command structure

The Michigan Defense Force serves at the exclusive command of the Governor and The Adjutant General (TAG).


Governor Gretchen Whitmer

As the state’s highest elected official, the Governor is at the top of the food chain and serves as the Commander-In-Chief of state military resources. Should the need arise, the Governor would issue an order instructing The Adjutant General to activate the state’s military assets, including the Michigan Defense Force.


General Paul Rogers

The Adjutant General (TAG) is the highest ranking military officer in the state. All state military assets fall under the authority of TAG including the Michigan Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and Defense Force.

Collectively, these entities are known as the Joint Forces. Though the National Guard has both a Federal and State (Title 10 and 32) dual mandate, the Defense Force is a state-only military entity (Title 32) and is exclusive to TAG’s command.


Major General Paul Rogers is the Adjutant General of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard and the Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs which includes the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. 


LTC Michael Ewing

The Michigan Defense Force operates as a brigade-level entity. There are two battalions: one for the lower one third of the state, and the other for the northern two thirds.

1st Battalion is headquartered at Fort Custer, Battlecreek, MI while 2nd Battalion is headquartered at Camp Grayling, Grayling, MI.

The MIDF is commanded by LTC Michael Ewing who reports directly to The Adjutant General (TAG).

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