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Michigan Volunteer Defense Force
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
  • Michigan State Troops Home Guard (1917–1952)
  • Michigan Emergency Volunteers (1988–1998)
HeadquartersLansing, Michigan
Employees200 officers and enlisted members
Agency executive
  • COL William R. Ewald, Brigade Commander
Parent agencyMichigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Child agency
  • 2nd-7th Battalions Michigan Dept. Military & Veteran Affairs Webpage

The Michigan Volunteer Defense Force (MIVDF) is a military force, duly constituted as a state defense force and an element of Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The MIVDF is one of the three components of the military establishment of Michigan; the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, and the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force.[1]


Michigan State Troops

Michigan's first state defense force was established as the Michigan State Troops Home Guard along with the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force in Act No. 53 Public Acts of Michigan on 17 April 1917. The Michigan State Troops organizations served on in-state active duty during World Wars I, II, and the Korean War.

Michigan Emergency Volunteers

The Michigan State Troops were reconstituted as the Michigan Emergency Volunteers by Public Act 246 of 1988. The original intention for the MEV was to act as a force of trained emergency volunteers in the event that the National Guard was sent out of the state in a national emergency. The MEV was ordered to stand down in October 1998.[2]

Michigan Volunteer Defense Force

The force was resurrected in late 2004 as the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force.[2]

Uniforms, training, and duties

The MIVDF uniform differs slightly from the Army uniform; MIVDF soldiers wear the state flag on their right shoulder instead of the American flag.[3]

The MIVDF is tasked with emergency management missions such as handling the reception, storage and stationing of the Strategic National Stockpile in Michigan, and supplying trained and uniformed Community Emergency Response Teams.[2]

MIVDF missions have included working alongside the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in processing benefit applications for military veterans,[4] and providing disaster response aid, including tree and debris removal, following tornado activity.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Michigan Legislature - Emailable Link". Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  2. ^ a b c Ast, William F. (20 April 2009). "State military reserve looking for local recruits". The Herald-Palladium. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  3. ^ Cunningham, Jeffrey (10 June 2016). "Little-known Michigan Volunteer Defense Force has local officials' backs". MLive Media Group.
  4. ^ Boyd, Jason (22 August 2014). "MIVDF go above and beyond to help veterans". Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  5. ^ Walker, Cryss (20 March 2019). "Tornado recovery underway". WSYM-TV. Retrieved 19 April 2019.