In the widest sense, the whole military force of a nation, including both those engaged in military service as a business, and those competent and available for such service; specifically, the body of citizens enrolled for military instruction and discipline, but not subject to be called into actual service except in emergencies.
Military service; warfare.
"Private, unpaid local citizens, both armed and unarmed, to serve in the time of natural disaster or civil defense."--description supplied by the Michigan Militia. Traditionally, an armed citizen's self-defense group.
A body of private citizens organized, trained, and prepared to carry out military activities, but only when called into service by government authorities in emergencies.