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You Might Be A Member Of The California Militia And Not Even Know It

Veterans Day falls on November 11 of each year because the First World War famously ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  California public offices, however, were closed yesterday on November 12.  Why?  The answer can be found in Government Code Section 6700(b) which provides that if November 11 falls on a Sunday, state offices will be closed on Monday.  The same statute provides that if November 11 falls on a Saturday, state offices will be closed on the preceding Friday.  The analogous provision in federal law is 5 U.S.C. § 6103.

Some readers may be surprised to learn that California has enacted an extensive Military and Veterans Code and a Military Department.  They might be even more surprised to learn that they are members of the California militia.  If you are an able-bodied male citizen (or able-bodied male who has declared an intention to become a United States citizen) resident in California and between the ages of 18 and 45, you are a member of the California militia.  Mil. & Vet. Code § 122.  The Code in fact provides for two militias - the active militia and the unorganized militia.  The active militia consists of the National Guard, State Military Reserve and the Naval Militia.  Mil. & Vet. Code § 120.  The unorganized militia consists of all persons liable to service in the militia, but not members of the active militia.  Mil. & Vet. Code § 121.  The unorganized militia may be called for active duty in case of war, rebellion, insurrection, invasion, tumult, riot, breach of the peace, public calamity or catastrophe, or other emergency, or imminent danger thereof, or may be called forth for service under the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Mil. & Vet. Code § 128.  

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About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm

Keith Bishop works with privately held and publicly traded companies on federal and state corporate and securities transactions, compliance, and governance matters. He is highly-regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the distinctive corporate and regulatory requirements faced by corporations in the state of California.

While many law firms have a great deal of expertise in federal or Delaware corporate law, Keith’s specific focus on California corporate and securities law is uncommon. A former California state regulator of securities and financial institutions, Keith has decades of...