The History of the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force
The Michigan State Defense Force was established on 17 April 1917 by Public Act 53 in the Public Acts of Michigan which established the Michigan State Troops.
Public Act 53 provided that two forces should be developed.
The first force that was develoved was designated the 'Home Guard.'
This Home Guard force was mandated to serve its military mission as an intrastate assignment and to service the expanding and remaining needs of the State of Michigan throughout the deployment of the Michigan National Guard during World War I.
This force was granted statewide constabulary authority. This authority continues today as the Michigan Department of State Police.
The Michigan State Troops (state defense force) was active intrastate in World War I, World War II and during the Korean Conflict, but was deactivated on 30 June 1952.
On 09 July 1988 Michigan’s first peace time State Defense Force was activated with the name of the Michigan Emergency Volunteers (MEV) but were reduced to a standby cadre on 01 October 1998 by the Adjutant General.
On 01 January 2005 Major General Thomas Cutler (The Adjutant General of Michigan) activated the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force (MIVDF) under the command of BG Warren J. Lawrence (Ret) with eleven homeland security missions and a four field regiment organization stationed across Michigan’s 83 counties. On 06 January 2007, BG Lawrence relinquished command to COL William R Ewald (Ret) in a change of command ceremony officiated by Major General Cutler.
Since January 2007, the MIVDF has been reorganized into a Brigade composed of seven battalions whose areas of operation duplicate the districts of the Michigan State Police. Currently the MIVDF has six missions.