Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. General.


§ 49–401. Militia; persons to be enrolled.

Every able-bodied male citizen resident within the District of Columbia, of the age of 18 years and under the age of 45 years, excepting persons exempted by § 49-402, and idiots, lunatics, common drunkards, vagabonds, paupers, and persons convicted of any infamous crime, shall be enrolled in the militia. Persons so convicted after enrollment shall forthwith be disenrolled; and in all cases of doubt respecting the age of a person enrolled, the burden of proof shall be upon him.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 772, ch. 328, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-101.

1973 Ed., § 39-101.


§ 49–402. Exemptions from service.

In addition to the persons exempted from enrollment in the militia by the general laws of the United States, the following persons shall also be exempted from enrollment in the militia of the District of Columbia, namely: Officers of the government of the District of Columbia; judges and officers of the courts of the District of Columbia; officers who have held commissions in the regular or volunteer Army, Navy, or Air Force of the United States; officers who have served for a period of 5 years in the militia of the District of Columbia or of any state of the United States; ministers of the gospel; practicing physicians; and conductors and engine-drivers of railroad trains.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 772, ch. 328, § 2; Nov. 19, 1985, D.C. Law 6-52, § 2(a), 32 DCR 5690; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-264, § 41(a), 46 DCR 2118.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-102.

1973 Ed., § 39-102.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 49-401.


§ 49–403. Assessors to make list of persons liable to enrollment.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia shall provide for the enrollment of the militia, and for this purpose may require the assessors of taxes, at the same time they are engaged in taking the assessment of valuation of real and personal property, to make a list of persons liable to enrollment, and such record shall be deemed a sufficient notification to all persons whose names are thus recorded that they have been enrolled in the militia. Immediately after the completion of each enrollment they shall furnish the Commanding General of the militia with a copy of the same.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 773, ch. 328, § 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-103.

1973 Ed., § 39-103.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 49–404. Duty of enrolled militia; police and fire department personnel.

The enrolled militia shall not be subject to any duty except when called into the service of the United States, or to aid the civil authorities in the execution of the laws or suppression of riots. However, if the enrolled militia is called to aid the civil authorities, who already have activated, or will concomitantly activate, the police and fire departments, no member of these departments shall be subject to duty in the militia. Also, if the enrolled militia is called into service of the United States, the chief of the police department and the chief of the fire department shall be entitled to have exempted from call in the militia minimum personnel considered necessary to ensure continued, reasonable police and fire services to the citizens of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 773, ch. 328, § 4; Nov. 19, 1985, D.C. Law 6-52, § 2(b), 32 DCR 5690.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-104.

1973 Ed., § 39-104.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of National Guard Operations Coordination Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-365, April 26, 2006, 53 DCR 3632).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3032 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477, August 8, 2006, 53 DCR 7068).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3032 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-499, October 23, 2006, 53 DCR 8845).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3032 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-1, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1165).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 2 of National Guard Operations Coordination Temporary Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-149, July 25, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 7508).

Short Title

Short title: Section 3031 of D.C. Law 16-192 provided that subtitle C of title III of the act may be cited as the “National Guard Operations Coordination Act of 2006”.

Editor's Notes

Establishment of a plan to coordinate operations of the National Guard and the Metropolitan Police Department: Section 3032 of D.C. Law 16-192 provided: “The Mayor is directed to consult with the Commanding General of the National Guard of the District of Columbia to establish a plan whereby the National Guard Reaction Force provided supplemental manpower to the Special Operations Division of the Metropolitan Police Department to assist it in the performance of its duties. The plan shall be implemented within 180 days of April 26, 2006.”


§ 49–405. Ordering enrolled militia into service.

Whenever it shall be necessary to call out any portion of the enrolled militia the Commander-in-Chief shall order out, by draft or otherwise, or accept as volunteers as many as required. Every member of the enrolled militia who volunteers, or who is ordered out or drafted under the provisions of this chapter, who does not appear at the time and place designated, may be arrested by order of the Commanding General and be tried and punished by a court-martial. The portion of the enrolled militia ordered out or accepted shall be mustered into service for such period as may be required, and the Commanding General may assign them to existing organizations of the active militia, or may organize them as the exigencies of the occasion may require.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 773, ch. 328, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-105.

1973 Ed., § 39-105.


§ 49–406. Organized militia; volunteer service; designation.

The organized militia shall be composed of volunteers, and shall be designated the National Guard of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 774, ch. 328, § 10; Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 629, ch. 146, § 10.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-106.

1973 Ed., § 39-106.


§ 49–407. Reserve corps; organization; composition.

A reserve corps of the National Guard of the District of Columbia is hereby organized, to consist of honorably discharged officers and men of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps of the United States, honorably discharged officers and men of the organized militia of any state or territory who are residents of the District of Columbia, and honorably discharged members of the National Guard of the District of Columbia, whose military training and physical condition shall conform to the standard determined by regulations to be promulgated by the President of the United States; provided, that the term of enlistment in the reserve and the military duties and obligations required of reservists shall be determined by regulations to be promulgated by the President of the United States; provided further, that when called out for military duty, reservists shall receive the same pay and allowances as officers and men of like grade on the active list of the National Guard of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 777, ch. 328; as added Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 636, ch. 146, § 72.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-107.

1973 Ed., § 39-108.


§ 49–408. Disbanding companies below minimum strength.

When any company of the National Guard shall, for a period of not less than 90 days, contain less than the required number of enlisted men, or upon a duly ordered inspection, shall be found to have fallen below a proper standard of efficiency, the Commanding General may, with consent of the President, either disband such company or consolidate it with any other company of the National Guard, and grant an honorable discharge to the supernumerary officers and noncommissioned officers produced by such consolidation. Officers and enlisted men discharged by reason of such disbanding or consolidation and at any time thereafter reentering the service shall have allowed to them, as part of their term of service, the time already served.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 774, ch. 328, § 18; Feb. 18, 1909, 35 Stat. 630, ch. 146, § 12; June 3, 1916, 39 Stat. 200, ch. 134, § 68.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-108.

1973 Ed., § 39-111.


§ 49–409. President to be Commander-in-Chief.

The President of the United States shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the militia of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 1, 1889, 25 Stat. 773, ch. 328, § 6.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 39-109.

1973 Ed., § 39-112.

Editor's Notes

Supervision and control of National Guard of District of Columbia: See Presidential Executive Order No. 11485, October 1, 1969, 34 F.R. 15411.