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State Defense Forces by State 2024

State Defense Forces by State 2024


State Guards, sometimes referred to as reserves or militia, are something that each state has had since the colonial era. Of course, the original thirteen colonies needed their defense forces out of necessity, and the practice of armed men as a mob of militia was a great way to call upon active people that were trained in the defense of their nation. However, since the outbreak of the first world war, states such as Texas have realized that it is no longer beneficial to have some poorly-trained people that are called upon to defend their state in the case of an attack.

The Great War brought with it many different complications which changed warfare forever, including a huge change in battlefield tactics, technology, and the ability to strike over large areas, sometimes even across other continents. While it was necessary to have some sort of defense from an incoming wave of enemy units to hold them off until a more professional force could arrive, this all changed in 1954. Since then, state guards, militias, and reserves have been created in the case of a large emergency when the security of the homeland is threatened.

Texas is one of the few states that still has an active state guard, an adage to the lone star's position of ferocity, honesty, and self-sufficiency. The Texas State Guard and Maritime Regiment have more relaxed recruitment policies than those of the more traditional military branches but still can serve as a stepping stone to being further admitted to other domestic or active duty.


Virginia still has an active state guard that conducts firearms and weapons training. The Virginia State Defense Force also has a Riverine detachment, which trains its guards in the defense of maritime activity. Sometimes they can also be called upon in the case of a national or state emergency outside of the scope of the war, for such things as natural disasters, rioting, civil unrest, and other relevant factors. Virginia was the first colony in the United States, and still symbolically holds onto this tradition by maintaining high standards for its military branches, including the state guard.

New York

Of course, New York must always maintain itself in a state of military superiority in terms of national and international. Home to the most populated city in the United States, New York City is one of the biggest hubs of economic activity for citizens, tourists, and international firms alike - rivaled only by California. The overall availability of U.S. citizens found within the state of New York makes recruitment possible for state guards and would make it much easier to defend the state in the unlikely case that it is invaded.

Of course, if the United States was ever attacked or underwent a civil crisis, conspirators and enemies would most likely target places with a high amount of infrastructure to cripple the rest of the nation, and New York City would be a target, both for practical and symbolic reasons.

State Defense Forces by State 2024

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State Defense Force Active
Defense Force Title
AlaskaYesAlaska State Defense Force (ASDF)
CaliforniaYesCalifornia State Guard (CSG)
ConnecticutYesConnecticut State Guard
FloridaYesFlorida State Guard (FSG)
GeorgiaYesGeorgia State Defense Force (GSDF)
IndianaYesIndiana Guard Reserve (INGR)
LouisianaYesLouisiana State Guard (LSG)
MarylandYesMaryland Defense Force (MDDF
MichiganYesMichigan Defense Force (MIDF)
MississippiYesMississippi State Guard (MSSG)
New HampshireNo
New JerseyNo
New MexicoYesNew Mexico State Defense Force (NMSDF)
New YorkYesNew York Guard (NYG)
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaNo
OhioYesOhio Military Reserve (OHMR)
OregonYesOregon Civil Defense Force (ORCDF)
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaYesSouth Carolina State Guard (SCSG)
South DakotaNo
TennesseeYesTennessee State Guard (TNSG)
TexasYesTexas State Guard (TXSG)
VermontYesVermont State Guard (VSG)
VirginiaYesVirginia Defense Force (VDF)
WashingtonYesWashington State Guard
West VirginiaNo
showing: 50 rows