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Frequently Asked Questions

What documents do I need to join?

Valid Ohio Driver license
Birth Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship
Social Security Card
High School Diploma/GED/or college diploma
DD-214 (if Prior Service)


Do I qualify for service in the Ohio Military Reserve?

The OHMR accepts:
Most applicants between the ages of 17 and 64.
Those individuals who are in good health and can pass a physical.
US Citizens and residents of Ohio


Are there any disqualifying factors to service in the Ohio Military Reserve?

You may not serve if you have been convicted of a felony or have domestic violence convictions.
You may not have tattoos above the neckline or tattoos of offensive nature. All tattoos must be inspected and approved.


What happens next If I decide to join?

After you swear-in, you will drill with your assigned unit until the next Initial Entry Training (IET) course begins. The IET course takes place over a three month period, one weekend per month. IET is required for all non-prior service personnel. The State Defense Forces of Ohio Training Academy is located in Columbus Ohio. You will learn basic Soldier skills, and become MEMS (Military Emergency Management) certified. Once you complete IET you will return and serve with your unit.


When was the last time OHMR was deployed?

How often are OHMR Soldiers called to active duty? The Governor of the State of Ohio can call Soldiers to State Active Duty in times of State Emergency. Recent examples of OHMR Soldiers being called to active duty included tornadoes that ravaged SW Ohio in 2019, the COVID-19 Response from 2020-22 wherein OHMR Soldiers were called to active duty on missions that included food bank, health care, correction officer, financial duties. OHMR Soldier's individual skills help to determine many of these missions. OHMR has been recognized by the State of Ohio and United States Public Health Services for unit awards during calls to active duty.


What does a callup look like?

Callups to active duty can vary from large unit activation during a major disaster to certain specialties and skill sets being called upon. OHMR is fortunate to have units and Soldiers that are skilled laborers and leaders in the private sector creating a unique pool for the Governor and the Adjutant General to call upon.


Can you claim veteran status?

No. Joining the Ohio Military Reserve does not make you a US military veteran. Although you are part of the Uniformed Services of Ohio, you cannot claim any benefits reserved for US military veterans on the basis of your service in the Ohio Military Reserve.


Can you be given credit for prior military service?

The Ohio Military Reserve has many prior service veterans among it ranks from across the branches. Applicants are generally given full credit for highest grade, training and experience from prior military service.


What uniform are you authorized to wear?

The current uniform of OHMR is the OCP (Operational Camouflage Pattern) with tan name tags, the Ohio flag patch on the right arm and OHMR unit patch on the left arm. The Class A and B uniforms are those of the US Army with a few modifications.


Is my job protected while I serve?

Under Ohio law, members of the Ohio Military Reserve are guaranteed the same employment rights and protections as federal reservists enjoy under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Among other legal rights guaranteed under this provision, OHMR members are protected from discrimination based on their membership in the OHMR both during the hiring process and after becoming employed; they are also guaranteed a leave of absence from their places of employment whenever they are activated for training or to take part in an emergency, and their employers are required to reinstate these employees to their previous positions when they return from deployment.[1](pulled from wiki)


What is the difference between a state defense force and the unorganized militias you read about?

The Ohio Military Reserve is a State Defense Force (SDF), one of 23 in the nation (including Puerto Rico), and a component of the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department, with the governor as the Reserve’s commander-in-chief.


Do you train with weapons?

Firearms training is limited to specialized teams that use rifles during ceremonial events.


Where will I serve?

There are 5 armories throughout the state (Columbus, Alliance, Newark, Norwalk, and Middletown). We try to place soldiers at an armory close to their homes. However, you may be stationed at a different armory based on the needs of the state.


What is the commitment?

In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code states that the period of enlistment is for a period of 3 years for enlisted and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and indefinate for Officers.


How often do I "drill" or attend Assembly?

All Soldiers are required to commit to drill one day a month and the required week of Annual Training each year. This time commitment will allow you to serve, but will generally not be sufficient for you to gain enough experience to be promoted. Most Soldiers participate in Assembly two days per month. Most officers and senior non-commissioned officers commit additional time at their leisure from home as necessitated by their responsibilities.


Where do I get my uniform and gear?

Each Soldier is responsible for the purchase of the basic uniform and gear. Upon enlisting or boarding (officer), you will receive a list of local and national outlets that stock OHMR approved gear.


What is the pay for an OHMR Soldier?

OHMR Soldiers are paid only when called to active duty and according to their grade (rank). Soldiers are not compensated for attending Assemblies or the Annual Training Exercise. Mileage to and from duty locations as well as uniform and gear are tax deductible.