Friday, August 3, 2012

Kentucky's National Guard is used and abused; Kentucky needs a "Commonwealth Defense Force"

Kentucky Governor's Mansion
I have never been interested in joining the military, nor have I ever sought to join. It isn’t my calling, but I appreciate what they do.

Here in Kentucky, we are blessed with a great National Guard organization. Compared to some states, we have a very responsive, technology-savvy team in Kentucky. This is really fortunate because our luck over the last few years hasn’t been the best.

We have experienced floods, tornadoes, ice storms, and all sorts of other natural disasters. Not only that, but we frequently catch the leftovers from other rough weather from neighboring states, especially hurricanes headed north. On top of this, our commonwealth is built over several fault lines, some of which are considered overdue to produce substantial earthquakes. Fortunately, our National Guard is well-equipped to assist in recovery missions. In addition to this, Kentucky, like any other state is subject to a cowardly terrorist attack at any moment.

How can the Kentucky National Guard project the citizens of the commonwealth if they are not here? Recently, I had to take an extended break from the non-profit I founded to recover from a medical emergency. I am shocked and dismayed to hear that a huge portion of Kentucky’s National Guard, already stretched beyond belief, are being deployed to Africa. Africa? Are we expecting an invasion from the Sahara Desert?

I understand that National Guard troops and airmen serve both a federal mission and a state mission; they have two Commanders-in-Chief, the U.S. President and the Governor. However, sending the bulk of the commonwealth’s gifted and trained guardsmen abroad, as we have with Iraq and Afghanistan puts us at risk of being short-handed here in Kentucky. We need our Guard here in the commonwealth for disasters. We have active-duty soldiers for non-essential trips like African safaris. Our National Guard troops are here to serve the states, except in time of national disaster.

We pay taxes for their services, and we never know when we will need them next. Just ask the people who have seen them working in a disaster.

The Governor should stand-up to the federal government to keep our protectors here, or the Kentucky House and Senate needs to adopt a measure securing a State Defense Force or State Guard for Kentucky. Currently, 19 states and territories have sovereign and uniformed State Guards, Reserves, Militias, and/or Defense Forces which cannot be called to federal service. Either our governor needs to keep our troops out of U.S. President Obama’s expansive foreign policy adventures, or Kentucky’s legislature needs to found a defense force for Kentucky which will not be called off to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Africa, or any other far-off corner of the world. The Tenth Amendment Center has also assembled “Defend the Guard” legislation which is worth considering.

We need to support our troops. They serve a vital role in protecting us. Today’s National Guard is very professional and skilled and we need them here. We have active duty soldiers for regular deployments and tours overseas, and we need to keep our first-line responders and rescuers here. Kentucky has paid a steep price for the War on Terror over the last eleven years, and our state leaders need to stop frittering these assets abroad. Kentuckians, nor Americans for that matter pay taxes for the United States to be the military police of the world; this is the reason for the United Nations, every member state contributes, but more often than not, we are the ones picking-up the tab, at some point, it’s time to pay the check and neither Kentucky nor the United States can afford additional deficits.

I have seen no press release with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting mobilization of troops. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has however ordered resources out of Africa in recent years, as has the executive director of the United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, namely relief efforts in member-states that execute people for being gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender.

I have always believed each state needs State Defense Forces or State Militias for this very reason, federal misuse of state National Guard soldiers and resources. Most states offer college incentives or other appropriations for service in the State Defense Forces whose sole Commander-in-Chief is the Governor, and rightfully so. Our neighbors, the state of Tennessee and the commonwealth of Virginia are actively recruiting people for their State Defense Forces for the very reasons I have outlined.


  1. I totally agree with you Jordan. The National Guard and the U.S. Military have become the worlds police department. I do agree that when needed, we (U.S.A.) should assist with what services that are available- but, we need our Guardsmen and women here.

  2. What a great post and absolutely true with your mind and compassion you should run for office.


This is the personal blog (opinion) of Col. Jordan Palmer. Jordan Palmer is a Kentucky Colonel, the president of Kentucky Equality Federation, and the general commanding officer of the Southeastern Kentucky Brigade of Kentucky Colonels. Jordan Palmer is a former national Board member and Vice President of Development of the national Marriage Equality USA. This blog is a personal blog not affiliated with any organization or group.

This blog is personal, and in absolutely no way reflects the view, opinion, or official position of any organization Jordan Palmer currently or has previously represented.

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