The Missouri Militia is a private, non-profit civilian defense organization in the state of Missouri, organized with the intent to act as the state defense force, as there is currently no state defense force for the state of Missouri. Its members have been active in disaster relief after the 2011 Joplin tornado.
The Missouri Militia is distinct from the state's National Guard in that they cannot become federal entities (all state National Guard units can be federalized under the National Defense Act of 1933 with the creation of the National Guard of the United States). The federal government recognizes state defense forces under 32 U.S.C. § 109, which provides that state defense forces as a whole may not be called, ordered, or drafted into the armed forces of the United States, thus preserving their separation from the National Guard. However, under the same law, individual members serving in the state defense force are not exempt from service in the armed forces. But, under 32 USC § 109(e) "A person may not become a member of a defense force . . . if he is a member of a reserve component of the armed forces."
From its founding until the early 1900s, the United States maintained only a minimal army and relied on state militias to supply the majority of its troops. In 1903, the predecessor to the modern-day National Guard was formed to augment the militia and Regular Army with a federally controlled reserve force. In 1933, Congress finalized the split between the National Guard and the state defense forces by mandating that all federally funded soldiers take a dual enlistment/commission and thus enter both the state National Guard (Title 32) and the National Guard of the United States (Title 10). This division forced states to maintain both a National Guard and a state defense force if they desired to have non-federal soldiers. During World War II, much of the National Guard was deployed on federal duty. Many states continued to maintain distinct state militias (some building on ones that never ceased to exist) to defend their own territories and shorelines.
Section 41.490 of the Missouri Revised Statutes allows the governor to organize a reserve military force from the unorganized militia. In 1982, Governor Kit Bond signed an executive order for a Missouri reserve military force. This order allows the Adjutant General of Missouri to organize such a force as ordered by the governor.
The state has been divided into five units, each having its own commanding officer. The Missouri Militia is not funded by the federal or state government, and members are unpaid. Volunteers have to purchase their own uniforms and most, if not all, of their own equipment.
Because many members are veterans who have retained ranks received from service in the armed forces, the militia has an inflated grade structure.
Training is a vital part of their operations and occurs continuously. The training atmosphere is professional and very skill focused with emphasis on learning and executing skills correctly, rather than on rigorous physical resistance type training. All training is conducted with safety in mind.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) is part of the training utilized by the Missouri Militia.
Some of the skills they specialize in include:
- Land Navigation (Map, Compass, and GPS)
- Radio Communication / Hand Signals
- First Aid / CPR
- Road Clearing / Disaster Relief
- Firearm Safety
- CQB (Close Quarters Battle)
- Self Defense (Armed/Unarmed)
- All Weather Survival
- CBRN Preparedness (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear)
- Civil Unrest / Rioting Preparedness
- Search and Rescue
and many others
Training generally occurs one Saturday a month with a 2-day field exercise conducted quarterly, however not all training takes place in the field. Often they will have medical classes taught by certified Doctors or RN's, including our CPR training which is conducted by the American Heart Association. Their training standards are broken into three progressive skill levels which are guidelines for each individual.
Weapons qualification and training are provided. For this reason, people possessing felonies are barred from joining the Militia.
1. The word "militia" as used in this code means all the active and potential military forces of the state, whether organized or unorganized.
2. Whenever reference is made in the articles of Uniform Code of Military Justice to the "military service" or to the "armed forces" of the United States the reference is deemed to include the military service and militia of this state.
State militia, members.
1. The militia of the state shall include all able-bodied citizens and all other able-bodied residents, who, in the case of the unorganized militia and the Missouri reserve military force, shall be more than seventeen years of age and not more than sixty-four, and such other persons as may upon their own application be enrolled or commissioned therein, and who, in the case of the organized militia, shall be within the age limits and possess the physical and mental qualifications prescribed by law or regulations for the reserve components of the armed forces of the United States, except that this section shall not be construed to require militia service of any persons specifically exempted by the laws of the United States or the state of Missouri.
Militia service, persons exempt.
The following persons shall be exempt from militia service:
(1) Persons exempt from militia service by the laws of the United States;
(2) Regular or duly ordained ministers of religion, or duly elected church officials regularly conducting church services, or those recognized by their church as devoting the major portion of their time to the practice of religion;
(3) Students preparing for the ministry in recognized theological or divinity schools.
Organized and unorganized militia.
1. The militia of the state is divided into two classes, the organized militia and the unorganized militia.
2. The organized militia shall consist of the following:
(1) Such elements of the land and air forces of the National Guard of the United States as are allocated to the state by the President or the Secretary of Army or Air, and accepted by the state, hereinafter to be known as the national guard and the air national guard;
(2) Such elements of the reserve naval forces of the United States as are allocated to the state by the President or the Secretary of the Navy, and accepted by the state, hereinafter called the naval militia; and the
(3) Missouri reserve military force, when organized.
3. The unorganized militia shall consist of all persons liable to serve in the militia but not commissioned or enlisted in the organized militia.
Reserve military force—powers of governor.
1. The governor shall have the power to organize from the unorganized militia of Missouri a reserve military force for duty within or without the state to supplement the Missouri national guard or replace it when it is mobilized in federal service. The Missouri reserve military force may be used to execute the laws, suppress insurrections, repel invasion, suppress lawlessness, and provide emergency relief to distressed areas in the event of earthquake, flood, tornado, or actual or threatened enemy attack or public catastrophe creating conditions of distress or hazard to public health and safety beyond the capacity of local or established agencies. The force shall consist of such organized troops, auxiliary troops, staff corps and departments as the governor deems necessary. The governor shall prescribe the strength and composition of the various units of the same, uniform and insignia and the qualifications of its members, and shall have the power to grant a discharge therefrom for any reason deemed by him sufficient.
1. After the proclamation by the governor as authorized by section 41.480, any person who resists or aids in resisting the execution of process in any area declared to be in a state of actual or threatened insurrection, or who aids or attempts the rescue or escape of another from lawful custody or confinement or who resists or aids in resisting any force ordered out by the governor to execute the laws, to suppress actual and prevent threatened insurrection or to repel invasion shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term not less than two years.
The Missouri Militia wear standard U.S. military uniforms with insignia closely matching those of their federal counterpart.
The Militia used Woodland style BDU's. They use name tapes that state "Missouri" rather than "U.S. Army." The taps are displayed on the opposite side to show a distinction from their federal counterpart.
In all cases, the state adjutant general has final say on uniforms worn by Militia, though federal service regulations generally shape the policies of each state.
- 1 pair woodland pattern BDU's
- 1 pistol belt
- 1 Y or H type suspenders or LBV
- 2 magazine pouches
- 2 canteens with cover, cup and stove
- 1 can of fuel for stove
- 1 butt pack
- 1 battle rifle (AR, AK, FN)
- 200 rounds ammunition in magazines or stripper clips (standard caliber .223, .308, 7.62)
- Cleaning kit for rifle
- 1 personal first aid kit
- 1 poncho with liner
- 1 sheath knife or bayonet
- 1 pack waterproof matches
- Extra pair of socks (wool, OD or black) pre-powdered and packaged
- 1 half roll of toilet paper (zip locked)
- 1 hygiene kit: odorless soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor etc.
- 1 Midland FRS/GMRS 2-12 mile radio w/headset
- 2 × 25 feet (7.6 m) lengths of 550 cord (paracord)
- 3 days field rations (MRE's or rice, noodles, granola bars etc.)
- 1 angle neck flashlight w/ red or blue filter
- Camo face paint (green, black, loam)
- Magnesium fire starter w/flint kit
- 1 pair leather gloves w/liners
- 1 pair boots (brown, black, green)
- Head cover (patrol cap, boonie hat, etc.)
- Missouri Volunteer Militia
- Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia
- Enrolled Missouri Militia
- Missouri State Guard
- Missouri State Militia (Union)
- "Of these high-risk states, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania lack SDFs." The 21st-Century Militia: State Defense Forces and Homeland Security, Heritage Foundation.
- Samaha, Albert (June 22, 2011). "Watch Out: Here Comes the Missouri Militia - St. Louis - News - Daily RFT". The Riverfront Times. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Chapter 41 Military Forces Section 41.490". Missouri Revised Statutes. Missouri General Assembly. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Executive Order 82-17". Missouri Secretary of State. 8 September 1982. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Eastern Region". Missouri Militia. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "FAQ". Missouri Militia. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Events". Missouri Militia. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Section 41-030 Definitions.". Missouri Revised Statutes. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Section 41-050 State militia, members.". Missouri Revised Statutes. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Section 41-060 Militia service, persons exempt.". Missouri Revised Statutes. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Section 41-070 Organized and unorganized militia.". Missouri Revised Statutes. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Section 41-490 Reserve military force - powers of governor". Missouri Revised Statutes. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Section 41-720 Resisting militia - penalty.". Missouri Revised Statutes. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Required Equipment". Missouri Militia. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.