California Military Department

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Military Department
Gavin Newsom official photo.jpg
Governor Gavin Newsom, Commander in Chief
Department overview
HeadquartersSacramento, 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 departmentGovernor of California
Child agencies

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

The California Military Department and the California National Guard are sometimes referred to interchangeably. This is incorrect, as the National Guard is, by law, a component of the Military Department.[3] Unlike many states (for example, Nevada and Arizona) whose National Guards comprise their military forces, California also has a state defense force that operates under the state's sole authority.

According to CA Military & Veteran's Code §51, there are five distinct components to the California Military Department:[4]

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

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

"The militia of the State shall consist of the National Guard, California State Guard and the Naval Militia—which constitute the active militia—and the unorganized militia."

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

Adjutant General of California[edit]

The Adjutant General (TAG) is the commander of all State of California military forces and is subordinate only to the Governor.[9][10] The TAG is:

  • Chief of Staff to the Governor
  • A member of the Governor's cabinet
  • Vested with the duties and responsibilities of the Division of Military Affairs
  • Head of the Military Department, and responsible for its affairs, functions, duties, funds and property.[2][9]

In the 1850 law establishing the California Militia, the office of Adjutant General was separate from that of Quartermaster General. In 1852, the two offices were consolidated when William H. Richardson resigned and Quartermaster General William Chauncey Kibbe became Adjutant General.[11]

Adjutant Generals have included:

Office of the Adjutant General[edit]

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 Guard[edit]

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

California State Guard[edit]

Established in 1846 the California State Guard (CASG) is the State Defense Force of California enumerated in 32USC109(c) [16] and CMVC § 550.[17] It also provides California with a trained and organized military force in the event of a state security emergency when the National Guard is deployed elsewhere. The CASG is a military entity authorized both by the California State Code and by Executive Order, and is the state’s authorized militia. Unlike the Civil Air Patrol or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, each CASG member is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) per CMVC § 560.[18] It is organized under Title 32 of the United States Code, and therefore cannot be federalized, unlike their counterparts in the California National Guard, who can, under Title 10 of the United States Code, come under the command of the President through the Secretary of Defense. CASG units and personnel remain under the command of the Governor of California, through the state's Adjutant General, who commands both Title 32 and Title 10 units (when not federalized). The CASG comprises prior and non-prior servicepeople who volunteer their time and talents in service to their state.

California Cadet Corps[edit]

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

Established through statute in 1911, it has trained more than a million young people. It is one of five budgeted youth programs of the CMD. The California Military and Veterans Code (MVC Section 517) authorizes CACC units as part of all regular schools, for all children in the state. The CACC is a statewide, school-based, applied leadership program conducted within a military framework. Its 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. The program's goal has since expanded not only to prepare young men and women for military service, but also for the business world, where communication and leadership skills are essential.

The CaCC’s current objectives are to:

  • Develop leadership, citizenship and patriotism
  • Promote academic excellence
  • Encourage personal health and wellness
  • Teach basic military subjects

These expanded goals provide personal growth and leadership opportunities for cadets from middle school through high school levels. Activities include summer encampments, field training (including land navigation), marksmanship, and military drill competitions.

The development and maintenance of the CACC's individual units 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 and 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. The CMD is also 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 its school mission and curriculum. The CACC military science class can be taken as an elective, or for credit as a substitute for physical education—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 CACC curriculum's content and activities.

The CACC serves as the “national model” for school-based applied leadership programs, and is designed to:

  • Support and enhance academic achievement
  • Provide training and applied leadership opportunities
  • Foster good citizenship and 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. It continues to receive support from the education community and civic leaders throughout California.

California Naval Militia[edit]

The California Naval Militia was reactivated in 1976 by the Governor of California.[19] 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, it was announced that the California Naval Militia would be reactivated as a component of the California State Guard.

Unorganized militia[edit]

The unorganized militia of California consists of "all persons liable to service in the militia, but not members of the National Guard, the State Guard, 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 Units[edit]


  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". Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  4. ^ "CMVC §51". Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  5. ^ "CMVC §121". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  6. ^ "CMVC §120". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  7. ^ "California Military & Veterans Code § 121". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  8. ^ "California Military & Veterans Code § 128". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  9. ^ a b California Military and Veterans code §160 Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine
  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". Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  18. ^ "California Military & Veteran's Code section 560". Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  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 Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]