Defense Force, also known as the State Guard or the State Military
Reserve, is an organized, all-volunteer military organization, which
serves primarily within its own respective state and communities.
is not part of the National Guard or the Federal military force,
though it may work in association with or in support of them. It
generally works in support of local communities or governments near
where SDF units are based, in Emergency Management, community
support, support to local events, or organizations such as hospitals
or sheriff's departments. Many
SDFs are provided for in their respective states' statutes. For
example: the South
Carolina State Guard (SCSG),http://www.scsg.org ,
is one of the oldest SDF organizations, provided for in Title 25,
Chapter 3, SC Code of Laws; New York and Texas are two old and
well-established SDF organizations:(see http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/nyg/nyg.html and http://www.txsg.state.tx.us,
respectively); the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) was established
under Article 65 (Militia Law) in the Annotated Code of Maryland.
active SDF organizations recognized by their states are subject to
the authority of their state's Adjutant General and Governor. They
fulfill missions approved by these officials and may at the
discretion of the Governor augment the forces of their state's
National Guard. The SDF and its members are not subject to call by
the federal government, and do not leave the state without
permission of the Governor. On occasion a SDF unit may travel
across its border where its state has mutual support agreements with
adjacent states, or where the Governors permit a SDF unit to travel
across their respective borders. For example, after 9/11 a South
Carolina State Guard unit was permitted to travel to New
York City (NYC)
for a month to provide security at the St.
Chapel shelter adjacent to “Ground Zero” and the New Jersey State
Guard provided support and protection for NYC’s western waterways.
The State Guard Association of
the United States (SGAUS), at www.sgaus.org,
is an association of all active SDF.