The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.16: "The Congress shall … reserve to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress." Under this provision in the Constitution, the states had the right to appoint their own militia officers as well as to train and discipline them.
The Founders and the people in general were greatly concerned about the possibility of the federal government taking control of the state militias. The Founders included in the Constitution provisions that "the states would have exclusive authority to do two things: 1) Appoint their own officers in charge of the militia. 2) Have charge of the training program prescribed by Congress.
"It was understood, of course, that if the state militias were called up in a national crisis, they would serve under superior officers representing the
military services. However, their own officers would continue to function at their established level of authority under the federal officers appointed by the President as commander-in-chief." (See The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p 454.) United States