Just in: Gov. DeSantis seeking to reinstate Florida State Guard!!
The uniform below belonged to a Florida State Guard Captain during WW2. The uniform that is on display in the old Capitol Building in Tallahassee.
The purpose of the Florida State Defense Force Reactivation Group is to advocate for the reinstitution of the legislatively authorized state defense force or "State Guard" in Florida. Many other states have similar organizations which use various names like "State Guard", "Military Reserve" and other similar names.
Chapter 251 of the Florida Statutes authorizes the formation, organization and rules regarding a Florida State Defense Force.
Unlike the Civil Air Patrol or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Florida State Defense Force will be a statutory military entity of the State of Florida, within the Florida Military Department with each member subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) per Florida State Statutes.
There have been many other persons and group who have tried to get the Florida government to restart the Florida SDF but have not been successful and most of those groups have simply faded away. We have no intention to "fade away".
We are not part of any branch of any government and we have no political agenda or ideology to advance. We are a group of private citizens and our sole aim is to educate the people, legislators and government officials of the state of Florida about this much needed and very cost-effective organization.
Why have a Florida State Defense Force? Why can't existing volunteer organizations suffice?
The proposed Florida State Defense Force (SDF) would be a voluntary professional military corps who offers support in totality to the Florida National Guard (FLNG). Operations in security operations, engineering, transportation, chaplaincy, emergency management, legal, and medical services among others operational areas.
The Florida SDF will be comprised of retired, prior service military personnel and selected professional individuals who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state.
The mission of a FL SDF will be to provide mission ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies; to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities; and to augment the Florida Army National Guard and the Florida Air National Guard as required.
FL SDF soldiers will share the same exact state mission as their National Guard counterparts, but not their federal mission. In addition to their state mission the Army and Air National Guard also have a concurrent war-fighting mission that they must train and be ready for. The FL SDF is totally a state organization and has no war-fighting mission therefore the FL SDF can concentrate solely on their state mission of Floridians helping Floridians.
Once the Florida SDF is established, it is anticipated that there will be a large representation of prior military service personnel with extensive leadership and command experience. In addition to the prior military service personnel, large numbers of non-prior service personnel are expected, each with significant professional and paramilitary backgrounds which greatly enhance the organization.
Despite the name of being a "defense force", we do not anticipate a Florida SDF mission that will require the use of firearms. However, the state of Florida does have the authority to arm it's SDF members if the need arises. If that need arises, the state will provide all required training and furnish any weaponry that will be needed. Personal weapons will not be authorized by SDF members in the furtherance of their duties.
Generally, the Florida SDF soldiers will not receive pay for weekend drills or Annual Training. However, because the Florida SDF will be a state military force, members are subject to call to state active duty by the governor or the Adjutant General. When that happens, Florida SDF members are paid at the same rate of pay for their rank or grade as their Florida National Guard counterparts. Since Florida SDF will be members of the state military forces, we expect that member's employment status will be protected the same or similar as their National Guard counterparts.
State militias have helped to serve and defend the United States since the Revolutionary War. Today nearly every state has laws authorizing state defense forces, and approximately 23 states, plus Puerto Rico, have active SDFs or State Guards each with different levels of activity, support, with a force strength of approximately 14,000 individuals nationwide. 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 subject matter expert and critical manpower at minimal cost.