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 Massachusetts State Defense Force

The Massachusetts State Defense Force (MSDF) is the militia force authorized by state law to
augment the Massachusetts National Guard (MANG) and carries on a proud tradition of respected, relevant, ready, and reliable service to the Commonwealth that dates back to the Civil War.  MSDF members provide professional services as well as force augmentation for civil emergency relief exercises and operations.

The MSDF mission is to:

  1. Support and augment the MANG’s professional staff and operational capabilities.
  2. Provide an adequately trained and organized state military reserve force cadre to, when mobilized, function under the exclusive control of the Governor as administered by The Adjutant General and rapidly expand the MSDF in order to accomplish those state emergency responsibilities normally assigned to the MANG when that force is federalized, in whole or in part, or otherwise not available.

The MSDF, a component of the Massachusetts Organized Militia, is organized as a supplemental force to the MANG and its activities are not considered to be constabulary in nature nor those of combat forces.  MSDF personnel will be assigned to subordinate commands based on professional skills and functional capabilities.  The current organizational structure includes a brigade staff and three battalions: 1st Battalion (Operational Support), 2nd Battalion (Professional Support), and 3rd Battalion (Medical Response Force).  The Medical Response Force is a versatile unit organized in principal to staff Federal Medical Stations, which are deployable healthcare platforms capable of delivering large-scale primary healthcare services.

Recruiting is currently focused on those residents of the Commonwealth* who are:

  1. Persons with prior, honorable military service in any Uniformed Service of the United States (especially those with emergency management, logistics, and/or operations experience)
  2. Ordained, ecclesiastically endorsed clergypersons (chaplains)
  3. Health services professionals (Chiropractors, Dentists, Optometrists, Physicians, Podiatrists, Psychologists, and Veterinarians as well as Audiologists, Biomedical Laboratory Technologists, Clinical Mental Health Professionals, Dieticians, Health Service Administrators, Nurse Practitioners, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Physician Assistants, Public Health Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Registered Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and Social Workers)
  4. Licensed attorneys authorized to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

* - nonresidents will be considered on a case-by-case basis






  MSDF Commander
  MSDF Command Chief Warrant Officer
  MSDF Command Sergeant Major


  Massachusetts State Defense Force Application Instructions
  Massachusetts State Defense Force Fact Sheet