"I probably am missing something... What states have compulsory militia service? And at the federal level? Is this discussion about the United States?"
Yes, the United States. The federal militia laws are probably in USC 10, the state laws vary but usually service is mandated in a state constitution and then further detailed in the "State Military Laws" or various other titles that vary from state to state. Inthe US, militia service became a problem after the civil war when various raiders calimed they were lawful militia. As a result the US eventually turned the word "militia" into a dirty word, and promoted the "National Guard" system. A NYS Militia unit actually was called "The National Guard" prior to that, others have also contested first use of the term. The Dick Miltiia Act (1903?) was the first part of the restructuring, by which the federal government
pays for state militia expenses in exchange for the states following a uniform federal program and seconding their militia to federal service on the request of the president, with the consent of each state governor. Compulsory militia service has also been called the justification for the federal draft
, because you are
compelled to serve when called, under state and federal law, although each may differ slightly and conflicts have occurred.
The wiki can give you a good start:
Militia (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Typically the "mandatory" part today is for all makes ages 17/18-45/55 to serve "when called". Actual active
service (like universal service in the Swiss or Israeli military) is not required, except "when called" i.e. by the draft
called the colonial militia his greatest asset and worst curse. The men
fought valiantly and he couldn't wage war without them. But they were farmers, and when it was time to bring in the harvest, they WENT HOME and refused to come back until the harvest was in. That's always been the "militia problem" in the United States, the fact that it perversely has both top-down and
Last time there was a major attempt to use a state militia in the US was in 1973, when the Great Commonwealth of Massachussetts notified the Defense Department that they were recalling all of their draftees for home duty due to the state of emergency
and the communist threat (Vietnam). In other words, draft someone else, we're ending it for our boys.
A special US Supreme Court tribunal had to take that one up out of session, and the weasels actually came back and said "Yes, you have a right to recall
them, you have priority for their service. But you can't recall
them for home defense until there is an immenent threat to your borders, until then the Army can keep them."
If you ever want to piss off a USSC justice, just try recalling him from a fly fishing
trip when he's on summer vacation
And as that was pre-internet and a radical kick in the ass for the government--you'll probably find no mention of it on any internet
source today. You also won't find any text
of the 1903 Dick Militia Act, or any of the other acts that create the modern US National Guard. Even their own historical web site, which mentions their charters, does not reference the text of any of them.
Militia is a British Crown tradition, so I'd expect it to apply in some way to all Commonwealth countries. When The Crown was the law, one of the Kings imposed a militia duty on all able-bodied townsmen in all towns, holding the town itself responsible if they didn't actively seek out ruffians and thieves who had committed crimes in their areas. It was a way to ensure that if someone got robbed in a tavern, or in a carriage, the locals would make an effort to find the robber--or be forced to pay for it.
The modern use of the word, bandied about by the "press" to mean "armed camo whackos", is really Orwellian. A true militia has a full chain of command, and supports a state (not necessarily the government
, but the state and the people of the state) and has got nothing to do with camo whackos rejecting government.
And to come back to sailing...AFAIK there are only two US states, Ohio
and NY, that currently have naval militias. (The Texas Navy
is an honorary thing, not a real force.) Active duty personnel in both sign a "dual contract" for both state and federal service. NYS used to maintain a first-line warship (i.e.heavy cruiser) under the name "New York" although I have no idea if the latest USS New York
(recently launched) is simply USN or in dual service.