WVC 15 -
CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.
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ARTICLE 1. MILITARY FORCES OF THE STATE.
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When used in articles one, one-a, one-b, one-c, one-d,
one-f and one-g of this chapter, unless a different meaning is
plainly required by the context:
(a) The term "military forces of the state" shall mean the
organized militia, the state retired list, the honorary militia
and the state guard, and all other components of the militia of
the state which may hereafter be organized.
(b) The term "organized militia" shall mean the West
Virginia national guard, including the army national guard, the
air national guard and the inactive national guard, and shall be
deemed to include any unit, component, element, headquarters,
staff or cadre thereof, as well as any member or members.
(c) "Military personnel of the national guard" shall mean
all the members of the organized militia.
(d) "Military" shall mean army or land, air or air force,
navy or naval.
(e) The term "service of the state" or "active service of
the state" shall mean active military duty in other than a
training status in or with a force of the organized militia or
with the adjutant general's department, upon orders of the
(f) The term "state duty" shall mean duty in a training
status or other duty in the interest of the state and the
(g) The term "service of the United States" or "active
service of the United States" shall mean active military duty in the armed forces of the United States except active duty for
(h) The term "officer" or "commissioned officer" shall be
deemed to include warrant officers.
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§15-1-2. Commander in chief.
The governor shall be commander in chief of the military
forces of the state, except those which are in the service of the
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The governor shall issue regulations for the governance of
the military forces of the state which shall have the force and
effect of law. Such regulations shall conform to the provisions
of this chapter, and as nearly as practicable to the laws and
regulations of the United States governing the armed forces of
the United States and relating to the organization, discipline
and training of the organized militia. Regulations in force at
the time of the passage of articles 1, 1A to 1G of this chapter,
not inconsistent with its provisions, shall remain in force until
superseded by new regulations issued hereunder.
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§15-1-4. Active service -- Authority of governor to require;
state duty ordered by adjutant general.
a. The governor may order all or any part of the organized
militia and the state guard or any other person with their
consent to active service of the state and all members of the
organized militia and the state guard shall be liable for such
b. The governor may order the organized militia or any part
thereof to serve outside the borders of the state and of the
United States in order to perform military duty and to
participate in parades, review, conferences, encampments,
maneuvers, and other training, to participate in military
competitions and to attend service schools.
c. The adjutant general may order the organized militia or
any part thereof or any military personnel of the national guard
or any other person with his consent to state duty within or
without the state and with or without compensation.
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§15-1-5. Active service -- United States.
When the organized militia, or any part thereof, is called
for active service of the United States under the constitution
and laws of the United States, the governor shall order the same
to service, and if the number available is insufficient, the
governor may call for and accept as many volunteers as are
required for service in the organized militia and state guard.
During the absence of units and organizations of the organized
militia in the service of the United States, their state
designations shall not be given to new organizations, and all
organizations and officers on return from such service shall be
given their former standing and rank.
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§15-1-6. Federal law and regulations.
a. The duty of maintaining and governing the military
forces of the state not in the service of the United States rests
upon the state, subject to constitutional authority. The purpose
of such forces are twofold; national defense and service of the
state. Their efficiency for both purposes necessarily depends
upon systematic uniformity in organization, composition, arms,
equipment, training and discipline with the armed forces of the
United States and the military forces of other states. Therefore,
the governor shall cause the military forces of the state to
conform to all federal laws and regulations applicable to the
same, unless the same shall be incompatible with the state
purpose of such forces.
b. All matters relating to the organizations, discipline
and government of the military forces of the state, not otherwise
provided for in this chapter or in regulations, shall be decided
by custom, usage and regulations of the armed forces of the
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session