The Militia Act of 1903 organized the National Guard into a component of the U.S. Military with funding provided by both the Federal and state governments, and made it clear that the U.S. Government could federalize the National Guard for national security reasons. Therefore, National Guard members recite a dual oath to the United States and their state government.


Although, to complicate matters, the Militia Act of 1903 classified the militia in two ways:

  • The organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia
  • The unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia

The Act goes into great detail about the “organized” militia, but nothing more is said to define the “unorganized militia”. Basic theory suggests that the unorganized militia pertains to able-bodied men that are not in the National Guard, Reserves, or the U.S. Military, who are subject to military conscription through the Selective Service System.

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