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Salem Armory

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Salem Armory

The Oregon Military Department is an agency of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon, which oversees the armed forces of the state of Oregon. Under the authority and direction of the governor as commander-in-chief, the agency is responsible for planning, establishing, and enforcing rules and procedures governing the administration, supply, and training of the Oregon National Guard (consisting of the Oregon Army National Guard and the Oregon Air National Guard), when not in the active service of the United States, and the Oregon National Guard Reserve. The Department also maintains all state-owned or leased military facilities, including posts, camps, military reservations, and rifle ranges.


The adjutant general serves as the administrative director of the Military Department and is the military command officer of the national guard. The Military Council, composed of the adjutant general and six to ten officers of the National Guard, operates as an advisory staff to the governor, in much the same way as the Joint Chiefs of Staff advise the President. The Army and Air wings of the National Guard have proportional representation on the council according to their current total strength.


Approximately 97 percent (US$382 million) of the funds for the Oregon National Guard are provided by the federal government. This does not reflect the considerably smaller figure of $35.9 million or 9% which is included within the Department's budget. The difference can be accounted for by the fact that troop salaries and wages are paid to them directly by the federal government. Federal funds support 100% of troop training, Defense Department programs, base security and fire protection, and youth programs; 75% of the logistical support for training sites; and most facility, maintenance and supply expenditures of the Air National Guard (averaging 75 to 85% based on a complex and variable schedule).


The National Guard Reserve is the only statewide civil defense organization of significant size and provides emergency assistance. It is composed entirely of unpaid volunteers. In the event of a federal call-up of the National Guard sufficient that it cannot fulfill its state role, domestic deployment of the reserve can be ordered. Since 1989 the Oregon National Guard Reserve (ORNGR) is known officially as the Oregon State Defense Force (ORSDF).[1]The ORSDF is an all-volunteer militia force under the Oregon Military Department that provides reserve personnel to both the Oregon Army National Guard and the Oregon Air National Guard. It is under state jurisdiction and its members are employed only within the State of Oregon. It is not subject to any federal orders. Its mission is to provide units organized, equipped and trained in the protection of life or property and the preservation of peace, order and public safety under competent orders of State authorities.[2]

As of just before the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, 9,268 Oregon National Guard members had been deployed to Afghanistan (1,691), Iraq (7,048), and the Iraq Southern No Fly Zone (529) since 2002, of whom 20 died in action.[3]


The Military Department is based in Salem, with armories, camps, air bases and other facilities around the state.[4] The Salem Armory Auditorium, next to the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem, is rented out as a concert venue, and for shows, conventions, graduations, dances and conferences.[5][6]

See also




  • References: Oregon State Defense Force, Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 399.035 2007 edition Chapter 399-Organized Militia, q.v. Referenced on March 17, 2008

External links

  • United States Army Center of Military History
  • Oregon Military Department (official website)
  • Oregon State Defense Force (official website)
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