3. What is the structure of the Michigan Militia Corps?
Since the state government no longer takes the responsibility of providing for the unorganized militia, and has apparently taken the stance that an armed populace trained in arms, prepared to defend the state in the event of unrest or invasion, and to assist in the even of emergency, is not useful, the MMC has taken it upon itself to organize and set standards for participation in MMC-related events.
The smallest defined unit in the Michigan Militia Corps is the Brigade. Each county in the state is assigned a brigade number, therefore, each county has only one authorized brigade. The general membership of the MMC participates in the county's Brigade in which they reside. Brigade Commanders are elected by the general membership of a Brigade, and that Brigade Commander then appoints his/her staff. The person newly elected to Brigade Commander must be approved by State Command. The person who holds the position of Brigade Commander is given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His staff's rank is at his own discretion.
The next level of MMC structure is that of Division. There are 9 Divisions in the MMC, each consists of a varying number of brigades. The Brigade Commanders of a Division elect the Division Commander, whose confirmation is also subject to State Command approval. The Division Commander acts as a communications go-between for the Brigade Commanders and State Command. The person who holds the rank of Division Commander is given the rank of Colonel.
The highest level of structure is State Command. State Command consists of the State Commander, his/her staff, and the Advisory and Policy Counsel (APC). The APC is a counsel consisting of all Division Commanders and the Chief of Staff / Deputy Commander. The State Commander can be nominated by a Brigade or Division Commander. An election is then held by the APC by secret ballot to determine if the nominated individual is then elected to the position of State Commander. There must be a majority of 5 out of 9 APC members in order to elect a new State Commander. The State Commander appoints his/her own staff and Chief of Staff / Deputy Commander and determines their ranks. The position of State Commander is that of brigadier general.
To summarize the chain of command, the following is from MMC Manual 1-1:
2.7 Miscellaneous Provisions
2.7.1 Chain of Command, Discipline and Appeal
(1) The Brigade Commander has command over Brigade Members.
(2) Brigade members may appeal to the Division Commander.
(3) The Division commander has authority over Brigade Commanders.
(4) Brigade Commanders may appeal to State Commander.
(5) The State Commander has authority over Division Commanders.
(6) Division Commanders may appeal to the APC.
(7) The APC has authority over the State Commander.
(8) The State Commander may appeal to a council comprised of all active Brigade Commanders.
For more information on membership requirement and the requirements of each position, refer to section 6 of this FAQ, or our Manual 1-1.
Many anti-militia organizations like to say that organizations similar to the MMC are "private" militias, creating their case for militia illegitimacy. The fundamental flaw of this argument is that "private" connotates a limited membership potential. The MMC, in adhering with the legal definition of "unorganized militia" (see section 1), is a public organization. The general public is welcome to join, without regard to race, religion, or social standing. All commanding officers of the MMC are elected by the general membership, either directly or indirectly. The MMC is no more private than a governmental entity.
As stated in the previous section, the MMC is headed by the State Commander and his/her staff. There is no *real* dictatorial control over the general membership of the MMC, the position of State Commander is more of a communications coordinator than a military commander. The State Commander's staff is simply there to contribute their abilities to the office and assist in the efficient coordination of MMC activities.
Similarly, Division Commanders exist to facilitate communications between other divisions and divisional Brigades. A Division Commander knows the terrain and interests of the local Brigades and can perform the job accordingly. Brigade Commanders and staff decide which situations to participate in, in consultation with Division Commanders.
Hardly. Even though MMC Divisions hold training for emergency and survival situations, those who are conducting the training are in fact prior military members. In actuality, a large number of MMC members are prior military and contribute their skills to those who do not have military experience. It has come to our attention that people are actually choosing MMC membership over membership in one of the US armed forces because of low morale and lack of true direction present in today's "global police" military. MMC membership has become a viable alternative for those who wish to contribute their time on a voluntary basis to support and defend the state and nation.
The following membership requirements come from MMC Manual 1-1:
2.6.1 Membership Requirements
Requirements to join the MMCW:
(1) Must apply to the Brigade Commander in your county or to the Acting Brigade Commander.
(2) Must agree to abide by the MMCW rules and regulations.
(3) Take and sign the MMCW oath/affirmation of service.
(4) Must agree to a background check to be conducted by State Command.
(5) Complete a one (1) year probationary period before achieving voting status within the Brigade.
The oath of office required of all members is as follows:
For Noncommissioned Members:
I, (Name), do solemnly swear/affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution for the united States of America against all enemies, both foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of those appointed over me, for conscience sake; So Help Me God.
For Commissioned Officers:
I, (Name), having been appointed an officer in the Michigan Militia Corps, Wolverines, in the grade of (grade), do solemnly swear/affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution for the united States of America against all enemies, both foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So Help Me God.
In addition to the above requirements, the following must also be observed by members:
Requirements to maintain active member (voting) status:
(1) Attend at least one (1) Brigade meeting per month.
(2) Attend at least one (1) Division Training every other month.
This is considered a guideline for Brigade Commanders. If a member cannot make it to training, or is physically incapable, exceptions will be made.
MMC members may own as many, or few firearms as he/she wants. There is no requirement in MMC regulations that a member own a firearm, it is entirely up to the individual's personal beliefs.
The MMC absolutely condemns terrorism and similar violent acts. Such activity will not be tolerated within the MMC membership, and if such activity is discovered, the offending members will be removed from their positions and local law enforcement will be alerted.
No. The true definition of "unorganized militia" includes all Citizens of Michigan. All citizens means all, regardless of race, religion, or social standing. However, we do not allow those convicted of a violent felony to join the MMC.
Many anti-militia people like to spout the phrase "anti-government." This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, militia members hold the belief that government is indeed necessary, and without it there would be total chaos. However, we also believe that government should be limited, that each individual should have to right to do whatever he or she pleases, as long as the rights of another are not infringed. This sounds logical enough, but today's society is riddled with "victimless" laws.
We believe in a strict construction of the Constitution, which means that we believe that the power of Congress should be limited to the 18 powers it was specifically delegated in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Religious discussions are kept to a minimum at MMC meetings due to the fact that everyone has their own religious beliefs. The purpose of the MMC is to stand up for people of all religions and races. We do not discriminate on basis of belief.
Michigan Militia Corps members take part in community activities and participate in all levels of government. One recent example is that many of our members took part in a massive search for a missing girl in Western Michigan. Our members are well-trained in communications and field operations, therefore they were a great help in coordinating the searchers and creating order out of the thousands who took part in the search.
We actively encourage members to write their representatives in government to get view across. Our meetings are often times informational only, so our members can educate themselves on current events and the political scene. Our members take part in discussions and debate over the role of government in modern situations.
The following is a training outline being adopted by state command:
|I.||WHAT:||Organize a local, Constitutional, citizens' militia unit; well trained and regulated volunteers to become proficient in a number of skills and disciplines. These include marksmanship, intelligence gathering, field tactical and survival skills, physical endurance, and strength conditioning. All militia units should strive to become a positive example in their community, neighborhood, or township.|
|II.||WHY:||To have a trained, well prepared, and accountable group of local militiamen prepared to defend one another's family, property, and freedoms should any external threat present itself.|
|III.||WHEN:||According to the training schedules issued. Mid-month training sessions and supplemental (or specialized) training will be held at appointed locations and times.|
|IV.||WHERE:||Meetings for training, field exercises, and other forms of instruction will take place at appointed locations in the local county or township region. All or most of these locations should be within a reasonable distance of all militia members.|
|V.||HOW:||Using designated training locations, facilities, and logistical support, militia members will be lead through a regimen of classroom instruction, hands-on skill development, field, tactical, and physical training. See page 2.|
|VI.||WHO:||Militia members to participate will be designated with the approval of the unit membership and the Commander. The Commander will designate appropriate guest instructors and speakers, when appropriate, as the training schedule and opportunities permit.|
It is also recognized that not all members are capable or willing to engage in some types of training. It is at the discretion of the Brigade Commander which members participate in which levels of training. Different staff members have different roles, therefore they will have different training.
The uniform consists of a standard woodland camouflage BDU set. A khaki T-shirt is worn underneath the BDU blouse, and patches conforming to the member's brigade's number are included. The subdued American Flag patch is worn on the right shoulder. The patch with the Wolverine and the member's Brigade number, and the patch with the words "CIVILIAN MILITIA," are worn on the left shoulder. The member's name tape, with last name, goes over the right pocket, and the name tape with the word "WOLVERINES" goes over the left pocket. If the member has any US Military-issued service ribbons, those can also be worn over the name tape on the left.
Members' rank is worn in a similar fashion to US Army rank. Enlisted members place their rank on both sides of the collar, bisecting the collar point. Officers wear rank on the right collar, parallel with the end of the collar, and the infantry crossed rifles are worn on the left collar, also parallel to the collar end.
The uniform is only worn to MMC functions, training, and meetings, at the discretion of the commander.
The Michigan Militia Corps was formed by Norm Olson and a group of his compatriots in 1993. Under his elected leadership, he built the foundation for the Michigan Militia Corps and expanded its structure. The MMC began with just 4 Divisions, but rapid growth of the organization required further division of the state, so 9 Divisions were formed from the previous 4. This structure, in that form, still exists today.
After the deplorable Oklahoma City Bombing, Norm took it upon himself, without consulting his staff and fellow elected commanders, to release a statement to the press indicating that the Japanese had something to do with the bombing. This was embarrassing to most members, and an election for a new commander was held. Lynn Jon VanHuizen was elected to the position of State Commander and still currently holds that position.
The MMC's full name is:
Michigan Militia Corps - Wolverines
Also, each of the 9 Divisions in the MMC has its own name. See question number 18.
The Wolverine is Michigan's state animal. The following description of a wolverine comes from the Wolverine Foundation home page:
"The wolverine (Gulo gulo) earned its place in North American folklore long before north-country trappers and a few over-zealous naturalists began to spin tales of a beast of great ferocity, cunning, and extraordinary strength. Indian mythology describes the wolverine as a trickster-hero, and a link to the spirit world. Still, even today the wolverine remains largely a mystery."
As stated in question number 15, the MMC was originally divided into 4 Divisions, named as follows:
The MMC is currently divided into 9 Divisions, which are pictured below:
The names of each division are as follows: