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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Maine Has Alternative

to National Guard


Governor Just Needs to Staff and Fund Maine State Guard


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 11, 2014


  A recent announcement by the U.S. government to restructure the Maine Army National Guard has some concerned that would leave the State without an emergency response team with military support, or at least one that is drastically downsized and with a different mission. 

  The term, “Maine Army National Guard” is actually a misnomer. Under federal law they are really Army National Guard units stationed in the State of Maine. All National Guard units have dual missions, first and foremost is their mission as a legal component of the Army. In that capacity all units are trained and equipped in accordance with Army standards and are available to be called into federal service at any time. Their secondary mission is the capability they bring to a state in the event of an emergency. That comes with a cost. For example, if the governor decides to use a National Guard unit in the event of an ice storm then he must pay all of the associated costs; salaries for the soldiers, meals and housing plus the cost of using the equipment. If a Guardsman is injured performing “state duty” it is the legal responsibility of the State to fund his medical bills. If a military vehicle is damaged or involved in an accident with a civilian vehicle it is the State’s responsibility to cover the costs. The point is, the use of the federal equipment is not free for the State to use whenever they want.

   Many historians credit the formation of the National Guard with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916; however, the Maine House Journal refers to the National Guard as early as 1907 in its legislative activities.  The national guard is not the militia in the traditional sense of the word, rather it is a “nationalized” form of the State militias that began during the War of Northern Aggression (i.e. “Civil War”) where President Lincoln assumed dictatorial powers over the entire country.     

    Maine has its own “Maine State Guard” codified in the Maine Revised Statutes.  As a Guard/militia entity it is wholly owned by Maine and is not subject to federal control.

  Title 37-B, section 224 describes the Maine State Guard, which is called into service by the Governor.  The Maine State Guard is, according to section 224, “composed of those persons enlisted, appointed or commissioned from the militia and other able-bodied citizens of the State and such other able-bodied soldiers and sailors who have previously served honorably in the United States Armed Services or the National Guard. A person may not become a member of the Maine State Guard, if he is a member of the National Guard or any component of the United States Armed Forces, active or reserve.” (MRS 37-B, sec. 224)

   The term, “militia” is not a bad word as the mainstream media has taught society to believe.  The Maine Revised Statutes define the Maine militia as, “all able-bodied citizens of the State, or able-bodied persons who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least 18 years of age and not more than 45 years of age...” (MRS 37-B sec. 222).

   The statutes exempt civic groups, fraternities, or other similar types of social organizations from joining the Maine State Guard as groups, though their respective members may join individually.

   While the law allows the Governor to acquire equipment for the State Guard from the U.S. military (MRS 37-B sec. 224 (5) ) it makes it very clear at paragraph 7, “Nothing in this subsection may be construed as authorizing the Maine State Guard or any part thereof, to be called, ordered or in any manner drafted as a unit into the military service of the United States.”

   Since Maine is a coastal State, there are provisions in MRS 37-B sec. 223 for a Naval militia.  However, it is unlikely that would be called into service for the traditional emergency response roles fulfilled by a land-based Guard unit.

   Believing the National Guard to belong to their State, most people can’t understand how it can be removed or restructured by the feds.  This misconception is due to the misunderstanding of the nature of the National Guard to begin with.  The National Guard does not belong to the state in which it resides.  All National Guard units are owned and funded by the U.S. government and are on loan to the states, hence they are “national.”  For this reason, nearly all states still maintain provisions for their own “state guard” or militia; while most are not active at the state executive level, volunteers in most states keep an unorganized infrastructure together in the event they are ever needed.

   The discussion over the recent announcement of restructuring of the Maine Army National Guard units must be understood in the context of their Federal mission. The Army is undergoing one of its normal post-war cycles; downsizing and restructuring. In that cycle, the needs of the Army override the wishes of the state governors. As an example, several governors have recently lost the Army aviation assets that were stationed in their states based simply on the current needs of the Active Army. Congress provides funding for a specific force structure, the Army then decides what, if any force realignments will be required. Maine will not be exempt from the effects of the Congressionally mandated reduction in the size of the Army.








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