Minnesota State Guard

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Minnesota State Guard
Minnesota State Guard Shoulder Patch.png
The shoulder patch worn on the Minnesota State Guard uniform during World War II.
Active 1941-1948
Country  United States
Allegiance  Minnesota
Branch Army
Type SDFBranchInsigniaColor.jpg  State defense force
Role Military reserve force
Size 6,100 (1942)[1]
Commanders
Current
commander
Governor of Minnesota

The Minnesota State Guard, also known previously as the Minnesota Defense Force, is the currently inactive state defense force of the state of Minnesota. The State Guard was organized with the purpose of replacing the Minnesota National Guard in protecting the state of Minnesota while the National Guard was federalized and deployed during World War II. The State Guard is authorized under Minnesota law, and is recognized as a component of the organized militia of Minnesota, along with the Minnesota National Guard.[2]

History[edit]

The Minnesota National Guard, along with the rest of the National Guard of the United States, was federalized in 1940. As a result, states lost their military forces, and were forced to raise their own military units to replace the federalized National Guard. In 1940, Section 61 of the National Defense Act of 1916 was modified to allow the establishment of state defense forces.[3] The Minnesota State Guard was created in 1941.[4] By 1942, the State Guard had reached a strength of approximately 6,100 members.[1] By 1942, the First Separate Infantry Battalion of the Minnesota State Guard was placed on active duty, requiring prospective members to enlist for the duration of the war plus an additional six months.[5] The battalion was responsible for providing full-time security for Duluth, Two Harbors, and the Thomson Dam in Jay Cooke State Park.[6] In at least one event, members of the Minnesota State Guard competed in a rifle competition against students from the Shattuck Military School.[7]

In 1948, two battalions of Minnesota State Guard, equipped with one dozen M4 Sherman tanks, were deployed to quell a violent strike by the meat packer's union in the St. Paul and Newport areas.[8] After the violence was quelled, troops withdrew from most of their deployed zones but continued to patrol the Wilson plant in Albert Lea, Minnesota.[9]

Legal status[edit]

State defense forces are authorized by the federal government under Title 32, Section 109 of the United States Code.[10] Minnesota law also allows the creation of a state defense force.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Alexander, Jack (19 October 1942). "Governor Stassen: The Republican Party's Minnesota Hopeful Plans to Get Re-elected and Then Join the Navy". Life. Time Inc. 13 (16): 127. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Sieg, Dr. Kent G. "America's State Defense Forces: An Historical Component of National Defense" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Adjutant General: National Guard: An Inventory of Its State Guard Records at the Minnesota Historical Society". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Recruits Being Sought For Minnesota State Guard". Lake Benton News. Lake Benton, Minnesota. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "State Guard Recruiter in New Ulm Next Monday". Lafayette Ledger. Lafayette, Minnesota. 6 November 1942. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "20 Years Ago: 1946". Lawrence Daily Journal. Lawrence, Kansas. 6 August 1956. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Thomis, Wayne (15 May 1948). "Minnesota Guard Moves to Scene of CIO Mob Attacks". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Meat Strike Ends, Troops Withdrawn". The Owosso Argus-Press. Chisago County, Minnesota. 22 May 1948. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  9. ^ "32 U.S. Code § 109 - Maintenance of other troops". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 3 September 2015.