24th Special Troops Brigade, 2nd Battalion HQ


The Michigan Defense Force operates its own academy's for a wide range of training needs for personnel without prior federal military experience. The Michigan Defense Force offers its own basic training that is conducted annually at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuvers Training Center. Troops will start the Basic Entry Level Training (BELT) course with their unit prior to attending Initial Entry Training (IET). The BELT course teaches fundamental soldier skills and knowledge, including: customs and courtesies, drill and ceremony, military ranks, phonetic alphabet, map reading, uniform preparation, and much more. Much of the course material is taken directly from the US Army training curriculum, including official US Army references and manuals.

The Academy also offers more advanced courses for personnel as they progress through their military career. Courses include:

Initial Entry Training (IET)

Officer Candidate School  (OCS) - Initial officer training

Basic NCO Course (BNCOC) - NCO training

Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Academy

All personnel within the Michigan Defense Force train for their specialized  skills. The  Michigan Defense Force utilizes the MOS system, While  Advanced Individual Training (AIT) is not conducted at a active duty military installation. Many troops receive professional federal and state certifications. with those national and state certifications allows direct MOS integration. 

In addition to Michigan Defense Force in house training, Troops have the opportunity to attend other Local, State, and Federal Training and Exercises.


The vast majority of soldier's training occurs within the Unit (Battalion), the Company or Detachment to which the soldier has been officially assigned. Personnel drill and train with members of their unit, on mission-specific tasks and skills. Subjects include:

Physical Training (PT)

First-Aid, CPR, & AED

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

Field and survival skills

Search and Rescue

Points of Distribution (POD)



Self Defense

Ancillary skills

Michigan Military Act 150 of 1967, MCL 32.651 Michigan volunteer defense force 

(6) Members of the Michigan volunteer defense force shall not be equipped with any type of weapon except under the following conditions:

(a) The president has called or ordered all or part of the national guard into federal service in time of a national emergency and the mission of the Michigan volunteer defense force to whom weapons are issued consists primarily of the protection of public property.

(b) During training to be conducted by the national guard or state police in the proper use of such weapons.

At this time, the Michigan Defense Force does not train with firearms. However troops by law can legally carry a Concealed Pistol while in uniform with a valid State of Michigan Concealed Pistol License. (Some restrictions due apply)


Online and computer-based course work is a valuable component of the Michigan Defense Force training. FEMA's Independent Study Program offers courses that support the nine mission areas identified by the National Preparedness Goal.

  • Incident Management
  • Operational Planning
  • Disaster Logistics
  • Emergency Communications
  • Service To Disaster Victims
  • Continuity Programs
  • Public Disaster Communications
  • Integrated Preparedness
  • Hazard Mitigation


The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) replaced its Incident Command System (ICS) curricula with courses that meet the requirements specified in the National Incident Management System (NIMS). EMI developed the new courses collaboratively with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), the United States Fire Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture.

FEMA's Professional Development Series includes seven EMI independent study courses that provide a well-rounded set of fundamentals for those in the emergency management profession.


Army Learning Management System (ALMS)  these courses augment the standard MOS training.



State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) offers the Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) rating, a program established to give State Defense Forces and Civil Authorities the ability to obtain credentialing in the field of Emergency Management. The MEMS Academy Program is comprised of three qualification levels: Basic, Senior, and Master. Each level is identified with a different badge.

Many of the online and correspondence courses are required for promotion.


Field training exercises provide an opportunity for practical, hands-on application of knowledge gained in the classroom. It allows soldiers to go beyond theory and refine their skills in the field and in all kinds of weather. It's also an opportunity to field-test equipment that would otherwise be useless in a garrison environment. The FTX is designed to provide as realistic a scenario as one might encounter in the event of an actual deployment. This also helps to strengthen leadership and teamwork. It allows soldiers and leaders to identify problem areas and methods of improvement. Finally, the FTX is an opportunity for the troops to practice their mission with other agencies. This often includes the state and local EMA's, local governments, law enforcement, first responders, volunteer organizations, and even the general public.