New Jersey Naval Militia

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The New Jersey Naval Militia
New Jersey Naval Militia Logo.jpg
New Jersey Naval Militia Insignia
Active 1895–1963, 1999–2002
Country  United States
Allegiance  State of New Jersey
Branch Navy
Type Naval militia
Role Military reserve force
Part of New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Civilian Leadership Governor of New Jersey

The New Jersey Naval Militia (NJNM) was the official naval militia of the state of New Jersey. As a portion of the New Jersey organized militia, it existed as an entity from 1895 to 1963 and again from 1999 to 2002.[1] As a naval militia, the NJNM was partially regulated and equipped by the federal government but served as a reserve force which falls under control of the State of New Jersey. Naval militias are authorized and regulated by federal law under Title 32 of the United States Code.[2] New Jersey law also allows for the state to maintain a naval militia.[3] As it falls under state jurisdiction, the Governor of New Jersey would be the Commander-in-chief of the NJNM, in case of its eventual reactivation.


The New Jersey Naval Militia, originally called the Naval Reserve of New Jersey, was founded in 1895, with the purpose of protecting the coast, harbors, and waterfront property. After the passage of the Federal Naval Reserve Law of 1916, the name was changed to the Naval Militia of New Jersey.[1]

The NJNM first saw combat during the Spanish–American War, and also fought in the World War I and World War II. After reaching a peak strength of 3,590 during the Korean War, the NJNM was absorbed by the United States Naval Reserve in 1963, after which it ceased to exist as an independent organization.[1]

In 1999, the NJNM was reorganized by Governor Christine Todd-Whitman to better integrate the NJNM with the New Jersey State Guard.[4]

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the NJNM was activated to assist in recovery, including a deployment of the NJNM's Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the Chaplain Corps to Staten Island, and the ferrying of evidence collected from Ground Zero to Manhattan's Chelsea Pier and Staten Island.[2] The NJNM also took part in Operation Noble Eagle.[2]


As a naval militia, the NJNM was responsible for aiding in homeland security operations and disaster recovery. Missions conducted by the NJNM between September 11, 2001, and 2002 include:[1]

  • Waterborne security at the bases of the George Washington Bridge
  • Daylight vessel traffic control on the Hudson River, north of the George Washington Bridge
  • Standby vessel for search and rescue detail Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook, NJ
  • Transport of military personnel and equipment from NJ to North Cove (Ground Zero)
  • V.I.P. transportation and security detail for Liberty State Park tribute events during October 2001
  • 192 days of water-borne security assisting naval personnel at Naval Weapons Station Earle
  • 180 days of continuous daylight patrols assisting the NJ State Police at Salem Nuclear Generating Station, Salem, NJ
  • Assisted with security in Jamaica Bay, NY during the aftermath of the crash of Flight 194, Kennedy Airport

In April 2002, at the conclusion of Operation Noble Eagle, due to unresolved issues cited by the Adjutant General, the NJNM was stood down from State Active Duty by the Adjutant General.[1]


The NJNM was originally organized at a brigade level. By 1912, the NJNM was organized into two brigades, consisting of 346 members, and two ships loaned by the federal government: the U.S.S. Tonopah and the USS Vixen.[5]

After its reactivation in 1999, the NJNM was integrated into the New Jersey State Guard in a way which would allow the state allow large numbers of civilian volunteers into its naval militia while still technically meeting the requirement that 95% of a naval militia be composed of navy, marine, and coast guard reservists in order to receive federal aid.[6] This was done by organizing the NJNM into three battalions, with the first battalion being composed solely of navy, marine, and coast guard reservists in order to receive access to federal support and Navy and Marine Corps facilities. The second battalion was organized as an operational Naval State Guard, and the 3rd Division providing support and auxiliary functions.[7][8] By only seeking federal recognition for the first battalion as a naval militia, and considering the other two as divisions of the New Jersey State Guard, the NJNM was able to receive federal aid and include significant numbers of civilian volunteers.


Since reactivation in 1999, the NJNM maintained eight boats donated by the city of Linden, the U.S. Coast Guard and the New Jersey State Police.[9]

NJNM also maintained four 23 foot Monarch aluminum patrol boats, and a former Navy 24 foot diesel powered aluminum patrol boat.[10]

As a federally recognized naval militia, the first battalion of the NJNM was allowed supplies from the federal government and access to United States Marine Corps and United States Navy facilities.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Committee Report on the New Jersey Naval Militia Joint Command to The Adjutant General: Background". The Official Website of New Jersey. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Tulak, Arthur N.; Kraft, Robert W.; Silbaugh, Don. "State Defense Forces and Homeland Security" (PDF). Strategic Studies Institute. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "38A:1-3. Classes of militia". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Rieth, Glenn (5 April 2005). "The Adjutant General Report to Legislature on the NJ Naval Militia Joint Command". Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Register of the Naval Militia of the States, Territories, and of the District of Columbia. U.S. Government Printing Office. January 1, 1912. p. 33. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: Composition and Classes". Retrieved 14 March 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ Girardet, Wayne E. "The New Jersey Naval Militia" (PDF). The Defense Technical Information Center Website. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Committee Report on the New Jersey Naval Militia Joint Command to The Adjutant General: Organization". The Official Website of New Jersey. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dawn patrol: Wednesday, September 10, 2008". The Star-Ledger. September 10, 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Committee Report on the New Jersey Naval Militia Joint Command to The Adjutant General: Equipment". The Official Website of New Jersey. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
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