What is the CSMR! CA Bear The California State Military Reserve is the official state defense force, and enables the Golden State to do more. It is a part of the California Military Department, along with the state’s National Guard and Air National Guard. Its mission is to augment the National Guard in a variety of support roles, and to specialize in homeland defense and emergency management missions. READ MORE ....

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You may have heard by now that the state of Arizona has taken the first steps in establishing its own state defense force.

What you may not have heard is how the California State Military Reserve is due a bit of credit for the Arizona initiative.

In 2011, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer quietly signed into law legislation creating an armed volunteer state militia that could be deployed by the Governor and would be separate from the National Guard. Since then, state bills have been proposed that call for various amounts of initial funding for the militia along with mission specifications and age and other restrictions on those who could join. If and when operationalized, Arizona would join 23 other states and territories that have an active state militia or defense force.

But how the idea of an Arizona militia gained its traction begins several years ago with a CSMR Soldier, Sgt. Jim Ellis, who was a member of the Recruiting Task Force – South. Ellis sadly announced that he had to leave the Reserve because his civilian job was transferring him to the Grand Canyon state. Ellis, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, was working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"The 13 rays of red and gold on the top half of the flag represent both the 13 original colonies of the Union, and the rays of the Western setting sun. Red and gold were also the colors carried by Coronado's Spanish expedition in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540. The bottom half of the flag has the same Liberty blue as the United States flag. Since Arizona was the largest producer of copper in the nation, a copper star was placed in the flag's center."

“The 13 rays of red and gold on the top half of the flag represent both the 13 original colonies of the Union, and the rays of the Western setting sun. Red and gold were also the colors carried by Coronado’s Spanish expedition in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540. The bottom half of the flag has the same Liberty blue as the United States flag. Since Arizona was the largest producer of copper in the nation, a copper star was placed in the flag’s center.”

Ellis wondered if Arizona had the equivalent of a CSMR. Task Force NCO 1st Sgt. Jerry Shultz recalled that he told Ellis the state did not but Ellis himself could take action to make it happen when he got there. Shultz’s advice was simple: he handed Ellis some CSMR recruitment materials and told him he needed to make an appointment with an Arizona state legislator and present a proposal to start a state defense force.

Eventually, Ellis made that presentation and that led to the initial law that was signed by Brewer.

Ellis has thanked the Task Force for providing the “spark” to get the Arizona effort started, and the Task Force, in turn, is ready to help out in any way. “I told him that we can help them with advice, suggestions and encouragement,” said Shultz. “It will be nice to have another state defense force at our border.”

By Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rick de la Torre

1 Comment

  1. Zona viruet Zona viruet
    January 13, 2016    

    Hello.
    I am in Michigan volunteer defense force.n I also travel to Mesa az. Might move down to be closer to my grandchild.I would like to join Azvdf.

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