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Thread: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

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    Default Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present



    By D. Michael Ryan, the the Concord Minute Men historian, an 18th Century volunteer history interpreter with the National Park Service and Associate Dean of Students at Boston College.
    Contrary to accepted folklore, the "minit men" of 1775 were not a revolutionary concept nor were they unorganized, untrained citizens. The truth was reflected in the two Concord companies which mustered and fought on 19 April.


    Town militias dated back to the English Muster Law of 1572 and in early colonial Massachusetts included all able bodied men organized into training bands. In 1645, decrees ordered each town militia to have 30% of its men ready on 1/2 hour warning for any service requirement. The "snow shoe men" (1702-1743) held themselves ready to march on the shortest notice and from 1756-1763 emergency response units existed while plans were considered for "picket guards" to serve only within the Province. Thus it was not unusual in 1774, as Regulars sortied out of Boston and conflict with England increased, for the colonials to form special defense units.



    Sources

    "The Concord Minute Men" by George Tolman 1901

    "Concord: American Town" by Townsend Scudder 1947 "History of Concord, Mass." by Lemuel Shattuck 1835

    "Paul Revere's Ride" by David Hackett Fischer 1994

    "The Minute Men" by Gen. John R. Galvin 1989

    Concord Town Archives, Concord Free Public Library
    On 26 October 1774, the Provincial Congress requested that militia companies elect officers who in turn would select field officers and organize regiments. A quarter of the militia were to form special companies (50 men each) which would be equipped and held ready "on the shortest notice" from the Committee of Safety to move to a prescribed rendezvous point. Each company would elect a captain and two lieutenants in addition to developing rules for order and discipline. Absence from drill and misconduct could cause fines with non-payment resulting in dismissal. Unlike their compulsary militia counterparts, only "inlisted voluntears" would serve in the minute companies to keep out loyalists or English sympathizers who might hesitate to fight the King's troops if required.

    So-called minute men had strictly construed duties, were excellent marksmen and never separated from their arms for a moment. Each was to have a weapon (fowling piece, musket), 30 rounds of ball and powder (rolled cartridges or pouch and horn), cartridge box, bayonet (if possible) or hatchet and knapsack. Food (bread, corn, meat) and water for a day were suggested provisions. While regiments were formed, generally the minute companies were expected to operate independently under their captains.


    At a December 1774 Concord town meeting, it was voted to organize and pay minute companies. The accepted committee report given at the 9 January 1775 meeting required an oath to be taken by all minute men obligating themselves to 1) defend King George III, his person, crown and dignity, 2) use utmost of power to defend all Charter rights, liberties and privileges, holding themselves ready at a minute's warning with arms and ammunition, and 3) obey chosen officers in orders and discipline. The town agreed to pay each man (amount less than a laborer's wages) for drill twice per week, three hours a day. The town also would provide a "cartouche box" for each man and enlistments would be for ten months.


    When notice of the new companies was given, some 50-60 Concord men volunteered and in less than two weeks the number swelled to about 100. Many of these men and their arms had seen service in the French and Indian war. Since 15 individuals had no weapons, the town supplied them muskets. The first company was organized on 17 January 1775, numbered 52 men (1 fifer and 1 drummer) and elected Charles Miles its captain. The second company listed 42 members (1 fifer) and voted David Brown its captain. Training began and soon the two Concord units were assigned to a local minute regiment commanded by Col. Abijah Pierce of Lincoln and Maj. John Buttrick of Concord.


    The minute regiment had a corresponding local militia regiment commanded by Col. James Barrett of Concord and included two Concord companies under Captains Nathan Barrett and George Minott. The two regiments would train together only once on 13 March 1775 at Punkatassett Hill. A month later, Col. Barrett would muster a mix of companies from these regiments on the same hill for the fateful march on North Bridge. By 19 April, the Province had some 14,000 men in 47 regiments, warned by an elaborate alarm system, prepared to respond to any aggressive acts by the British.


    Meant as a temporary means of defense, the minute man companies would be reorganized into new units and a new army in Cambridge soon after the fights at Lexington-Concord and Breed's/ Bunker's Hill. Their original purpose and destiny had been met. After the October 1777 British surrender at Saratoga, the war would move South and the minute men would gradually disappear.


    Some 99 Concord men were paid for duty as minute men according to town records. While their existence was brief, their standard set for determination, patriotism, preparedness and bravery would lead to America's freedom. Separating myth from fact is difficult but when one thinks of the Revolution and Concord, one thinks of the true "minit men".

    Text: © D. Michael Ryan.
    Last edited by American Patriot; January 2nd, 2013 at 16:35.
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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    Soldiers of the Colonial Militia

    By Kevin Stanley
    Many soldiers of the British regular army believed the colonial militia consisted of low-quality soldiers who came from the dregs of society. Most were sure the militia would make little difference in the outcome of the war. In reality, the soldiers of the colonial militia came from all walks of life, endured many hardships, and contributed greatly to the war effort. All of this was done according to strict terms set by the colonials.
    The ranks of the colonial militia were usually filled by average citizens. They came from all walks of life and different ethnic groups. Many of them were native-born colonists, British immigrants, as well as free blacks. However, a majority of the men were Scotch-Irish, as seen in the Pennsylvania regiments (Stephenson-205). The average soldier of the militia served alongside Rangers, Highlanders, Iroquois Indians, and British regulars (Dillard-50).
    Much of the British regular army was recruited from the lowest social classes. The enlisted were often petty criminals, beggars, common laborers or subsistence farmers (Anderson-499). Because the British officer's own troops often consisted of these types, they were more than willing to believe the same about the colonial soldier. British officers showed contempt for both the colonial enlisted soldiers and colonial officers alike (Anderson-501).
    While it was true that many of the militia came from the lower social classes, more than a few were from middle income families. A soldier's social status and civilian occupation depended greatly upon where he was recruited. Soldiers who came from Pennsylvania were usually laborers. The surviving muster rolls show that about sixty percent of the soldiers listed were laborers. The remaining forty percent were either artisans or skilled workers (Stephenson-206).
    The majority of the artisans from the Pennsylvania colony worked in the cloth, wood, or leather trades. Most of the artisans were cloth workers, while the remainder came from the cooper and carpentry trades. Evidence of this can be seen from the statistics for those soldiers recruited from the Philadelphia area (Stephenson-206).
    Those who were recruited from outside Philadelphia had a higher percentage of manual laborers in their ranks. Only about half the number of skilled trades seen in the city were present in the rural areas. About twice as many skilled artisans came from the cities of colonial America. (Stephenson-207).
    Those who enlisted from other parts of the colonies had almost the exact opposite percentage of laborers versus artisans. Only twenty six percent of those soldiers who came from the colony of Massachusetts were listed as laborers before entering the militia. About fifty two percent of the Massachusetts soldiers were skilled artisans before enlisting. Quite the opposite of those from Pennsylvania (Anderson-512).
    Many of the colonial soldiers came from landed families. These were not men who saw the army as a steady source of income. In fact, they certainly did not need a military income to survive.
    Reasons for Enlistment

    If this were true, then why were so many young men enlisting? The answer to this question may lie in the inheritance practices of colonial Massachusetts (Anderson-519). Many eastern towns had an average population density of sixty to one hundred people per square mile (Anderson-519). Since a workable farm could be no less than forty or fifty acres, many fathers resisted the urge to divide their farms into equal portions among their sons. The most reasonable thing to do was keep the land intact, and give it to one heir upon the father's death. The other sons received their inheritance in different ways which ranged from cash to securing an apprenticeship (Anderson-520). This practice kept the farm intact and ensured his sons an opportunity for a better life (Anderson-520).
    Because the acquisition of land was the primary way a young man became independent of his family, he needed a means to buy the land without having to wait for his inheritance. One way to do this was to enlist in the colonial army. While a young man would not get rich, he could save enough money to pay for a good piece of land. A colonial soldier usually served eight months in the military. He was not paid until his enlistment was completed (Anderson-523). In addition to receiving eight months pay in a lump sum, the colonial soldier usually received a bonus upon enlistment. The amount of this bonus varied from one to eight months pay. A private usually earned a total of fifteen pounds by enlisting. This sum could buy thirty acres in Andover, Massachusetts, or as much as one hundred fifty acres in less populated areas (Anderson-523).
    Although many of the colonial soldiers did come from the lowest ranks of society, they were by no means the only ones who enlisted. Many of the sons of middle class colonial families enlisted as well. In fact, many young men saw enlistment as an opportunity to gain early independence from their families. During the course of the war thirty percent of those who were born between 1725 and 1745 served in the military (Anderson-526). Between the years 1755 and 1762 Massachusetts alone supplied over 15,000 men for the colonial army (Morgan-512).
    Terms and Conditions of Enlistment

    Colonial soldiers served under different conditions than the men who served in the British regular army. A term of enlistment for colonial servicemen was usually measured in months, not years. Early in the war colonial often served terms of six months or less (Stephenson-201). The most common term of enlistment throughout the war for the colonial soldier was eight months (Anderson-406).
    Enlistment was viewed by the colonial soldier as a contract, or covenant, between himself and the officer he enlisted under (Anderson-400). The colonials had a deep devotion to covenants which could be seen in the marriage between a man and woman, church covenants between congregation members, and most importantly the salvation covenant between man and God (Anderson-401). The British officers did not understand this contract mentality, and found they could do nothing to discourage it (Anderson-414).
    The colonial soldier saw the contract of enlistment as a binding agreement between himself and the officer he served. This contract involved a specific term of service for which the soldier received specific compensation (Anderson-414). If either party made an attempt to alter the terms of the contract, then the agreement became void. If this occurred, the colonials saw themselves as no longer bound by their contract, and therefore free to leave (Anderson-414).
    Hardships of the Soldier

    Even though the provincial soldiers protested sharply when they believed they had not been treated fairly, they performed admirably in combat. Similar to the American colonists who served with the British, the French army was supplemented by Canadian irregulars. These irregulars aided the French in their efforts to defeat the British at strategic battles like the siege of Fort William Henry (Nicolai-58).
    The American colonial soldier endured many hardships during the siege of Fort William Henry. The French general, Montcalm, and his forces defeated the British and took the fort on August 9, 1757. Colonel Monro and his troops received generous surrender terms (Purvis-71). In return for their capitulation, the British were allowed to leave the fort with their arms and their personal equipment as long as they agreed not to bear arms against the French for eighteen months (Purvis-71).
    Many of the British troops were not as fortunate as their comrades. The Indian allies of the French - who felt cheated out of their plunder because of the surrender terms - began harassing Monro's men after they vacated the fort (Purvis-71). Some of the Indians' anger was vented by murdering the wounded soldiers and Indians who were left behind at the fort (Purvis-71). The black soldiers who fought for the British were not killed, but they fared no better in the end. They were captured by the Indians and sold as slaves in Louisiana for the high price they brought (Purvis-72).
    Because of the loss at Fort William Henry, several hundred British regulars and colonial militia were taken prisoner by the Indians (Purvis-71). The terms of imprisonment could vary greatly for the soldiers. Some were sold by the Indians to the French, and quickly exchanged to the British for French POWs. Others, like Sgt. William McCracken were not as lucky. He was bought by the French and then shipped to France where he served his sentence (Purvis-73). Although he was imprisoned for two years, Sgt. McCracken fared better than other POWs captured by the Indians at Fort William Henry. A French priest reported seeing the Ottawa kill and eat one of their prisoners (Purvis-70).
    Military-Civilian Relations

    While many of the American colonists readily joined the colonial militia, relations between the military and civilians were often strained at best. This occurred for a variety of reasons. First, the attempts to house British and provincial soldiers in private quarters. Second, the impressment of private wagons for military use. Third, the recruitment of indentured servants.
    Of the three reasons listed above, the billeting of soldiers in private quarters caused the most strain. Citizens of Lancaster Pennsylvania resisted attempts to billet the military in private quarters by refusing to house the soldiers. Outraged by this, British general Montgomery solved the problem by using force (Brodine-217). The townspeople protested this action to the new commander-in-chief General Jeffery Amherst. Amherst responded by stating that billeting soldiers in private quarters was unavoidable when adequate public housing was unavailable. In doing so, Amherst made it quite clear that citizens' rights were subordinate to wartime needs (Brodine-218).
    Conclusion

    The soldiers who fought during the French and Indian War came from many different walks of life and joined the military for different reasons. Some enlisted because they were living on the edge of society as unskilled laborers and saw the military as an opportunity to gain a steady income. Others were searching for a way to gain independence and make a life of their own without having to wait for their inheritance. No matter what their reasons for joining the military, these men fought bravely, endured many hardships and played a key role in the war between the French and the British on the American continent. They not only endured hardships, but faced the risk of imprisonment or death. The militia also encountered disdain from their fellow soldiers in the regular army as well as resentment from citizens whose personal property often had to be appropriated for the war effort. The soldiers of the colonial militia endured all these hardships while fighting bravely in a bitter war. Provided they could do it on their own terms.

    Bibliography

    1. Anderson, Fred. "A People's Army: Provincial Military Service in Massachusetts During the Seven Years' War." The William and Mary Quarterly 40.4 (1983): 499-527.
    2. Anderson, Fred. "Why Did Colonial New Englanders Make Bad Soldiers? Contractual Principles and Military Conduct During the Seven Years' War." The William and Mary Quarterly 38.3 (1981): 395-417.
    3. Brodine, Charles. "Civil-Military Relations in Pennsylvania, 1758-1760: An Examination of John Shy's Thesis." Pennsylvania History 62.2 (1995): 213-233.
    4. Dillard, Annie. "The French and Indian War: A Memoir." American Heritage 38.5 (1987): 49-53.
    5. Morgan, Kenneth. "The Impact of the Seven Years' War on Massachusetts Provincial Soldiers." Reviews in American History 13.4 (1984): 512-517.
    6. Nicolai, Martin, L. "A Different Kind of Courage: The French Military and the Canadian Irregular Soldier During the Seven Years' War." Canadian Historical Review 70.1 (1989): 53-75.
    7. Purvis, Thomas L. "The Aftermath of Fort William Henry's Fall: New Jersey Captives Among the French and Indians." New Jersey History 103.3-4 (1985): 69-79.
    8. Stephenson, R.S. "Pennsylvania Provincial Soldiers in the Seven Years' War." Pennsylvania History 62.2 (1995): 196-212.
    1. Anderson, Fred. "A People's Army: Provincial Military Service in Massachusetts During the Seven Years' War." The William and Mary Quarterly 40.4 (1983): 499-527.
    2. Anderson, Fred. "Why Did Colonial New Englanders Make Bad Soldiers? Contractual Principles and Military Conduct During the Seven Years' War." The William and Mary Quarterly 38.3 (1981): 395-417.
    3. Brodine, Charles. "Civil-Military Relations in Pennsylvania, 1758-1760: An Examination of John Shy's Thesis." Pennsylvania History 62.2 (1995): 213-233.
    4. Dillard, Annie. "The French and Indian War: A Memoir." American Heritage 38.5 (1987): 49-53.
    5. Morgan, Kenneth. "The Impact of the Seven Years' War on Massachusetts Provincial Soldiers." Reviews in American History 13.4 (1984): 512-517.
    6. Nicolai, Martin, L. "A Different Kind of Courage: The French Military and the Canadian Irregular Soldier During the Seven Years' War." Canadian Historical Review 70.1 (1989): 53-75.
    7. Purvis, Thomas L. "The Aftermath of Fort William Henry's Fall: New Jersey Captives Among the French and Indians." New Jersey History 103.3-4 (1985): 69-79.
    8. Stephenson, R.S. "Pennsylvania Provincial Soldiers in the Seven Years' War." Pennsylvania History 62.2 (1995): 196-212.
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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    Effective Use of Colonial Militia


    The colonial militia, when utilized in such a way to take advantage of its strengths, proved to be a very effective tool for the colonists in their war against Britain. During the course of the war, colonial militia representing the larger overall body of troops in the field, tended to be more effective in the "petit guerre" of partisan warfare against small units of the enemy and Tories, as well as performing support and screening duties that released regulars for front line service. They were less useful in large-scale operations where they would be forced to stand and face redcoats in the open.

    The militia tradition in America can be traced as far back as 1632, when the Virginia assembly had ordered “every fit male” to take part in military drills after church services. Provincial militia fought Indians, put down slave uprisings and generally protected the white propertied families that contributed to its ranks from societal disruption. Lacking quality training, provincial militia rarely saw actual combat, and even when the need arose, colonial governments preferred to call up the poor and indigent, rather than expose its better classes to any real danger.

    British military officials, finding that they needed to rely on these provincial troops to some degree during the French and Indian War, came away with a rather poor opinion of the American soldier, concluding that “they lacked the character to make good soldiers.” Militia refused to serve except on their own terms, and these terms were typically negotiated with the provincial government. Accustomed to a great deal of autonomy, colonial militia insisted on serving in a separate command, and then only within certain distances from home; in addition, militia officers became extremely uncooperative when pressured by British regular army commanders to submit to outside authority. This image of an undisciplined, insubordinate and thoroughly unmilitary provincial militia would color future British opinions of American militia, often with disastrous consequences during the Revolution twenty years later.

    Not that the British were alone in their doubts about the utility of American militia. George Washington himself, upon assuming command of the Continental Army (which in 1775 was comprised entirely of militia), said, “All the General Officers agree that no Dependence can be put on the Militia for a Continuance in Camp, or Regularity and Discipline during the short time they may stay.” He would later say, “To place any dependence upon militia is assuredly resting upon a broken staff.”

    American General Nathanial Greene felt similarly. “(The militia are)…not sufficiently fortified with natural courage to stand the shocking scenes of war… few men could stand such scenes unless steeled by habit and fortified by military pride.” Greene concluded that only through the rigors of drill, discipline and exposure to combat could men be welded into an effective army. Key to militia success was keeping them out of situations where they would be asked to face off against massed British firepower in open combat. When forced to do so, the militia regularly failed, and more often than not, broke and ran, abandoning the field to their enemy. Patriot General Daniel Morgan, speaking about the Battle of Cowpens, said, “Had I crossed the {Broad} river (at Cowpens), one half of the militia would immediately have abandoned me.”

    Despite these misgivings by Continental Army commanders, militia, when used properly, repeatedly demonstrated their utility to the patriot cause. At Concord in 1775, militia, firing from the cover of the trees lining the road back to Boston, inflicted over 25% casualties on the retreating redcoats. In the desperate winter of 1776-1777, up to 12,000 militia soldiers from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware came to the relief of Washington’s Army, while other units remained in defensive postures in New York and Connecticut. Without the numbers contributed by local militia, the British would not have been forced to give back much of what they had earlier conquered in New Jersey. A few months later, in June of 1777, Washington was able to reinforce Northern New York while still holding the New Jersey Highlands due to the presence of local militia, demonstrating a flexibility of response that came from the dispersal of local militia units throughout the colonies.

    The militia proved most devastating to the enemy when operating as partisans in petit guerre fashion, usually in small groups. Petit Guerre was described at the time in this way: “… a body of light Troops, from One hundred to Two thousand Men, separated from the Grand Army to secure its March, to protect the Camp, to reconnoiter the Country or the Enemy; to surprise their Posts, or their Convoys; to form Ambuscades; and in short, to put to Practice every Stratagem that may harass or disturb them.”

    Militia units would engage in running battles with elements of British, Hessian or Tory detachments, usually in the unprotected areas of the countryside or along the coast between encampments, forcing the British to fight their way from point to point, almost without cessation. A Hessian jäger later said, “Little war was continuous war.”

    The militia also took part in larger campaigns, guarding waterways and key roads. In doing so, they severely limited the operational freedom of their enemy, and limited the assistance that could be given to the British by loyalists, whom they pursued and persecuted throughout the war. Sometimes, militia action provided decisive results by itself. In February of 1776, militia crushed loyalists in North Carolina at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, and later that fall decisively defeated southern Cherokee Indians who were allied with the British. In the South in 1781, the militia screened Nathanial Greene’s army in the days leading up to the Battle of Guildford Court House and then suppressed local Tories, paving the way for the patriot reconquest of South Carolina.

    Militia also served as constabulary forces for the emerging state governments. In the South, militia forces affected a sort of taxation upon the well-to-do, redistributing food to the needy; they also protected surrendering loyalists, kept the Indians at bay, stopped plundering and assisted locals in the recovery of stolen property. They also defended emerging state governments from the British and Tories, and screened the countryside from the main bodies of enemy troops. It was militia from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that stood guard between New York City and neighboring states, right up until the final British withdrawal from that city in November of 1783.

    Gradually, Washington was able to successfully coordinate the movements of the militia with his regulars so that both could be used for maximum effect. Eventually, he employed a “strategy of forward defense” with militiamen being utilized as skirmishers, screening the army from surprise, while allowing the main body of troops the freedom to advance or retreat unmolested. In the middle states, Washington’s skill at using the militia in conjunction with the Continental Army proved critical in relegating the British to control of only New York City, keeping them from reinforcing Cornwallis in the South. So impressed was Washington with the performance of the militia that his later comments about them stand in stark contrast to his initial impression. In 1783 he said, “The Militia of this Country must be considered as the Palladium of our security, and the first effectual resort in case of hostility…”

    Washington’s statement is typical of the persistent American belief in reliance upon an armed citizenry that would rapidly deploy at a moment's notice to an area of danger. The success of guerrilla warfare tactics against the British further reinforced this undeserved faith in the power of "farmers and shopkeepers" alone to take the place of a powerful standing army. While this is clearly not true, the militia, when used carefully in settings that took advantage of its strengths without exposing its deficiencies, had demonstrated that it could be a significant contributor to national defense.
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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    Well, tried to capture this, but... had to turn it into a document file. I'll save it as a .doc (instead of .docx) so folks not using Windows-crap can read it too. If you want it in PDF lemme know (or some other format).
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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    The History of the Militia in the United States


    Chuck Dougherty



    excerpted from: Chuck Dougherty, The Minutemen, the National Guard and the Private Militia Movement:Will the Real Militia Please Stand Up? , 28 John Marshall Law Review 959, 962-970 (Summer 1995) (195 footnotes)



    The well-known minutemen of the American revolution were typical members of the eighteenth-century militia. Many today consider the National Guard, the modern organized militia, to be the minutemen's complete twentieth-century counterpart. However, those eighteenth-century militiamen bear little resemblance to the federally- equipped, highly-trained members of today's National Guard. This Part will trace the changes that have taken place in the militia since colonial times.

    A. The Colonial Militias

    The great majority of colonists arriving in America during the seventeenth century had no experience as soldiers. Yet owing to the small British military presence of the time, the colonists soon found the need to establish a military force. They drew from their knowledge of the militia system in England to develop their own military forces. The resulting colonial militia laws required every able-bodied male citizen to participate and to provide his own arms. Militia control was very localized, often with individual towns having autonomous command systems. Additionally, the colonies placed relatively short training requirements upon their militiamen: as little as four days of training per year.

    The colonies did little to change their militias until just prior to the Revolutionary War. When the British attempted to disarm the American populace during 1774-75, citizens formed private militias that were independent of the royal governors' control. With the outbreak of war, the colonial militias composed the bulk of the armies that eventually won independence. The experiences of the Revolutionary War had instilled most Americans with great confidence toward their militias and distrust of standing armies. Many concluded that a standing army was the tool of an absolutist government and that the militia was the proper means for a free people to defend against such a regime. This belief heavily influenced the debates surrounding the drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution.

    B. The Constitutional Debates

    Following the war, the United States reduced its standing army to only a handful of men, entrusting the state militias with the nation's defense. The Articles of Confederation, which served as the plan of the United States government prior to the Constitution's ratification, required each state to maintain a well- armed militia. The Articles allowed Congress to form a standing army only with the consent of nine of the thirteen states. Such weaknesses in the federal government led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, at which delegates sought to form a more effective governmental system. Two major camps arose among the delegates at the Convention: Federalists and Anti- Federalists. The Federalists, who argued for a powerful federal government, wanted nearly complete federal control of the militia. The Anti-Federalists, who strove to maintain substantial power in the state governments, feared any federal control over their state militias.

    The Anti-Federalists opposed federal control of the militia for three reasons. First, they feared that the national government would turn the militia into an instrument of oppression toward the states. Second, they were concerned that if the federal government neglected its militia duties, the militia would cease to be an effective force for the states. Third, they feared that if the Constitution gave the federal government the power to arm the militia, it might prohibit the states from doing the same.

    These concerns over control of the militia were tied to the militia's perceived purposes; both factions understood the term "militia" to mean more than just a military force for national defense. Rather, the drafters believed the militia served three purposes. First, the militia served in place of a standing army to resist foreign aggression. Second, the militia served as an internal police force for the states. Third, following the establishment of the federal government, the militia served to resist or deter the use of a federal standing army against the states. The eighteenth-century militia was well structured and equipped to fulfill each of these three purposes.

    The Constitution's drafters hoped that the militia would remain the nation's primary means of defense against foreign aggression. Considering the development of military tactics and technology of the time, the state militias were able to adequately fill this role. Moreover, the Constitution specifically gave Congress the power to call forth the militia to repel foreign invaders. Many of the Constitution's drafters hoped that the militia clauses would thus preclude the need for a federal standing army, which they viewed as the enemy of a democratic government.

    In the eighteenth century, before the rise of national military conscription, the term "army" meant mercenaries. The public viewed professional soldiers as having few of the scruples of civilized society. Thus, the Constitution's drafters hoped to maintain a militia system that would obviate the need for a standing army.

    The states also used their militias as an internal police force, since eighteenth-century America lacked the professional police of today. The government expected citizens, acting both individually and jointly in the form of a posse comitatus, to prevent crime and pursue fleeing criminals. The government also expected citizens to protect themselves against crimes against their person or property. The states were no more able to provide a large professional police force than they were a full-time professional military.

    The possibility of a federal standing army overthrowing the state governments further concerned the Constitution's drafters. No one at the Constitutional Convention felt that this threat was illusory; rather, the various factions debated only which militia system would best protect the integrity of the state governments. The Federalists argued that the militia clauses enabled the states to adequately protect themselves from the federal government. James Madison believed that the armed citizenry, officered by men from their own states, could resist any federal army. The Anti-Federalists, however, opposed any federal control over the state militias. George Mason and Patrick Henry feared that the federal government's right to arm the militia implied a right to disarm it. Madison maintained that the states had a concurrent right to arm the militia and, therefore, could prevent disarmament.

    The eventual compromise between the factions was an intricate division of federal and state control over the militia. The two militia clauses in Article I of the Constitution grant the federal government considerable power but leave appointment of officers to the states. The drafters intended the state power over officer appointments to allay the Anti-Federalist fears that the Constitution would leave the state governments powerless against a federal army. While these same Constitutional provisions still govern the militia today, the militia's structure has radically changed.

    C. The Modern Militia System

    Congress has shaped the modern militia's structure by exercising itsArticle I militia powers through a series of statutes. The first such legislation was the Militia Act of 1792. This act codified the traditional view of the militia as consisting of all able- bodied citizens. It also required each militiaman to supply his own arms. However, since the federal government provided no funding, the states gradually allowed their militias to deteriorate. By the 1870s, the militias in most states were little more than social clubs centered on a yearly parade.

    In 1903, Congress attempted to restore the usefulness of the state militias with the Dick Act. This act marked the beginning of the federalization of the militia. The Dick Act also split the militia into two branches: the organized militia, which became known as the National Guard, and the unorganized militia. The act provided federal funds for equipment and training, required drill a specified number of days each year, and gave federal inspectors the right to review state militia practices. Congress continued the federalization of the National Guard through numerous subsequent acts. The result today is that the National Guard is a reserve force of the United States Army under significant federal control.

    Though the division of the militia into organized and unorganized branches still exists today, Congress has not explicitly defined the role of the unorganized militia. Nevertheless, federal statutes do provide for civilian firearms training as part of the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Although legislators have attacked the program as being outdated, it has survived Congressional debates as recently as June 1994. At least one senator has argued that the program continues to add to the nation's defense capability. Additionally, a United States Army study found that individuals who received training in the program were significantly more effective in combat than those without such training. However, although Congress explicitly created a dual- militia system, the unorganized militias of the various states have remained largely dormant.
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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    "There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; or as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common sense are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits, and interests?
    - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist # 29

    Modern Militias

    This essay is an attempt to go into some of the basics behind the modern militia movement. It will deal with the philosophical, ethical and moral considerations underlying the militia movement. It will also deal with some of the similarities and differences between modern militia units and professional military units.
    Those who have already done some studying of the concept of militias comprised of the whole body of the people realize that it has a history that dates back at least as far as the Anglo- Saxons who inhabited England over a thousand years ago. It is not the purpose of this essay to delve that far back into time to discuss the origins of the militia. Rather the time and place that will be used for most of our references will be in America, just shortly before, during and after the Revolutionary War.
    The first thing that we will look at for the basis of the militia is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was not instrumental in the formation of the militias that fought against the British Crown. In fact, the Revolutionary War had begun approximately 1 year and 3 months before the Declaration was written. However, the Declaration does a beautiful job of summing up just what it was that the militias were fighting for, and discussing the philosophical and moral basis for their existence. The following quotation is taken from the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:
    "WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."(1)

    Thus, as explained by the Declaration of Independence, it is the body of the people as a whole that determines the legitimacy of a given government. To the extent that the government governs with the consent of the people and does not abridge or usurp their rights, then the government is legitimate. However, if the government abridges the rights of the people, abuses them, governs without their consent, and in general reduces them to slavery and debt servitude, then the people may abolish their government.
    In practice, however, the abolition of a despotic government is much easier said than done. This is the main reason that there are so many of them in existence today. The only method for abolishing a genuinely despotic government that has proven to work even part of the time is to take up arms against it. The various different methods that people have developed for civil disobedience are all very well, but if the government decides that it would just as soon execute all who oppose it then they will be of limited utility. One has only has to look at the example afforded by the millions who perished under Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung in this century to see the truth of that.
    While the Founding Fathers were unfamiliar with the more recent examples of despotism and tyranny, they were well acquainted with the history of the Greek and Roman civilizations. Also, many of them belonged to groups that had come to America in the first place to escape persecution at the hands of government officials. It was their intention to ensure that despotic and tyrannical governments would not come to have power either over them or their descendants. Indeed, as voiced in the Declaration, they felt that an absolute duty existed to rebel against a tyrannical and oppressive government.
    Now, in order for a people to successfully rebel against a government that has become tyrannical, they need to have weapons and they need to have units which can put those weapons to use. Isolated individual actions have proven time and time again to have limited utility in forcing governments to do things that they do not want to do. The people with the weapons must be able to coordinate the use of those weapons, and thus the ability to form militia units is as vital to the ability of a people to protect itself from tyrannical government as the ability to possess weapons is. It should go without saying that as the purpose of the militia is to ride herd over the government and provide the final check on its use of power that it would be counterproductive to give the government total control over the militia. If one studies the Constitution which was adopted after the Revolutionary War, the Bill of Rights, and the arguments put forward by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers for the adoption of the Constitution, it can be shown that the national level government was never intended to have total control over the militia.
    In order to make this more clear we shall first look at what the Constitution itself has to say on the matter. The first quotation we will examine is taken from the enumerated powers of Congress found in Article I section 8 of the Constitution.
    To declare War, grant letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; ... (2)

    Thus we can see by examining the enumerated powers of Congress that the national level government was never intended to have total control over the militia. The State level governments were to have the most direct control over the militia, and the national level government was only responsible for setting forth such ground rules as would be needed to enable all the State militias to integrate together effectively. Thus, Congress only calls forth the militia for three very specific purposes, it does not create the militia. The Congress only has the authority to govern that part of the militia which has actually been called into the service of the United States.
    This issue has also been somewhat clouded in modern times by the wording that the Founding Fathers chose when they adopted the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The Second Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (3) Many people are in doubt as to what exactly the Founding Fathers referred to when they were talking about a "well regulated militia", and what relationship this had to the people's right to keep and bear arms. However, a quick reading of what Alexander Hamilton had to say in the Federalist, number 29 is most enlightening as to what was meant.
    The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of a million pounds. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not be long endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year. (4)

    Thus, we see in the wording used by Alexander Hamilton, indicating the usage of the Founding Fathers at that time, a "well-regulated militia" was a militia unit that could execute standard tactical drills with a high degree of proficiency. This was differentiated from the term "militia" which from the context was obviously the entire body of the people. It was felt that the "militia" or the entire body of the people, could not be trained to the level that they could all be described as "well-regulated militia" because it would be too time consuming a task. Thus, what does one do when one can not have the entire body of people trained well enough to execute the standard tactical drills that would be required of a line infantry unit? The answer is that one at least ensures that they have all the weapons and equipment that they will need. Thus, the Second Amendment to the Constitution, interpreted in light of what Hamilton had to say, guarantees to the entire body of the people the right to keep and bear arms, because the formation of the "well-regulated Militia" that is "necessary to the security of a Free State", is based on having the entire body of the people armed and equipped with the prerequisites they need to function as members of a line unit. Alexander Hamilton then goes on to say the following in the paragraph that immediately follows the one I quoted previously from the Federalist number 29:
    But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate size, upon such principles as will really fit it for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have a body of well-trained militia ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist." (5)

    Thus, we can see that Alexander Hamilton wanted the States to form select militias that would be well trained enough that they could take the field whenever the defense of the State required it. The national level government was discouraged from raising and maintaining armies, but could call up the select militia from the States for service in times of specific need.Thus, the lack of a national level standing army would not put the nationas a whole at risk, because each State would have ready forces under its direct control that it could use to respond to invasions, insurrections,etc.. And, should a problem arise that would require the resources of more than one State to deal with it, the national level government would coordinate things.
    Also, we see that Hamilton intended that these select militias in the service of their respective States would be used to put down an army maintained by the national level government if such action became necessary in order to preserve the rights of the people. Given that these select militia were dependent on the ability of the people as a whole to keep and bear military quality arms, that right was guaranteed to the people as a whole under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Also, the vast majority of State Constitutions also have clauses and passages guaranteeing the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This was to ensure that the fundamental prerequisites for keeping a tyrannical government in line, arms and people who could use them organized into units that could put those arms to use effectively, would always be outside the scope of the government's ability to legally negate their existence.
    It is especially important to keep in mind as we think about what Hamilton had to say that he was one of the Founding Fathers who wanted to have a relatively strong central government. So, when you find one of the people who wanted a strong central government arguing that it was the State level governments and the people who were to have proportionately more force at their disposal than the national government, it is highly significant.
    At any rate, we have now done some study about what the Founding Fathers intended the militia to be like. It will also be illustrative to see what they actually did immediately before and during the Revolutionary War.
    As the size and repressive character of the standing army increased, many Americans began to arm and to organize themselves into independent militias. In 1774, George Mason and George Washington organized the Fairfax County Militia Association, which was not subject to the control of the royal governor and which in fact arose, in part, as a defense force against the regular militia. "Threat'ned with the Destruction of our Civil-rights, & Liberty," (as stated in the resolution drafted by Mason), the members of this independent company of volunteers, who elected their own officers, pledged that "we will, each of us, constantly keep by us" a firelock, six pounds of gun powder, and twenty pounds of lead.

    In praising the Fairfax County model, a writer from Georgia implored that "the English troops in our front, and our governors forbid giving assent to militia laws, make it high time that we enter into associations* for learning the use of arms, and to choose officers ..."

    [*emphasis in original] (6)

    Thus, we see that at least some of the Founding Fathers began by organizing militia units without any support at all from, in fact in opposition to, the "legitimate" government at the time. As the problems with Great Britain progressed, other areas of the country took other actions as their local customs dictated.
    As Samuel Adams and his Massachusetts colleagues were meeting in Philadelphia, the colony's towns had elected delegates to a new Massachusetts Provincial Congress after the dissolution of the House by General Gage. Convening in Salem, with Hancock as president, the delegates launched the colony's first government independent of the British king. They ordered money held back from the royal collections and channeled into their own accounts. They set up elite units within the militia-companies of fifty privates who were instructed to move at the shortest notice. And they established Committees of Safety to oversee those shock troops, who were calling themselves Minute Men. (7)

    The good people of Charlotte, North Carolina, chose to arrange their affairs in a different manner. Among the resolutions that they adopted on May 31, 1775, were the following:
    4. That the Inhabitants of this County do meet on a certain Day appointed by this Committee, and having formed themselves into nine Companies, to wit, eight for the County, and one for the Town of Charlotte, do choose a Colonel and other military Officers, who shall hold and exercise their several Powers by Virtue of this Choice, and independent of Great Britain, and former Constitution of this Province.

    5. That for the better Preservation of the Peace, and Administration of Justice, each of these Companies do choose from their own Body two discreet Freeholders, who shall be impowered each by himself, and singly, to determine all Matters of Controversy arising within the said Company under the Sum of Twenty Shillings, and jointly and together all Controversies under the sum of Forty Shillings, yet so as their Decisions may admit of Appeals to the Convention of Select Men of the whole County; and also, that any one of these shall have power to examine, and commit to Confinement, Persons accused of Petit Larceny.

    6. That those two Select Men, thus chosen, do, jointly and together, chose from the Body of their particular Company two persons, properly qualified to serve as Constables, who may assist them in the Execution of their Office.

    7. That upon Complaint of any Person to either of these Select Men, he do issue his Warrant, directed to the Constable, commanding him to bring the Aggressor before him or them to answer the said Complaint.

    8. That these eighteen Select Men, thus appointed, do meet every third Tuesday in January, April, July, and October, at the Court-house, in Charlotte, to hear and determine all Matters of Controversy for Sums exceeding Forty Shillings; also Appeals: And in Cases of Felony, to commit the Person or Persons convicted thereof to close Confinement, until the Provincial Congress shall provide and establish Laws and modes of Proceeding in all such Cases. (8)

    Thus, we see that initially George Washington and George Mason formed a militia unit in opposition to the government of the colony of Virginia at that time, and also in opposition to the local militia forces controlled by that government. Later, up in New England, where there was a strong tradition of local government at town hall meetings, the people there set up new local governments and simultaneously created militia units that were responsible to those local governments. Later still, the people in Charlotte, North Carolina, pretty much set things up so that for all practical purposes it could be argued that the local militia was the local government. So, it can be seen that the Founding Fathers pretty much did what they felt they had to do in the specific instances to get good, viable militia units formed, and also to set up what local government they needed. In most cases, the militia units so formed had a political role which was much greater than that of their purely military counterparts that fought on the side of the British crown.
    The British military units were merely the servants of the king who employed coercive force at his behest, and for whatever reasons seemed best to him. The militia units in many cases were able to wield significant power within their local governments by reason of the number of votes that they represented in their individual members at the town meetings, and or because of the way the provisional local governments had been constructed, giving those who would have to fight and die for what they were trying to create a level of control over things that a purely military unit would not have. This should not be taken to mean that the militia units had an absolute and total lock on the local government, far from it. But I am trying to point out that their role and their voice in the decisions that sent them into harms way were much greater than that enjoyed by a purely military unit. They had a much greater say over just what circumstances would require them to use coercive force and the situations in which they would try to bring it to bear.
    In effect, I am saying that militia units play a political role because those ends which they desire to achieve are in the final analysis political ends. Our Founding Fathers did not form militia units in potential opposition to the British until they felt that the political system which they were under as British subjects had broken down to the extent that the British government was no longer their legitimate government. Their rights were no longer being protected against abuses and usurpations, their voices were not being heard, their legitimate needs were not being met, and their consent was no longer being obtained by the government for the actions that it took that effected them. Thus, under such circumstances, they felt that they had an absolute duty to rebel. It is important to note that some of the most respected military theorists who have ever written on the subject of war see it as being intimately related to politics.
    Thus,therefore, the political object, as the original motive of the War,will be the standard for determining both the aim of the military force and also the amount of effort to be made. (9)

    The object in war is to attain a better peace-even if only from your own point of view. Hence it is essential to conduct war with constant regard to the peace you desire. (10)

    The First Factor is MORAL POSITION. You must operate from such a strong sense of moral justification that even the threat of death will not deter you from your course.

    You need such a firm sense of moral resolution to overcome the debilitating effects of the inevitable dangers,setbacks and hardships which will accompany any war.

    For a nation to have this moral strength and resolution, the government must have the support of the people. The people must agree that the reasons for the war are necessary, just and deserving of the utmost sacrifice.

    Leaders who would wage war without this strong moral justification, and without the support of the people, will find their own power bases quickly crumbling when setbacks and hardships occur. (11)

    So, given that an array of military theorists from Clausewitz to Liddell Hart to Sun Tzu are telling us in effect that one cannot divorce war from politics, I think that it is a very good idea to pay attention to what they have to say. Now, a professional military unit simply applies coercive force when and where its political leaders tell it to. However, in a true militia type unit, the military unit and its political leadership are effectively one and the same. Hence, it will be the unit that determines for what reasons that it fights and how hard, and at what cost to itself. So, to say that a militia unit should have no role at all in politics is to miss the boat entirely. Under the situation we have right now in America today, the militia units would not be forming to begin with if the political system were working properly and the people's legitimate problems were being dealt with by the system. But that is not happening, and the system is not responding that well to the standard corrective measures which have been used in the past to take care of such problems. Indeed, we have effectively seen the system bending over backwards to avoid taking into consideration some of the clearest voter mandates from the people that have occurred in decades.
    We also see the government making continuing overtures that many people see as the prelude to weapons confiscations. The confiscation of our weapons is something that has to be prevented at all costs if we are to maintain a political system in this country anything at all like the Founding Fathers intended for us to have. But, isolated individuals acting on their own will accomplish little. Trained troops will usually triumph over unorganized armed mobs without too much effort. Just look at what the Israelis were doing on a regular basis to their opponents in relatively recent history. And there are few militia units in the United States today that are as well armed, trained and equipped as the Arab units were which were slaughtered wholesale in those battles.
    The well regulated militias whose officers were appointed by the State governments, and whose training was the responsibility of the State governments have ceased to exist. The National Guard does not fill that bill as its officers are appointed by the national government and more and more we are seeing the national government either disbanding National Guard units or employing them overseas. The net result is to render them ineffective as any sort of check over the power of the national government. We have also seen that the State level governments as a rule do not seem to want to recreate their Constitutional State Militias. Indeed, more often than not, the State level governments permit themselves to be subordinated to a greater and greater degree to the national level government. Hence, the most effective check that the Founding Fathers placed on the power of the national level government has all but disappeared.
    Given that this is the case, those people who see the problems in this situation have little choice but to exercise their rights as the Founding Fathers did initially and organize militia units regardless of the level of support or hostility that they receive from their national, state and local governments. The alternative is to permit yourself to be rendered all but helpless to reply to the threat of significant military force in any reasonable manner.
    It is important to realize that those people who do this have the full support of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Common Law on their side. This is because if the government is not fulfilling its responsibilities, then it becomes the absolute duty of the citizens of this Republic to step in and fill the gap. The only limitations that they are effectively under is that banding together in a militia unit does not give the group as a whole any more legal rights or privileges than the individual members had to begin with. Regardless of what they call themselves or how they choose their officers, or what beliefs they may espouse, they do not have to authority to go and break the Common Law. Hence, the coercive force that they are practicing and learning to wield effectively can only be used in a defensive situation, when the government has finally gone beyond the pale. Now, while things in this country are bad and getting worse, they have not reached that point yet. So, militia units may effectively only meet, organize, equip and train until such time as the government forces them to take action to prevent its unjustified use of coercive force against the people.
    There are several other matters which need to be mentioned in passing. Essentially, any militia unit which forms of its own accord and is not under government auspices is a volunteer unit. This means that the only reasonable method for it to use to select its officers is by the members of the unit electing one of their own to be the leader. It matters not what level of "military qualifications" the leader either has or does not have. It is expected that everybody is going to be vigorously training and improving their level of knowledge anyway.
    Furthermore, in my time in the service I have observed senior military officers who could not pour piss out of a boot with the directions on the heel and would have a hard time leading dogs to chase cats. I have also encountered senior enlisted personnel on Flag Officers' Staffs who were as capable of leading a large scale unit as any officer could ever hope to be. The only way you can tell whether you are dealing with a good officer or a bad officer, or a good enlisted or a poor enlisted, is by personal interaction with them and observation. There is and should be no hard and fast rule which says that because somebody was only a sergeant in a branch of the military he can not be an officer in a militia unit. Furthermore, there are officers in the service who some people might not want as a stretcher bearer in their unit. There are also civilians who either by natural talent or by long study have developed a grasp of military strategy and tactics that would rival that of the most professionally competent military leader. You have to take each person as an individual and judge them by their merits.
    The only way for a volunteer unit to make the choice as to which individual is to lead them is to elect that person. That also is no guarantee of getting good people either, but at least it leaves the members of the unit as the ones who bear the responsibility for picking the individual who will make their success as a unit or put most of them in body bags. It also gives them the flexibility to replace people at need. For volunteer organizations this is the only way to fly.
    One of the other important decisions that needs to be made is whether the group wants to be an open, overt unit, or a closed, covert unit. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ways of doing things, and in the final analysis this should be left up to the people who are forming the unit. Now, there are those who do not like the idea of people forming "covert" militia units. To them I say, as long as a group of people is not breaking the Common Law, then why should it matter what they do in private? If they are breaking the Common Law, then they are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly. But if they are not breaking the Common Law, then it shouldn't be anybody else's business what they are or are not doing, where they chose to do it or not do it, and with whom. Those who want to form covert units are well advised to keep them small, and composed of people who have known each other for a long period of time. There is no need to worry about growing in size, per se. The value of the covert unit is in its ability to stay in an area without getting noticed long after the balloon has gone up. To this end, a well trained and integrated squad size unit which has not been infiltrated is much more valuable than a platoon size unit which has been infiltrated and probably hasn't trained together that well either. The larger the unit the harder it is to train as a general rule, and the more land it has to have available to it so it can train without drawing attention to itself. You may want to have one member try to keep half an eye on any overt units in the area. If for no other reason than down the road it will give you a better idea of who you may want to try to integrate with.
    Those people who want to try to form open units have to realize that public relations and education of the populace as a whole are going to end up being a large part of their mission, even if they did not plan for it initially. Try to select one member who is better at dealing with the press and appoint them as the Public Affairs Officer or Spokesman to handle any press releases or statements that need to get made. Get the rest of the group in the habit of referring any reporter type individual with questions to the spokesman.
    I would also recommend that at least one person from the unit make a courtesy call to visit with the local police chiefs and sheriffs. Remember that part of the mission of an open, above ground unit should be to support local law enforcement personnel with any reasonable and legitimate assistance they might need. So, at the very least, you can say that you have done at least minimal coordination with your local law enforcement people. If you get treated hostilely by the local law enforcement in spite of your best efforts to be reasonable and nonconfrontational, then perhaps you should consider "disbanding" the public unit and letting some of the members form covert units if they desire to. At the very least, you may want to partially reorganize as a Political Action Committee to try to get somebody more reasonable into office. Beyond just using plain old common sense, everything else is pretty much left to the discretion of the individual units.
    Realize that if you are setting yourselves up to be the defenders of the Constitution and the Common Law, then you are bound by their dictates. Also realize that anything you end up doing is going to require at least the passive support of your community over the long haul. So there is little to be gained by antagonizing your neighbors.

    Good luck and may God grant that our exercises stay academic.

    - Mike Johnson
    North Central Florida Regional Militia



    Notes
    (1) Declaration of Independence
    (2) United States Constitution, Article I, section 8
    (3) United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, 2nd Amendment
    (4) Clinton Rossiter, editor,The Federalist Papers,
    Mentor Books, 1961,ISBN 0-451-62451-2, pp 184-185.
    (5) IBID, p. 185
    (6) Stephen P. Halbrook," That Every Man Be Armed, The Evolution of a Constitutional Right",
    University of New Mexico Press, 1984, ISBN 0-8263-9764-7, p. 60.
    (7) A.J. Langguth, Patriots," The Men Who Started the American Revolution",
    Touchstone, 1989, ISBN 0-671-67562-1, p. 217
    (8) Resolves Adopted in Charlotte Town, Mecklenberg County, N. C., May 31, 1775
    (9) Carl von Clausewitz," On War", translated by Col. J.J. Graham,
    edited and with an introduction by Anatol Rapoport, Penguin Books, 1968, ISBN 0-14-044427-0, p. 109.

    (10) B. H. Liddell Hart," Strategy,Revised Second Edition "
    Meridian, 1991, ISBN 0-452-01071-3, p. 353.
    (11) Sun Tzu," Manual For War", translated and edited by T.W. Kuo,
    Atli Press, 1989, ISBN 0-910169-02-0, p. 18.
    This is the best translation I have run across and I recommend it highly.

    Permission is given to copy, repost and print this file out as many times as desired as long as I am given credit for writing it and it is used for educational purposes only.
    - Mike Johnson, June 12, 1995



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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    (can't find a "part 2")

    Part 1: A look inside a modern-day militia in the United States



    Posted: 09/15/2011

    By: Kristin Volk & Danielle Cohen

    NORTHERN MICHIGAN - Ten years after September 11th, security analysts say new threats are emerging from modern-day militias, whose members pack rifles and practice survival tactics, preparing for eventual battle.

    “The militias in effect are the … people (who) really specialize in engaging in paramilitary training in the woods and those kinds of things,” said Mark Potok, who studies militias for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization in Montgomery, Ala. Experts say these militias -- groups of ordinary citizens who form their own military force without government help -- are an increasing danger to national defense efforts.

    In 2010, the law center tracked 330 active militias in the U.S., up from 43 in 2007. But members of the handful of groups that Scripps Howard News Service interviewed insist they have good intentions.

    “In a disaster situation, we’d be looking to help people -- help them clean up, recover, bring them medical assistance, food,” said Tom Morse, 25, one of a dozen men from five Michigan militias gathered here for a group exercise.

    On this summer weekend, Morse and fellow militia member Daniel Ziemba hoist rifles over their camouflaged backs to hike in the woods and hunt their “enemy”: Morse’s father, Tom, code-named “Bubba.”

    Armed with rifles and scopes, the key is to keep quiet. “This type of exercise is preparing me for the ability to hide from forces who might be looking for me,” Morse says. “The purpose is to sneak in, observe, watch, listen, learn.” Morse, a Marine Corps veteran, joined the militia because of his father.

    Bubba organizes monthly meetings. "The skills that I’m learning here I hope I never have to use,” Bubba says. Each team sets up camp and uses radios to communicate. They track footprints in the mud and squint through binoculars to keep watch for an enemy attack.

    “Militia is the people’s way of defending themselves,” said Fids Hartgers, who’s been a militia member in Michigan for two years.

    Potok, of the law center, says he’s “seen explosive growth” recently in homegrown military groups. “Things have very definitely gotten hot in just the past couple of years,” Potok says.

    The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, also says that violence in this underground world is escalating. “We see the rise of home-grown extremism -- some inspired by al-Qaida, some inspired by other ideologies,” she said. These groups are “committing violence in the name of an ideology and trying to disrupt and kill.”

    Militia groups contacted for this story say they’re practicing survival skills and mastering battleground weapons more as a recreational activity than a terrorist operation.

    Back at the field exercise, Lou, who did not want to give his last name, said in the past five years his Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia has grown to 217 members. “We got Muslim members. We got people who are of Buddhist beliefs. We have people who have no beliefs whatsoever,” he said. Lou and other militia members at the field exercise say they’re open to anyone -- regardless of race, religion or political beliefs.

    Both Homeland Security and the law center say that such groups may be the exception and that several radical militias with strict anti-government beliefs have sprouted in the U.S. “We’ve seen a couple different plots to murder large numbers of police officers, coming out of militia groups in the last year and a half,” Potok said.

    For Bubba, it’s not about violence but about survival. Back in the Michigan woods, he discovers the other team’s flag completely unprotected. He plucks it from the ground, ending the exercise with a victory. For him, militia training isn’t about breeding terrorism but being prepared to combat it.

    Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/loc...#ixzz2GqGbBK7l
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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    The 21st-Century Militia: State Defense Forces and Homeland Security

    By James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. and Jessica Zuckerman
    October 8, 2010




    Abstract: State militias have helped to defend the United States since the Revolutionary War. Today, 23 states and territories have organized militias, most commonly known as State Defense Forces (SDFs). SDFs provide governors with a cost-effective, vital force multiplier and resource, especially if state National Guard units are deployed out of state. However, in general, SDFs are underfunded and undersupported. Some states at high risk for a natural or man-made disaster have not even created SDFs. The U.S. and its states can no longer afford to sideline these national security assets.



    Since the founding of the United States of America, local militias have played an important role in its defense and security. Bolstered by the Founding Father’s concerns about maintaining a large standing army and preserved within the Constitution, the concept of the citizen soldier has since become ingrained in American culture and government.


    Currently, 23 states and territories have modern militias. As of 2005, these militias had a force strength of approximately 14,000 individuals nationwide.[1] Most commonly known as State Defense Forces (SDFs) or state militias, these forces are distinct from the Reserves and the National Guard in that they serve no federal function. In times of both war and peace, SDFs remain solely under the control of their governors, allowing the governors to deploy them easily and readily in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.


    Building on a strong U.S. militia tradition, today’s State Defense Forces offer a vital force multiplier and homeland security resource for governors throughout the nation. SDFs can greatly fortify homeland security efforts in the states by serving as emergency response and recovery forces. Consequently, state leaders should make strengthening existing SDFs a priority, while encouraging their creation in states that do not yet have SDFs, especially in states at high risk of a natural or man-made disaster.


    This paper is the result of a first attempt by any organization to conduct a comprehensive survey of the nation’s SDFs. The Heritage Foundation sent surveys to the leaders of all 23 of the nation’s SDFs, and 13 responded. This paper analyzes their responses, looks at the history of the SDFs and the issues and challenges that they face, and makes recommendations on expanding the SDF role in homeland security.


    From the Founding Through Today
    Informed by British history and colonialism, many of the Founding Fathers believed that a large standing army could easily become an instrument of tyranny.[2] Nevertheless, the onset of the Revolutionary War clearly demonstrated the undeniable need to field a unified, professional national defense force to defeat the British. Thus, in 1775, despite the colonies’ long reliance on militias to defend their territories, the Continental Congress created the Continental Army, the nation’s first standing military force.[3]



    However, creation of the Continental Army did little to impede the continued existence of militias throughout the nation. While militias were decidedly less effective during the Revolutionary War than the Continental Army, they nevertheless contributed to the war effort. In the early battles and later as auxiliary support to the Continental Army, the militia helped to win the war, securing their continued role in the nation.[4]
    Ultimately, despite misgivings about the effectiveness of militias, the Founding Fathers incorporated their belief that a well-regulated militia was “the ultimate guardian of liberty” into the Constitution.[5] Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states:
    The Congress shall have the power…to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.[6]
    The language of the Constitution granted the federal government the power to call forth the militia of the United States, but left the states the ability to appoint officers and to train their militias.
    Five years after the Constitution was ratified, state militia powers were more firmly defined by the Militia Act of 1792, which required all free men ages 18 to 45 to serve in the enrolled militia. Further, laying the basis for principles that guide today’s State Defense Forces, the act dictated that the Adjutant General (TAG) of each state would command the militia and that state militias would receive no federal funds. At the same time, however, the Calling Forth Act of 1792 gave the President power to mobilize any and all state militia forces when the nation was under threat of invasion or in times of “insurrections in any State.”[7]
    However, the Militia Act and Calling Forth Act did not end the contest between state governors and the federal government for control over militia forces. Within a few decades, this debate reached the Supreme Court. In 1827, the Court ruled in Martin v. Mott that the President had the exclusive right to determine if conditions warranted mobilization of militia forces. However, in 1820, the Court held in Houston v. Moore that states maintained concurrent authority with the President to mobilize the militia in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest, insurrection, or invasion. This decision helped to set the basis for the modern state-apportioned militias.[8]
    By the end of the War of 1812, the militias enrolled under the Militia Act of 1792 had largely declined as population growth made their size unwieldy and ineffective.[9] As states increasingly abolished mandatory militia service, volunteer militias became more prevalent. During the Civil War, the combined force of enrolled and volunteer militias proved more useful than in any previous war. Northern militias acted both independently and in conjunction with the U.S. Army to guard prisoners, man forts, and protect the coast, freeing up federal troops for duty elsewhere.[10]
    Despite their utility during the Civil War, volunteer militia forces remained largely disparate and disorganized bodies until the 20th century. In 1903, the latest Militia Act (the Dick Act) transformed all state militia forces into units of the National Guard.[11] While this measure helped to professionalize and organize the U.S. militia, World War I created unforeseen challenges for state governors.
    Within months of the U.S. entrance into World War I, the entire National Guard Force of more than 300,000 guardsmen was mobilized for active duty.[12] Deprived of their National Guard units and concerned about sabotage and espionage attempts on the mainland, governors began to call for the creation of home defense forces or organized state militias. The Home Defense Act of 1917 permitted the states to raise home defense forces in cases where the National Guard had been federalized.[13] By December 1917, eight months after the U.S. entered the war, 42 states had formed home guards or State Defense Forces with a total force strength of approximately 100,000 men.[14] After World War I, most SDF units were disbanded, but they were revived again during World War II,[15] growing to 150,000 members in 46 states and Puerto Rico.[16]
    After World War II, militias again declined, and circumstances did not prompt creation of large State Defense Forces until late in the Cold War. In the 1950s, Congress again passed legislation supporting the formation of state militias.[17] However, the creation and expansion of SDFs throughout the United States remained slow until U.S.–Soviet relations worsened and détente collapsed in the late 1970s.[18]
    At the same time that the Cold War was driving the expansion of State Defense Forces, the unpopularity of the Vietnam War led to a drive to end conscription. In 1969, President Richard Nixon established a commission to determine how best to abolish the draft. The Gates Commission concluded that the best alternative to conscription would be an all-volunteer force. However, creating and maintaining this all-volunteer force would rely heavily on the Total Force Concept, which called for complete integration of all Active and Reserve components. Further, the Total Force Concept’s heavy reliance on Reserve forces increased the likelihood that states would be left without their National Guard troops if they were deployed overseas.[19] This realization led many states to revive their SDFs in the 1980s. Ultimately, in 1983, Congress amended the National Defense Act to authorize all states to maintain permanent State Defense Forces.[20]
    The Modern Militia: State Defense Forces
    At present, 23 states and territories have SDFs, and their estimated force strength totaled 14,000 members as of 2005.[21] Authorized under federal statute Title 32 of the U.S. Code, SDFs are entirely under state control—unlike the National Guard— both in peace and otherwise.[22] Hence, while the National Guard is a dual-apportioned force that can be called to federal service under Title 10 or remain a state force under Title 32, State Defense Forces serve solely as Title 32 forces.
    This status gives SDFs two important advantages. First, SDFs are continually stationed within their respective states and can be called up quickly and easily in times of need. Such a capability is particularly important when catastrophic disasters overwhelm local first responders and federal forces can take up to 72 hours to respond.[23] Second, SDFs are exempt from the restrictions of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits federal military forces from engaging in domestic law enforcement activities within the United States.[24] While the Posse Comitatus Act has never proven a major obstacle to deploying federal forces for domestic emergency response, SDFs permit a state military response uninhibited by legal obstacles.[25]
    Each SDF is under the control of its respective governor through the state’s military department.[26] The Adjutant General, the state’s senior military commander and a member of the governor’s cabinet, commands the SDF on behalf of the governor. As SDF commander, TAG is responsible for all training, equipment allocation, and decisions regarding the SDF’s strength, activity, and mission. The Adjutant General is also the commander of the state’s National Guard units and often directs state emergency response.[27] Through TAGs, SDFs can easily coordinate with other key components of the state emergency response.
    Despite its recognition in federal statute, creation of a State Defense Force remains at the discretion of each state governor, and 28 states have chosen not to create such forces. Creation of SDFs has met resistance from TAGs and the National Guard Bureau due to concerns over turf, costs, and even arming SDF members.[28] However, such objections make little sense given that SDFs are entirely volunteer organizations and offer the states a vital, low-cost force multiplier. Members are not paid for training, only some states compensate them for active duty, and SDFs generally have little equipment.[29] For example, in 2002 alone, the Georgia State Guard reportedly saved the state of Georgia $1.5 million by providing 1,797 days of operational service to the state.[30] In all, the state-apportioned status, organizational structure, and low-cost burden of SDFs make them a vital and practical resource for the states.
    State Defense Forces Post-9/11
    Only months before 9/11, the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (the Hart– Rudman Commission) suggested making homeland security the primary mission of the National Guard.[31] However, after September 11, 2001, National Guard deployments reached their highest level since the Korean War.[32] This was understandably troubling to many state leaders given that “[g]overnors have the greatest responsibility for managing consequences of attacks,” but “[t]hey have the fewest resources with which to do it…only the state police and the National Guard to provide for law and order.”[33] In recent years, the high levels of National Guard deployment largely removed this resource from numerous states. Even in the states where National Guard forces remain present, the Guard is maintaining only about 62 percent of its equipment on hand for the states because of overseas deployments.[34] This has left some governors with just state police units to help to maintain security and facilitate emergency response. In addition, an emergency, particularly a catastrophic disaster, could quickly overwhelm state police and other first responders. If National Guard forces are unavailable because they are deployed elsewhere, then the state could rely on its SDF, if it has one, to reinforce police and first responders. While largely underdeveloped and underresourced, SDFs can fill this gap in state homeland security capabilities, giving governors a valuable force multiplier.
    In recent years, State Defense Forces have proven vital to homeland security and emergency response efforts. For example, after 9/11, the New York Guard, New York Naval Militia, and New Jersey Naval Militia were activated to assist in response measures, recovery efforts, and critical infrastructure security.[35] An estimated 2,274 SDF personnel participated in support of recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina. SDF personnel were activated in at least eight states, including Texas, Maryland, Virginia, and Tennessee. They assisted directly with recovery efforts or stayed in their states to fill the roles of the state National Guard units that were deployed to assist in the recovery.[36] SDFs have also offered critical infrastructure protection. In Operation Noble Eagle, the homeland defense and civil support operation after 9/11, the Alaskan SDF aided in the efforts to protect the Alaska oil pipeline.[37]
    History suggests that State Defense Forces may be most valuable in assisting the states in emergency response. In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, the first tier of response is state and local first responders. However, Hurricane Katrina exposed a vital difference between a “normal” disaster and a catastrophic disaster.[38] A catastrophic disaster quickly stresses the resources and capabilities of state and local responders. In such cases, the Title 32 National Guard troops can serve as the second tier of response. Yet given the National Guard’s high operational tempo over the past decade, the state Guard units may be unavailable. Likewise, the third tier, federal support in the form of reserve troops or FEMA assistance, may take up to 72 hours to mobilize and arrive at the scene of the disaster.[39] In contrast, State Defense Forces are by their nature located nearby. They also know the area and the resources at hand, giving them the potential to be a key element of emergency response for the states.
    Besides being readily available and continually stationed within states, SDFs can carry out state homeland security missions without any major reorganization, which would be required if Congress were to implement the Hart–Rudman Commission’s recommendation to task the National Guard with this role. Furthermore, by assuming greater homeland security responsibility, SDFs would allow the National Guard to focus more on their Title 10 mission in the global war on terrorism. Moreover, unlike the dual-apportioned National Guard, State Defense Forces could focus more completely on homeland security than the National Guard.
    Challenges Faced
    State Defense Forces offer an important homeland security asset to many states, but several challenges have prevented these forces from reaching their full potential. Existing SDFs are often underfunded and undersupported, and some vulnerable states have not yet formed SDFs.
    One of the greatest challenges to the creation and maintenance of State Defense Forces across the nation is ignorance among state and national security leaders. Many of these leaders are fundamentally unaware of the existence and capabilities of SDFs. This is largely a public relations nightmare for the SDFs because this general ignorance greatly impedes SDF leaders’ efforts to make their cause and merits known.
    However, lack of awareness is not the SDFs’ only major public relations challenge. Often those who are aware of SDFs confuse them with private militia forces associated with radical organizations. State Defense Forces are the modern state militias. These forces are government-authorized, organized, professional militias, in sharp contrast to their radical “counterparts.”
    SDFs are also limited by the restriction forbidding them from receiving in-kind support from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). While SDFs should remain funded solely by the states, in-kind support in the form of equipment and facilities would enhance SDF training and capabilities. However, because the DOD does not directly support SDFs, they cannot use federal resources, even surplus federal equipment and supplies. This is particularly challenging given that many SDFs work closely with their state National Guards. Nevertheless, SDFs are not permitted to use Guard facilities, trucks, or equipment, even when state National Guard troops are deployed elsewhere and SDFs are filling in during their absence.
    The Current State of SDFs
    The State Defense Forces offer the states a much needed force multiplier for homeland security operations and provide critical support as an auxiliary to the National Guard. While the potential roles of SDFs received heightened attention immediately after 9/11, that attention has faded in recent years.
    To assess current SDF resources and capabilities, The Heritage Foundation sent a survey to the leaders of the 23 existing SDFs. Thirteen states—Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia—responded, providing a sampling of SDFs from across the United States. While the data received are limited and cannot draw a national picture of State Defense Forces, much can still be learned from the information gathered.
    Mission. First, 11 of the 13 respondents indicated that their State Defense Forces have a defined mission under state law, but the identified missions varied greatly from state to state. Some forces focused more on a National Guard auxiliary mission. Other SDFs emphasize homeland security and civil support. The SDFs of Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia identified their mission as acting largely to support the state National Guard. Other states defined their mission as providing communication backup and support, serving as a direct resource of the governor, operating search and rescue efforts, assisting in disaster response, and/or supporting emergency operating agencies and law enforcement as key components.
    In emergency response, 10 of the 13 SDFs play a designated role in their state or local emergency operation centers. Several of the SDFs participate in planning disaster mitigation tactics, either at the direction of the state National Guard, the governor, and/or the Adjutant General, rather than following a predetermined plan for disaster mitigation. Others simply encourage greater training and education among their members. Virginia and Georgia have gone so far as to incorporate their SDFs into their state all-hazards or disaster mitigation plans.
    Funding. Survey results also support the notion that State Defense Forces provide a cost-effective solution to the problem of maintaining sufficient homeland security manpower at the state level. Only four of the 13 responding SDFs indicated that they pay their members when on active duty. The rest rely solely on volunteer service. Nevertheless, while SDFs are considered a low-cost asset, they still require adequate state funding to ensure that they have the resources necessary to carry out their assigned missions. In this regard, only nine of the 13 SDFs indicated that they receive state-appropriated funds. Yet despite inadequate funding, 10 of the 13 respondents plan to expand their SDFs, clearly reflecting the importance of these forces.
    Force Strength. In force strength and composition, 10 of the 13 SDFs had active force strengths above 100 personnel as of January 2010. Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Georgia, and Alabama reported forces of more than 200 members each, and Texas indicated an active force strength of 1,750—the largest of the SDFs.
    Yet many high-risk states do not have SDFs. Judging from more than 50 years of actuarial data on natural disasters, certain states face a predictable, high risk of experiencing a natural disaster.[40] Further, an analysis of funding of cities through the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program has identified the 37 “highest risk” jurisdictions as indicated by the federal government. Of these high-risk states, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania lack SDFs.
    Additionally, SDF personnel tend to be retired military personnel and other professionals. In all but one of the 13 SDFs, the average age of SDF personnel is 42 years or older. While some point to the higher age of SDF members as a disadvantage, in fact this is a great strength because it often reflects the members’ extensive experience. “In many cases it is not uncommon in a group of four or five SDF officers to find 100 plus years of military experience.”[41] According to survey results, responding SDFs primarily draw on such experience and professional backgrounds in offering medical, financial, and legal aid within the SDF and to the National Guard.
    Only Texas, Virginia, and Indiana reported having an SDF naval or marine arm. The Texas, Virginia, and Vermont SDFs have air arms.
    Seven of the 13 SDFs reported that they trained and served side by side with the state National Guard on a regular basis. All 13 respondents responded that they conducted regular assessments of their SDFs.
    In all, the survey data show that too many SDFs receive insufficient recognition and support. Because they are predominantly volunteer organizations, their capabilities tend to be overlooked. Yet the states with SDFs should seek to expand the size, scope, and utility of their SDFs to provide themselves with a dynamic resource at a low cost. High-risk states without SDFs should seriously consider forming them. In addition to receiving greater federal recognition and in-kind support as well as state resources, SDFs should be given the opportunity to train side by side with their National Guard counterparts. SDFs will be a significantly greater asset to their states if they are more professionally trained and equipped.
    Expanding the Role of SDFs in Homeland Security
    In 2009, the State Defense Force Improvement Act (H.R. 206) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would have amended Title 32 of the U.S. Code to enhance the nation’s SDFs.[42] The bill sought to clarify federal regulation of SDFs and to improve standardization and coordination with the DOD and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, since its introduction, H.R. 206 has been on hold.
    Expansion and enhancement of SDFs remains vital to homeland security. To further such efforts, state leaders, Congress, the DOD, and the DHS should:

    • Promote the creation of SDFs in high-risk states. Only 23 states and territories have SDFs. The hesitation of many governors makes little sense given that SDFs offer a low-cost force multiplier for homeland security efforts. In particular, the high-risk states without SDFs would greatly benefit from creating SDFs for disaster recovery and response efforts.
    • Create state standards and clarify federal regulation. Clarifying federal regulation would provide a clearer picture on SDFs’ powers and mission. At the same time, creating state standards for tactics, techniques, and organization based on the needs of each individual state would strengthen and enhance SDF performance. State standards should be communicated to the Council of Governors and the State Guard Association of the United States to facilitate sharing of best practices among the states.
    • Incorporate SDFs into state and national emergency management plans. Expanding SDFs while clarifying regulation and setting standards is only the first step. The states, the DOD, and the DHS should ensure that SDFs are incorporated into existing and future emergency management plans and exercises. Including SDFs will help to ensure that all state and national actors in emergency response know their respective roles. Further, emergency management plans and exercises will provide SDFs with greater guidance on what is expected of them in the event of a man-made or natural disaster.
    • Permit SDFs to train side by side with the National Guard. While SDFs and the National Guard differ in their overall missions, they share emergency management responsibilities in their respective states. In each state, they also have a common commander, the state’s Adjutant General. Having the SDFs train alongside the state National Guards would be an effective use of resources and provide the specialized training needed to strengthen the SDFs. State Defense Forces will be a significantly greater asset to their states if they are more professionally trained and equipped. Accordingly, Congress should amend the law to allow the National Guard to provide assistance to all auxiliary forces, including SDFs and Coast Guard Auxiliaries.[43] This assistance could include technical training, administrative support, and use of National Guard facilities and equipment.
    • Encourage greater state support and resource allocation, and federal in-kind support. Four of the 13 SDFs do not receive state funding. While SDFs are a low-cost resource, the size and scope of their functionality is hindered by insufficient support and resources. To increase the quality and capability of SDFs, states need to provide adequate support and resources. Additionally, while SDFs should remain solely funded by the states, these forces would greatly benefit from receiving federal in-kind support from the Department of Defense. Allowing SDF members to train at military facilities and to receive excess federal equipment and supplies would greatly benefit the SDFs with minimal burden on the DOD.

    The Future of the Modern Militia
    There are clear historical, legal, and practical justifications for strengthening the State Defense Forces. Since the founding of this country, militias have played a vital role in fulfilling the constitutional duty of providing for the common defense. Today, as strictly state forces, SDFs continue to provide critical manpower at minimal cost.
    Despite the undeniable benefits from having an effective SDF, many SDFs lack the resources and the operational standards needed to make them more effective. Some states at high risk of natural or man-made disasters have not even formed SDFs. The U.S. and its states can no longer afford to sideline these national security assets.
    James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., is Deputy Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and Director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Davis Institute, at The Heritage Foundation. Jessica Zuckerman is a Research Assistant in the Allison Center.
    Appendix A: Survey Form [PDF]
    Appendix B: Survey Responses [PDF]

    Show references in this report
    [1]This count includes 22 states and Puerto Rico. State Guard Association of the United States, “Active State Forces,” at http://www.sgaus.org/states/active-state-forces.html (August 9, 2010), and U.S. Department of Defense, “Homeland Defense Forces for Homeland Defense and Homeland Security Missions,” November 2005, at http://www.gasdf.net/documents/DoDRe...FNov.20051.pdf (August 19, 2010).

    [2]Matthew Spalding and David Forte, eds., The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2005), pp. 141 and 319.

    [3]Michael D. Doubler, TheNational Guard and Reserve: A Reference Handbook (Westport, Conn.: Praeger Security International, 2008), p. 47.

    [4] Ibid., p. 20.

    [5]Spalding and Forte, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, p. 141.

    [6]U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, § 8.

    [7]Michael D. Doubler, Civilian in Peace, Soldier in War: The Army National Guard, 1636–2000 (Lawrence, Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 2003), p. 68.

    [8] Houston v. Moore, 18 U.S. 1 (1820).

    [9]Doubler, Civilian in Peace, Soldier in War, pp. 87–88.

    [10] Ibid., p. 108.

    [11]The Militia Act of 1903, Public Law 57–196.

    [12]National Guard Bureau, “About the National Guard: 1918,” at http://www.ng.mil/About/default.aspx (July 28, 2010).

    [13]“No state shall, without the consent of Congress…keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace.” U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, § 10, and Kent G. Sieg, “America’s State Defense Forces: An Historical Component of National Defense,” State Defense Force Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Fall 2005), p. 5, at http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA497658 (July 30, 2010).

    [14]John R. Brinkerhoff, “Restore the Militia for Homeland Security,” Journal of Homeland Security, November 1, 2001, at http://www.homelandsecurity.org/jour...hoff_nov01.htm (July 29, 2010).

    [15]SDFs were also later revived during the Korean War in a more limited capacity. This was largely because state leaders generally did not see North Korea as a threat to the homeland. Attention turned instead toward the potential threat from the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. Barry M. Stentiford, The American Home Guard: The State Militia in the Twentieth Century (College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M University Press, 2002), p. 205.

    [16]Brinkerhoff, “Restore the Militia for Homeland Security.”

    [17]Public Law 84–364, and the State Defense Forces Act of the United States of 1958.

    [18]H. Wayne Nelson, Robert Barish, Frederic Smalkin, James Doyle, and Martin Hershkowitz, “Developing Vibrant State Defense Forces: A Successful Medical and Health Service Model,” State Defense Force Monograph Series, Winter 2006, at http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA494466 (August 17, 2010).

    [19]James Jay Carafano, “The Army Reserves and the Abrams Doctrine: Unfulfilled Promise, Uncertain Future,” Heritage Foundation Lecture No. 869, December 6, 2004, at http://www.heritage.org/research/lec...certain-future.

    [20]Colonel Andre N. Coulombe, “The State Guard Experience and Homeland Defense,” State Defense Force Monograph Series, Winter 2005, at http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf (July 29, 2010).

    [21]U.S. Department of Defense, “Homeland Defense Forces.”

    [22]32 U.S. Code § 109.

    [23]James Jay Carafano, “Homeland Security in the Next Administration,” Heritage Foundation Lecture No. 1085, April 9, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lec...Administration.

    [24]James Jay Carafano, “Assessing Plans to Deploy U.S. Military on the Homeland Security Front,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2156,December 5, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Rep...Security-Front.

    [25]James Jay Carafano, “Critics of the Hurricane Response Miss the Mark in Focusing on Posse Comitatus,” Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum No. 983, October 3, 2005, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Rep...osse-ComitatusResponse-Miss-the-Mark-in-Focusing-on-Posse-Comitatus.

    [26]Nelson et al., “Developing Vibrant State Defense Forces.”

    [27]Arthur N. Tulak, Robert W. Kraft, and Don Silbaugh, “State Defense Forces and Homeland Security,” Parameters, Vol. 33 (Winter 2003–2004), pp. 132–146, at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/P...nter/tulak.htm(July 30, 2010).

    [28]Chip Dever, “The Role of the National Guard in Homeland Security,” U.S. Army War College, April 7, 2003, at http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf (July 30, 2010).

    [29]Colonel John R. Brinkerhoff, “The Role of State Defense Forces in Homeland Security,” State Defense Force Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Fall 2005), at http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA497665 (July 30, 2010).

    [30]Brent C. Bankus, “Volunteer Military Organizations: An Overlooked Asset,” State Defense Force Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Fall 2006), at http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf (July 29, 2010).

    [31]U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, “Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change,” February 15, 2001, at http://www.fas.org/man/docs/nwc/phaseiii.pdf (July 29, 2010).

    [32]Associated Press, “National Guard Deployment Highest Since Korea,” The Washington Times, April 2, 2003, at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...9-7043r/print/ (July 29, 2010).

    [33]John Brinkerhoff, “Who Will Help the Emergency Responders?” Heritage Foundation Lecture No. 882, June 2, 2005, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lec...ncy-Responders.

    [34]U.S. Department of Defense, National Guard and Reserve Equipment Report for Fiscal Year 2011, February 2010, at http://ra.defense.gov/documents/NGRER%20FY11.pdf (September 9, 2010).

    [35]Tulak et al., “State Defense Forces and Homeland Security.”

    [36]Martin Hershkowitz, “Summary of Available State Defense Force After Action Reports from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Deployments,” State Defense Force Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 2006), at http://www.23bn-vdf.com/s3/AARs%20of...%20Katrina.pdf (July 30, 2010).

    [37]Tulak et al., “State Defense Forces and Homeland Security.”

    [38]James Jay Carafano and John Brinkerhoff, “Katrina’s Forgotten Responders: State Defense Forces Play a Vital Role,” Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum No. 984, October 5, 2005, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Rep...y-a-Vital-Role.

    [39]Carafano, “Homeland Security in the Next Administration.”

    [40]Matt A. Mayer, David C. John, and James Jay Carafano, “Principles for Reform of Catastrophic Natural Disaster Insurance,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2256, April 8, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/research/rep...ster-insurance.

    [41]Nelson et al., “Developing Vibrant State Defense Forces.”

    [42]State Defense Force Improvement Act, H.R. 206, 111th Cong., 1st Sess.

    [43]32 U.S. Code § 508. Section 508 lists the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, the Young Men’s and Women’s Christian Association, the Police Athletic League, and the Civil Air Patrol, but not the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the State Defense Forces, among the organizations authorized to use National Guard facilities and equipment, as well as receive assistance in the form of technical training and administrative support.
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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    State Defense Forces - authorized militia

    By Harry V. Martin and David Caul

    Copyright FreeAmerica and Harry V. Martin, 1995

    Few Americans are aware of the existance of State Defense Forces. No, they are not units of the National Guard, nor are they reservists. State Defense Forces are a non-paid militia whose primary function is to suppress internal dissent. This type of dissent ranges from distrubances similar to the Los Angeles riots after the Rodney King verdict to ending demonstrations like the People's Park protest in Berkeley.
    Traditionally, state governments relied on the National Guard in cases of civil unrest. One third of the cost of the Naitonal Guard was paid for by the state, now, with the federalization of the National Guard, only 5 percent of the cost to run the units is charged to the state. In 1956, Federal Law 32 U.S.C., Section 109, was passed by Congress. The law authorized, but did not mandate, each state to establish and maintain a State Defense Force to replace the National Guard. The entire cost of the State Defense Force would be paid for by the individual state. The Federal law prohibited the use of any federal funds to pay State Defense Force volunteers, or their allowances, subsistence, transportation or medical care.


    Twenty-one states now have State Defense Forces, while almost every other state is considering their creation. States with State Defense Forces include Alabama, Alaska, California, Indiana, Louisiana, George, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Militias existed in all the states prior to the Civil War, but after that epic event, militias began to vanish. The state militia was last used during World War II The rise of the Naitonal Guard provided a two-fold protection, one for the state in times of emergency, and the second, for the nation in times of war.

    REPLACING THE FEDERALIZED NATIONAL GUARD
    With the federalization of the National Guard, more and more states began to turn to the creation of the State Defense Force concept. After the Vietnam War, Congress implemented a Total Force Policy which essentially integrated the National Guard into a national defesne force. The Department of the Army now provides the main source of National Guard training, support and control. The Army elies on the National Guard for a third of its combat divisions, more than half of its infantry battalions, armored cavalry regiments and field artillery battalions, and nearly half of its armored and mechanized infantry battalios and aviation units.
    The establishment of the State Defense Forces allows the units to "be used within the jurisdiction concerned, as its chief exectuive (governor) considers necessary, but may not be called, or drafted in the the Armed Forces of the United States".


    Virtually ever American knows about the National Guard, but few know about the State Defense Forces. Critics of the State Defense Forces complain that "ultra right wing survialists" are the main volunteers for the State Defense Forces. A law suit filed by the Christic Institute charges that the State Defense Forces are drawn from "weekend Survivalists Training Centers" or ultra right "war game" schools.


    Members of the State Defense Forces buy their own uniforms, own their own weapons. They do not receive pay. California has two requirements for its State Military Reserve units, that an applicant must be under the age of 65 and must submit to a fingerprint card. No physicial examination is required. Members of the California unit are required to attend one 8-hour drill each month, and a three-day training session each year. In addtion, each member is expected to perform an additional 100 volunteer hours each year in some unspeicified manner. California supplies one baisc uniform free of charge. Members may resign at any time. Veterans are often given the highest rank they achieved in active or military reserve status, and promitions come easily.




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    Default Re: Militias, Minute Men, Colonial Times to Present

    Check out this set of pages, if you're interested:

    http://texasstatemilitia.com/

    Might be a model for other states to set up something
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