The Hawaii National Guard consists of the Hawaii Army National Guard and the Hawaii Air National Guard. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. In fact, the National Guard is the only United States military force empowered to function in a state status. Those functions range from limited actions during non-emergency situations to full scale law enforcement of martial law when local law enforcement officials can no longer maintain civil control. The National Guard may be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress.
When National Guard troops are called to federal service, the President serves as Commander-In-Chief. The federal mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, National emergency or as otherwise needed."
The Governor may call individuals or units of the Hawaii National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. The state mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise provided by state law."
The State Defense force is a military entity authorized by both the State Code of Hawaii and Executive Order. The State Defense Force (SDF) is the state’s authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Hawaii National Guard in the event the Guard is mobilized. The SDF comprises retired active and reserve military personnel and selected professional persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state.
Prior to Hawaii being annexed and becoming the Territory of Hawaii in 1898, the Provisional Government of Hawaii had established the National Guard of Hawaii to deal with internal conflict in Hawaii. After annexation, the companies entered the Army National Guard system and became part of the Hawaii Army National Guard.
- Bibliography of Hawaii Army National Guard History compiled by the United States Army Center of Military History
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