- California State Military
- The California
- Preserving California's
- California Center for Military
- Frequently Asked Questions about
the State Military Reserve
- Q. WHAT EXACTLY IS
THE CALIFORNIA STATE MILITARY RESERVE?
- First off, the California State Military
Reserve (CA SMR) is NOT a private militia. The CA SMR is part
of the Total Force of the California State Military Forces authorized
by the Constitution of the State of California, which include
the California Army National Guard, the California Air National
Guard, and the California Naval Militia.
- All SMR members take an oath of allegiance
to the Governor of California and the President of the United
States, as well as uphold the Constitution of the State of California
and the Constitution of the United States. The California State
Military Reserve is California's State Defense Force organized
under the provisions of Title 32, United States Code, Section
109 and the California State Military Reserve Act (Sections 550
through 567, California Military and Veteran's Code.) It is the
volunteer, uniformed backup and support organization of the California
Army and Air National Guard. Its members are subject to call
to state active duty by the Governor of the State of California
and are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
- The easiest description of an SMR soldier
is that of a non-federalized National Guard member. SMR soldiers
share the same exact State mission as their National Guard counterparts,
but not the Federal mission. It should be noted that Army and
Air National Guard members function in their State mission capacity
most of the time, only getting "federalized" during
times of great emergency or war.
- Q. WHO CAN JOIN THE
CALIFORNIA STATE MILITARY RESERVE?
- Any resident citizen over 18 years of
age. The only restrictions are members of the active or reserve
components of the U.S. military forces. Individuals who have
been convicted of a felony or who have received dishonorable
discharges from the armed forces may also be excluded. Please
refer to the Eligibility section at the bottom of this page.
- Q. HOW MUCH OF MY TIME
AM I OBLIGATED TO GIVE?
- Drills (meetings) are held monthly and
are usually eight (8) hours on one Saturday each month. These
are used for training sessions, activity coordination, and to
work with your National Guard counterparts. Your particular assignment
may require additional hours of work to organize your section
or staff or to complete necessary projects. These additional
hours may be done at home or at your leisure.
- Q. WILL I BE PAID FOR
MY TIME AND OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES?
- Generally, no. However, because the California
State Military Reserve is a state military force, members are
subject to call to active duty by the governor. When that happens,
SMR members may be paid at the same rate of pay for their rank
or grade as their National Guard counterparts. There are also
missions which may allow for per diem and reimbursed expenses.
However, any reimbursable expenses must be approved in advanced
by your chain of command.
- Q. WHAT UNIFORM WILL
- You will wear the standard Army Class
"A" and "B" uniforms as well as the Battle
Dress Uniform (BDU) with distinctive state insignia designating
you as a member of the California State Military Reserve.
- Q. DOES THE CALIFORNIA
STATE MILITARY RESERVE FURNISH UNIFORMS?
- No. Currently, all officers and enlisted
members are responsible for purchasing their uniforms and accessories.
- Q. HOW WILL MY RANK
- Applicants will be evaluated and appointed
or enlisted to an appropriate rank based on the authorized job
position (billet) the applicant will be filling within the unit,
as well as on a basis of prior service, education, civilian occupation,
and other factors, in accordance to California State Military
- Q. ARE THESE "REAL"
OFFICER AND ENLISTED RANKS?
- According to California State Law, California
State Military Reserve officer and enlisted personnel normally
rank amongst themselves. However, when on state active duty,
SMR soldiers rank among state active duty members of the California
National Guard, which includes both the Army and Air Divisions.
- As far as being "real" officers
and enlisted people: All appointments, commissions, warrants,
and enlistments are recognized and authorized by the Governor
of the State of California through the Adjutant General of the
State of California. SMR members can be called to active duty,
have the legal authority to command troops, and participate in
real-world missions on the behalf of the Military Department
of the State of California. So, YES, State Military Reserve officers
and enlisted soldiers are very much "real."
- Q. AM I REQUIRED TO
PASS A PHYSICAL EXAM?
- Applicants are required to submit a "Report
of Medical History" signed by their health professional
as part of the application package.
- Q. WHAT OTHER OBLIGATIONS
WOULD I HAVE?
- You will take an oath when you join and
you are expected to live up to that oath. You are expected to
make your drills, or if you cannot due to personal hardship,
call your commander and explain your situation. Repeated absences
without permission will result in discharge. You must wear your
uniform properly and only when attending drills, other CA SMR
functions, or as otherwise allowed by regulations or your commander.
All rules of military courtesy will be observed while in uniform.
- Q. CONSIDERING THE
FACT THAT I'M NOT GOING TO BE PAID, BUY MY OWN UNIFORM, AND PERFORM
WORK -- WHY SHOULD I JOIN THE CALIFORNIA STATE MILITARY RESERVE?
- For the same reason that successful business
people join civic clubs. They pay dues, contribute their time
and talents for the benefit of their community. While the California
State Military Reserve is not a civic club, it is a public service
organization for the people of the state and requires an obligation
on the part of its members. You will serve with people who are
patriotic and have a knowing respect for military preparedness.
You will be carrying on a tradition of volunteer military service
dating back to the creation of the United States. Last, but most
challenging, you will have the opportunity to utilize the training
you have had in the military and civilian life to develop and
help build the cadre of the California State Military Reserve.
- Q. HOW DO I BEGIN THE
- Contact us at email@example.com
- Q. WHY INTERVIEW FOR
A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION?
- This part of the application process ensures
- The applicant is fully aware of his/her
obligations as well as all aspects relating to membership in
The applicant is fully qualified for membership and that there
is a position available in the unit where the applicant may serve.
- Q. HOW LONG WILL IT
TAKE TO PROCESS THE PAPERWORK?
- The enlistment or officer appointment
process will take about two months or longer if any part of your
application packet is incomplete or inaccurate. This is because
all SMR personnel action orders originate in Sacramento and is
processed through the Office of the Adjutant General, California
- Be advised that the State Military Reserve
forms become official California Military Department documents,
and any misrepresentations or omissions are subject to penalties
as defined under the California Military and Veterans Code.
- When processing is complete and you are
sworn in, you are then subject to the Uniform Code of Military
- Q. DO I START BUYING
MY UNIFORMS AND ATTENDING DRILLS RIGHT AWAY?
- Normally no. According to CA SMR regulations,
non-members may not participate in drill or any other official
activities. We suggest that you hold off on making any uniform
purchases until your orders are published in Sacramento, in case
there are any complications with your application packet.
- MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY:
- To be eligible for enlistment or appointment
in the California State Military Reserve, an applicant must be
between 18 and 60 years of age, be a citizen of the U.S. (or
have declared intent to become a citizen) and reside in California.
- Aliens who have made legal declaration
to become citizens of the U.S. must present a U.S. Department
of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Form N-315, authenticated
by a Federal District Court Officer.
- Applicants without prior military service,
who have specialized skills and education, may be enlisted or
appointed with the approval of Headquarters, California State
- Applicants must have demonstrated understanding
and proficiency in the English language and must be a high school
graduate or have passed the GED test.
- Applicants must be medically qualified.
- MEMBERSHIP INELIGIBILITY:
- Applicants ineligible for enlistment or
- Convicted felons.
- Persons adjudged a youthful offender.
- Persons on parole or probation.
- Individuals with a RE-4 reenlistment code
on their DD 214.
- Persons with prior service whose discharge
was other than "Honorable."
- Persons adjudged as a security risk.
- Conscientious objectors.
- Persons not meeting current height/weight
standards (CA SMR Reg 600-9)
- Active members of any component of the
U.S. Armed Forces.
- Individuals convicted of offenses involving
- Individuals with significant medical disqualifications
(i.e. diabetes, epilepsy, etc.)
- Individuals receiving medical disability
annuity. (Contact SMR Headquarters for percentage allowances.)
- Persons required to register for the Selective
Service, but have failed to do so.
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