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State Defense Forces: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities

By Deano L. McNeil
Alumnus, Master of Public Administration at American Military University

State defense forces (SDF) are volunteer military forces which each state, along with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia, are authorized to maintain pursuant to Title 32, Section 109 of the US Code.

Currently, 19 states and Puerto Rico maintain SDFs, which fall under the exclusive control of their governors, through their adjutants general.