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[[quoteright:350:[[Series/DadsArmy http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dads_army_3069563b.png]]]]

->''"But, who's sticking in here? Who will defend,''
->''every inch of England no matter what they send?''
->''Who's standing firm in our own front yard?''
->''The soldiers of the old home guard,''
->''That's Who!"''
-->-- '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGTg4N251yM The Soldiers of the Home Guard]]''', ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks''

You have your army, perhaps it is a BadassArmy, or just a RedshirtArmy, but in any case, it is the standing army of your (nation-)state, with everything that entails. Of course, not everybody in the army does it for a living. Some folks just do it for the bit of extra pay, or the college benefits, or as a way to keep connected with the military after they retire and settle down to [[BabiesEverAfter start a family.]]

These guys are the Home Guard. Typically, they will get called up when the nation [[ThisMeansWar goes to war]], or in the event of a natural disaster or civil unrest. Many of them will be military veterans who got out of the regular army, or folks who had imminent life plans that precluded being away from home permanently. In more desperate situations, the Home Guard might include people who otherwise would not have been accepted into the military, but are being organized into a militia as a last ditch defense of their homes. Depending on a variety of circumstances, they might be equipped with [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece obsolete weapons and equipment from decades past]], or [[TorchesAndPitchforks even less]]. In more ideal situations, they will use the same equipment as the regular troops, to better allow them to serve along side them in combat when needed.

Even the version of the trope where the Home Guard is little more than a RagTagBunchOfMisfits armed with whatever they have on hand, it can be {{justified|Trope}} as freeing up more troops to fight the enemy ''before'' they can invade the home country.

In practice, these forces might also be called the Reserves or the Militia, with either name (in the [[EagleLand United States]], at least) carrying different connotations. From an American point of view, "Militia" sounds more like TrainingThePeacefulVillagers at best, and more like "RightWingMilitiaFanatic" at worse. "Reserves" gives more of an impression of professional soldiers (again, [[WeAllLiveInAmerica from an American audience's perspective.]])

If they end up getting invaded and defeated, expect these guys to help form LaResistance.

Named for the British Home Guard troops who were formed to protect Great Britain in the event of German invasion during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.[[note]]UsefulNotes/NaziGermany had their own version, the ''Volkssturm'', discussed later in this article, though it was far more pathetic and was only formed in the last days of the war.[[/note]]

Most people would be surprised at how much action the Reserves actually see in RealLife, at least in the United States armed forces. In most armed conflicts, the active components are mostly only involved during the main fighting, while the post-war peacekeeping, policing and rebuilding operations, which are just as dangerous or even more so, usually go to the reserve components. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, for example, many United States National Guardsmen and Army Reserves served longer deployments than any of the active components did, and as such were exposed to dangers not seen by those who were involved in the main fighting(those videos you see of [=IEDs=] blowing up [=HMMWVs=] are most likely National Guardsmen or Reserves). Reserve components also tend to be more career-oriented: you see more Reserves staying until retirement age than active component soldiers.

See also TrainingThePeacefulVillagers and InstantMilitia.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''ComicBook/AlbedoErmaFelnaEDF'' planets in the Confederation have Home Guard units that are usually equipped like modern day armies, complete with tanks. But they're still looked down upon by the Extraplanetary Defense Force, which sometimes has to train underexperienced units on border worlds.


[[folder: Fan Works]]

* In the ''Series/ChinaBeach'' fanfic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8302846/1/Past-toPresent "Past to Present"]], Colleen [=McMurphy=] re-enlists in the Army Reserve, is promoted to Major and later Colonel. She also becomes the commander of the 3098 *M*A*S*H during UsefulNotes/TheGulfWar.
* In [[https://rule34.paheal.net/post/view/136509 this]] ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'' [[FanArt fan art picture]], Miss Buxley is an Army Reservist serving in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/372nd_Military_Police_Company_(United_States) 372nd Military Police Company]] and Beetle's training with her during her monthly weekend drill.
* In ''Fanfic/ChrysalisVisitsTheHague'', the Royal Guard is seen levying Ponyville civilians in preparation for a large-scale search of the Everfree Forest for changelings.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks''. The UsefulNotes/WorldWarII British Home Guard appears several times in the movie, including firing at the retreating German commando. They even have their own song, which supplies the page quote.
* ''Film/{{Clash of the Titans|2010}}'': The DwindlingParty of soldiers assigned to help Perseus in his mission are from an Honor Guard, distinguished soldiers [[OldSoldier too old to fight on the front lines]] or young inexperienced soldiers who look good in formation. They are all he gets because the rest of the Argosian army had recently been wiped out after picking a fight with Zeus and Hades.
* ''Film/CarryOnSergeant'' sort of revolves around this. The Home Guard in this movie is the National Service and the men called up have no choice but to draft in.
* ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights:'' The Sheriff and his men. Robin takes a [[TakeThat cheap shot]] at the Sheriff, who seized his family's property while Robin was fighting in the Crusades.
-->'''Robin:''' ''My father couldn't get me into the National Guard.''
-->'''Crowd:''' ''Oooooooohh... ''
* ''Film/TheBigRedOne''. TheSquad find themselves confronted by Volksturm armed with pitchforks and pictures of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. It looks like a massacre is about to take place, but they quickly surrender when the Sarge fires his gun over their heads.
* In ''Film/FirstBlood'', the local Washington State National Guard is called up to search for John Rambo after he attacks the police station, causes (by accident, admittedly) a deputy to fall out of a helicopter and traps the sheriff and his deputies in the woods. Once Rambo starts firing at them with a stolen M16, several Guardsmen hide behind cover and complain that they never signed up for this and that they have their day jobs to worry about.
* ''Film/{{Fury 2014}}'' has the [[ChildSoldiers Hitler Youth]] as a very much active part of the German defenses at the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* The comedy, ''Film/WeekendWarriors'' was about an Air National Guard unit near Hollywood in 1961.
* ''Film/TheLongestDay'': During D-Day, the 29th Infantry Division's was tasked with clearing strong points at Omaha Beach and they were in the first wave of Allied troops during Operation Overlord. Their prominent role in the battle is shown throughout the film. The division is a part of the Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Army National Guards.
* According to their shoulder sleeve insignia, the squad in ''Film/KellysHeroes'' are members of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/35th_Infantry_Division_(United_States) 35th Infantry Division]], which is a National Guard unit.
* ''Film/WentTheDayWell'': Briefly features a British Home Guard unit who get brutally gunned down in an ambush while cycling home.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Various characters in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series are mentioned in passing as being members of their armed forces' Reserves. Typically, such characters will be a bit older and wiser than their similarly-ranked companions, and officers of the Grayson Space Navy reserve forces are mentioned as having slightly different rank insignia.
* Frequently shows up in the ''Literature/JackRyan'' series by Creator/TomClancy. In particular, a brigade of the North Carolina National Guard plays a pivotal role in ''Executive Orders'', General Gennady Iosefovitch Bondarenko manages to field an entire division of reservists in ''The Bear And The Dragon'', and John Kelly (later John Clark) is threatened with being recalled to active duty since he checked the box for joining the reserves in ''Without Remorse''
* In the ''Literature/StarCarrier'' series the Sol System is patrolled by the High Guard, a sub-fleet of the Confederation Navy that acts mostly as an early warning system for Earth and was originally set up to guard against {{Colony Drop}}s. Their ships are rather outdated [[spoiler:and prove no match for the Turusch]].
* ''Literature/TheElenium'': Sparhawk, Platime, and Stragen organize a home guard [[note]]they even use that term[[/note]] to defend the city of Cimmura after Ehlana is restored to her throne. It's not clear how many of the citizens actually have prior military experience, but they manage to impress Wargun a few chapters later.
* In Heinlein's ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove'' Lazarus Long's grandfather Ira attempts to enlist in the Army at the start of WWI but is rejected due to his age, despite the fact that he doesn't look like he's pushing 90. But he manages to get into the Home Guard no problem, in logistics.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'': According to WordOfGod, Lee Adama was a member of the Colonial Fleet Reserves.
* ''Series/DadsArmy'': Based on the writers' experiences in the Home Guard during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Most of the humour stems from the fact that the members are too old, too young, or just incompetent in that bumbling English way.
* ''Series/FoylesWar'': Appears in several episodes, as one might expect of a series set on the British Home Front. The episode ''War Games'' initially involves a suspicious death during some Home Guard manoeuvres, while the episode ''They Fought In The Fields'' briefly features a Home Guard captain who appears to be [[TheVicar a vicar]].
* ''Series/HorribleHistories'' has had several sketches about the British Home Guard.
* The Commonwealth's military in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' was divided into the Home and High Guard, with members having to have spent several years in the Home Guard before being eligible to join the High Guard.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': Lt. Col. Henry Blake was in the Army Reserve. Several patients mention they are Guardsmen and were called up.
* ''Series/QuincyME'': Dr. Quincy's a Captain in the Naval Reserve.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Noel Coward's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZUTV6F6IyM "Could You Please Oblige us with a Bren Gun?"]], about the travails of a unit belonging to the trope namer.
* Music/KidRock wrote and recorded "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9Mk6UzIYm8 Warrior]]" for a [[JoinTheArmyTheySaid National Guard advertising campaign]].
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwiqbCrkak0 "Army Reserve"]] by Music/PearlJam.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWrMeBR8W-c The video]] for "American Soldier" by Music/TobyKeith shows a weekend warrior being called up.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvOLkN4-cJ8 "Citizen Soldier"]] by Music/ThreeDoorsDown.


[[folder: Table Top Games ]]

* The ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' equivalent is the PDF (Planetary Defense Forces). Their quality is variable: usually they're a whoever the conscripters could catch but if the planet was recently conquered they may be some of the Imperial Guard's most experienced veterans. Nonetheless, they are considered as underequipped and far less competent by the Imperial Guard. We repeat: the ''Imperial Guard'', ButtMonkey CannonFodder extraordinaire, believes the PDF to be beneath them. This is usually for the straightforward reason that the best PDF troopers get inducted into the Guard.
** The Cadian Interior Guard is one of the better-equipped PDF units-- one in ten soldiers (soldiers of Cadia [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy being just about everyone at some point in their lives]]), regardless of skill, are recruited to the PDF, so Cadia actually has a home guard better than many planets' best troops. Seeing how as Cadia is a WorldOfBadass sitting right in front of a giant {{Hellgate}} NegativeSpaceWedgie, it's probably for the best.
*** Note that is the reverse of most planets, where 10% of the PDF is tithed to the Imperial Guard and shipped off-world.
** The planet of Perlia got a "speedbump's speedbump" in the form of the Planetary Defence Volunteers, established by Literature/CiaphasCain in the sixth novel of the series. The author also used it as a chance to make an extended ShoutOut to Series/DadsArmy.
** The Ultramar Auxilia serve as the [=PDF=] for the Ultramar sector controlled by the Ultramarines. Unlike other [=PDF=], they are disciplined and steeled from training mandated by Ultramarines and the region is prosperous enough for them to be equipped accordingly well - as such the Ultramar Auxilia subverts the HomeGuard trope in the case of many regiments who are meant to be available for deployment outside of Ultramar a bit like the Imperial Guard.
** In terms of the Xenos races, the Guardians can be considered this for the Eldar, as they are Eldar taken from non-military paths in times of need and used as foot troops. The Tau tend to employ the denizens of worlds that they conquer as its defenders, at least those that give themselves over to the Greater Good. Humans from Tau-controlled worlds are referred to as Gue'vesa (literally 'human helpers') and used as auxiliaries.
* In ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech'', the various Successor States of the Inner Sphere often have little more than a garrison of a dozen outdated [[HumongousMecha battlemechs]] or a smattering of tanks guarding their non-industrial worlds, though important worlds often get an entire ''[[SuspiciouslySmallArmy platoon]]'' of battlemechs! The [[ProudWarriorRace Clans]] are infamous for their defensive garrisons using third-rate equipment ([[LostTechnology it's still better]] than Inner Sphere gear, though). In Operation Bulldog, a [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge combined offensive]] against Clan Smoke Jaguar as vengeance for their OrbitalBombardment against a civilian city. The IS task force quickly crushes the Smoke Jaguar's homeworld defenders, which are notoriously poorly equipped even among the other Clans.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/WingCommander IV'', Vagabond mentions that after the Kilrathi War ended, he took a billet in the Reserves, thinking it would be some easy money for little work now that they were at peace. So of course he got recalled to active duty for the next crisis.
** Blair is also in the Reserves, and finds himself recalled as well (by [[LargeHam Maniac]], who throws in a mock-fanfare while issuing the order in a seedy bar).
** In the ''Literature/WingCommander'' novel ''End Run'', Colonel Bondarevsky warns the pilots under his command that the pilots they'll find defending [[spoiler: the Kilrathi homeworld of Kilrah]] will not be typical aging "Home Guard" pilot with "rusting armor", but rather a very well trained and equipped force of some of their most experienced and skilled pilots.
** Also from ''Wing Commander IV'', we have the Border Worlds Militia. In the game, they are shown to be a somewhat ragtag force with modern (if somewhat nonstandard compared to what Confed flies) equipment. In the {{novelization}}, they are flying barely-holding together ships that would have been at home on the flight deck of the ''Tiger's Claw'' ten or twenty years earlier.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'': The Gallian Militia unit that the protagonist commands is an example of a home-guard, constituting members of the nation from all ranks: singers, wealthy heiresses, university students, bakers...
* After the [[spoiler: ultimately-unsuccessful [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs coup attempt]] on the Citadel]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the Council authorizes the founding of a "Citadel Defense Force", structured as a reserve extension of the Citadel's existing police assets. Its initial strength is very low, but it serves as a catch-all for War Assets earned from completing various sidequests and [[TrainingThePeacefulVillagers can grow surprisingly large]] given enough care.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has the aptly named "Homeguard Regiment" of the Guardian Corps. They are tasked with defending the capital city Eden and are [[EliteArmy the toughest, most well-trained forces]] the GC has on hand.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'': Most UNSC planets have a force of Colonial Militia, who are often the first line of defense when standard UNSC forces are not present; it was the Harvest militia who fought humanity's first major battle against the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Covenant]]. However, the only militia seen in the games themselves are the Reach militiamen in ''VideoGame/HaloReach''[='s=] "Nightfall" level. While a number of more autonomous human worlds, like [[Film/HaloNightfall Sedra]] and [[Literature/HaloLastLight Gao]], maintain their own proper militaries (complete with starships), their equipment still is vastly inferior to those of standard UNSC forces; for example, the Sedran Colonial Guard's standard-issue pistol is ''200'' years out of date.
* ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' pits the [[RedsWithRockets Red Army]] [[InvadedStatesOfAmerica against various units of the U.S. National Guard]], mainly those from [[UsefulNotes/TheOtherRainforest Oregon and Washington]].


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', Mr. Garrison, Mr. Mackey, Uncle Jimbo, Ned, Randy Marsh and Chef are all either Colorado National Guardsmen or Army Reservists and they're called up during the American-Canadian War.


[[folder: Truth In Television ]]

* The TropeNamer is the British Home Guard, formed during the early years of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII (and disbanded soon after, when they were no longer needed).
** Normally the role is taken by the Territorial Army, which was formed in 1908 and currently forms about a quarter of the British Army's manpower. Since the TA was automatically mobilised when the war started, they needed a 'reserve for the reserves' once things got worse.
** It was never quite as poorly-equipped as some fictional examples, however; whilst most of its members were exempt from the draft by virtue of age or a minor disability, nearly all agricultural jobs -farm labourers, gamekeepers and such- were classified as essential war work, and a fair percentage of farm workers owned their own shotguns or small-game rifles. Once Lend-Lease equipment started arriving from the United States, the old First World War-era equipment hastily pressed into service for the regular forces was quickly handed down to them as well. American World War I-era weapons were also provided, which invariably went to the Home Guard because they used (for the British) non-standard ammunition.
** Then there was "Croft's Pikes", an unfortunate incident where a bit of hyperbole on Churchill's part[[note]]"every man must have a weapon of some kind, [[TemptingFate be it only a mace or pike]]"[[/note]] [[PoorCommunicationKills was misinterpreted]] and lead to some well-intentioned idiot at the War Office ordering the production of 250,000 pikes made from steel tubes and bayonet blades. This lead to a bit of a scandal, and the whole affair got named for Henry Page Croft, the Undersecretary of War, who tried to defend the decision by claiming that the pike was "a most effective and silent weapon". Accounts vary as to whether any Home Guard units were actually issued with the pikes, but if any of them did they shoved them in the back of the armoury and never used them for anything.
* In the U.S. this is called the National Guard, which traces its lineage back to [[OlderThanTheyThink 1636]], with the formation of the Massachusetts Bay Regiments, local militias formed together by the colonial government into larger units so they could more effectively deal with the Pequot tribes.
** In modern times, National Guardsmen typically are equipped with the same gear as their "Regular" Active Duty brethren, although up until the later years of the Cold War, it wasn't unusual for them to use obsolete equipment that had been cast off by the regular service, particularly for the Air Guard, since military aircraft are considerably more expensive than an infantryman's kit.
*** In addition to the National Guard, certain states even have a State Guard, essentially a National Guard writ small, which the Federal government has no claim to without the Governor's consent. These are typically intended to guarantee that the state will have at least a small reserve force of trained personnel if a crisis arises locally while the National Guard is deployed elsewhere.
* Latvian National Guard (Zemessardze) is the biggest military formation in the country, and have taken up role usually reserved for professional soldiers, like going to missions to other countries, like Iraq. They fit the TV version as their gear mostly is composed from used gear from other countries, like Sweden (most of it, for example, main small arm is Ak. 4 battle rifle, Swedish licensed version of HK G3A3) and USA (backpacks, presents from US National Guard). If you commit yourself into Zemessardze a bit further than your average recruit, you actually get a decent training though, especially in recon, or now, sadly, absent airborne. Often used as a "demo version" of professional armed forces by young men.
** And now they are part of EUBG (European Battle Group) 2013 together with professional soldiers from Lithuania, Sweden (CBRN), Dutch Marines and freakin' [[BadassArmy Royal Marine Commando]].
* Many Civil Defense organizations were founded at the national and local level throughout the US before and during WWII, with the Civil Air Patrol, described below, being one of the very few to remain in operation into the modern day. These organizations included volunteer firefighters, medics, militias, air raid wardens, and similar duties.
* The Civil Air Patrol is a civilian organization whose mission includes serving as an Auxiliary of the Air Force when needed. [[note]] Contrary to common belief, they are ''only'' an Auxiliary of the Air Force when serving in that role. The rest of the time, they are essentially a very large, civic-minded private flying club.[[/note]] Originally formed as a way for civil aviation to support the military in time of war [[note]]in most other belligerent countries, civil aviation was ceased during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. As it was, the timing proved perfect, as CAP became operational one week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the US into the war[[/note]], they are known for their [[IconicItem red and white Cessnas]], which they use both for pilot training and for performing search and rescue operations over the American wilderness.
** They also serve a function similar to the Boy Scouts or Junior ROTC, training youths and giving them something to do with their free time and giving them a chance to help their communities (among other things, kids in the organization can be trained and serve as Observers on official CAP missions, aiding in Search-and-Rescue operations, and many of them are certified as Disaster First Responders.)
** Those brightly colored civilian airplanes they fly around in? During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, they became something of a LethalJokeCharacter, when the CAP flew yellow-and-red private planes off the coasts looking for German U-Boats. There was little one of these planes could do to a U-Boat, given that they were unarmed ([[NotSoHarmless at first]]), but they could use their radios to [[SummonBiggerFish call for the]] [[DeathFromAbove Air Corps]], who would happily send a bomber to blow the interloper out of the water. If all else failed, CAP crews could [[RefugeInAudacity make unarmed mock attack runs at the subs]], spooking them into crash-diving and making it harder for them to track their targets. By the time the CAP's Coastal Patrol mission ended in August of 1943, the Civil Air Patrol was able to claim two German U-Boats sunk directly by CAP aircrews. It is worth noting that deploying the CAP to patrol against German warships, and later arming the civilian aircraft with bombs and depth charges, was seen by military leadership as a desperation tactic, driven by the sheer shortage of military manpower and equipment to patrol even US coastal waters.
** Other missions by the CAP included towing targets to help train Army AntiAir gunners (the inexperienced gunners only occasionally [[TrialByFriendlyFire tagged a CAP aircraft instead of the towed target by accident]]), performing patrol flights to assist border patrol personnel and to keep an eye out for forest fires (the US's woodlands were considered a strategic resource, and fighting wildfires required manpower and resources desperately needed for the war), as well as providing cargo flights for small but important cargoes between bases or factories.
** The CAP itself was formed via the mass merger of many smaller CD-oriented aerial organizations, to include national organizations such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's Civil Air Guard and state organizations such as the New Jersey Civil Air Defense Services (the latter considered to be the blueprint that the rest of CAP was organized according to)
* There are various other organizations which exist to serve as volunteers or auxiliaries during emergencies. For example, the [[http://www.arrl.org/ares Amateur Radio Emergency Service]] and the Military Auxiliary Radio Service both serve to provide government agencies with additional/backup communications support when needed. ARES can be particularly helpful during natural disasters which might wreck local communications infrastructure because Ham radio operators often practice traveling to austere locations and setting up radio stations, complete antennae and power supplies to communicate with (this practice is known by hams as a "[=DXpedition=]")
* Although it is very rare, the Boy Scouts themselves have been known to serve in this role in particularly trying times. The Polish Boy Scouts fought against the Germans during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII as part of LaResistance, often serving as scouts and messengers, and at one point late in the war even using ''tanks'' that they had captured from the Germans to help [[BigDamnHeroes liberate a Concentration Camp]].
* Near the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Nazi Germany had the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkssturm Volkssturm]]. Military service has been part of German culture for decades, so in theory, the Nazis would be able to scrounge up a massive reserve force that could hold off the Soviets. However, in practice, the majority of Volkssturm members were old men and veterans of the First World War. It pretty much boiled down to giving someone a gun and hoping they could kill enough Russians.
** Hitler Youth often ended up manning anti-aircraft guns in Germany. This was actually a fairly sensible use for them as they could at least load and fire and the officers could be trusted with figuring out what to fire at.
* Greek Hoplites ("shieldmen") were traditionally composed of anyone who could own a farm and pay for a shield and corselet. In Athens that was for a long time the main qualification for voting. They were actually fairly effective in a limited manner for bunched up in a phalanx they could trample over anything except another phalanx. Their weakness was that they could not go on long campaigns far away from home as easily as professionals.
* The railroad made putting reserves into battle a practical possibility in the nineteenth century. Prussia gained an advantage over its enemies by realizing first that its soldiers no longer needed to march until they reached the actual battlefield and thus unseasoned reserves had a chance of getting into action without falling by the roadside (as a result of disease and general sluggishness).
* The concept of the Home Guard in England is OlderThanFeudalism. [[note]]Which only began with the Norman Conquest of 1066[[/note]]. The core of the Anglo-Saxon armies which fought against the Danes and Norsemen from about 650 AD onwards was callef the ''Fyrd''. Essentially in a time of trouble, every able-bodied male betwen fourteen and sixty who could hold some sort of weapon was called up to fight under the immediate command of their local lord. The Thegn was expected to see the men on his lands received ''some'' sort of military training, were provisioned whilst at war, and where practicable received weapons and armour. In practice men of the Fyrd, where they hadn't inherited legacy armour or weapons, or taken them off a dead enemy as booty of war, had to make do with whatever they could scrounge - leather jerkins, or else spears hastily assembled from farm tools. The bulk of the fighting was done by the relatively small standing army. And no Anglo-Saxon army chose to fight during the harvest: the Fyrd tended to consider getting the crops in was more important than warfare.
* After the Islamic State captured most of northern Iraq in 2014 and the Iraqi Army collapsed, then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the creation of one of these to compensate for the loss of their losses, creating the ''Popular Mobilisation Units''. By all accounts, they were able to halt the group's advance until the Army recovered and the two are currently working alongside to kick the group out of Iraq.
* Following the start of the Syrian Civil War, the Syrian Government decided to arm trusted local communities (usually minorities such as Druze and Christians) to focus Syrian Army (which was suffering massive manpower shortages at the time) on more important theaters. The implication was that these communities were not as loyal or ideologically invested in the Ba'ath Party [[EnemyMine but still did not wish to see]] the (mostly Islamist) rebels win. By 2013, they were amalgamated into the ''National Defence Forces'' alongside [[TheDreaded the Shabiha]] to form an organised response. As of 2016, they field as many fighters (albeit part-time) as the Syrian Army.