Armed forces

California leads the 50 states in defense contracts received, numbers of National Guardsmen and military veterans, veterans' benefit payments, and funding for police forces.

In 2002, the US Department of Defense had 123,9548 active-duty military personnel and 58,076 civilian personnel in California. Army military personnel totaled 7,932; the Navy (including Marines), 96,047; and the Air Force, 19,969 Army bases are located at Oakland and San Francisco, and naval facilities in the San Diego area. There are weapons stations at Concord and Seal Beach, and supply depots at Oakland and San Pedro. The Marine Corps training base, Camp Pendleton, is at Oceanside. The Air Force operates three main bases—McClellan AFB at Sacramento, Travis AFB at Fairfield, and Norton AFB at San Bernardino—and numerous smaller installations. In 2001, California companies were awarded $19.9 billion in defense contracts, more than two times the total for Texas and nearly 15% of the US total. Defense Department expenditures in California were approximately $36.5 billion in 2002, $23.8 billion for contracts and about $12.3 billion for payroll

There were 2,569,340 veterans of US military service in California as of 2000, of whom 504,010 served in World War II; 301,034 in the Korean conflict; 754,682 during the Vietnam era; and 278,003 during 1990–2000 (including the Persian Gulf War). Veterans' benefits paid to Californians in 2002 exceeded $4.4 billion.

California's military forces consist of the Army and Air National Guard, the naval and state military reserve (militia), and the California Cadet Corps. In 2000, the California Highway Patrol employed 6,678 full-time sworn officers.