Brett A Merlina 0

Permenant Re-Establishment of the Florida State Guard/Florida State Defense Force

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WHEREAS Since the founding of the United States of America, local militias have played an important role in its defense and security. Bolstered by the Founding Father’s concerns about maintaining a large standing army and preserved within the Constitution, the concept of the citizen soldier has since become ingrained in American culture and government.

WHEREAS Currently, 23 states and territories have modern militias. As of 2005, these militias had a force strength of approximately 14,000 individuals nationwide. State Defense Forces, are distinct from the Reserves and the National Guard in that they serve no federal function. In times of both war and peace, SDFs remain solely under the control of their governors, allowing the governors to deploy them easily and readily in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

WHEREAS Florida is now the 3rd most populated State in the United States. With that, California the first most populated has the State Military Reserve, Texas first the second most populated has the Texas State Guard and New York the fourth most populated has the New York Guard and the New York Naval Militia. Those 3 states, along with 17 other states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico currently have State Defense Forces

WHEREAS Florida is a state with a high probability and frequency of Natural and Manmade Disaster, ranging from floods to hurricanes and tornados, from Missing Persons to Terrorist Threats.

WHERAS The past couple decades have seen near constant war and conflict, and since September 11, 2001 this nation and the State of Florida has seen an ever increasing threat from both international and domestic terrorism from groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

WHEREAS The Governor of the State of Florida is authorized by Chapter 251 of Florida Statutes to establish a Florida State Defense Force whenever all or part of the Florida National Guard is called to Federal Active Duty, and to maintain a reserve cadre of officers and NCO’s for such time as the Defense Force shall be activated.

THEREFORE We the people of the state of Florida petition Governor Richard Scott to re-establish the Florida State Defense Force as authorized by chapter 251 Florida Statutes. We also petition the Florida Legislature to revise said chapter to allow for the permanent re-establishment of a State Defense Force, to serve not only in the absence of the Florida National Guard but also to serve beside the National Guard as a force multiplier in cases of emergency and disaster.

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