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|Active||1994 –2000,2009- present|
|Michigan, United States of America|
|Part of||Militia movement
Constitutional militia movement
The Michigan Militia, or the Michigan Militia Corps (MMC), is a paramilitary organization founded by Norman Olson, a former U.S. Air Force non-commissioned officer, of Alanson, Michigan, USA. The organization was formed around 1994 in response to perceived encroachments by the federal government on the rights of citizens.
The two events that contributed to the formation and growth of the Michigan Militia were the Federal standoff at the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas (see Waco Siege) and the Federal standoff with the Weaver family in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Members of the Michigan Militia believed these events, which involved agents of the FBI and BATF, were alarming shows of force by the federal government against citizens who had not committed any federal crimes, but were targeted for having views contrary to those in government at the time. In addition, several gun control laws passed during the early years of the Clinton Administration increased fears amongst citizens that their Second Amendment rights were being curtailed by the federal government.
The Michigan Militia was formally organized with the name, Michigan Militia Corps, and a mascot, the wolverine, Michigan's state animal. The MMC was initially divided into four divisions, each having a regional name. The division names were:
- Superior Michigan Regional Militia (named after Lake Superior)
- Northern Michigan Regional Militia
- Central Michigan Regional Militia
- Southern Michigan Regional Militia
The state is now set up with 9 divisions as such:
- 1st Division: Superior West Michigan Militia
- 2nd Division: Superior East Michigan Militia
- 3rd Division: Northern West Michigan Militia
- 4th Division: Northern East Michigan Militia
- 5th Division: Central West Michigan Militia
- 6th Division: Central East Michigan Militia
- 7th Division: Southern West Michigan Militia
- 8th Division: Southern Central Michigan Militia
- 9th Division: Southern East Michigan Militia
Each brigade has a commander, who holds the rank of lieutenant colonel, and is elected by the membership of that brigade. Each division is headed by a division commander with the rank of colonel, who is elected by the brigade commanders. The Michigan Militia Corps is headed by a commanding officer with the rank of brigadier general, who is elected at-large by all Michigan Militia Corps members on an annual basis with each brigade getting one vote.
At its peak the Michigan Militia Corps claimed to have 10,000 members, although its membership now is several hundreds. The Militia's main areas of focus are paramilitary training and emergency response. They are also involved in search and rescue, community preparedness and disaster relief, and in assisting to deter crime, invasion, terrorism, and tyranny.
On June 15, 1995, Norman Olson, along with militia leaders from other states, testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism. Olson's opening statement included the following words:
Not only does the Constitution specifically allow the formation of a Federal Army, it also recognizes the inherent right of the people to form militia. Further, it recognizes that the citizen and his personal armaments are the foundation of the militia. The arming of the militia is not left to the state but to the citizen. However, should the state choose to arm its citizen militia, it is free to do so (bearing in mind the Constitution is not a document limiting the citizen, but rather limiting the power of government). But should the state fail to arm its citizen militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms becomes the source of the guarantee that the state will not be found defenseless in the presence of a threat to its security. It makes no sense whatsoever to look to the Constitution of the United States or that of any state for permission to form a citizen militia since logically, the power to permit is also the power to deny. If brought to its logical conclusion in this case, government may deny the citizen the right to form a militia. If this were to happen, the state would assert itself as the principle of the contract making the people the agents. Liberty then would depend on the state's grant of liberty. Such a concept is foreign to American thought.
On Martial Law in America:
One other important point needs to be made. Since The Constitution is the limiting document upon the government, the government cannot become greater than the granting power. That is, the servant cannot become greater than its master. Therefore, should the chief executive or the other branch of government or all branches together act to suspend The Constitution under a rule of martial law, all power granted to government would be cancelled and deferred back to the granting power. That is the people.
And I'll conclude with this statement:Martial law shall not be possible in this country as long as the people recognize the bill of rights as inalienable.
Norman Olson retained the position of Commander of the MMC until after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, when he published a press release blaming the Japanese for the bombing, supposedly in retaliation for a clandestine US-sponsored gas attack in the Tokyo subway system. (See: Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.) This press release was an embarrassment to the MMC membership and subsequently Lynn Van Huizen of Nunica, Michigan was elected state commander in 1996.
Van Huizen was considered a more moderate militia leader, according to the FBI's report entitled Project Megiddo: "A number of militia leaders, such as Lynn Van Huizen of the Michigan Militia Corps - Wolverines, have gone to some effort to actively rid their ranks of radical members who are inclined to carry out acts of violence and/or terrorism."
In the years after the Oklahoma City bombing, the Michigan Militia Corps membership slowly declined and there was infighting among the leadership. The statewide organization was defunct by 2000, but several militia groups continued to operate independently. In 2009 the Michigan Militia Corps was re-founded and elected a new state commander. It is slowly increasing in numbers again, with around 17 counties claiming to be part of the Michigan Militia Corps.
- "Militia draws distinction between groups". New York Times. 31 March 2010.
- Potok, Mark (April 17, 1996). "Militant militia fringe is setting off alarms". USA Today.
- United States v. Timothy Emerson, Potowmack Institute, amicus curiae, Appendix B The Potowmack Institute
- Project Megiddo. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 1999. Retrieved March 2009.
- Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines
- Michigan Militia Corps - Internet Archive historical copy of the MMC web site, circa 1998.
- Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia Facebook page