North Carolina State Defense Militia
Active1941 - 1947
1988 - 1996
Country United States
Allegiance North Carolina
  State defense force
RoleMilitary reserve force
Civilian leadershipGovernor of North Carolina

North Carolina State Defense Militia is the currently inactive state defense force of North Carolina.

World War II

The North Carolina State Guard was officially established as a state defense force on 27 February 1941 when the North Carolina National Guard was mobilized into federal service during World War II. The State Guard actually began organizing in early February with the appointment of officers, and the mustered strength reached a high of 2,128 by 1944. With the return of the National Guard, units began being inactivated in 1946, and the State Guard was completely disbanded by July 1947.


The North Carolina State Defense Militia (NCSDM) was reactivated by North Carolina Governor James G. Martin in February 1988.[1]

The NC State Defense Militia operated under Chapter 127A of the North Carolina General Statutes,[2] and as such, is a distinct unit from the NC National Guard. Under United States Code 32 sub-section 109,[3] "may not be called, ordered, or drafted into the armed forces".

The NCSDM participated in operations for Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and members filled in for National Guard troops while they were deployed for the Persian Gulf War in 1990–91. Other actions were during coastal storms and an outbreak of tornadoes in King, North Carolina.[4]


Joint Resolution 987 of the North Carolina General Assembly ratified 27 June 1995 honored the efforts and assistance of the members of the NCSDM and expressed appreciation for the service that the members rendered to their respective communities, counties, and to the State of North Carolina.[4]

Temporary Suspension

Activities of the NCSDM were temporarily suspended in April 1996 by the North Carolina Adjutant General. This suspension was due to a workers' compensation claim, and a review of the workers' compensation laws regarding the North Carolina State Defense Militia.[5] This temporary suspension is still in effect. A non-governmental organization trying to defray the suspension is the North Carolina State Defense Force which also has its own website.[6]

Historical North Carolina militias

The North Carolina Provincial Congress authorized a militia in 1775 for the American Revolution. The militia continued after the war. In 1836, the North Carolina General Assembly of 1836–1837 passed a law establishing a permanent militia. The law enrolled all free white males between the ages of 18 and 45 in the State Militia. Exceptions were given for certain public officials and other occupations. Free black males could only be enrolled as musicians in the militia. The division, brigade, and regiment structure of the militia was prescribed and included each county.[7]

See also


  1. ^ PR Newswire (22 February 1988). "Governor Martin creates State Defense Militia to support North Carolina National Guard". PR Newswire. Retrieved 18 March 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[dead link]
  2. ^ "NC General Statutes Chapter 127A". North Carolina General Assembly. Retrieved 8 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "US Code Title 32 Sub-section 109". Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ a b "H987 [Res 1995-11]". State of North Carolina. 27 June 1995. Retrieved 18 March 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Letter to BG Theodore B. Gesulga (Commander, North Carolina State Defense Militia, from MG Gerald A. Rudisill Jr. (Adjutant General, North Carolina Army Reserve and National Guard), dated 5 April 1996
  6. ^ "North Carolina State Defense Force". North Carolina State Defense Force. Retrieved 23 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Laws of the State of North Carolina, passed by the General Assembly (1836-1837)". NCDigital Collection. Retrieved 25 September 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)