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The Virginia State Defense Force (VDF) is the Commonwealth's military reserve.

The force is governed by the military laws of Virginia and managed by the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. The chain of command for the force consists of the Governor of Virginia (Commander-in-Chief), Adjutant General of Virginia, and Commanding General of the Virginia Defense Force.

The Virginia State Defense Force, with an authorized membership of 1,200, shall be organized within and subject to the control of the Department of Military Affairs.

    When called to state active duty, the mission of the Virginia State Defense Force shall be to:

  • provide for an adequately trained organized reserve militia to assume control of Virginia National Guard facilities and to secure any federal and state property left in place in the event of the mobilization of the Virginia National Guard

  • assist in the mobilization of the Virginia National Guard

  • support the Virginia National Guard in providing family assistance to military dependents within the Commonwealth in the event of the mobilization of the National Guard

  • provide a military force to respond to the call of the Governor in those circumstances described in § 44-75.1

    1. Extract from § 44-75.1:

    2. In the event of flood, hurricane, fire or other forms of natural or man-made disaster wherein human life, public or private property, or the environment is imperiled

    3. In emergencies of lesser magnitude than those described in subdivision 4, including but not limited to the disruption of vital public services, wherein the use of militia personnel or equipment would be of assistance to one or more departments, agencies, institutions, or political subdivisions of the Commonwealth


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