When I first heard that we were going to be forming a volunteer militia, called the Delaware State Defense Force, I was both pleased and concerned.
I was pleased that steps are being taken to plan responsibly for emergency situations within our state.
|I was concerned that it might be handled in a less than an organized and professional way.|
In researching this matter, I found to my surprise that the laws regarding the establishment of this force are already in place:
20 Del. C. § 301. Establishment and composition.I was also pleased to learn that this force is being organized by solid military professionals, under the eye of our Governor, and staffed with trained veterans.
(a) The Governor may organize such military forces within this State in addition to the Delaware National Guard as the Governor deems necessary for the defense of this State. Such forces shall be distinct from the Delaware National Guard and shall be known as the Delaware State Defense Forces. Such military forces shall be uniformed and comprised of officers and enlisted personnel who shall be citizens of this State who shall volunteer for such service.
(b) The Delaware State Defense Forces shall not be called into active state service unless the Delaware National Guard or a part thereof has been called into active federal service.
(c) The Governor may organize a command staff for the Delaware State Defense Forces which staff shall develop plans for mobilization of said force.
(d) The command staff of the Delaware State Defense Forces may maintain lists of volunteers for service in such forces and develop an organizational structure for such forces when called to active service.
(e) Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the Delaware State Defense Forces from meeting on a voluntary basis at no cost to the State when not in active service.
The history of Delaware's militia is rich and significant in the establishment of Delaware as a separate State. And, it was the predecessor to the Delaware National Guard.