"… Californians, especially notoriously good fighters, were standing up to the rack like men, dealing out to us the best they had. They rallied at every call on them and went down with banners flying."
-John W. Munson, Commenting on the California Cavalry Battalion from Reminiscences of a Mosby Guerrilla.
Spanish Soldado de Cuera - circa 1790 (US Army Art Collection)
Welcome to California Military History Online!

Thank you for taking the time to visit our web site. We hope you find it educational and enlightening.

It should be noted that this site does not glorify war. Rather, its intent is to remind this and future generations of the sacrifices made by previous generations to keep our state and nation free.

Californians have a long and proud tradition of service that stretches back over two centuries when Alta California was a Spanish colony and later a Mexican province. Since joining the Union, California has provided more of its citizens to our common defense than any other state. From the lonely 18th century colonial presidios of the El Real Ejército de California (Royal Spanish Army of California) to the mountains of Afghanistan, Californians have always been there and continue the tradition of selfless service.

Californians who have served our nation reads like a who's who of American Military History. Generals William T. Sherman, Henry Halleck and Joseph Hooker all served in the California State Militia before the Civil War. Many of the leaders on both sides of that war served in California. The California Volunteers were among the first to enter Manila during the Spanish-American War. Nelson Holderman, considered by many to be the most decorated American soldier of the First World War, served in the California National Guard before and after the war. Generals George Patton and James Doolittle were native Californians and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz and General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold considered California their home state.

Again, thanks for "surfing in" and we hope you visit us soon.

Status of the California State Military Museum System
SACRAMENTO, February 2017: Six months ago we announced the ground breaking of the new California State Military Museum in Sacramento. Since then we have been making steady progress. Since then the museum team has:
While we will use some appropriated funds for the development of the site, many items such as new display cases, mannequins, mobile display sets and conservation and restoration supplies and services will need to be funded by private donors and sponsorships.
We would encourage you to consider making a tax deductible donation to the California State Military Museum via the California Military Department Support Fund.
The Military Department Support Fund (MDSF)
On January 1, 2013, the State of California amended California Military & Veterans Code Section 412.5 to allow the California Military Department to conduct its own fundraising! This law is similar in concept to the federal Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) laws but is far more powerful and provides greater capabilities. The California Military Department Support Fund created the statute, which authorizes the Adjutant General to establish specified support programs for the benefit of California Service Members and their families, and to support military-sponsored youth programs throughout the state. To accomplish this goal, the state authorizes the Military Department to solicit and accept funds, donations, equipment, and services from private individuals, organizations and companies.
On May 1, 2015, the Adjutant General approved California Military Department Regulation 215-1, which operationalizes this law. It provides the framework to allow the Military Department to move forward on fundraising and procedures to ensure internal controls and other processes are transparent and accountable. The Soldiers and Airmen of the California National Guard have tremendous needs that are separate and distinct from the regular active component military.
These tax-deductible donations could be used for quality-of-life programs that directly support readiness by providing a variety of community, unit, and family support programs, as well as activities and services for our Soldiers, Airmen, and cadets. Included would be military history and museum, social, fitness, recreational, educational, and other programs that enhance community life, foster unit readiness, promote mental and physical fitness, and provide a working environment that attracts and retains quality soldiers and airmen.

How to Donate

Online Donations

Go to our fundraising website.
Please make checks payable to the "California Military Department Support Fund" with "Museum" in the memo area, and send them to
California Military Department
ATTN: SSG Carl E. Trujillo (Box 42)
9800 Goethe Rd
Sacramento, CA 95826.

Contact Information
For more information on monetary donations to the MDSF contact:
SSG Carl E. Trujillo
Email: carl.e.trujillo.mil@mail.mil
For more information on the museum contact
SGM (CA) Daniel M. Sebby
Artifact Donations
Currently we are only accepting artifact donations on an exception basis only. Please email description and photos to curator@militarymuseum.org
Approved by CMD PAO, MDSF & Dir of Mus Opns

SACRAMENTO, September 2016: Opened in 1991, The California State Military Museum was operated for the California Military Department by a non-profit organization, as the State did not have a mechanism to receive donated artifacts and funds. The museum operated under this arrangement until 2013 when a combination of factors resulted in the termination of the relationship with that non-profit organization. At the same time the state's budget crisis and limitations on state funds resulted in the closing of the Sacramento museum, which was occupying very expensive commercial rental property in Old Sacramento. In the interim, the Camp Roberts Historical Museum is functioning as the State's official military museum and US Army Museum Activity until the Sacramento museum is reestablished. The Military Department's strategic plan for the museum system is located HERE
The California Military Department is proud to announce the planned reestablishment of the California State Military Museum as part of an overall statewide museum system. On June 30, 2016, The Adjutant General of California, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, and the commanding general of the California State Military Reserve, Brig. Gen. (CA) Frank Emanuel, symbolically broke ground at the site of the California State Military Museum and Center for Military History at its new site located at 2814 B Street in Midtown Sacramento. The three- acre, state- owned site consists of 75,000 square feet of display, educational, administration and artifact storage and conservation space.

The site, currently a Military Department logistical facility, will be converted in stages to a state-of-the-art museum and historical research center focusing on all aspects of military history as it relates to California and its people. The museum's coverage will span from 1769, with the establishment of the first Spanish military presence in San Diego, to the present fight against terrorism.
To view the groundbeaking of the new museum complex in Sacramento, CLICK HERE

The Sacramento museum will be an addition to the already established museum at the Camp Roberts Maneuver Training Center located in Southern Monterey County. In addition to these two public museums, major exhibit areas are going to be located at Camp San Luis Obispo, the Joint Forces Training Base-Los Alamitos and Fresno Air National Guard Base.

Leadership for this enterprise rests with Col. (CA) Fred Rutledge, commander of the State Military Reserve's Military Heritage Command, and Sgt. Maj. (CA) Dan Sebby serving as military historian and curator of the California Military Department.

You can support the museum system by making a contribution to the California State Military Museums
HERE. A recent change in California state law now gives the California Military Department the authority to solicit and receive tax-deductible monetary contributions for the California State Military Museum System without requiring the use of an outside non-profit organization.

For your tax- planning purposes here are the Federal and California tax citations:
You can follow the progress of the museum enterprise at the new California State Military Museums' Facebook page.

If you have any questions, please e-mail

(Approved CMD PAO 12 Aug 16)
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