Missouri Reserve Force
|The Missouri Reserve Force|
|Active||2012 - Present|
|Type||State defense force|
|Role||Military reserve force|
|Part of||Missouri Department of Public Safety|
|Garrison/HQ||Ike Skelton Training Site|
|Civilian leadership||Governor Eric Greitens
(Governor of the State of Missouri)
The Missouri Reserve Force (MRF), originally known as the Missouri Reserve Military Force, is the official state defense force of Missouri. As a state defense force, the MRF is a reserve military force which serves parallel to the Missouri National Guard. MRF members serve as reservists and therefore can hold full-time jobs while serving, like their National Guard counterparts. As the MRF falls solely under the command of the state of Missouri, it cannot be federalized or deployed outside the borders of Missouri, unlike the National Guard. Although the MRF and the Missouri National Guard are separate organizations, the MRF's primary scope is to work alongside the National Guard during stateside operations, or in lieu of the National Guard when the National Guard is deployed outside of Missouri. Along with the Missouri Army National Guard, the Missouri Air National Guard, and the Missouri Naval Militia, the Missouri Reserve Force is recognized under Missouri law as part of the organized militia of Missouri.
All U.S. states and territories are allowed to create and maintain their own military forces, independent of the federal military, under Title 32 of the U.S. Code. State defense forces are allowed under Missouri law as well, under Chapter 41, Section 41.070 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. On Sept. 9, 1982, Governor Christopher “Kit” Bond signed Executive Order 82-17 creating a Missouri Reserve Force and ordering the state's adjutant general to organize the force. However, the adjutant general did not execute this order at that time. It was not until 2012 that the force was officially organized.
As of 2016, the MRF is still in development, with three steps of recruiting planned to bring the MRF to full force. The first step, currently in progress, is to establish a cadre of former Missouri National Guardsmen to serve as an organizational foundation for the MRF, and so membership is currently limited to former members of the Missouri Army and Air National Guard. This is ostensibly to ensure that the officers of the MRF are familiar with the procedures of the National Guard and can better develop the organization to work more seamlessly with the National Guard.
Once this cadre of former Missouri National Guardsmen has been fully established, membership requirements are loosened under the second step, in which former veterans of all branches will be actively recruited, as well as certain civilian licensed professionals such as doctors, dentists, attorneys, engineers, counselors, emergency responders, among others. Lastly, membership will be open to civilian volunteers.
There is no physical examination required for membership, but members must guarantee they are able-bodied citizens, in good health, and capable of performing moderate physical activity.
The MRF carries the same stateside responsibilities as the Missouri National Guard, including assisting the National Guard on recovery operations following natural disasters. In the event of the National Guard deploying outside of the state, the MRF is assigned to assist in the mobilization process and assume the stateside duties of the National Guard for the duration of the deployment, including:
- protecting life and property in times of emergency
- assisting the adjutant general in preparation of the mobilization of the Missouri National Guard for active duty
- assisting family members at home during deployments
- assisting the adjutant general in control and operation of state military property left behind following Missouri National Guard mobilizations.
Members of the Missouri Reserve Force are given the same legal protections under Missouri law as federal reservists are entitled to under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This guarantees, among other protections, that employers of MRF members are required to give those employees a leave of absence when they are activated for training or to perform emergency services, and to reinstate these employees to their positions of employment when they return.
- "Chapter 41: Military Forces, Section 41.070". Missouri General Assembly Official Website. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- "National Guard Regulation 10-4: National Guard Interaction with State Defense Forces" (PDF). National Guard Bureau Publications & Forms Library. National Guard Bureau. 2 November 2011.
- "EXECUTIVE ORDER 82-17". Missouri Secretary of State Official Website. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- Fitts, John P. (1 May 2009). "Voices: Activate reserve force". The Joplin Globe Online. The Joplin Globe. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Missouri National Guard 2012 Annual Report" (PDF). The Missouri National Guard Official Website. Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- Lupescu, Sarah E. "Missouri's Reserve Military Force holds first muster". The Missouri National Guard Official Website. Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "MO Rev Stat § 40.490". Justia. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- Official website: missourireserveforce