Idaho State Guard

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Idaho State Guard
Idaho State Guard.jpg
Idaho State Guard insignia.
Country United States
Allegiance Idaho
BranchArmy National Guard
TypeSDFBranchInsigniaColor.jpg  State defense force
RoleMilitary reserve force
Size1,378 (approximately)
Garrison/HQBoise, ID
Motto(s)pro Deo Domo Patria
State Military LeadershipMajor General Mervin Gilbert McConnel
Adjutant General of Idaho during World War II Idaho Governor Chase A. Clark
Commander and Chief of the Idaho State Guard during World War II

Idaho State Guard[edit]

The Idaho State Guard, formerly known as the Idaho Home Guard, is the inactive state defense force of Idaho. The Idaho State Guard was created to replace the Idaho National Guard as a stateside homeland security force while the National Guard was in federal service. A recent attempt at reactivation is being led by the Idaho State Guard Association 2016

World War I[edit]

During World War I, the governor ordered formation of four companies of Home Guard, with 100 men per company, paid for by the state.[1]

World War II[edit]

In 1940, the Idaho State Guard was organized, with the bulk of its recruits being veterans of World War I.[2] The State Guard of World War II was armed with Enfield rifles.[3] In September 1942, the Idaho State Guard became the first state military organization in the United States to induct women into its command structure when Governor Chase A. Clark administered the oath of enlistment to a group of women from the Idaho volunteer auxiliary reserves.[4] By 30 June 1944, the Idaho State Guard had reached a strength of 1,378 guardsmen.[1] As of August 1946, after the war's conclusion, the Idaho State Guard remained in active service and was subject to call-up.[5]

Legal Status[edit]

The legal authority of each state to maintain its own state defense force is recognized by the federal government of the United States under Title 32, Section 109 of the United States Code.[6] Some twenty-three states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico actively maintain state defense forces.[7] Under Idaho law, the Governor of Idaho has the legal authority to activate the state defense force.[8]

Reactivation Effort[edit]

In 2016, the Idaho State Guard Association[9] was created for the purpose of advocating for the reactivation of the Idaho State Guard. Marc Mason of Post Falls, Idaho wrote a bill amending the Idaho State militia laws in hopes to reactivate the Idaho State Guard in 2017.[10]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tulenko, Thomas; Chase, Bradley; Dupuy, Trevor N.; Hayes, Grace P. (March 1981). "US Home Defense Force Study" (PDF). Historical Evaluation and Research Organization. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Idaho "Home Guard" Organization to Start". Post Register. Idaho Falls, Idaho. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  3. ^ Lemon, John J. (19 December 1967). "Questions of Need, Cost Rise on State Riot Force". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Idaho State Guard Auxiliary Members Sworn In by Governor". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 28 September 1942. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Help Needed In Idaho Fire". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. 20 August 1946. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  6. ^ "32 U.S. Code § 109 - Maintenance of other troops". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  7. ^ Carafano, James Jay; Brinkerhoff, John R. (October 5, 2005). "Katrina's Forgotten Responders: State Defense Forces Play a Vital Role". Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  8. ^ "46-103. State Militia -- Division Into Classes". Idaho Legislature. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  9. ^ Idaho State Guard Reactivation Force
  10. ^ Mason, Marc (2017). "State Guard Bill". Retrieved 19 July 2018./view