Mississippi State Guard looking for new recruits

Published 10:57 pm Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Mississippi State Guard is looking for some good men and women.

“The National Guard is going out on deployment next year, and we’re trying to man up and be ready when they call on us to do armory security,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bruce Carleton, the state guard public affairs officer, adding, “But it’s (the recruiting call) much a periodic thing, we have to do it every year.”

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The Mississippi State Guard is the state defense force of Mississippi. It operates under the authority of the Mississippi Military Department along with the Mississippi Army National Guard and Mississippi Air National Guard.

It is an all-volunteer organization charged with augmenting the Mississippi National Guard when ordered by the governor and/or adjutant general of Mississippi, and is a self-funded, self-equipped volunteer component of the Mississippi Military Department. There are 21 active state defense forces in the United States.

The state defense guards were organized during World War II and are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government. They are partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau, but they are not a part of the National Guard. State defense forces are under the command of the governor of each state.

Carleton said the state guard units will provide armory security when the selected National Guard units go on deployment in 2018. “It will be whatever armories they want us to cover. Generally, they’ll have us tighten up their security. They’ll have us do security checks and report on trouble at the armory.”

He said there are three state guard brigades located in the central, northern and southern regions of Mississippi. The units in each brigade have drill one day a month and a five-day annual training period. The National Guard, he said, drills two days a month and has training two weeks a year.

People enlisting in the state guard receive their training during the regular monthly drill periods.

Soldiers of the Mississippi State Guard wear modified Army service or combat uniforms, specified in National Guard and Mississippi State Guard regulations. Members participate in military and emergency management training during monthly drill. The specific training depends on the unit’s assigned mission.

For more information on the Mississippi State Guard, or to enlist in the guard, people can go to the guard’s website at www.msstateguard.us or its Facebook page.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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