Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 44. Military and Emergency Laws
Chapter 1. Military Laws of Virginia
12/3/2022

Article 1. Classification of Militia.

§ 44-1. Composition of militia.

The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied residents of the Commonwealth who are citizens of the United States and all other able-bodied persons resident in the Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least 16 years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than 55 years of age. The militia shall be divided into three classes: the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard; the Virginia Defense Force; and the unorganized militia.

1930, p. 948; 1942, p. 642; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(1); 1944, p. 24; 1958, c. 393; 1970, c. 662; 1973, c. 401; 1976, c. 399; 1979, c. 647; 1984, c. 765; 1989, c. 414; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-2. Composition of National Guard.

A. The National Guard shall consist of the regularly enlisted militia and of commissioned and warrant officers, who shall be residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia and shall fall within the age limits and qualifications as prescribed in existing or subsequently amended National Guard regulations (army and air), organized, armed and equipped as hereinafter provided. Upon original enlistment members of the National Guard shall not be less than 17 nor more than 55 years of age, or, in subsequent enlistments not more than 64 years of age.

B. Notwithstanding the above, persons otherwise qualified but residing outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, may enlist or serve as commissioned or warrant officers in the National Guard.

1930, p. 948; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(2); 1958, c. 393; 1976, c. 399; 1979, c. 647; 2011, cc. 572, 586.

§ 44-2.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1989, c. 414.

§ 44-3. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2015, c. 221, cl. 2.

§ 44-4. Composition of unorganized militia.

The unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied persons as set out in § 44-1, except such as may be included in §§ 44-2 and 44-54.6 and except such as may be exempted as hereinafter provided.

1930, p. 949; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(4); 1970, c. 662; 1973, c. 401; 1984, c. 765; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-5. Exemptions from militia duty.

In addition to those exempted by the laws of the United States, the following persons shall be exempt from military duty under a state call:

1. The officers, judicial and executive, of the governments of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia;

2. The members of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia and of the Congress of the United States;

3. Persons in the active military or naval services of the United States;

4. Persons employed by the United States in the transmission of the mail;

5. The judges and clerks of courts of record;

6. The mayor and councilmen of incorporated cities and towns;

7. Members of the governing bodies of counties;

8. Sheriffs, United States district attorneys, attorneys for the Commonwealth and city attorneys;

9. Marine pilots;

10. All persons who because of religious belief shall claim exemption from military service, if the conscientious holding of such belief by such person shall be established under such regulations as the President of the United States shall prescribe, shall be exempted from militia service in any capacity that the President shall declare to be combatant; and

11. Such other persons as may be designated by the Governor in the best interests of the public and of the Commonwealth.

1930, p. 949; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(5); 1958, c. 393; 1976, c. 399; 2011, cc. 572, 586.

§ 44-6. Maintenance of other troops.

In time of peace the Commonwealth shall maintain only such troops as may be authorized by the President of the United States; but nothing in this chapter shall be construed as limiting the rights of the Commonwealth in the use of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force within or without its borders in time of peace and nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the organization and maintenance of State Police or constabulary.

1930, p. 949; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(6); 1958, c. 393; 1984, c. 765; 2011, cc. 572, 586.

§ 44-7. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2015, c. 221, cl. 2.