Indiana Guard Reserve

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The Indiana Guard Reserve, formerly the Liberty Guard and the Indiana Legion, is a militia force that serves as the state defense force of the state of Indiana. The Indiana Guard Reserve serves under the exclusive authority of the governor of the state of Indiana through his executive agent for military matters, The Adjutant General of Indiana. The Guard Reserve is a unique military organization designed to provide military support for the state of Indiana when units of the Indiana Army National Guard are activated for federal service or otherwise unavailable to the state of Indiana. When the Indiana Army National Guard enters active federal service and departs Indiana, the Indiana Guard Reserve remains in Indiana and becomes the governor's military force. The Indiana Guard Reserve could be assigned missions of providing custodial management of armories, security for armories and possibly other state properties, and support to civilian authorities in natural disasters and other state emergencies.


The Indiana Guard Reserve is organized pursuant to Indiana Code IC 10-16-8. It is subdivided into seven subordinate commands:

  • Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment - Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and serves a Headquarters for the Commanding General of the Indiana Guard Reserve.
  • 1st Brigade - Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and encompasses the northeast quarter of the state.
  • 2nd Brigade - Headquartered in Lafayette, Indiana, and encompasses the northwest quarter of the state.
  • 3rd Brigade - Headquartered in Bedford, Indiana, and encompasses the southwest quarter of the state.
  • 4th Brigade - Headquartered in Shelbyville, Indiana, and encompasses the southeast quarter of the state.
  • Training Command - Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and administers the Indiana Guard Reserve Training Academy.
  • Support Command - Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and serves as a supporting unit. The command has military police, medical and communication units, and has other support personnel assigned to it.


The purpose of any state defense force is to provide the governor of a state with a viable military force in the event that National Guard forces for that state have been mobilized into federal active service. The Indiana Guard Reserve has prepared for several missions in the event that the Indiana National Guard is federalized.


The Indiana Guard Reserve offers specialized and general training to its soldiers. Some examples of training offered either at state or local levels include:

  • Military Emergency Management Specialist certification
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification
  • Basic First Aid certification
  • Basic Military Training
  • Basic and Advanced Non Commissioned Officer Training
  • Basic and Advanced Officer Training

Historic missions[edit]

The Indiana Guard Reserve has undertaken several missions in the past, including the following:

  • Assisted Columbus Regional Hospital, Columbus, Indiana, with security after the flooding in June 2008.
  • Assisted in providing security for Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Indiana, in 2006
  • Supplied traffic control and security for several past Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathons
  • Supplied trainers for Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps (JROTC) Camp
  • Supplied traffic control and security for several past Indianapolis Shamrock Runs
  • Supplied traffic control and security for several past (Senator Dick) Lugar Runs in Indianapolis
  • Assisted in mobilizing and demobilizing activated National Guard and Reserve troops for missions overseas at Camp Atterbury
  • Assisted as guides for the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (The traveling Vietnam Wall) in Noblesville, Indiana
  • Provided security for several past Indianapolis Air Shows


Indiana's militia dates back to 1801 when it was first formed organized by Governor William Henry Harrison. During the American Civil War the Indiana Legion was created, giving the militia an official role in the state and distinguishing them from the regiments called to federal duty who would later become the Indiana National Guard. During the Civil War the Legion fought in the Battle of Corydon, was active throughout Morgan's Raid into Indiana, and patrolled the state's southern border and protected areas of importance. The Legion was renamed to the Liberty Guard in 1903 and served in various functions in the state. The Liberty Guard was renamed the Indiana Guard Reserve in 1916 and given a more formal role in the state.


Personnel of the Guard Reserve will be authorized to wear the U.S. Army duty uniforms, both Class A and B, as well as the Class C (ACU's ). Ownership of the Dress Blue is optional. Wear of these uniforms is authorized with minor insignia modifications.[1]


Decorations from prior service along with Guard Reserve and Indiana State awards are authorized for wear.[2][3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]