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The California National Guard is a federally funded California military force, part of the National Guard of the United States. It comprises both Army and Air National Guard components, and the California State Guard and is the largest national guard force in the United States with a total authorized strength of over 23,000 soldiers and airmen. As of January 2012, California National Guardsmen have been deployed overseas more than 38,000 times since 2001, of which twenty-nine have been killed in Iraq and two have died in Afghanistan.The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. When under the control of its state governor, national guard functions range from limited actions during non-emergency situations to full scale law enforcement of martial law when local law enforcement officials can no longer maintain civil control. The National Guard may be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress. When National Guard troops are called to federal service, the President serves as Commander-In-Chief. The federal mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency or as otherwise needed." The Governor of California may call individuals or units of the California National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. The state mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise provided by state law."

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