1st Brigade

Boots on the Ground!


The 1st Brigade (1BDE) is “boots on the ground” for the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF).

The 1BDE is extensively trained in search and rescue (commonly called, SAR) and land navigation, having provided skilled assistance to local authorities in their efforts to locate lost persons. The 1BDE is also trained to provide disaster relief assistance to the state of Georgia and its communities.

Whether it is search and rescue, shelter augmentation, chainsaw operations, traffic control, area security, point of distribution operations, or other needs, the 1BDE is always ready to serve!

1BDE Area of Operation

The area of operation of the 1BDE is 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, headquartered in Marietta, is also located in Rome. The 3rd Battalion is headquartered in Winder. The 4th Battalion is headquartered in Dahlonega.

1BDE area map

2nd Battalion

The 2nd Battalion Soldiers are force multipliers for the Georgia National Guard, emergency management agencies, and civil authorities.

Area of Operation

The Area of Operation for the 2nd Battalion roughly consists of the counties within the area north of I-20 and west of GA 400 to the Tennessee border. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion routinely augment and deploy with other GSDF units across the state.

What We Do

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion are prepared to augment our Georgia Air National Guard and Georgia Army National Guard counterparts during pre-mobilization, annual training, and other special assignments. Our training includes search and rescue in wilderness and urban environments, opposing forces, point of distribution operations, traffic control, and much more. We also are ready to support civil authorities in the aftermath of natural disasters.

When and Where We Train

The 2nd Battalion A Company drills third (Charlie) weekend at the National Guard armory in Marietta Ga. The 2nd Battalion Company drills second (Bravo) weekend at the National Guard armory in Rome Ga.

 Natural Disaster Assistance Search & Rescue Assist Civil Authorities
 Police Evidence Searches Traffic Control Opposing Force Training

3rd Battalion

Area of Operation

The Area of Operation for the 3rd Battalion roughly consists of the counties within the area north of I-20, west to I-285, south of I-85, and east to the South Carolina border. The 3rd Battalion also routinely augments other 1BDE battalions in their mission support for other GSDF brigades; therefore, 3rd Battalion Soldiers could provide support anywhere within the state of Georgia.

When We Train

The 3rd Battalion training occurs monthly on the third (Charlie) weekend. In addition to training drills, the 3rd Battalion usually conducts two field training exercises a year, bivouacking in the “woods,” to field test our training skills.

Where We Train

The 3rd Battalion home training base is the Georgia Army National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF#1) located at the Winder, Ga. airport. This facility supports Georgia Army National Guard Black Hawk maintenance work and has 24 hour/7 day-a-week security on site.

What We Do

Since 2014, the 3rd battalion has provided assistance to the Georgia Army National Guard 178th Military Police Company based in Monroe, Ga., and the 1-121 Infantry Unit based in Winder, Ga.

While some of those missions provided additional Soldier support, more recently, the 3rd Battalion has been involved in opposing force training that assists the Army National Guard in pre-deployment readiness.

Other Mission Essential Task List (METL) and Soldier skills training include: • CPR and first aid • Land navigation • Radio communication • Search and rescue

The 3rd Battalion also conducts additional training related to disaster relief, in preparation for hurricanes, tornados, or other weather-related events. This training includes: • Area security • Chainsaw operations • Debris clearing • Evacuee shelter assistance • Points of distribution operations • Search and rescue • Traffic control

4th Battalion

The 4th Battalion is known as the WSAR (Wilderness Search and Rescue) Battalion.

Area of Operation

The Area of Operation for the 4th Battalion is centered around the north Georgia mountains and surrounding areas. However, we have been deployed to locations across Georgia, whenever needed, to augment Georgia National Guard units and serve the citizens of our state.

What We Do

The 4th Battalion’s specialty is WSAR, and we train regularly to sharpen and extend our skills and capabilities to support that mission. The 4th Battalion is also a force multiplier for GSDF Training and Doctrine Command to guest instruct at SAR II classes. The 4th Battalion is also certified to host and run a SAR II course. While our primary task is SAR, we are also trained and proficient to deploy for all GSDF missions. Those missions include urban search and rescue, point of distribution operations, and FEMA and GEMA support during natural disasters, augmenting and supporting our Georgia Army National Guard troops by providing opposing forces and providing support to local municipalities.

When and Where We Train

The 4th Battalion training weekend is usually the second weekend (Bravo weekend) of the month. Annual training can be 3-5 days in duration, depending on the unit level of training that is held for that year (battalion or brigade or GSDF-wide).

The 4th Battalion is officially attached to the University of North Georgia Corps of Cadets (the Boar’s Head Brigade). A large number of the cadets serve in the Georgia National Guard while attending the university to graduate and commission as officers in a branch of the U.S. military or in a Georgia Army National Guard unit. The Pine Valley Recreation Center in Dahlonega is the primary drill location for the 4th Battalion, but we also drill at the Yonah Preserve and at several locations on the Appalachian Trail.

To join the 1BDE, contact the 1BDE recruiter by filling out the contact form and choosing 1BDE as your preferred unit: https://gsdf.georgia.gov/pages/contact/