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Appendix C

Use of Force

The purpose of this appendix is to provide doctrinal considerations for CST commanders and members to understand in applying the rules for the use of force. CST members need to know the applicable rules for the use of force at an incident site. In the absence of mission-specific rules for the use of force, security and guard force personnel supporting, supported by, or in support of the CST will operate under the normal rules for the use of force as stated in DODD 5210.56 and other state or service regulations. Proper training will ensure that soldiers understand the rules on the use of force in domestic operations. Peacetime operations conducted by the US military within the territorial jurisdiction of the US are governed by the use-of-force rules contained in specific state or federal directives or as determined on a case-by-case basis for specific missions.



C-1. There is a general presumption that units deployed to sites of CBRNE situations will not carry arms; however, units may deploy to sites of CBRNE situations with their weapons in storage in the event that the unit is subsequently authorized to carry arms by the SECDEF or is deployed from the CBRNE site to an assignment where weapons are authorized. The military OSC is responsible to ensure that weapons and ammunition are adequately stored and physically secured at the site of the CBRNE situation.

C-2. Military members providing security for stored weapons and ammunition at military facilities during CM support operations may carry their weapons while performing their normal security duties and will adhere to the rules on the use of force set forth in CJCS Contingency Plan (CONPLAN) 0500-98.

C-3. In an emergency situation (and then only when expressly authorized by the SECDEF in consultation with the Attorney General), units providing CM support may be authorized to carry arms. When weapons are authorized, units will adhere to the rules on the use of force set forth in CJCS CONPLAN 0500-98.



C-4. The CJCS standing rules of engagement (SROE) do not apply to domestic disaster relief operations in which the CST may be involved. There are no preexisting, overall, stand-alone ROE/rules for the use of force for domestic disaster relief or CBRNE operations; however, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) 3125.01 and CJCS CONPLAN 0500-98 provide guidance for the use of force for CSTs activated under Title 10 USC.

C-5. Commanders and their supporting judge advocate generals (JAGs) must pay particular attention to any guidance on the rules for use of force is not used for domestic operations) in the execute order (EXORD) or in any subsequent orders or directives. As a baseline, however, the soldier's inherent right to self-defense, as stated in the CJCS rules on the use of force, would apply.



C-6. A commander has the authority and obligation to use all necessary means available and to take all appropriate actions to defend his unit and other US forces in the vicinity from a hostile act or the demonstration of hostile intent.

C-7. Neither these rules nor the supplemental measures activated to augment these rules limit this inherent right and obligation. At all times, the requirements of necessity and proportionality, as amplified in the prescribed guidance for the use of force, will form the basis for the judgment of the OSC or individual as to what constitutes an appropriate response to a particular hostile act or the demonstration of a hostile intent.

C-8. The two elements of self-defense are necessity and proportionality.

    • Exists when a hostile act occurs or when a force or terrorists exhibit hostile intent.
    • The force used to counter a hostile act or a demonstrated hostile intent must be reasonable in intensity, duration, and magnitude to the perceived or demonstrated threat based on all facts known to the commander at the time. (See CJCSI 3121.01A for amplification.)



C-9. The way a CST receives rules governing the use of force depends on how they have been activated. A CST may be activated in one of two ways:

    • Through its respective state under Title 32 USC.
    • Through federalization under Title 10 USC.



C-10. When activated under Title 32 USC, the use of force in state active-duty status will be governed by state law. As a condition on the use of federal property and equipment, NG personnel (in state active-duty status) will, at a minimum, comply with the following guidelines (unless state law is more restrictive, in which case they will comply with state law).

C-11. The use of force must be restricted to the minimum degree consistent with mission accomplishment.


C-12. The use of deadly force can be justified only by extreme necessity. It is authorized only where all three of the following circumstances are present:

    • Lesser means have been exhausted or are not available.
    • The risk of death or serious bodily harm to innocent persons is not significantly increased by its use.
    • The purpose of its use is one or more of the following:

    • Self-defense to avoid death or serious bodily harm, including the defense of other persons.
    • Prevention of a crime that involves a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm (for example, dispersal of a hazardous substance in an inhabited dwelling or sniping).
    • Prevention of the destruction of property vital to public health and safety.
    • Detention or prevention of the escape of a person who, during the detention or on the act of escaping, presents a clear threat of loss of life or serious bodily harm to another person.

C-13. Other state and local agencies, and perhaps nonfederalized NG, are responsible for law enforcement functions-not federal troops. The Posse Comitatus Act does not apply to the nonfederalized NG. Commanders must be mindful, however, of FP and the welfare of their soldiers.



C-14. When activated under Title 10 USC, the use of force in federal active-duty status will be governed by DOD/federal directives or as determined on a case-by-case basis for specific missions by the LFA. In all cases, the use of force provided by the LFA should be reviewed by the appropriate DOD legal office/JAG for applicability and legality.

C-15. The responsibility for providing security for DOD personnel, equipment, and military sites during CM operations rests with local law enforcement authorities. DOD personnel, however, retain the right to take appropriate actions in self-defense if threatened during CM operations. If feasible, DOD personnel should request civilian law enforcement assistance before acting in self-defense.

C-16. CJCSI 3125.01 and CJCS CONPLAN 0500-98 provide further guidance for rules on the use of force for CSTs activated under Title 10 USC.



C-17. When force is necessary, use it according to the priorities of force and limit it to the minimum degree necessary. The application of any or all of the priorities of force or the application of a higher numbered priority without first employing a lower numbered one, depends on (and will be consistent with) the situation encountered. Only as a last resort will deadly force be used and only as prescribed by the appropriate regulations and guidance. The priorities (in order) of force are-

    • Verbal persuasion.
    • Unarmed defense techniques.
    • Chemical aerosol irritant projectors (subject to local restrictions).
    • Use of physical force other than weapons fire (such as military dogs, MP clubs).
    • Presentation of deadly force.
    • Deadly force.

C-18. Commanders must stress the importance of disseminating the rules for use of force early (although this may be difficult given the time constraints of deployment) and provide realistic training to CST members during normal training. This will ensure no "surprises" occur when actually having to execute the rules for use of force.

C-19. DODD 5210.56 provides guidance pertaining to the authorized use of deadly force that could be applicable. This directive primarily focuses on the use of force that would pertain to situations involving soldiers performing guard duty. For example, a CBRNE incident scene may require the security of sensitive COMSEC material. To prevent compromise of COMSEC material, CST soldiers may be confronted with a use of force situation. CJCSI 3125.01 addresses use of force by CSTs.


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