The Mississippi National Guard is both a Mississippi state and a federal government organization, part of the United States National Guard. It is part of the Mississippi Military Department, a state agency of the government of Mississippi. The Adjutant General of Mississippi (TAG) serves as the executive director and is subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief, the Governor of Mississippi, in matters relating to the department and the state militia forces.
The Mississippi Code of 1972, Title 33, Chapter 3, titled "Military Affairs", details the duties and responsibilities of the Adjutant General of Mississippi. The Adjutant General of Mississippi, via the Mississippi Military Department, is expressly authorized to "issue such orders, rules and regulations as may be necessary in order that the organization, training and discipline of the components of the militia of this state will at all times conform to the applicable requirements of the United States government relating thereto. Orders, rules and regulations issued hereunder shall have full force and effect as part of the military code of this state".
The state militia forces formally breakdown into three broad classes: The Mississippi National Guard (MSNG), the Mississippi State Guard (MSG), and the unorganized militia.
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 Mississippi 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."
National Guard units can be mobilized at any time by presidential order to supplement regular armed forces, and upon declaration of a state of emergency by the governor of the state in which they serve. Unlike Army Reserve members, National Guard members cannot be mobilized individually (except through voluntary transfers and Temporary DutY Assignments TDY), but only as part of their respective units. However, there has been a significant amount of individual activations to support military operations (2001-?); the legality of this policy is a major issue within the National Guard.
Army and Air National Guard units
The Mississippi National Guard consists of the:
- Mississippi Air National Guard 
Mississippi State Guard
Mississippi's state defense force, the Mississippi State Guard, is a military entity authorized by both the State Code of Mississippi and executive order. The State Guard is the state’s authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Mississippi National Guard in the event the MS National Guard is mobilized. This force is federally recognized, but are separate from the National Guard and are not meant to be federalized. 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.
- Mississippi National Guard, Military Department, accessed February 2012
- [Mississippi Code of 1972, Title 33, Chapter 3-3-15, Military Affairs: Rules and Regulations, accessed February 2012
- Bibliography of Mississippi Army National Guard History compiled by the United States Army Center of Military History
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