Governors serve as commanders-in-chief of their respective state’s National Guard forces. As the only military force that a governor can call upon to respond to disasters and other emergencies, the National Guard serves as a critical resource in emergency response and can quickly provide much-needed capabilities. The National Guard also serves as an operational force supporting overseas missions alongside the nation’s active duty forces. The unique dual-missioned nature makes it a highly flexible organization capable of adapting to the evolving threat environment and providing a cost-effective solution for sustaining military capabilities at home and abroad.
A long-standing concern for the nation’s governors was the coordination of state and federal military forces during disaster response. America Wins: The Struggle for Control of the National Guard highlights the success of the nation’s governors in codifying Dual Status Command, which ensures that coordination. This paper outlines the challenges faced by everyone during Hurricane Katrina and provides a chronological look at the steps taken by governors to ensure their citizens are safe and protected.