New Mexico State Defense Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from New Mexico State Guard)
New Mexico State Defense Force
New Mexico State Defense Force insignia.png
Country United States
Allegiance New Mexico
TypeSDFBranchInsigniaColor.jpg  State defense force
RoleMilitary reserve force
Part ofDepartment of Military Affairs of the State of New Mexico
WebsiteNMSDF Official Website
Civilian leadershipGovernor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Governor of the State of New Mexico
State military leadershipMajor General Kenneth Nava
Adjutant General of New Mexico
Brigadier General Raphael Warren
Commanding General, New Mexico State Defense Force

The New Mexico State Defense Force (NMSDF), formerly the New Mexico State Guard (NMSG), is part of the armed forces of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is an all-volunteer reserve military force that works parallel to the state's National Guard. Authorized under the constitutions of the United States[2] and New Mexico,[3][4] the NMSDF is organized as an internal security and emergency services reserve force.[5]

The New Mexico State Defense Force is one of three military divisions of the New Mexico Department of Military Affairs (DMA), along with the New Mexico Army National Guard and New Mexico Air National Guard. The DMA is headed by Adjutant General of New Mexico, who holds the rank of Major General, a Deputy Adjutant General, and three Assistant Adjutants General. The NMSDF falls under the direct supervision of the assistant adjutant general of New Mexico for state guard affairs, who holds the rank of Brigadier General. The Governor of New Mexico is commander-in-chief of the NMSDF,[6] which unlike the New Mexico National Guard cannot be called to federal service and remains under exclusive state jurisdiction.

In September 2014, Brigadier General David Torres, then commander of the New Mexico State Defense Force, announced a restructuring and modernization plan, which would be followed by an intensified recruiting campaign.[7]


The New Mexico State Defense Force traces its lineage to the American Civil War, when Colonel Canby of the Union Army recruited troops for the First through the Fifth New Mexico Volunteers to fight alongside the Regular Army. During the Civil War, the units gained notoriety at the Battle of Valverde.[8]

During World War II, the state of New Mexico created the New Mexico State Guard to replace the National Guard units sent overseas. New Mexico had State Guardsmen on continuous duty by December 1941, and by June 1944, the New Mexico State Guard counted over 600 members.[9]


Procedures and training for the New Mexico State Defense Force follow U.S. Army regulations and field manuals.[citation needed] While most of the soldiers in the NMSDF are former members of the Armed Forces of the United States, state guardsmen are not required to have prior federal military experience. The NMSDF now offers its own training in basic military discipline and demeanor, officer knowledge and skills, NCO knowledge and skills, and various operational aspects of assisting the National Guard and emergency management agencies with their state duties.[citation needed]

Unit training includes emergency field medicine, desert and mountain search and rescue, and securing and operating a “Receive, Stage, and Store” warehouse for the Strategic National Stockpile during large-scale emergencies.[10]

The NMSDF requires that all personnel become qualified in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and trains its members to become Military Emergency Management Specialists.[5]


Brig. Gen. Raphael Warren (NMSDF) assumes command from Brig. Gen. (NMSDF) David Torres at a change of command ceremony in 2019.

The New Mexico State Defense Force presently has the mission areas of radio communications, emergency field medicine, shelter operations, provision of honor guard duties, chaplaincy, heavy vehicle driving and maintenance, and public affairs.[6] In all of these areas, the State Defense Force has the support of the New Mexico National Guard. While the State Defense Force functions as a reserve unit to the National Guard, it also has its own missions to assist and support community groups and law enforcement agencies in local communities. Despite some degree of autonomy, all present NMSDF missions must be approved by the Adjutant General before becoming operational. State guardsmen are required to attend mandatory military drill at least one weekend per month, and, can be activated and/or deployed by orders of the Adjutant General of the State of New Mexico, acting on behalf of and in the name of the Commander-In-Chief (the governor of New Mexico). Many members of the NMSDF are prior-military, and many are mid-career professionals like attorneys, physicians, engineers, professors, medical technicians, truck drivers, and graphic artists.

The New Mexico State Defense Force maintains a medical unit, the 47th Medical Troop (CAV), which is simultaneously recognized as a unit of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) through the US Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The 47th contains both medical and non-medical personnel, who are trained to aid in recovery from natural or man-made disasters by providing medical aid and sheltering. The 47th has the additional responsibility of supporting and securing the US Strategic National Stockpile and support search and rescue operations.[11]

In September 2013, specific personnel from the HHD, the 47th Medical Troop (MRC), and the Chaplains Corps were activated to several locations to set up and assist in shelter operations and community resource management and provide medical support in a recovery operations deployment following severe flooding.[12]

Legal protection[edit]

Employment protection[edit]

Employers in New Mexico are prohibited from refusing to hire, penalize, or fire any employee because of his or her membership in the NMSDF, or because of that employee's absence from work due to a deployment; violations constitute a misdemeanor.[13]

In addition to the employment discrimination protection provided to NMSDF members, all state, county, municipal, school district and other public employees who are members of the state defense force are entitled to fifteen days of paid leave per year for drills or deployments, separate from any vacation time or other leave time they may be given.[14]


Members of the NMSDF do not receive pay for weekend drills. New Mexico law, however, authorizes state guardsmen to be eligible for worker's compensation if they are injured in the line of duty.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Serving the Nation and New Mexico" (PDF). New Mexico National Guard Department of Public Affairs. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ "32 USC § 109 - Maintenance of other troops". Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  3. ^ "New Mexico Statutes and Codes: Section 20-5-1". Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  4. ^ Title 32, Section 109, United States Code, NGB Reg. 10-4, Chapter 20, NMSA, 1978 Comp.
  5. ^ a b "NM SDF Serve as Controllers & Evaluators". State Guard Association of the United States. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "New Mexico State Defense Force". New Mexico State Guard Official Website. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  7. ^ Brunt, Charles D. (September 12, 2014). "State Defense Force wants you". Albuquerque Journal Online. Albuquerque Journal.
  8. ^ Taylor, John. Bloody Valverde: A Civil War Battle on the Rio Grande, February 21, 1862 at Google Books
  9. ^ Tulenko, Thomas; Chase, Bradley; Dupuy, Trevor N.; Hayes, Grace P. (March 1981). "US Home Defense Force Study" (PDF). California Military Museums. Historical Evaluation and Research Organization. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  10. ^ Bowers, John (2012). "State Guard and Air Guard team up for unique training opportunity" (PDF). New Mexico National Guard. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  11. ^ "47th Medical Company (MRC)". New Mexico State Defense Force Official Website. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Historic floods around the state spring New Mexico National Guard into action" (PDF). Keep Trees®. New Mexico Minuteman: New Mexico National Guard Magazine. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  13. ^ "New Mexico Statutes and Codes: Chapter 5, Article 20, Section 13". Justia. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  14. ^ "New Mexico Statutes and Codes: Chapter 5, Article 20, Section 14". Justia. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  15. ^ "New Mexico Statutes and Codes: Chapter 5, Article 20, Section 16". Justia. Retrieved 20 October 2013.