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Comando Estatal de la Guardia Nacional de Puerto Rico/Guardia Estatal de Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico State Guard
PRSG.jpg
Active 1941 - 1946, 1971 - present
Country  United States
Allegiance  Puerto Rico
Branch ARMY & AIR FORCE
Type State Defense Force
Role Military Support to Civil Authorities
Part of Major Subordinate Command of the PR National Guard
Commanders
Current
commander
BG(PR) Carlos Martínez, AAG for State Guard
Ceremonial chief Hon. Alejandro García Padilla - Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,& BG(PR) Juan J. Medina Lamela, PR TAG
Notable
commanders
BG(PR) Hector Sorrentini, BG(Line) Arnaldo De Jesús

The Puerto Rico State Guard (PRSG) is a voluntary professional military corps and one of the Major Subordinate Commands of the Puerto Rico Military Forces, which includes the Puerto Rico Army National Guard and the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. The PRSG respond directly to the Adjutant General of Puerto Rico, is commanded by a brigadier general and is composed of main units in San Juan metropolitan area and in the cities of Ponce (South), Mayagüez (West), and Caguas (Center). The Puerto Rico State Guard is among the most active and largest State Defense Forces (SDFs) in the nation with almost 1,600 troops organized in 6 Support Groups, a separate SAR Company, a Military Academy, an Air Base Group and HHQs . The PRSG is the State Defense Force (SDF) of Puerto Rico and have the capability to support the Puerto Rico National Guard(PRNG) Operations in security operations, engineering, transportation, chaplaincy, emergency management, legal, and medical services among others operational areas. As part of the Puerto Rico National Guard Family the PRSG is also known as the State Command of the Puerto Rico National Guard. It is noteworthy that, along with Texas, California and New York, the PRSG is one of the few SDF's that has an Air Division that embrace the Air Force culture. The 1st Air Base Group, located at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, is an excellent example of integration and teamwork with the PRANG units. The 1st Air Base Group is composed of a Headquarters Squadron, a Mission Support Squadron (Engineering Flight, Services Flight, Personnel Flight and Fire Fighter Flight), a Medical Squadron, a Security Forces Squadron, a Logistic Squadron (Transportation Flight and Supply Flight) and an Aerial Port Squadron. The State Defense Forces (SDF's) (also known as state guards, state military reserves, or state militias) in the United States are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government and they are partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau. SDF’s are authorized by state and federal law and are under the command of the governor of each state. The US Congress recognized the need for governors and States to keep military troops even if the President calls the state National Guard for federal military service. For that reason, the Congress authorize the SDF’s under Title 32 of the United States Code.

History[edit | edit source]

The PRSG is direct offspring of the Spanish Volunteer Regiments created during Spanish Colonial which was later replaced by the US Volunteer Infantry in 1898. The PRSG was created in 1941 in response to WWII. It disbanded in 1946. The modern PRSG reformed in 1976 by the virtue of the Military Law of Puerto Rico it's considered the state controlled branch of the PRNG. This group was formed to provide Puerto Rico a trained and organized military force in the event of a state security emergency or if the National Guard is deployed. The PRSG is the state’s authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Puerto Rico National Guard in the event the Guard is mobilized. The PRSG comprises retired, active and reserve military personnel and selected professional persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state. The modern PRSG reformed in 1976 by the virtue of the Military Code of Puerto Rico (Law Num. 62 from June 23, 1969 and amendments) it's considered the state controlled branch of the PRNG. By Law the Puerto Rico State Guard is part of the Total Force and one of three components of the Puerto Rico Military Forces, reporting to The Puerto Rico Adjutant General. There are clear historical, legal, and practical justifications for strengthening the State Defense Forces. Since the founding of this country, militias have played a vital role in fulfilling the constitutional duty of providing for the common defense. Today, as strictly state forces, SDFs continue to provide subject matter expert and critical manpower at minimal cost.

Role[edit | edit source]

The task of the PRSG is to offer support, in its totality, to the Puerto Rico National Guard (PRNG) when the later is activated by the Governor of Puerto Rico or called to active service by the President of the United States.[1] The PRSG also represents the Puerto Rico National Guard in civic activities, and supports the PRNG in cases of emergencies. With the approved resources, the State Guard of Puerto Rico will be able to recruit and to train personnel to provide the security and defense with the armories; as well as to assist the civilian authorities in cases of natural disasters, emergencies and serious disturbances of public order. These volunteers will offer support and provide services to the community by means of health clinics. In the PRSG, there is a large representation of prior service soldiers with extensive combat and command experience as well as non-priors with significant professional and paramilitary backgrounds which greatly enhance the organization. A large proportion of PRSG soldiers are active members of State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) and a few senior officers and NCOs hold leadership positions in the organization. The PRSG have been a very active force multiplier for the PRNG, supporting Federal mobilizations (legal and medical support), and its current mission is to assist the National Guard especially in concern to homeland security and SAR duties (natural disasters, civil disturbances, communities service and facilities management). PRSG ranks are official State ranks but not Federal ranks. All appointments, commissions, warrants, and enlistments are recognized and authorized by the Governor of Puerto Rico through the Adjutant General of PR. The PRSG military personnel render to all members of the military community, and receive from them, all courtesies common to all such members, such as saluting, and forms of address. The PRSG is the state’s authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Puerto Rico National Guard in the event the Guard is mobilized. The PRSG comprises retired, active and reserve military personnel and selected professional persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state. Unlike the Civil Air Patrol or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the PRSG is a statutory military entity of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with each PRSG member subject to parts of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) per the Military Code of Puerto Rico. In the PRSG, there is a large representation of prior service soldiers with extensive combat and command experience as well as non-priors with significant professional and paramilitary backgrounds which greatly enhance the organization. A large proportion of PRSG soldiers are active members of State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) and some senior officers and NCOs hold leadership positions in the organization. Generally, the PRSG soldiers and airmen don’t receive paid for drills, UTA’s or Annual Training. However, because the PRSG is a state military force, members are subject to call to state active duty by the governor. When that happens, PRSG members are paid at the same rate of pay for their rank or grade as their National Guard counterparts. The law also grant employment protection to any person that belongs to Puerto Rico State Guard and that because of it to be absent from employment, for State Active Duty or training. This major command was formed to provide Puerto Rico a trained and organized military force in the event of a state security emergency or if the National Guard is deployed. The PRSG is the state’s authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Puerto Rico National Guard in the event the Guard is mobilized. The PRSG comprises retired, active and reserve military personnel and selected professional persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state. The PRSG is organized in the following subordinates units: • Four (4) Army Support Groups • The 1st Air Base Group • The Medical Group • The Engineering Group • The Search & Rescue Company • The Military Academy The PRSG Military Academy offers specialized and general training to its soldiers. Some examples of training offered either at state or local levels include: • Basic Military Training • Basic and Advanced Non Commissioned Officer Training • Basic and Advanced Officer Training • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) given in concert with FEMA/DHS • Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Certification • The PRSG also have a nationally recognized Marksmanship Training Unit that has represent the PRNG on multiple rifle & pistol matches.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Two out of print books deal extensively with the history of the PRSG:

- José Norat Guardia Nacional de Puerto Rico - Historia y Tradiciones
- Luis De Casenave Historia de la Guardia Estatal de Puerto Rico.

See also[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

References[edit | edit source]

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