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Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-chief

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Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-chief

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:55 pm

As I understand it, the governor of each of the United States is the commander in chief of his or her state's militia. (Connecticut's Articles of Constitution colourfully retain the colonial title of Captain-General.)

Has a uniform or insigne of rank ever been prescribed for a state commander-in-chief? A cursory search of the Web didn't reveal anything. (The professional head of the state militia seems always to be the Adjutant-General, who also seems always to be a military man or woman of what the U.S. calls flag rank, and so therefore has a recognizable uniform and insigne of rank.)

Asking more out of random curiosity than anything else.

Richard in Toronto
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby marcpasquin » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:01 am

jrichardn2 wrote:As I understand it, the governor of each of the United States is the commander in chief of his or her state's militia. (Connecticut's Articles of Constitution colourfully retain the colonial title of Captain-General.)

Has a uniform or insigne of rank ever been prescribed for a state commander-in-chief? A cursory search of the Web didn't reveal anything. (The professional head of the state militia seems always to be the Adjutant-General, who also seems always to be a military man or woman of what the U.S. calls flag rank, and so therefore has a recognizable uniform and insigne of rank.)

Asking more out of random curiosity than anything else.

Richard in Toronto


Since the US president doesn't have one (apart from the fact he is the sole person allowed to wear the US COA surrounded by 50 stars on his person), I think having a governor appear in military gear, especially if he is not an army person him/herself would look not only odd to his constituent but would probably open the floodgate to tinpot tyrant caricatures in the newspapers.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby ijnfleetadmiral » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:48 am

To my knowledge, they don't. However, if the state in question has a State Defense Force (an example being the Mississippi State Guard), then the Governor is that Force's Commander-in-Chief. So I would guess that the chain-of-command would be as follows:

Governor of the State - Commander-in-Chief (4 stars)
Lieutenant Governor - Deputy C-in-C (3 stars)
Adjutant General - 2 stars
State Guard Commander - 1 star
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby marcpasquin » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:00 am

ijnfleetadmiral wrote:To my knowledge, they don't. However, if the state in question has a State Defense Force (an example being the Mississippi State Guard), then the Governor is that Force's Commander-in-Chief. So I would guess that the chain-of-command would be as follows:

Governor of the State - Commander-in-Chief (4 stars)
Lieutenant Governor - Deputy C-in-C (3 stars)
Adjutant General - 2 stars
State Guard Commander - 1 star


are state guards adjudant generals always considered equivalent to 2 stars general no matter the size of the population ?
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:18 am

For non-Americans, a clarification that the National Guard and State Guard/State Defense Forces are not the same thing. The National Guard is an integral reserve component of the armed forces, and can be federalized by the president. State Guards are not, and cannot be federalized.

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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby ijnfleetadmiral » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:41 am

marcpasquin wrote:are state guards adjudant generals always considered equivalent to 2 stars general no matter the size of the population ?


As far as I know...being from MS, our AG is a two-star general.

dcfowler wrote:For non-Americans, a clarification that the National Guard and State Guard/State Defense Forces are not the same thing. The National Guard is an integral reserve component of the armed forces, and can be federalized by the president. State Guards are not, and cannot be federalized.

Dave


Exactly right, Dave!
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:26 am

I rather suspected the answer was: No.

My understanding of the constitutional situation in most or all states the governor is ex officio the commander-in-chief of his or her state's armed forces. (As I noted, in Connecticut the constitutional title seems to be Captain-General.) These state armed forces usually or always include the National Guard component.

By the way, I checked a dozen states, populous (Calif., N.Y.) and not (R.I., Alaska, Wyo.) and their adjutants general are all 2-star generals. Any thoughts on why that would be so?
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby gghbisa » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:42 am

In this context, Commander-in-Chief is a political title not a military one. It is used for the elected executive that military officers answer to.


Major general/rear admiral upper half is the highest permanent rank in the U.S. military. Higher ranks are allocated as needed for specific positions. That is probably why state adjutant generals hold that rank.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby Blakwhit » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:49 pm

Traditionally the National Guard of each state has been a Division size element (a two-star command). The Chief of the National Guard Bureau was a 3 star until 2008 when the position was elevated to 4 star command and given a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This was done considering the role played by the NG in the conflicts since 2001. I don't know if this is helpful or not?
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby dcfowler » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:14 am

Which doesn't always make a lot of sense, when you have California and Texas on one end of the spectrum, and Guam and the Virgin Islands on the other, with all commanded by major generals.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby dcfowler » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:18 am

The flags of the chief and vice chief of the National Guard:
Attachments
NGB.jpg
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby ChrisWI » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:39 am

dcfowler wrote:Which doesn't always make a lot of sense, when you have California and Texas on one end of the spectrum, and Guam and the Virgin Islands on the other, with all commanded by major generals.

Puerto Rico has a 1 star Brigadier General as state adjutant general which is somewhat ironic considering that Puerto Rico has one of the larger manpower authorizations.

I am curious to see what rank the initial commander of the American Samoa National Guard will be when Congress finally approves funding for it's creation. A major general commanding what will likely be a paper force for several years? Im shocked that in 2015 America Samoa is still without a National Guard considering it's remoteness and the various natural disasters in that region.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby dcfowler » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:00 am

The last Puerto Rico AG was a major general; I'm not sure why this one is not.

Having a National Guard presence in American Samoa (as well as the Northern Mariana Islands) is not a sure thing. It's been proposed by their delegates in Congress from time to time, but has never gotten anywhere, partly due to the costs involved, the lack of people available, and partly due to the lack of broad-based support. For instance, the AS delegate is pushing the current proposal, but the governor opposes it.

There have been proposals to attach the AS unit to the Hawai'i NG, and the CNMI unit to the Guam NG, but then the local governors would have no control over activating the troops in case of emergency if that happened.

There is a Pentagon study going on that is looking at this. Having traveled out to that area of the world myself, there is not a ton of infrastructure on those islands, and there would be a lot of upfront costs to getting them going.

BTW, American Samoa has had an Army Reserve presence for many years. There is an infantry company and a support detachment there.

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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby marcpasquin » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:59 pm

dcfowler wrote:BTW, American Samoa has had an Army Reserve presence for many years. There is an infantry company and a support detachment there.
Dave


I'm curious, what's the difference between "army reserve" and "national guard" ? is it a distinct service or just a designation ?
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby Blakwhit » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:16 pm

The Army Reserve is the Federal reserve component of the US Army. It comes out of the tradition of the Federally organized Organized Reserve.

The National Guard on the other hand draws it heritage from state militias. So unless called to duty by federal authorities the National Guard has a mission to serve the state they are located in. The Army Reserve on the other hand does not have a state mission and his limited ability to operate domestically. The National Guard helps with disaster relief and other local emergency situations. Additionally if the National Guard is operating on State orders, not Federal orders they are able to participate, to a limited degree, in law enforcement in that state if needed. An example is the use of the Louisiana National Guard after Hurricane Katrina.

Also today the US Army has divided many of it's functions between the Reserve and National Guard. The National Guard hold most of the Combat Arms units, while the Army Reserve is mostly Combat Support, and Combat Service Support units.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby Blakwhit » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:18 pm

I should add that the Reserve Infantry Company in American Samoa is part of the only Infantry Battalion in the Army Reserve,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100th_Infa ... ted_States)
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby ChrisWI » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:15 pm

dcfowler wrote:The last Puerto Rico AG was a major general; I'm not sure why this one is not.

Having a National Guard presence in American Samoa (as well as the Northern Mariana Islands) is not a sure thing. It's been proposed by their delegates in Congress from time to time, but has never gotten anywhere, partly due to the costs involved, the lack of people available, and partly due to the lack of broad-based support. For instance, the AS delegate is pushing the current proposal, but the governor opposes it.

There have been proposals to attach the AS unit to the Hawai'i NG, and the CNMI unit to the Guam NG, but then the local governors would have no control over activating the troops in case of emergency if that happened.

There is a Pentagon study going on that is looking at this. Having traveled out to that area of the world myself, there is not a ton of infrastructure on those islands, and there would be a lot of upfront costs to getting them going.

BTW, American Samoa has had an Army Reserve presence for many years. There is an infantry company and a support detachment there.

Dave

Interesting post!

The attachments to the Hawaii NG (for AS) and Guam NG (for CNMI) have been rejected for legal reasons. American Samoa has a new delegate in Congress, a Republican, and perhaps this will change the dynamics.

Ive heard that the current governors of Guam and the CNMI want to 'unify' as a precursor to becoming an incorporated territory and eventual statehood.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby dcfowler » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:54 pm

Not holding my breath of Guam/CNMI unification or statehood. The have a combined population of 213,000, less that half of what Wyoming has. They are basically similar ethnically, but there are a lot of complex political reasons as to why they are separate. CNMI played hardball when the TTPI broke up, and insisted on a status "one better' than Guam. So it became a commonwealth while Guam remained an unincorporated territory. Proposals for Guam commonwealth status have never really gone anywhere in Congress. Having traveled out there, I also don't get the sense that the locals like to rock the boat, well, about anything.

As far as American Samoa, it's too far from the others, a different ethnic group, and also has a very corrupt government.

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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby ijnfleetadmiral » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:28 am

dcfowler wrote:The last Puerto Rico AG was a major general; I'm not sure why this one is not.


Probably just a factor of Time-in-Grade.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby dcfowler » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:42 am

Not sure that's true. It's pretty political appointment, and colonels and retired colonels are routinely promoted to 2 stars to be National Guard AG's.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby marcpasquin » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:09 pm

something that just occurred to me: Almost all police departments (as well as related services like sheriff) use standard US army rank insignias the exception being in puerto rico and hawai'i. Are there likewise exceptions for some state defence forces ?

I realise they'd want to be perceived as being part of the US military and that it help recognition but since they depend on their state rather then the federal government, is there some sort of obligation to wear the same uniform and insignias beside state identification ?
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby Blakwhit » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:07 pm

I guess they are not obligated to use the same rank insignia but in practice it works best if they do. As far as I know all SDF use the authorized US Military rank structure. However some uniforms do vary a bit, for example I think some SDF still use the BDU uniform that the active forces have done away with. However I believe the reason that they use the US Military rank structure is two fold. Most SDF have the stated mission to take up the role of the National Guard if the National Guard is mobilized on Federal orders (this was what they did during the Second World War). Additionally they are supposed to help in Disaster Assistance and Emergency management so they should work hand in hand with the National Guard in that mission. This requires a level of inter-opperability so having the same rank structure is useful. Additionally many of the people who are in these SDF have previously served in the US Military so they are often granted the rank they previously held. So I think it is for ease of use. I also know that most of these forces have very little funding so the more that they can get that is commercially available already the better. For anyone who is interested this link has a bunch of information on the PR SDF. They have altered some of the USAF badges for their own use, also they have images of the general officer flags used for Generals who don't have federal recognition. So a General in the SDF would fall under this category.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/226184356/PRS ... ional-Guar
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby gghbisa » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:15 am

I found the uniform regulations for the Alabama defense force here:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/98474695/OC ... nse-Force#

It basically says that they will wear regular army or air force uniforms with red nametags with Alabama Defense Force on dress uniform and nametapes with red letters on field uniforms. No federal insignia is worn such as U.S. Letters or flags.

I think we should explain all the different organizations we are talking about.

The first think we have to remember is that the United States is a federal republic. The nation is a construct of the several states not the other way around.

European settlers in North America began forming military units as soon as they arrived and these became official colonial militia when each state was a crown colony.

When independence was achieved it was the intention to use the now state militias as the main defensive force of the country. This never quite worked and the federal army, or “regular army” as it is called’ has existed since 1794.

The army reserve was created after World War I to give the regular army a pool of personnel it could draw from if an emergency arrived. It is also a federal organization.

The state militias continued to exist could be put in federal service by the president if needed. This is why most regiments in the Civil War are associated with a state.

A federal law of 1903 encouraged the a change from militia to national guard, supposedly in honor of a French unit lead by the Marquee de Lafayette, and a 1916 law made it official. The 1903 law gave federal funding to state units in return for training standards. A 1933 law made the members of the national guard both state and federal soldiers and subsequent court decisions have stated that the president can take control of national guard units at any time, even without consent of the state goverment.

Because national guard troops are often serving with the regular army some state have another military organization, usually called a state defense force. This began in 1940 as the build up to World War II showed that the national guard could be away for awhile.

Not all states have a defense force, it is not required by anything, and organization is purely a state matter.

Here in Colorado we do not have an organized force. The state laws do allow the governor to create one if necessary (I checked). Wikipedia says were do have a man serving in this force. I have not been able to find out who this man is or how he plans to defend this very large state by himself.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby dcfowler » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:21 am

Naval militias also once existed with the same status of the National Guard, but were largely supplanted in the 1940s by the Naval Reserve (now Navy Reserve), Marine Corps Reserve or Coast Guard Reserve.

Very few continue to exist in any sort of corporeal form, and those that do have the vast majority of their members being dual members of the state naval militia and Navy/Marine Corps Reserve. In a couple of states (Ohio & Texas) they are on a par with the state defense force.

Further reading:
https://portal.mmowgli.nps.edu/c/docume ... upId=10156
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby venqax » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:47 pm

dcfowler wrote:Not sure that's true. It's pretty political appointment, and colonels and retired colonels are routinely promoted to 2 stars to be National Guard AG's.

True. In fact it can be formally political. In South Carolina, until this year the AG of the state NG was popularly elected and didn't even have to be a military officer. The new law only requires a candidate to be a lieutenant colonel, but the rank of major general does and has always come with the position.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby ijnfleetadmiral » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:19 am

gghbisa wrote:I found the uniform regulations for the Alabama defense force here:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/98474695/OC ... nse-Force#


The Alabama State Guard is currently inactive...a lot of their members have signed up with us in the interim.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby marcpasquin » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:00 pm

ijnfleetadmiral wrote:
gghbisa wrote:I found the uniform regulations for the Alabama defense force here:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/98474695/OC ... nse-Force#


The Alabama State Guard is currently inactive...a lot of their members have signed up with us in the interim.


who is "us" ?
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby ijnfleetadmiral » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:02 pm

Sorry..."us" is the MS State Guard.
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Re: Do U.S. state governors have uniforms as commanders-in-c

Unread postby marcpasquin » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:24 pm

ijnfleetadmiral wrote:Sorry..."us" is the MS State Guard.


so membership is not restricted to state residents ?
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