized Militia.
- Organized Militia – Regulated militia that is under the command and control of a federal or state entity. aka Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, National Guard, State Defense Forces
- Unorganized Militia – Unregulated militia not under and legally recognized federal or state entity. aka “private groups of armed citizens”
Those two distinctions of Militia are very important to the legality of operating as an armed force and I will show you why. For reference purposes, I am going to grab a few pieces of the Texas State Statues for the sake of ease but I encourage you to read all of the statues if you wish, Texas is a model for EVERY state to follow.
Sec. 437.213. CERTAIN BENEFITS AND PROTECTIONS FOR STATE SERVICE. A service member of the Texas military forces who is ordered to state active duty or to state training and other duty by the governor, the adjutant general, or another proper authority under the law of this state is entitled to the same benefits and protections provided to persons: (1) performing service in the uniformed services as provided by 38 U.S.C. Sections 4301-4313 and 4316-4319; and (2) in the military service of the United States as provided by 50 U.S.C. Sections 3901-3959, 3991, and 4011-4026.
The point I am making here or getting at is that where a member of an SDF is a private citizen and volunteer they are afforded the same legal protections under the state as all US military service personnel. Additionally, they are training with regular forces using more or less all of the same equipment and armory access.
Every state is a little different in their statutes but many with active and even inactive but having statues on the books follow Texas’s example almost verbatim. As I find issues within the individual states on this subject I will post them on the state’s pages individually. The idea being, you and your fellow Patriots need to push in massive campaigns to spread the word and get the statutes in order.
Because whatever it takes… will require an army!!