On Saturday, May 16, 2020, SPL was honored to temporarily became a soldier processing center for the State of Ohio Defense Forces (OHSDF) as they processed new recruits for the Ohio Military Reserve (OHMR), one of the three branches of OHSDF. Many safety measures were in place, including temperature screenings, masks, sanitizing, limited occupancy, and social distancing.
OHSDF is a noncombat civil support force trained in disaster relief, medical support, shelter management, volunteer reception centers, logistics, and more. The force is under the command of the Ohio National Guard and consists of the Ohio Military Reserve, Ohio Navy, and recently formed Cyber Reserve.
The local OHSDF armory, Haubrich Armory located on Sullivant Avenue, is currently unavailable for processing as it is presently filled with donated personal protective equipment (PPE) which will soon be distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, and other organizations. The armory is serving as a state-wide collection center.
OHMR is a volunteer force, and troops do not receive pay for any training. They receive pay if they are officially deployed. Many just completed a two-month deployment working with the Ohio National Guard and four Ohio Foodbanks, including Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Grove City, to distribute food to those in need. Last year, OHMR troops responded to Dayton’s tornado disaster relief.
The OHSDF is considered a State Guard; nineteen states currently have State Guards. State Guards have become increasingly important in recent years as more National Guard troops—historically deployed for disaster relief—have been deployed overseas. OHMR is able to assist in filling some of that civil support capacity.
During the current health and economic crisis, the OHMR is needed more now than ever. OHSDF currently has over 400 troops and is actively seeking new recruits. For the OHMR, no specific experience is required; OHMR will work with recruits to place them in an area that best fits. The OHMR accepts most applicants between the ages of 17 and 64 who are in good health and can pass a physical and who are US Citizens and residents of Ohio. The enlistment period is three years and enlistees commit to drill one day per month as well attend the required week of Annual Training each year. OHMR does not involve any weapons training. Those interested in learning more or joining can visit ohiomilitaryreserve.com.
OHMR is on Facebook. Find them here.