The "unorganized" or reserve militia is a legal and lawful part of the armed forces of this nation. It is a military organization recognized by the Second Amendment of the Constitution; Title 10 Section 311 USC; The Dick Act of 1903; The National Defense Act of 1916; and affirmed by numerous court decisions. There is no ambiguity, the "unorganized" citizens militia is not the National Guard or the state "select" militia under the governor, or part of the "organized" armed forces of the federal government. It is literally the entire body of the armed citizenry.
Although the "unorganized" militia can be called up for lawful (Constitutional) purposes, it is not under the direct control of any state or political jurisdiction. It represents the authority and power of the people over the government and stands as the last defense of the citizens of this country against any domestic tyrants.
The purpose of the militia as defined by the Constitution is to:
1. Enforce the laws of the Union (The Constitution)
2. Suppress insurrections
3. Repel invasions
These provisions affirm the right of the people to defend themselves and their republican form of government from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. That means that the people, as the militia have the right to fight, if necessary, oppressive government, to prevent the usurpation of the Constitution (the supreme law of the land) by anyone, including the federal government.
The authority, duty, and obligation of the citizens, acting as the militia, is clearly expressed in our Declaration of Independence: "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it..., " further "... it is the right, it is their duty, to throw off such government,..." Together these provisions codify the natural rights of all citizens to defense of self, family, and country.
"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -Thomas Jefferson
The distinction between a political action group organized to promote Constitutional government and a militia is the military orientation and a political orientation of the latter. Both groups must work together in support of mutual goals. Individuals may participate in both. But, the militia prepare, train, and equip as a response group in fashion of minutemen of Concord and Lexington for the defense of self and community.
Therefore, to be recognized as a militia unit, the organization should adopt a written code of conduct and organization, have a distinctive uniform or method of identification, and implement a training program to fulfill the "well-regulated" disciplinary requirement of the Second Amendment.
With the exception of certain public officials, all able-bodied men and women over the age of 18 and not currently serving in the regular armed forces, and any former member of the regular armed forces, are by law already members of the "unorganized" militia. Law requiring militia participation are no longer enforced. With very few restrictions, membership in the militia must be open to all citizens regardless of race, sex, religion or political affiliation. Units not open to public membership and/or which are organized for any purpose other than the support of Constitutional principals may be considered private armies and are not to be confused with the Constitutional "unorganized" militia.
As a practical matter, every effort should be made to incorporate only citizens of good character in the militia. Those who advocate criminal activity, terrorism, revolution, or a change from our republican form of government should not be tolerated. This implies that militia members should understand the duties and obligations of both citizens and government under our Constitution.
Information on this page provided by the North Carolina Citizen Militia