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Pennsylvania Military Reserve

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The Pennsylvania Military Reserve, legally incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization under the name “Pennsylvania State Military Reserve Inc.”, was founded in 1985 as a private militia group based primarily in southeastern Pennsylvania.[1]


Since its founding, the Pennsylvania Guard Reserve Force has sought recognition by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an official military organization, but the matter has never been taken up by either the Pennsylvania General Assembly or successive Governors of Pennsylvania.[1]

The Governor of Pennsylvania has the legal authority to reactivate and maintain the Pennsylvania Reserve Defense Corps.[2] State defense forces are recognized by the federal government of the United States under Title 32, Section 109 of the United States Code.[3]


Exact membership numbers are difficult to determine, the PAGRF may number anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred dues paying members, concentrated largely in the suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia. The PAGRF organizes itself more or less along military lines, with members wearing variations of the U.S. Army’s battle dress uniform with modified insignia and assigning themselves military ranks and positions. Members often attend parades, political rallies, memorial ceremonies, and other patriotic gatherings and attempt to get photographs taken posing with elected politicians in an effort to further legitimize their attempts at official recognition by the Commonwealth.


Training includes the following courses:[1]

  • Basic Training Program
  • Basic NCO Course
  • Basic Leadership and Management Course for Officers, Warrant Officers and Senior NCO’s
  • Basic Aerial Observers Course
  • Advanced Aerial Observers Course

Members also utilize training provided by outside organizations, including disaster training through the Community Emergency Response Team program organized through the Citizen Corps program, American Red Cross certification courses, FEMA courses, and training in search and rescue.[1] The PGRF drills one Saturday per month.[4]


The PAGRF’s mission, if recognized by the Pennsylvanian government, would be to provide support and assistance to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Pennsylvania Air National Guard during civil disturbances, states of emergency, and in situations where the National Guard is deployed overseas, in a manner similar to state defense forces in other states of the United States.[4] The PAGRF purports to be carrying out such duties at the present time, despite the lack of cooperation or participation of the National Guard and lack of recognition from the government.


The PAGRF claims itself to be the modern successor to the historical Pennsylvania Reserve Defense Corps, the Commonwealth’s former state defense force, which was disbanded at the end of World War II.

Suspension of operations[edit]

As of October 2011, the PGRF has posted a statement on their website stating that "Operations are suspended due to economy and manpower. More to follow."


As of March 2015, the PGRF website stated that the PGRF was actively drilling one Saturday per month.[4]

See also[edit]

  • State defense force


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "History". Pennsylvania State Military Reserve Official Website. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  2. "Title 51, Chapter 13 Pennsylvania Guard". legis.state.pa.us. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  3. "32 U.S. Code § 109 - Maintenance of other troops". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Main". Pennsylvania State Military Reserve Official Website. Retrieved 14 March 2015.

External links[edit]

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