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California Military Department

The California Military Department is an agency defined under the California Military and Veterans code § 50. The Military Department includes the office of the Adjutant General, the California National Guard, the California State Military Reserve, the California Cadet Corps, and the California Naval Militia.[2]

Military Department
Edmund G Brown Jr.jpg
Governor Jerry Brown, Commander in Chief
Department overview
Jurisdiction California
Headquarters Sacramento, California
38°33′17.41″N 121°19′46.78″W / 38.5548361°N 121.3296611°W / 38.5548361; -121.3296611
Annual budget $149.1M for FY2014-15 [1]
Department executive
  • David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General
Parent department Governor of California
Child agencies

Frequently the California Military Department and the California National Guard have been used interchangeably. This is incorrect, however, as the California National Guard is a component of the California Military Department by law.[3] Unlike many states (for example, Nevada and Arizona) where the sum total of those states' military forces is their National Guard, California has a state defense force, which means that there are other components to California's military forces at the Governor's disposal besides the California National Guard.

There are five(5) distinct components to the California Military Department according to CA Military & Veteran's Code § 51:[4]

"The Military Department includes the office of the Adjutant General, the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, the California Cadet Corps, and the Naval Militia."

However, only three of these components [5] are actually considered the "Active Militia" of the State of California according to California Military & Veterans Code § 120:[6]

"The militia of the State shall consist of the National Guard, State Military Reserve and the Naval Militia--which constitute the active militia--and the unorganized militia."

All able-bodied males between 18 and 45 years old who are not members of the California Military Department are by law the unorganized militia of the state.[7] The unorganized militia are subject to call of the Governor under CA Military & Veteran's Code § 128.[8]


Adjutant General of CaliforniaEdit

The Adjutant General (TAG) is the commander of all State of California military forces and is subordinate only to the Governor.[9][10] The AG is chief of staff to the Governor and is a member of the Governor's cabinet and is vested with the duties and responsibilities of the Division of Military Affairs, and is also the head of the Military Department and shall be responsible for its affairs, functions, duties, funds, and property.[2][9]

Originally in the 1850 law establishing the California Militia, the office of Adjutant General was separate from that of Quartermaster General but was later consolidated with that of the Adjutant General during the early years of the term in office of William C. Kibbe. From 1852, the Quartermaster General of California was subsumed under the office of Adjutant General of California, when William H. Richardson resigned and Quartermaster General William Chauncey Kibbe became Adjutant General by a law of 1852.[11]

Adjutant Generals have included:

Office of the Adjutant GeneralEdit

The Office of the Adjutant General (OTAG) is enumerated in CA Military & Veteran's Code § 161 (recently amended by SB807 on 9/17/12) [14] and consists of:

  • The Adjutant General (TAG)
  • The Deputy Adjutant General (DAG)
  • Assistant Adjutant General, Army (AAG Army)
  • Assistant Adjutant General, Air (AAG Air)
  • Chief of Staff and Director, Joint Staff (CoS/Dir. JS)
  • and others as prescribed by laws or regulations of the United States

California National GuardEdit

The department's Sunburst Youth Academy is run by the California National Guard.[15]

California State Military ReserveEdit

The California State Military Reserve (CSMR) is the state defense force of California enumerated in 32USC109(c) [16] and CMVC § 550.[17] The military reserve also provides California with a trained and organized military force in the event of a state security emergency when the National Guard is deployed. The CSMR is a military entity authorized by both the State Code of California and Executive Order. The CSMR is the state’s authorized militia. Unlike the Civil Air Patrol or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, each CSMR member is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) per CMVC § 560.[18] The CSMR comprises prior and non-prior service persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state.

California Cadet CorpsEdit

The California Cadet Corps (CACC) is a paramilitary youth organization in California open for students in the college, high school, middle school and elementary school grades.

The CACC was established through statute in 1911 and has trained more than a million young people since its inception. The CaCC is one of the five budgeted youth programs of the CMD. California Military and Veterans Code (MVC Section 517) authorize CACC units as part of all regular schools, for all children within the state. The CACC is a statewide, school-based, applied leadership program conducted within a military framework The CACC's primary goal was originally to prepare young men to be officers in the United States Military, after Brigadier General Edwin A. Forbes saw that the Germans already had such programs before World War I. However, the program has since shifted its goal, not only do they prepare young men and women for the service, but also the business world where communication and leadership skills are essential. Today, the CaCC’s objectives are to develop leadership, citizenship, patriotism, promote academic excellence, encourage personal health and wellness, and teach basic military subjects. The evolution provides personal growth and leadership opportunities for cadets from the middle school through high school levels. Cadet activities include summer encampments, field training to include land navigation, marksmanship, and military drill competitions. The development and maintenance of the individual units of the CACC is a shared responsibility of the local school authorities and the CMD. Commandants must be credentialed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and appointed by the Adjutant General.

In accordance with Sections 509 – 512 of the California Military and Veterans Code, the CMD is responsible for providing uniforms, equipment, developing curriculum and conducting state level competitions, activities, and awards programs for the cadets. The CMD provides in-service and pre-service training for adult Commandants and volunteers across the state. Additionally, the CMD is responsible for issuing state orders for officers and enlisted personnel and updating Commandant and Cadet Regulations.

The CACC program is offered through the school, as a component of the total school mission and curriculum. The CACC military science class can be taken as an elective, or for credit as a substitute for physical education. This is a decision each school or district makes based on the course of instruction provided, the instructors credentials, and the alignment of the curriculum with state standards. California State Content Standards in Health, Science, Physical Education, Social Science, Language Arts, English Language Development, and Mathematics are embedded in the content and activities of the CACC curriculum.

The CACC serves as the “National Model” for school-based applied leadership programs and is designed to develop the following objectives:

• Support and Enhance Cadet academic achievement • Provide training and applied leadership opportunities for cadets • Foster good citizenship • Support patriotism • Provide basic military knowledge • Promote health, fitness, and wellness

The CACC provides a structured learning environment to facilitate academic success, leadership development, physical training and improved self-esteem through attaining achievable goals. The value of the Cadet Corps program is reflected in its long history, successful graduates, and continued support from the education community and civic leaders throughout California.

California Naval MilitiaEdit

The California Naval Militia was reactivated in 1976 by the Governor of California.[19] Forces Unlike New York and the few other states with ship-borne active naval militia units, the California Naval Militia is not currently active.

On 1 October, 2015, the California Naval Militia was announced to being reactivated as a component of the California State Military Reserve.

Unorganized militiaEdit

The unorganized militia of California consists of "all persons liable to service in the militia, but not members of the National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia." All persons liable for service is defined as all able-bodied male citizens and declared citizens between 18 and 45 years old.[20]

The California Penal Code prohibits "Any two or more persons who assemble as a paramilitary organization for the purpose of practicing with weapons", defining a paramilitary organization as "an organization which is not an agency of the United States government or of the State of California, or which is not a private school meeting the requirements set forth in Section 48222 of the Education Code, but which engages in instruction or training in guerrilla warfare or sabotage, or which, as an organization, engages in rioting or the violent disruption of, or the violent interference with, school activities."[21]

Past California State Militia UnitsEdit


  1. ^ "8940 Military Department". State of California. Retrieved 5 May 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "California Code, Military and Veterans Code - MVC § 51". FindLaw. Retrieved 5 May 2018. 
  3. ^ California Military & Veteran's Code §51
  4. ^ CMVC §51
  5. ^ CMVC §121
  6. ^ CMVC §120
  7. ^ California Military & Veterans Code § 121
  8. ^ California Military & Veterans Code § 128
  9. ^ a b California Military and Veterans code §160
  10. ^ California Government Organization Chart
  11. ^ Sacramento City and County Directory, H. S. Crocker & Co., Sacramento, 1868, pp.17-19
  12. ^ Sacramento City and County Directory, H. S. Crocker & Co., Sacramento, 1868, pp.17-19
  13. ^ a b Sacramento City and County Directory, pp.17-19
  14. ^ CMVC §161
  15. ^ "Sunburst Youth Academy". Retrieved 5 May 2018. 
  16. ^ United States Code, Title 32, section 109(c)
  17. ^ California Military & Veteran's Code sections 550-567
  18. ^ California Military & Veteran's Code section 560
  19. ^ Mark J. Denger. "History of California State Naval Forces". Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "... all able-bodied male citizens and all other able-bodied males who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, and who are residents of the State, and of such other persons as may upon their own application be enlisted or commissioned therein..."
  21. ^ California Penal Code § 11460

External linksEdit