Ohio Military Reserve
|Type||State defense force|
|Headquarters||Haubrich Armory Columbus, Ohio.|
|COL Richard J. Vasquez|
|Adjutant General of The State of Ohio|
|Ohio National Guard|
The Ohio Military Reserve (OHMR) is a military force which supports the State of Ohio along with the Ohio Army National Guard and Ohio Air National Guard in times of natural disaster and state and national emergencies.
The Ohio Military Reserve serves under the Governor as Commander-in-Chief through the office of the Adjutant General of Ohio and is headquartered at the Haubrich Armory in Columbus, Ohio.
Personnel and training
Enlistment is voluntary, however all soldiers swear an oath of enlistment or appointment. Officers hold state, not federal, commissions. Units are co-located in state-owned readiness centers (armories) with National Guard units across the state. Most units drill one weekend a month and all troops must attend one week of training annually (annual training, or AT). In the past, troops trained with pistols and shotguns, however, the cost of maintenance and annual re-certification has caused this training to be dropped. Although they are covered by the State’s insurance and workers’ compensation program, soldiers are not paid for their training time or AT period. However, if mobilized, they would be compensated. §5903.02 of the Ohio Revised Code provides OHMR personnel protection under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) which addresses military leave from employment for both training and deployment.
Members of OHMR wear woodland pattern BDU's/TRU's with no immediate plans to adopt the ACU as some other state guards have done. The members of OHMR are authorized to wear the Army Service Uniform (ASU), with the exception of a red, rather than black, nameplate, OHMR or Ohio buttons, and SDF specific insignia. The OHMR wears the service cap (with modified insignia) with the ASU as well as the black beret with the red "state defense force" flash worn by some other states.
Promotions are dependent on time in grade / time in service, satisfactory duty performance (including drill attendance), and completion of professional development courses, per the OHMR promotion matrix.
The OHMR maintains a military training academy to conduct state versions of standard Army professional development courses such as Basic Entry Level Training (required for all non-prior service personnel), Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, and the Basic Officer Course. Advanced Officer and NCO coursework consists largely of online courses available through the Army Correspondence Course Program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Other branches of the military such as the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force also open their courses to State Guard personnel.
The OHMR qualification is the Military Emergency Management qualification, including Basic, Senior and Master level qualifications, issued through the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS). MEMS qualifications are earned following completion of specified online and residential coursework, attendance at local or state Emergency Management Agency events, and completion of an After Action Report on the event.
In 2009, the OHMR underwent a reorganization which was more mission focused. The first step was to change its Military Police designation to Civil Support and Sustainment units. This was more in keeping with the OHMR's mission to provide support to both civil and military authorities during natural disasters and homeland security incidents. The Adjutant General of the State of Ohio (TAG)directed that the OHMR be mission ready by FY 2012–2013 to assume taskings to support Emergency Support Function (ESF) 6 and ESF 7 operations.
Effective 1 October 2009, the OHMR began a transformation process that took it from its former mission as a cadre state defense force held in reserve to its current mission as an active force to aid in operating mass care facilities (ESF 6) and warehouses, distribution centers, and support facilities (ESF 7), and to support the coordination of volunteer activities in the event of major natural disasters or attacks on the homeland.
The need for this type of military element became apparent following Hurricane Katrina. The transformation emphasized the fact that the OHMR consists of a willing, all-volunteer organization that can assume duties normally performed by uncoordinated and unorganized volunteers during natural disasters and other contingencies. Their presence will ensure basic essential functions are performed in a timely, organized manner, and will free up essential manpower and time for other critical functions.
The OHMR has a "sister service", the Ohio Naval Militia which operates out of Camp Perry, located near Port Clinton, Ohio.
Under Ohio law, members of the Ohio Military Reserve are guaranteed the same employment rights and protections as federal reservists enjoy under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Among other legal rights guaranteed under this provision, OHMR members are protected from discrimination based on their membership in the OHMR both during the hiring process and after becoming employed; they are also guaranteed a leave of absence from their places of employment whenever they are activated for training or to take part in an emergency, and their employers are required to reinstate these employees to their previous positions when they return from deployment.
Members of the OHMR, being a part of the Ohio Organized Militia are treated as law enforcement officers and are immune from arrest during state active duty deployment except in case of treason or felony when aiding the civil authorities after being called upon by the Governor with executing the laws of the state, suppressing insurrection, repelling invasion, or promoting the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of this state. Arrest powers are limited in scope in that the arrest must be made with the immediate intent to deliver the person in custody to civil authorities.
Awards and decorations
The OHMR issues multiple awards and decorations to its members, and allows members to wear OHMR-approved ribbons from the State Guard Association of the United States. Members are also permitted to be awarded certain State of Ohio, Ohio National Guard awards when approved by the Adjutant General of the State of Ohio.
- OHMR Medal of Valor
- OHMR Distinguished Service Medal
- OHMR Medal of Merit
- OHMR Purple Cross Medal
- OHMR Lifesaving Medal
- OHMR Commendation Award
- OHMR Achievement Award
- OHMR Search and Rescue Award
- OHMR Community Service Award
- OHMR Aid to Civil Authority Award
- OHMR Good Conduct Award
- OHMR Longevity Service Award
- OHMR Soldier of the Year Award
- OHMR Honor Graduate Award
- OHMR Officer Training Graduate Award
- OHMR NCO Training Graduate Award
- OHMR Basic Entry Level Training Graduate Award
- OHMR Physical Fitness Award
- OHMR Federal Service School Award
- OHMR Military Indoctrination Award
- OHMR Emergency Service Training Award
- OHMR Volunteer Service Award
- OHMR Military Award Readiness
- OHMR Recruiting Achievement Award
- OHMR Military Proficiency Award
- State Guard Association of the United States Membership Ribbon
- State Guard Association of Ohio Member Ribbon
- OHMR Outstanding Unit Citation Award
- OHMR Commanding General's Meritorious Unit Service Award
- "5903.02 Reinstatement and reemployment rights". Ohio General Assembly. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- ORC § 5923.01. (A)(3)
- ORC § 5923.27. (A)
- ORC § 5923.231.
- "Ohio Military Reserve Awards and Decorations" (PDF). Ohio Military Reserve Official Website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "OHMR Ribbon Rack Builder". Ohio Knowledge Online. Retrieved 24 June 2014.