I just wanted to mention State Defense Forces (SDF) for those who have never heard of them and may be interested.
SDFs (also known as State Guards, State Military Reserves, or State Militias) are military forces that operate solely under the authority of a state government. They are authorized under Title 32 USC and are partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau, although not actually part of the National Guard. Their Commander in Chief is the state governor. Most are Army components but there are some states that also have Air and Naval components. There are currently 22 states, plus Puerto Rico, with active SDFs although every state is authorized to have one. Most states organize their SDFs to directly augment a National Guard unit.
SDFs can be thought of as a sort of National Guard Reserve. SDF soldiers are sworn members of their state's military department and typically rank among their National Guard counterparts when on State Active Duty (SAD). Unlike the National Guard, SDF soldiers can not be federalized as a unit. (Membership in an SDF does not exempt a member from being drafted, however.) SDFs operate only within their state, unless the governor chooses to send soldiers to another state in conjunction with an interstate agreement. One example is SDF soldiers from multiple states were sent to Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Much like a Police or Sheriff's Reserve or Volunteer Firefighter, SDFs are volunteer and soldiers only get paid if they are activated for SAD.
SDFs differ from state to state. Some require prior military service, others do not. Some provide uniforms while others require the soldier to purchase their own.
Some reasons a prior service member may join:
- Want to continue to serve but don't want to be deployed
- Served long ago and are now to old to re-enlist
Some reasons to join if you are not a prior service member:
- Want to serve but don't want to be deployed
- Don't meet requirements to join federal service (medical, age, etc)
- Want to experience the military before you enlist in federal service
http://www.calguard.ca.gov/casmr/Pages/default.aspx - California State Military Reserve
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Defense_Forces - Wikipedia Article on SDFs
The 3 states with the most active naval militias are Ohio, Texas, and New York.
South Carolina and Virginia apparently also have active naval detachments but how active, I don't know.
As for their capabilities, I recommend you contact them directly with those questions.
Here the Alaska Defense Force recruits pretty enthusiastically: http://dmva.alaska.gov/asdf/ They seem like a decent bunch of folks.
I would like to also propose the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) which is the official USAF auxillary: http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/ CAP even has uniform provisions for folks who do not want to shave their beards.