The militia was regarded by many as a training ground for the regular army but without the full-time commitment demanded of a career soldier. As usual, the Army Book for The British Empire, published in 1893, contains some very useful information on enlistment into the militia, discharge from it, and re-enlistment.
Supply of men (a) Recruits
The recruit is enlisted for six years, and for the county in which he is raised. A militiaman, if under the age of 45, may engage for a further period of four years and may be re-enlisted for a period of four years up to the age of 45. He may not be transferred to the militia of another territorial regiment without his consent, but an infantry militiaman may be removed, if required, to any other battalion of the territorial regiment to which he belongs.
On termination of engagement by purchase, on conviction of felony, and as invalids, the discharge of militiamen may be carried out by officers commanding a militia unit without reference to higher authority. Discharges for misconduct (other than felony) must be referred to the general officer commanding the district.
(c) Enlistment into other Forces
If a militiaman wishes to enlist in the army or navy during the period of his training, he obtains from his commanding officer a "conditional discharge" pending his being released from his engagement. When not up for training or drill, a militiaman wishing to enlist into the army or navy can be attested at once.
A recruit enlisted for a militia unit receives no bounty on enlistment, but receives a bounty varying from £1 to £1 10 shillings on dismissal to his home from recruit drill, preliminary drill and training, under certain rules which are laid down. A militiaman receives an annual bounty of £1 on the expiration of his annual training, under certain restrictions. Every sergeant of militia who has joined on discharge from the army as a non-commissioned officer receives an annual bounty of £3 on the expiration of each training intended to stimulate non-commissioned officers of the regular forces to join the militia as sergeants.
Every militiaman on re-engagement receives a bounty of £1 10 shillings and an annual bounty of £1 10 shillings on expiration of training. Men who enlist for the militia after discharge from the regular army, army reserve, navy or marines receive a bounty of £1 10 shillings. A militiaman enlisted or re-enlisted for the militia reserve receives a bounty of £1 in advance for each year of service in the militia. A militiaman who, when up for drill on enlistment, preliminary drill or training, enlists into the regular army, receives a bounty of £1.