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State Militias by State 2024

State Militias by State 2024


Since the early 20th century, America has relied on state militias to do most of the fighting at home, in particular, to defend national and state interests from attacks abroad and domestically. The purpose of a militia was never to attack but to defend the citizens and properties of members within a state and the community. Initially, Militias were extremely necessary as a way to train armed men to obtain certain combat experience quickly, and those who upheld and exemplified these principles were sometimes added to more professional services, such as the army and the Navy.

After the outbreak of the First World War, many things needed to change. Conventional warfare has brought with it many new dangers, mainly with regard to battlefield techniques, equipment, air force, and other breakthroughs in technology. Soldiers could not be quickly trained for the defense of their homeland and had to adopt more professional measures. This eventually gave rise to the need for modern State Defense Forces, or SDFs, which are currently only active in certain states and territories.

Alaska is of prominent importance, as it requires a large active defense force as is extremely vulnerable. Alaska was one of the newest additions to the union and is very far away from the rest of the continental United States. Even more precarious is its access to natural resources, its exceptional land mass, and its proximity to the Russian Federation. Because of this, a large part of US military spending is used for the defense and security of Alaska. This has made the Alaskan State Defense Force one of the most necessary, which has both a Ground and Naval division that can be called upon at any time for the defense of the state's borders.


California is one of the few states that has an active militia in both ground and naval units, with advanced weapons training. The California State Guard and the Cal Guard Maritime are well equipped and provisioned to be called upon at any time to bolster reserves or to defend the nation. California also has a militia air wing, which is extremely uncommon and shows a rare dedication to the protection of its interests. This is largely because California has the largest economy in the United States, valued for its luxury markets, access to tech innovation, and the warm climate that makes farming year-round a possibility in many communities.


Connecticut is an example of the average situation in many of the states which still have an active militia. Connecticut has a ground defense force, called the Connecticut State Militia Units, but its Connecticut Naval Militia has since been disbanded or inactive. This means that the threat to national and state security has decreased over time, especially with the introduction of other wings of the professional military - including homeland defense. Even still, it is customary to conduct live weapons training within the Connecticut state militia, where it is otherwise simulated in some other states.

State Militias by State 2024

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State Militia Exists
State Militia Title
AlabamaYesAlabama State Defense Force (ASDF)Active
AlaskaYesAlaska Naval MilitiaActive
ArizonaYesArizona National GuardActive
ArkansasYesArkansas Army National GuardActive
CaliforniaYesCalifornia State GuardActive
ColoradoYesColorado State Defense ForceInactive
ConnecticutYesConnecticut State GuardActive
DelawareYesDelaware National GuardActive
FloridaYesFlorida State GuardActive
GeorgiaYesGeorgia State Defense ForceActive
HawaiiYesHawaii Territorial GuardInactive
IdahoYesIdaho State GuardActive
IllinoisYesIllinois Army National Guard Active
IndianaYesIndiana National GuardActive
IowaYesIowa Army National GuardActive
KansasYesKansas State GuardInactive
KentuckyYesKentucky Active MilitiaInactive
LouisianaYesLouisiana State GuardActive
MaineYesMaine State GuardActive
MarylandYesMaryland Defense ForceActive
MassachusettsYesMassachusetts National GuardActive
MichiganYesMichigan Defense ForceActive
MinnesotaYesMinnesota State Guard Inactive
MississippiYesMississippi National GuardActive
MissouriYesMissouri State Defense ForceInactive
NebraskaYesNebraska Army National Guard Active
New HampshireYesNew Hampshire National GuardActive
New JerseyYesNew Jersey State Guard Inactive
New MexicoYesNew Mexico National GuardActive
New YorkYesNew York GuardActive
North CarolinaYesNorth Carolina National GuardActive
North DakotaYesNorth Dakota Air National Guard Active
OhioYesOhio Military ReserveActive
OklahomaYesOklahoma State Guard Inactive
OregonYesOregon Civil Defense Force Active
PennsylvaniaYesPennsylvania State GuardInactive
Rhode IslandYesRhode Island Independent Military Organizations Active
South CarolinaYesSouth Carolina State GuardActive
South DakotaYesSouth Dakota State GuardInactive
TennesseeYesTennessee State GuardActive
TexasYesTexas Army National Guard Active
UtahYesUtah State Defense Force Active
VermontYesVermont State Guard Active
VirginiaYesVirginia Defense Force Active
WashingtonYesWashington State GuardActive
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinYesWisconsin State Defense Force Inactive
showing: 50 rows

State Militias by State 2024