I think mention of the militia is irrelevant. It wasn't voluntary at all, quite the opposite, and, by the way, it didn't include women. It had nothing to do with personal defense either. The training, true, was relatively minimum, and it occurred at the periodic muster. True, some members had better skills than others and that's true even now in the armed forces. But this same militia took to the field and, sometimes, did as well as or better than the professionals. Remember also that the training was to increase their efficiency as a unit more than anything. Overall, however, the militia system was inadequate and they finally had to concede a standing army was necessary after all.
Shoot low, sheriff. They're riding Shetlands!
Underneath the starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
and return us to our own beloved homes!
Buy War Bonds.