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The use of “State of New York” in our name is both historically accurate, and part of our official name since our founding. Formal application for recognition as an independent New York Corps of Artillery was granted by George Clinton, Governor of the State of New York, on 16 February 1791. Although the VCA, is recognized by federal and state law including New York Military Law, the VCA is no longer considered part of the “organized militia”.
Under New York State Military law Section 238-c, “It shall be unlawful for any person to appear in any public place or in the public view attired in any uniform similar to that worn by the military, semi-military, naval, police, storm troop or other official or semi-official forces of any foreign state, nation or government, or attired in any distinctive part or parts of such a uniform, or to assemble with other persons similarly attired in any camp, drill ground or other place for the purpose of engaging in military drill or training or other military practices. In specific reference to the U.S. Army uniform, the VCA has adopted the uniform since early in its founding. Today the members or soldiers of the Veteran Corps of Artillery, State of New York are entitled by law to wear the uniform under the National Defense Act (Public No 85, 64th Congress – HR 12766) It states: “All Corps of Artillery, Cavalry or Infantry existing in any of the States on the passage of the Act of May 8th, 1792, which by law, custom or usage of said States has been in continuous existence since the passage of said Act under its provisions and under the provisions of Section 232 and Section 1625 to 1660, both inclusive of the title 16 of the Revised Statutes of 1873, and the Act of January 21st, 1903, relating to the Militia, shall, be allowed to retain its ancient privileges, subject nevertheless to all duties required by law of Militia; Provided, That said organizations may be a part of the National Guard and entitled to all privileges of the Act, and shall conform in all respects to the organization, discipline and training of the National Guard in time of War;”
While technically true under federal law, this is never going to happen. The last times the VCA went into federal service, was during the War of 1812 when the unit was the first to volunteer in New York State, and during World War I, when the VCA raised and volunteered several hundred members into service. While a few of the members were sent overseas on behalf of the U.S. Army, most were pressed into State duty guarding the reservoirs and been available as the state required.