WVC 15 -
CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.
WVC 15 - 4 -
ARTICLE 4. WEST VIRGINIA STATE GUARD.
WVC 15 - 4 - 1
§15-4-1. Governor authorized to organize and maintain West
Virginia state guard.
Whenever any part of the national guard of this state is in
active federal service, the governor is hereby authorized to
organize and maintain within this state during such period, under
such regulations as the secretary of defense of the United States
may prescribe for discipline in training, such military forces as
the governor may deem necessary to defend this state. Such
forces shall be composed of officers commissioned or assigned,
and such able-bodied male citizens of the state as shall
volunteer for service therein, supplemented, if necessary, by men
of the reserve militia enrolled by draft or otherwise as provided
by law. Such forces shall be additional to and distinct from the
national guard and shall be known as the "West Virginia state
That any funds appropriated by the Legislature
to the adjutant general for the organization, administration,
training and supply of the organized militia may be expended for
such purposes with respect to the West Virginia state guard.
Such forces shall be uniformed.
WVC 15 - 4 - 2
§15-4-2. Rules and regulations.
The governor is hereby authorized to prescribe rules and
regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this article
governing the enlistment, organization, administration,
equipment, maintenance, training and discipline of such forces:
That such rules and regulations, insofar as he deems
practicable and desirable, shall conform to existing law
governing and pertaining to the national guard and the rules and
regulations promulgated thereunder, and shall prohibit the
acceptance of gifts, donations, gratuities or anything of value
by such forces or by any member of such forces from any
individual, firm, association, or corporation by reason of such
WVC 15 - 4 - 3
§15-4-3. Pay and allowances.
The pay for officers and enlisted men of the West Virginia
state guard for service at camps of instruction, rifle practice,
practice marches and maneuvers, or other duties ordered by the
governor, shall be such as are provided in the National Defense
Act or amendments thereto. Officers and enlisted men, when
employed in the actual service of the state, as defined and
provided in this article, beginning on the day they assembled at
their armories or other designated places, until the day they
have returned thereto and been properly relieved, inclusive,
fractional parts of a day counting as a full day, shall receive
the same pay and allowances as provided for officers and enlisted
men in the West Virginia national guard.
WVC 15 - 4 - 4
§15-4-4. Arms and equipment; use of state armories, etc.
For use of such forces, the governor is hereby authorized to
requisition from the secretary of war such arms and equipment as
may be in possession of and can be spared by the war department;
and to make available to such forces the facilities of state
armories and their equipment and such other state premises and
property as may be available.
WVC 15 - 4 - 5
§15-4-5. Service limited to state, except as to fresh pursuit;
apprehension of persons in another state.
Such forces shall not be required to serve outside the
boundaries of this state. Except that any organization, unit or
detachment of such forces, upon order of the officer in immediate
command thereof, may continue in fresh pursuit of
insurrectionists, saboteurs, enemies or enemy forces beyond the
borders of this state into another state until they are
apprehended or captured by such organization, unit or detachment
or until the military or police forces of the other state or the
forces of the United States have had a reasonable opportunity to
take up the pursuit or apprehend or capture such persons:
That such other state shall have given authority by law
for such pursuit by such forces of this state. Any such person
who shall be apprehended or captured in such other state by an
organization, unit or detachment of the forces of this state
shall without unnecessary delay be surrendered to the military or
police forces of the state in which he is taken or to the United
States, but such surrender shall not constitute a waiver by this
state of its right to extradite or prosecute such person for any
crime committed in this state.
WVC 15 - 4 - 6
§15-4-6. Pursuit and apprehension of certain persons in this
state by military forces of another state.
Any military forces or organization, unit or detachment
thereof, of another state, who are in fresh pursuit of
insurrectionists, saboteurs, enemies or enemy forces, may
continue such pursuit into this state until the military or
police forces of this state or the forces of the United States
have had a reasonable opportunity to take up the pursuit or to
apprehend or capture such persons and are hereby authorized to
arrest or capture such persons within this state while in fresh
pursuit. Any such person who shall be captured or arrested by
the military forces of such other state while in this state
shall, without unnecessary delay, be surrendered to the military
or police forces of this state to be dealt with according to law.
This section shall not be construed so as to make unlawful any
arrest in this state which would otherwise be lawful, and nothing
contained in this section shall be deemed to repeal any of the
provisions of the uniform act on the fresh pursuit of criminals.
WVC 15 - 4 - 7
§15-4-7. Status of forces and members thereof with regard to
Nothing in this article shall be construed as authorizing
such forces, or any part thereof, to be called, ordered or in any
manner drafted as such, into the military service of the United
States, but no person shall by reason of his enlistment or
commission in any such forces be exempted from military service
under any law of the United States.
WVC 15 - 4 - 8
§15-4-8. Civil organizations, etc., not to be enlisted as unit.
No civil organization, society, club, post, order,
fraternity, association, brotherhood, body, union, league, or
other combination of persons or civil group shall be enlisted in
such forces as an organization or unit.
WVC 15 - 4 - 9
No person shall be commissioned or enlisted in such forces
who is not a citizen of the United States or who has been
expelled or dishonorably discharged from any military or naval
organization of this state, or of another state, or of the United
WVC 15 - 4 - 10
§15-4-10. Oath of officers.
The oath to be taken by officers commissioned in such forces
shall be substantially in the form prescribed for officers of the
national guard, substituting the words "West Virginia state
guard" where necessary.
WVC 15 - 4 - 11
§15-4-11. Term of enlistment; oath of enlisted men.
No person shall be enlisted for more than one year but such
enlistment may be renewed. The oath to be taken upon enlistment
in such forces shall be substantially in the form prescribed for
enlisted men of the national guard, substituting the words "West
Virginia state guard" where necessary.
WVC 15 - 4 - 12
§15-4-12. Articles of war to apply as to court-martial, etc.;
freedom from arrest; jury duty.
(a) Whenever such forces or any part thereof shall be
ordered out for active service the articles of war of the United
States applicable to members of the national guard of this state
in relation to courts-martial, their jurisdiction and the limits
of punishment and the rules and regulations prescribed thereunder
shall be in full force and effect with respect to the West
Virginia state guard.
(b) No officer or enlisted man of such forces shall be
arrested on any warrant, except for treason or felony, while
going to, remaining at, or returning from a place where he is
ordered to attend for military duty. Every officer and enlisted
man of such forces shall, during his service therein, be exempt
from service upon any posse comitatus and from jury duty.
WVC 15 - 4 - 13
§15-4-13. Citation of article.
This article may be cited as the "West Virginia State Guard
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.