Militia is the term used to describe an armed force made up of ordinary citizens for various purposes such as providing law enforcement in times of emergency, and defense via providing paramilitary services without necessarily being paid with a regular salary or being obligated to serve a fixed term. Historically, the militia has played an important role in the history of the United States, particularly in its revolutionary war of independence against Britain as it played a major role in that conflict. Militia groups in the United States have stayed on up to the present day and they serve primarily as reserve forces and the country’s first line of defense in case the mainland United States is invaded or threatened by hostile forces, may they be external or domestic in nature.
Militia groups in the United States are categorized between two types: organized and unorganized.
The organized groups category is where the National Guards can be categorized under. The National Guard is a force organized in the state level and whose members are ready to be called up for service by the state’s governor in case of domestic threats including natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes. The members of the National Guard from each state of the United States form the over-arching National Guard of the United States which is under the federal government and can be called up for duty by the President of the United States, if the need arises. This makes the National Guard of the United States under the authority of the federal government, as opposed to the State National Guards which are under the state government.
The reserves or the unorganized militia in the US are numerous. From Alaska to Western Virginia, each state in the American mainland has at least one unorganized reserve (which is most likely to be private) force ready to perform the duties expected of their organized counterparts. One state with more than one of such groups is California, which has militia groups scattered all over its expansive area. Most of them are private and are dedicated to upholding America’s liberty from what the group perceive as threats, both realistic and fanciful.
The unorganized militias of other states are more extensive in their stated purpose on the other hand. Such groups include Maryland’s Citizen Defense League, which describes itself as a pro-firearms rights and a pro-liberty organization. Montana’s Militia of Montana also takes it upon themselves to educate their fellow Americans concerning decisions about their country’s future. Groups such as those that are located in Pennsylvania also see the safeguarding of their community’s peace and order as one of their areas of concern.
Apart from the mentioned groups, majority of the militias in the United States are committed to performing the simple function of expected form such an armed force: to backup the regular armed forces in defending the American homeland and serve as its first line of defense against any group that threatens its very existence.
Militia groups in the United States are numerous and varied but they are all unified by their common purpose of protecting the mainland USA from threats.