From Ohio History Central
The Ohio Defense Corps had its roots in the Ohio Militia, which was formed in 1803. At that time, every state within the United States had its own militia. The militia existed to protect a state's residents from attack, whether it was from Indians, other countries, or internal revolts. Most states required able-bodied white men to participate in the militia. Age limits existed in all states, with most states requiring men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to participate in the militia.
The Ohio Militia played an important role in the state's early history. Militiamen helped United States soldiers subdue Ohio's Indian people. During the War of 1812, the Ohio Militia helped defend the American Northwest from British invasion. Following this conflict, the Ohio Militia still existed, but it declined in importance. With the death of the Shawnee chieftain Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, most Ohioans no longer faced major threats from the Indians. The United States also remained at peace with other nations until the Mexican War began in 1846. During this prolonged era of peace, Ohio's state government reduced funding to the militia to set aside money for other programs.
Following World War II, the Ohio government established the Ohio Defense Corps, which is now known as the Ohio Military Reserve. The Ohio Defense Corps was a continuation of the Ohio Militia. In 1961, Ohio implemented a law that made all of Ohio's men and women between seventeen and sixty-seven years of age eligible for duty in the Ohio Military Reserve. In 2006, the Ohio Military Reserve numbered just six hundred members. Its primary purpose was to expand quickly to assist Ohioans in case of natural disasters or enemy attack. The state government now relied primarily upon the Ohio National Guard for the state's defense, as well as to assist in natural disasters and other types of emergencies. However, if the Ohio National Guard was either unavailable or in need of assistance, the Ohio Military Reserve stood ready to support the Guard.
[[Category:Exploration To Statehood]]