Ohio Naval Militia
|Ohio Naval Militia|
|Role||State Defense Force|
|Headquarters||Camp Perry, Port Clinton, Ohio|
|Commandant||Rear Admiral Robin E. Osborn|
The Ohio Naval Militia (ONM) is an organized, unarmed unit that has been serving the State of Ohio and the United States since 1896. It is the naval arm of the State of Ohio's Adjutant General's Department, and is therefore part of Ohio's State Defense Forces.
Members, who range from 17–67 years old, typically drill one weekend a month and two long weekends in the summer. From the month of April, through October, the drills consist primarily of patrolling the impact area of Lake Erie immediately adjacent to the Camp Perry's firing range.
On March 1, 1896, an act was passed by the Ohio General Assembly providing for the organization of two battalions to be known as the Naval Brigade of the National Guard of Ohio. Without funds for outfitting or maintenance, they mustered in Toledo in July and through further organization, one battalion was located in Cleveland and one in Toledo.
In 1898, the United States Congress declared war against Spain. In an effort to get Spain out of Cuba, President William McKinley was authorized to use all land and naval forces, as well as militia to enforce Congressional demands. At this time, the naval forces in the State of Ohio became the Ohio Naval Militia (ONM). The Ohio Naval Militia participated in the war, fighting as part of the 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
The ONM later purchased the old revenue cutter Andrew Johnson, which was refitted accordingly. The U.S. Navy also assigned the USS Michigan to train naval militias on the Great Lakes. The first training was at Johnson's Island in Sandusky Bay in July 1897.
In 1936, a new Naval Militia Armory, located in Bayview Park in Toledo and built by the WPA was dedicated. It served the needs of the ONM until 1947 when it was taken over by the newly formed U.S. Naval Reserve.
The ONM was deactivated following World War II, and remained so for nearly 30 years. In 1974, the former Lieutenant Governor, John W. Brown began the process of reactivating the Ohio Naval Militia; and on November 1, 1977 the ONM was reactivated with John W. Brown as the first commandant.
The ONM assists in natural disasters or other emergencies, as called upon by the governor or the Adjutant General.
Their active mission is to patrol the government impact area off Camp Perry, in the waters of Lake Erie. It is a live-fire area that requires keeping pleasure boaters and fishermen from entering. By patrolling the impact area, the ONM provides support for the Ohio National Guard and other State and Federal military units as they perform weapons qualifications prior to deploying.
By conducting continuous training on their boats and in the classroom, members have the opportunity to become coxswains (boat operators) and boat crew. ONM members also receive basic boating education training to prepare for certification by the Ohio Division of Watercraft. They teach basic navigation, radio communications, boat handling, maintenance, boating safety, and boating support functions. All ONM training hours are documented and can be applied toward obtaining a captain's license from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Ohio Naval Militia is an organized, unarmed, all volunteer unit, which serves under the direction of the Governor of the State of Ohio as Commander in Chief through the office of the Adjutant General. They are governed by Ohio Revised Code chapters 5921 and 5923. Being a naval-type unit, the rank structure, uniforms, customs, etc. are patterned after that of the U.S. Navy.
- COMMANDANT - RDML Robin E.Osborn
- N1 - MANPOWER - LT C. Dyer
- N3 - OPERATIONS - CDR L. Palmer
- N4 - LOGISTICS/MEDICAL - CAPT B. Carpenter
- N6 - COMMUNICATIONS - CAPT B. Carpenter
- N7 - TRAINING - CWO2 M. Komara
- JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL - LTJG G. Fischmann, J.D.
- PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER - LTJG J. Varga, J.D.
- RECRUITING OFFICER - LTJG J. Varga, J.D.
- CHAPLAIN - LCDR K. Baldridge
- "History". Ohio Naval Militia. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- Cole, Ralph D.; Howells, W.C. (1926). The 37th Division in the World War. Columbus, OH.
- "Mission". Ohio Naval Militia. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Ohio Revised Code: Title LIX: Chapter 5921: Ohio Naval Militia". codes.ohio.gov. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Ohio Revised Code: Title LIX: Chapter 5923: Organized Militia". codes.ohio.gov. 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Leadership". Ohio Naval Militia. 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.