History

History/FAQs

The Michigan State Defense Force was established on 17 April 1917 by Act Number 53 in the Public Acts of Michigan which established the Michigan State Troops. Act 53 provided for two forces to be developed. First was the Home Guard that was to serve the military mission intrastate assignment and service expanding and remaining needs as the Michigan National Guard was federally activated for World I. The second force was the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force (MSTPF) with state constabulary authority, which continues today as the Michigan Department of State Police. The Michigan State Troops (state defense force) was active intrastate in World War I, World War II and during the Korean Conflict, but was deactivated on 30 June 1952. On 09 July 1988 Michigan’s first peace time State Defense Force was activated with the name of the Michigan Emergency Volunteers (MEV) but were reduced to a standby cadre on 01 October 1998 by the then Adjutant General. On 01 January 2005 Major General Thomas Cutler (The Adjutant General of Michigan) activated the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force (MI-VDF) under the command of BG Warren J. Lawrence (Retired) with eleven homeland security missions and a four field regiment organization stationed across Michigan’s 83 counties. On 06 January 2007, BG Lawrence relinquished command to COL William R Ewald (Retired) in a change of command ceremony officiated by Major General Cutler. Since January 2007, the MI-VDF has been reorganized into a Brigade composed of seven battalions whose areas of operation duplicate the districts of the Michigan State Police and the Districts of the MI Dept of Public Health.  Currently the 1st Bn is inactive, as of September 2016. The MI-VDF has six essential tasks within its Mission. The direct liaison between the MI-VDF Cdr and TAG MI is thru the Assistant TAG for Installations.