1st Brigade

The 1st Brigade is the “boots on the ground” for the Georgia State Defense Force in North Georgia. The “area of operation” (AO) of the 1BDE is everything north of I-20 but including areas in Dekalb, Henry and Rockdale counties that are south of I-20, from the Alabama state line to South Carolina and extending up to Tennessee and North Carolina. This large area is supported by three battalions of the 1BDE. The 2nd battalion is headquartered at the armory in Marietta and has a company located in Rome. They cover the western and north western parts of the state up to the Tennessee state line. The 3rd battalion is headquartered in the Monroe armory and covers the state to the east and north east to the South Carolina state line. The 4th battalion is based in Hall County Fire Training Center, Gainsville, and covers north Georgia to the North Carolina state line.

The 1BDE is extensively trained in SAR (search and rescue) and land navigation. The 1BDE has provided a large amount of skilled assistance to local authorities in their efforts to locate lost persons. These efforts have been lauded by the Department of Natural Resources, Pickens County PD and Gwinnett County PD as well as others, for the skill, energy and resourcefulness shown by the 1 BDE during search operations.

Disaster relief is also a large part of what the 1BDE is involved with and trains for every year. From Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to Hurricane Irma in 2017, the 1BDE has been deployed to locations throughout the state of Georgia. Whether it is shelter augmentation, chain saw operations, traffic control, SAR, area security, POD (point of distribution) operations or any other needed skill, the 1BDE has always been ready to serve the citizens of the state of Georgia. 1BDE personnel were present during tornadoes in central and northwest Georgia as well as the wildfires in southeast Georgia. If asked, the 1BDE will assist our sister states, as with the September storms that ravaged South Carolina a couple of years ago. The 1BDE has a history of always being ready to serve when asked by the Governor to support the citizens of the state.

Drills are on a monthly basis at the 2nd, 3rd or 4th battalion armories or in the field within the battalion area of operation. Annual Training (AT) is typically held at Ft. Stewart or at the Joint Air Dominance Center, also in Savannah. Here the monthly training is put to the test with a scenario based on that training. This is usually a three to four day exercise that shows the BDE skills or needed additional training.

If you live in north Georgia and are interested in being where the action really is, contact the 1BDE recruiter by tapping the link below for additional information and an application.

16 Jan 2023

Maj. Clark Howard Retires After 21 Years of Service

Maj. Clark Howard retires after serving 21 years in the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) during a ceremony held at Georgia National Guard headquarters, Clay National Guard Center, Marietta, Ga., Jan. 7, 2023. Maj. Howard, a well-known syndicated media personality, inspired one-third of the GSDF Force to join its ranks.