ETYM Latin, military service, soldiery, from miles, militis, soldier: cf. French milice.
Civilians trained as soldiers but not part of the regular army; SYN. reserves.
Body of civilian soldiers, usually with some military training, who are on call in emergencies, distinct from professional soldiers. In Switzerland, the militia is the national defense force, and every able-bodied man is liable for service in it. In the UK the Territorial Army and in the US the National Guard have supplanted earlier voluntary militias.
After the Restoration, the militia fell into neglect, but it was reorganized in 1757, and was relied upon for home defense during the French wars. In the 19th century it extended its activities, serving in the Peninsular, Crimean, and South African wars. In 1852 it adopted a volunteer status, and in 1908 it was merged with the Territorial Army and the Special Reserve forces, to supplement the regular army, and ceased to exist as a separate force.
The US National Guard is trained and armed for deployment abroad as well as for disaster relief at home. In addition, at least 24 states by 1989 had paramilitary unpaid volunteer forces, generally known as state defense forces, chartered to suppress “civil disorders”, fight “terrorists and saboteurs”, and occupy “key facilities” in case of open dissent at home.
Narodna vojska, naoružani narod (za razliku od redovne ili stajaće vojske); oružani deo državne i javne bezbednosti. (lat.)