SGAUS Fail News

Poll – SGAUS Fails to Prevent Drastic Uniform Shift for State Defense Forces

Yesterday we reported on the publication of the new National Guard Bureau Directive CNGBI 5500.01, the direction that guides National Guard Interaction with State Defense Forces (SDF). We discussed the changes recommended by this organization for all State Defense Forces, which were quite drastic. Among such changes were State Defense Forces no longer able to wear The US Flag on their uniforms which will affect The Georgia State Defense Force, Washington State Guard & Puerto Rico State Guard. Also soldiers in State Defense Forces who served in combat zones during their careers in The US Military and attained combat veteran status will no longer be able to wear their Combat Patch. But the most drastic and shocking change was the uniform proposal.

State Defense Forces / State Guards throughout the nation will no longer be allowed to wear their current uniform. According to The National Guard Bureau any Defense Force wearing The Army uniform must make alterations. Here is a look at the alterations The National Guard Bureau

As you can clearly see the new changes are dramatic and require State Defense Force / State Guard troops to now wear a Bright Red Call Cap instead of The Army Cover (Hat). The Rank will be replaced by a Bright Red tab with white markings to symbolize the rank. The nametapes that represent a Soldiers name and State Defense Force / State Guard will also be in Bright Red with white lettering. We have mentioned in our previous article how this will significantly drop morale of every Defense Force soldier. Not only that but it will affect the success of missions and possibly risk lives and property.

We mentioned in our previous article:

The introduction of Bright Red elements into the uniforms of State Defense Forces or State Guards could lead to significant misunderstandings and complications during their interactions with the public. When citizens encounter State Defense Force troops, especially in times of crisis or emergency, the unconventional and striking color could distract or confuse them. Unlike the traditional and more subdued military attire that people are accustomed to, the vivid red may not immediately be recognized as a symbol of authority or emergency response. This discrepancy in public perception is not just a matter of aesthetics but it has practical implications for the effectiveness of these forces during critical operations.

In the midst of statewide emergencies, where time is of the essence and clear communication is paramount, any hesitation or doubt sown among the public could impede the swift action required to mitigate disaster. The presence of Bright Red in the uniform, instead of instilling a sense of urgency and compliance, might lead to questioning and delays. For instance, during evacuation procedures, search and rescue operations, or the establishment of temporary shelters, the need for immediate recognition and trust is crucial. If citizens are spending valuable time trying to understand who they are dealing with, this confusion can lead to operational failures, endangering lives and property.

Now we have new information to report on. In our previous article we mentioned we received little to no cooperation from The State Guard Association of The United States (SGAUS) which is an organization that promotes the expansion of State Defense Force / State Guards as well as develops new training curriculum. They have recently sent an email to their members regarding their efforts regarding the new directive. Here is an email sent to members:

SGAUS Leadership Briefs Adjutants General Association of the United States

On 10 February 2024 SGAUS President Tim Ingram, Vice President Greg Juday, Education Committee Chair Jim Hardy, and Acting Executive Director Steve Estes traveled to Washington, D.C. to brief the Adjutants General Association of the United States (AGAUS) about the SGAUS mission, recent work done by SDFs, and plans for continued operations by SDFs in the future. This meeting was a first for SGAUS, and will certainly not be the last given the warm reception by AGAUS.

A group of approximately 100 in the audience including TAGs, deputies, retired TAGs, and additional staff members received the brief. The meeting was held at the Washington D.C. headquarters of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), an association that SGAUS leadership models and hopes to work with more in the future on areas of mutual benefit.

Summary slide of Title 32 authority and active SDFs presented to TAGs at the 10 February 2024 AGAUS brief.

The briefing focused on the roles that SDFs can fulfill according to Title 32, and how federal law allows states and their governors to utilize a uniformed military inside their borders for purposes of “defense.” Recently this mission is understood to be for Domestic Support of Civil Authories (DSCA) missions, which are usually defined as emergencies such as the COVID 19 response, weather and other national disasters, and other emergencies defined by the governor of the state.

VP Greg Juday then provided examples of how Maryland has done just this, citing recent successful deployments and missions carried out by the Maryland Defense Force.

Finally, Jim Hardy described how SGAUS provides training and support by using Federal Emergency Management Agency educational programs to standardize training for emergency responses among SDF service members.

SGAUS will meet in Washington, D.C. during the week of 08-12 April to continue to work with federal legislators to further the SDF mission. Stay tuned for more information as SGAUS works to support SDFs in the 50 states and 4 territories.”

While we commend this attempt by SGAUS to communicate with The Adjutant Generals and National Guard Bureau we don’t see any mention of disapproval of the uniform changes which are the biggest factor in this new directive.

We have tried to reach out to SGAUS to coordinate our lobbyists and advisors with theirs, but have received little to no response. Had we partnered perhaps there could have been a different outcome, one without the proposed uniform changes.

If you wish for SGAUS to express your dissatisfaction with SGAUS efforts and to encourage them to work with StateDefenseForce.com you can reach out to their current President:

President Timothy Ingram – tim.ingram@stanfordalumni.org
and/or
General Manager Steven Estes – steven.estes@tnstateguard.org

What concerns StateDefenseForce.com regarding this email is a few factors

  1. There is no mention of any opposition to The Uniform Alterations presented by The National Guard Bureau
  2. The lack of communication of SGAUS lobbying efforts with its members and StateDefenseForce.com, which disseminates news & information to State Defense Force members.
  3. Through an internal source at SGAUS leadership we were informed that some members of SGAUS do not take these uniform changes to be serious. That these are just recommendations for TAG’s to implement in their state. However we disagree. The National Guard Bureau has close ties with The Adjutant Generals (TAGS) and worked on this document with The TAGS so we believe this close cooperation will lead to State Defense Forces / State Guards seeing a uniform change more in line with this directive.

When we approached our contact at SGAUS who is a friend of General Daniel R. Hokanson, Chief of The National Guard Bureau to voice provide opposition to the uniform changes we were informed that it wasn’t a big deal and that they wouldn’t. We then asked for the General’s contact information so StateDefenseForce.com can present our opposition, that was also denied.

We believe there needs to be better communication and partnering between StateDefenseForce.com and SGAUS to better promote State Defense Forces / State Guards at the State and Federal level. We have reached out to them multiple times and received little to no response.

For this weeks poll we wanted to get your feedback. Do you believe the passage of this new Directive with its drastic uniform changes is the fault of SGAUS to properly promote and lobby at The National Guard Bureau?

  • Yes, I believe SGAUS needed to take this more seriously and devoted more resources
  • No, SGAUS does all it can for State Defense Forces nationwide

Click Here To Vote


To support our lobbying campaign where we will be reaching out to State Legislators and Adjutant Generals across the nation to promote State Defense Forces / State Guards, and voice our opposition to this uniform change – Click Here To Join

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