Arizona State Guard bill introduced in the Senate

The Arizona Senate has introduced S.B. 1083 to form the Arizona State Guard after the authorization passed last year. Senate President Pro Tempore Sylvia Allen, and republicans Steve Smith, Gail Griffin, Lori Klein, Al Melvin, Rick Murphy introduced the bill. Republican representative David Gowan and Terri Proud added their names to the legislation.

Title 26-174 subsection A of the Arizona Revise Statute—originally amended to authorize a guard—would be replaced with Subsections A and B to read:

A. An armed force, known as the Arizona state guard, is established for the purpose of securing the safety and protection of the lives and property of the citizens of this state. The intent of the Arizona state guard is to provide a mission-ready volunteer military force for use by this state in homeland security and community service activities as a supplement to the national guard of Arizona and state and local law enforcement agencies. The Arizona state guard exists as part of the militia under article XVI, section 2, Constitution of Arizona, and a defense force under 32 United States Code section 109.

B. The mission of the state guard is:

1. To support this state in securing the border with Mexico and supplement the efforts of law enforcement and state agencies.
2. Augment the national guard.
3. Support county and municipal leaders in combating international criminal activity.
4. Respond to natural and manmade disasters.
5. Search and rescue efforts.
6. Support community activities.
7. Other missions directed by the governor.

Citing 32 United States Code, Section 109 authorizes this unit as a “State Defense Force,” which means that it cannot be called into the service of the federal government. They cannot accept anyone who is in a reserve component of the military and individual members are not exempt from serving in the United States Military.

Subsection C is added which makes the guard subject to Title 26 where amended and where ever else it applies under the State Legislature and the Governor.

26-174 is also appropriates $1.4 million dollars from the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission funds for the training, operation and mission costs. The Guard may also accept gifts, grants and donations. 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations may also donate. In addition, the Arizona State Guard would be authorized to work with law enforcement for protection of the border and other situations where their assistance might be useful. In such cases, they would be considered a “seizing agency” and allowed to seize property and retain funds in accordance with Title 13-4315 of the Arizona Revised Statute.

Under the new legislation, the Governor would appoint a Commander of the Arizona State Guard who would establish officers, warrant officers and enlisted ranks. He would, also, establish the required manuals and standing orders for the Guard with the approval of the Legislature and Governor. The Guard would be under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and subject to Courts Martial and several other military instructions.

The Guard member would have to take the oath required by law officers and an additional oath,

“I do solemnly swear that I will well and faithfully perform my duties as a member of the Arizona state guard to the best of my ability. I will bear true faith and allegiance to the state of Arizona. I will serve the state of Arizona honestly and faithfully against all enemies. I will obey the orders of the governor and the officers placed over me, according to law, so help me God.”

Presumably a non-Christian or Christian that does not believe in oaths would be provided the affirmation statement instead. It would probably have been better to combine the oath of law enforcement officers to this oath to prescribe one oath or affirmation.

There are additional changes specific to the National Guard.