Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 3. Commissioned Officers.


§ 49–301. Commanding General.

(a) There shall be appointed and commissioned by the President of the United States a Commanding General of the militia of the District of Columbia with the rank of brigadier general, or major general, who shall hold office until his successor is appointed and qualified, but may be removed at any time by the President.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any person serving as the Commanding General of the militia of the District of Columbia shall be considered to be an employee of the Department of Defense, and of the United States, within the meaning of § 2105 of Title 5, United States Code.

(c) Any officer of the armed forces of the United States who, while serving on active duty, is detailed to serve as Commanding General of the militia of the District of Columbia shall, while so detailed, be entitled to receive only the pay and allowances to which he is entitled as an officer of the armed forces.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 773, ch. 328, § 7; Sept. 2, 1957, 71 Stat. 596, Pub. L. 85-270, § 1; June 30, 1970, 84 Stat. 366, Pub. L. 91-297, title V, § 501(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-301.

1973 Ed., § 39-201.


§ 49–302. Staff officers; noncommissioned staff.

The staff of the militia of the District of Columbia shall be appointed and commissioned by the President. It shall consist of one Adjutant General, one Inspector General, one Quartermaster General, one Commissary General, one Chief of Ordnance, one Chief Engineer, one Surgeon General, one Judge Advocate General, and one Inspector General of Rifle Practice each with the rank of major; and 4 aides-de-camp, each with the rank of captain. The Commanding General may appoint a noncommissioned staff of the militia, to consist of one sergeant major, one quartermaster sergeant, one commissary sergeant, one ordnance sergeant, 2 staff sergeants, one hospital steward, one color sergeant, and one sergeant bugler.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 773, ch. 328, § 8; June 3, 1916, 39 Stat. 199, ch. 134, § 66.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-302.

1973 Ed., § 39-202.


§ 49–303. Qualifications of staff officers; tenure; vacancies.

It is hereby provided that staff officers, including officers of the pay, inspection, subsistence, and medical departments, appointed in the National Guard of the District of Columbia, shall have had previous military experience and shall hold their positions until they shall have reached the age of 64 years, unless retired prior to that time by reason of resignation, disability, or for cause to be determined by a court-martial legally convened for that purpose, and that vacancies among said officers shall be filled by appointment from the officers of the National Guard of the District of Columbia.


(July 11, 1919, 41 Stat. 127, ch. 8.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-303.

1973 Ed., § 39-203.


§ 49–304. Adjutant General.

The President may assign an officer of the Army to act as Adjutant General of the militia of the District of Columbia, who, while so assigned, shall be commissioned as such and be subject to the orders of the Commanding General and the provisions of this title; provided, however, that the officer so assigned shall receive no other pay or emolument than that to which his rank in the Army entitles him when on detached service.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 773, ch. 328, § 9.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-304.

1973 Ed., § 39-204.


§ 49–305. Officers.

All officers shall be commissioned by the President of the United States, on the recommendation of the Commanding General. They shall be nominated as herein provided. No person commissioned as an officer shall assume such rank or enter upon the duties of the office to which he may be commissioned until he has accepted such commission and taken such oath or affirmation as may be prescribed.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328, § 19; Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 630, ch. 146, § 13.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-305.

1973 Ed., § 39-206.


§ 49–306. Officers of staff departments.

The officers of the staff departments, staff corps, and the organizations created by this chapter when organized, shall be nominated by the Commanding General, subject to the examination required by law.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328, §§ 20, 21; Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 630, ch. 146, § 14.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-306.

1973 Ed., § 39-207.


§ 49–307. Filling vacancies above the grade of 2nd lieutenant.

Vacancies occurring in the cavalry, coast artillery corps, field artillery, and infantry above the grade of 2nd lieutenant shall, subject to the examination required by law, be filled by promotion according to seniority from the next lower grade in the troop, the separate company, the field battery, the separate battalion, and the regiment in which the vacancy occurs.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328, § 22; Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 630, ch. 146, § 15.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-307.

1973 Ed., § 39-208.


§ 49–308. Appointments to grade of 2nd lieutenant.

All appointments to the grade of 2nd lieutenant shall be from the enlisted men, under regulations prescribed by the Commanding General, and subject to the examination required by law.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328; as added Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 630, ch. 146, § 16.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-308.

1973 Ed., § 39-209.


§ 49–309. Examinations for promotion; failure to appear; retirement for disability.

The Commanding General is authorized to prescribe a system of examination to be conducted at such times anterior to the accruing of the right to promotion as may be best for the interest of the service. If any officer fails to appear for examination within 30 days after notification to so appear or fails to pass a satisfactory examination and is reported unfit for promotion, the officer next below him in rank, having passed said examination, shall receive the promotion; and provided, that should the officer fail in his physical examination and be found incapacitated for service by reason of physical disability contracted in the line of duty he shall be retired with the rank to which his seniority entitled him to be promoted; but if he should fail for any other reason he shall be suspended from promotion for 90 days, when he shall be reexamined, and in case of failure on such reexamination he shall be honorably discharged.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328, § 23; Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 630, ch. 146, § 17.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-309.

1973 Ed., § 39-210.


§ 49–310. Examinations for 2nd lieutenants.

The Commanding General is authorized to prescribe a system of examination of enlisted men to determine their fitness for promotion to the grade of 2nd lieutenant.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328; as added Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 630, ch. 146, § 18.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-310.

1973 Ed., § 39-211.


§ 49–311. Special examination of officer’s capability.

(a) Whenever, in the opinion of the Commanding General of the militia of the District of Columbia, an officer of the said militia has become incapacitated for the performance of duty for any reason, the Commanding General shall submit the name of such officer to the Secretary of the Army, with a view to his being ordered before a board of examination, to be appointed by the Secretary of the Army, which board shall examine said officer as to his physical, mental, and military qualifications.

(b) If any officer shall fail to appear before a board of examination so appointed within 30 days after being notified, or shall fail to pass a satisfactory examination, the fact shall be certified by the board to the Commanding General, who shall forward the record of examination to the Secretary of the Army, with his recommendation thereon, for submission to the President.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328; as added Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 631, ch. 146, § 19.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-311.

1973 Ed., § 39-212.


§ 49–312. Retirement of commissioned officer.

Any commissioned officer in the National Guard of the District of Columbia who shall have served as such in the National Guard of the District of Columbia for the continuous period of 10 years may, upon his own application, be placed by the President of the United States upon a retired list, which is hereby authorized, with the rank held by him at the time such application is made; provided, however, that an officer so retired, who at the time of making such application has remained in the same grade for the continuous period of 10 years, or whose services have been especially meritorious, may be retired with increased rank of 1 grade and shall, before being so retired, receive from the President of the United States the commission of the new grade; provided further, that whenever any officer on the active list reaches the age of 64 years he shall be retired; with or without increase of rank in the discretion of the President of the United States. Retired officers on occasions of ceremony may, and when acting under orders, as hereinafter provided, shall wear the uniform of the highest rank attained by them in the military service of the United States, the militia of the states or territories, or the National Guard of the District of Columbia. Retired officers shall be eligible to perform any military duty to the same extent as if not retired, and the Commanding General may, in his discretion, by order, require them to serve upon military boards, courts of inquiry, and courts-martial, or to perform any other special or temporary duty, and for such service they shall receive the same pay and allowances as are provided by law for like service by officers on the active list of the National Guard of the District of Columbia. All retired officers shall be amenable to court-martial for military offenses to the same extent as if upon the active list of the National Guard of the District of Columbia. The names of all officers of retired rank shall be borne upon a separate roster, kept under the supervision of the Adjutant General. The Commanding General may at any time recommend to the President of the United States and the President may retire any commissioned officer who shall have been ordered before a medical board consisting of at least 3 commissioned medical officers and upon whom such a board shall have made report showing such officer to be physically unable to properly perform the duties of his office.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328; as added Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 631, ch. 146, § 20.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-312.

1973 Ed., § 39-213.


§ 49–313. Discharge of commissioned officer.

(a) A commissioned officer may be honorably discharged:

(1) Upon tender of resignation;

(2) Upon disbandment of the organization to which he belongs; or

(3) Upon report of a board of examination, or for failure to appear before such board when ordered.

(b) He may be dismissed upon the sentence of a court-martial, or conviction in a court of justice of an infamous offense.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 775, ch. 328, § 24; Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 631, ch. 146, § 21; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-264, § 41(b), 46 DCR 2118.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-313.

1973 Ed., § 39-214.