And the alternative [to voting] is…
Be specific. And detailed.
Because I really want to hear it.
The people in this country who truly cherish freedom in all of its manifestations (thought, guns, speech, religion, association, private property, etc.) had better darned skippy get used to the idea that we are a cursed minority and will be for the foreseeable future.
The simple formula is this:
- We’re screwed
- There’s gonna be a fight
- Let’s win
Your posts on the courts and freedom issues in general mean that I don’t have to make the case for “we’re screwed” with you.
BTW, thanks for all that you have taught me through your writing.
So we move to “there’s gonna be a fight”.
Ain’t no way that the transnational socialists can leave an armed, educated, defiant remnant intact to cut and slash at their Utopian schemes at every opportunity. The tranzis have to do everything in their power to disarm (literally, perhaps, but certainly educationally and psychologically; see generally Snyder, Walter Mitty’s Second Amendment) everyone they can.
The reality is that the fight has been on for some sixty (or more) years.
You know that, per your writings.
So on to the fun part – “let’s win”.
Step one in “let’s win” is to refuse any further collaboration in our demise. That’s Billy Beck’s point – delude yourself all you want with your participatory democracy fantasies, but leave me the hell out of it.
Withholding collaboration takes many forms, however. It involves getting physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the really hard stuff. Specific steps include the following:
1) Fix teeth
2) Lose weight
3) Start walking at a fast pace regularly (1 mile 4x weekly)
4) Start working 25 yard jogs into your walks
5) Eat less and eat better
6) Get a complete physical
7) Stockpile any needed maintenance drugs
8) Start weightlifting by doing rifle dry-fire snaps (start with rifle at low ready, bringing up and dropping hammer just as sights align on light switch) 25 reps for strong side and weak side 3X/weekly
9) Integrate a light (20 lb.) pack into your walk/jogs
10) Bring one’s spouse along as much and as quickly as possible.
- read and assimilate the resistance canon (Heinlein, Ross, Vanderboegh, Bracken, Suarez, Royce, von Dach Bern, etc.)
- read and assimilate the economic canon (Hayek, von Mises, etc.)
- read and assimilate the political canon (DoI, USC, BoR, Spooner, DiLorenzo, Bovard, etc.)
- Get square with God as you understand Him. Even if atheist or agnostic, one needs a Larger Context in which to place the upcoming suffering and struggle.
- Sort the sheep from the goats in one’s immediate circle. In some cases, that may mean divorce/separation, estrangement from children, parents, or other relatives, and the loss of friends. Better now than when the excitement has begun.
- For those remaining, get them up to speed on all fronts as much and as quickly as they can handle. Your associates’ ability to digest all of the bitter medicine that they must swallow will no doubt be a source of frustration. Keep trying.
- Understand, at a profound level, how our lives as mortal creatures are both fleeting and as meaningful or as meaningless as we make them. Commit to yourself and to your ideals that you will spend the remaining days of your life wisely and in furtherance of those eternal truths.
Now, compared to that list, do you really think it matters whether one votes for McCain, Obama, Barr, or the write-in candidate of one’s choice?
I respectfully submit that it matters not one whit.
Declare yourself into freedom, just as the Founders did 232 years ago.
Then do everything you can to defend that freedom, even unto death.
And I mean everything.
Remember too the cannibal’s paradox – that the time spent in overcoming a taboo can so debilitate the prospective actor that the action taken fails for being too late.
Keep bashing on, amigo.
Yesterday, a commenter on this post asked:
OK, but what is the average John Q Public to do?
The list above is a pretty good start, and I would add the following elements upon further consideration:
Psychological Toughening/Stress Inoculation: Start to wrap your brain around the fact that you will likely be committing multiple felonies, misdemeanors, and regulatory violations as part of your personal path to victory. Those folks who plan to survive in the new reality but currently pride themselves on being good, law-abiding citizens had best get over that silliness forthwith. After all, as Ayn Rand pointed out more than fifty years ago in Atlas Shrugged:
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Look around and tell me that we have not crossed that legal Rubicon.
Given the current situation, ’tis best to get on with your new life as a criminal. As a warm-up exercise, I’d suggest violation of at least one malum prohibitum law per day — be it speeding, tax avoidance, unauthorized concealed carry of a deadly weapon, removing the flow restrictions on showerheads and faucets, tossing a rock through an appropriate statist window, or any other of an almost-infinite number of other meaningless rules.
Embrace the life of a malum prohibitum criminal every day, and insist that others in your tribe do the same.
I am not going down the list path in this post, other than to remind you that you’d best be getting your “Six Bs” finalized before the the current “rip-your-face-off” suckers’ rally ends in the financial markets.
What are the Six Bs?
Beans: Food for a minimum of one year for each member of your tribe.
Bullets: A bare minimum of a long arm capable of killing a man at 100 yards for every tribe member over the age of 10, along with a bare minimum of 1000 rounds of ammunition for each long arm. Every adult (16 and above) should also have a centerfire pistol and no less than 500 rounds of ammunition for the sidearm. Holsters, slings, and webgear will be essential as well.
Bandaids: Medical supplies to allow your tribe to survive disease and/or injury without reference to existing medical systems.
Brains: Training and reference works to operate and sustain all of the bean/bullets/bandaids elements above.
Balls: Courage and sheer willpower will be dispositive. Strengthen yours and that of each tribe member.
Buddies: You will need a minimum of 14 like-minded people to stand even a basic lookout watch on a 7/24/365 basis. Got real friends? You’re gonna need ‘em.
The bug-out/bug-in debate is handled ad nauseum elsewhere. My point here is that wherever you are, you’d best have a detailed plan (along with several back-up plans) for how you and your tribe are going to defend your space. Remember, too, that defending space (i.e., fixed positions) is how hajii has been dying in droves in Iraq and Afghanistan; many of the people coming to hurt you will have had experience in the “fix ‘em and then kill ‘em” tactics used by the .mil in those struggles. Ergo, best to have a “going mobile” component to your plan — or, as a wise man once told me, “Don’t plan on being where they know you live if you want to keep living.”
When John Q Public is squared away on those items, I’ll bet this blog’s smart readership will have other “to-do” lists to keep the Public tribe moving towards victory.
And defining “victory”?
1) Survive the first die-off.
2) Keep your kids alive.
3) Kill the enemy.
4) Keep fighting.
5) Stay alive.
Audentes fortunat iuvat.
Black Jack’s 10 Week Plan to Prepare for the Worst Case Scenario
Folks, this paper was sent to me by Dr. Enigma, by way of the drop box at NITMIL, Inc. (NITMIL is an acronym for “Necessity Is The Mother of Invention Laboratories”). NITMIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alabama Bootleg Industries, Inc., which deals in books, industrial solvents of a potable nature and importing without reference to inconvenient borders. The fact that this holding company has the same initials as the Alabama Bureau of Investigation is strictly coincidental, as far as you know. It is only slightly dated, and you certainly wouldn’t be amiss if you started to implement these suggestions yesterday.
Black Jack’s 10 Week Plan to Prepare for the Worst Case Scenario.
Photo Image #1
You may think, “WORST case?? Why plan? There’s nothing I can do.” Well, for one thing, that’s just not true! Many folks just like you don’t agree with that mind set. There’s a lot you can do! And, if this plan helps get you thinking of what you can do instead of what you can’t do, we all might just benefit from your action! In fact, if enough folks begin to think about what they can do, we just might avert the “worst case”! So, while you’re reading this, keep that thought in mind, ok?
This plan is divided into two parts: The items required and the timetable to do it in. Remember, prudent people see danger coming and prepare while the foolish do nothing and suffer for it. To put us all on an equal footing for the case presented, let’s get ready to plan by using the following scenario as a back drop:
As we all know, there are 10 Weeks between Presidential Election & Inauguration. Let’s just say a “progressive” candidate (both major party candidates fit this political definition) is elected and the results are vetted without Supreme Court challenge. Surprisingly, between election and inauguration, the President-Elect begins making statements of regarding the “unrecoverable status” of the American economy and the existence of “too much freedom” and the responsibility and importance of adopting “world-approved” laws and customs. Of course, there’s the usual blather by several members of Congress, but the general consensus is, “our hands are tied – the People have spoken”. Then nothing in the press until Inauguration Day +3, when the new President issues a Presidential Directive (PDD) put into force by an Executive Order that orders the surrender of all semi-automatic weapons and ammunition to prepare for the unilateral integration of the United States of America into the North American Region of the United Nations, to be referred to in the future as the “North American Union”. The new President has his first press conference and declares a national “State of Emergency” and invokes powers abdicated earlier by Congress with various acts signed into law by previous presidents of both parties. He disbands both houses of Congress and nullifying the checks and balances of the judicial branch. All media organizations are nationalized; all television, telephone, cell phone, cable providers are nationalized. All internet hubs are shut down with only those persons “cleared and licensed” to have access authorized to use it. All local, county, and State police forces are federalized and ordered to perform house to house sweeps for weapons, anti-government leaning periodicals, books and magazines, and to arrest anyone, no matter their age, who questions their authority. Anyone refusing to cooperate is to be given one warning, and then they are to be shot. To augment the relatively small number of formerly civilian police, the President has requested and been granted the aid of a UN “Peacekeeping Force” comprised of units from the People’s Republic of China, Mexico, Iran, Russia, France, and Zimbabwe. Troops and equipment will begin to arrive within 24 hours of the news conference. The nation is under “Martial Law” and has freedom is now in a life and death struggle with tyranny. What you choose to do personally will have a definite impact on your children’s, your children’s children, and your children’s children’s children future in these United States!
So, how do you get ready for something like that? Not possible you say? Think for a moment: The Law of Unintended Consequences usually provides extreme results beyond those anticipated or planned in any situation it becomes involved with. So, that being said, let’s examine this, even if only from an academic perspective.
First, is the scenario plausible? Many seem to think so, but what’s relevant is what you think. So, before you go any further, you need to make a determination: Is this a bunch of paranoid “tin foil hat” crap or maybe, just maybe, is there something to this and you, gentle reader, need to do something positive to take care of your family and friends. If you had the time (which you don’t, believe me), you could do your own investigation from objective sources, file Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA) and find that it is, in fact, not only plausible, but the stage is being set for just such an eventuality.
If you decide the scenario isn’t plausible, just toss this out. Delete. File 13. Trash. Round file. I hope you enjoy your life and are prosperous. However, if you decide the scenario is plausible, you have much to think about, much to do, and much to gain in the way of putting yourself, your family and your friends in a better position.
Think about it. I’ll wait. You’re still here?
Ok, let’s get started.
Before anything else you have to understand that you have very limited time in the way of making purchases, so you need to read this, comprehend it, and take decisive action! No putting this off until after the “holidays” (you and your family’s Christmas presents should be what you need to survive what’s coming!). Everything mentioned herein will get more expensive by the day, then, as time grows shorter, by the hour. The old rule of, “you snooze, you lose” will take on major significance to you personally in this case, because what you lose might just be your life, or at the minimum, what’s left of your tattered freedom!
So, what’s the first thing you buy? You can argue all you want, but the simple answer is to take stock of what you have on hand right now, because that will be your determining factor. If you have a rifle (even a .22) but you don’t have something that will either provide or help you get things you must have to live, you don’t necessarily need a weapon first. Like what? How about a water purifier of some sort? How about non-perishable food items?
How about hygiene items? The list can go on, but the point is not to presume that a bigger, better weapon is the first thing. It may very well be the first thing you want, but you must make yourself think in terms of needs based upon what is instead of what may be or is not. For the point of discussion, though, we’ll assume you don’t have a rifle and start there.
Rifle: All things being equal and you have reasonable vision and average muscle control and dexterity, if you can only have one weapon, make it a rifle. A rifle has more power, more ability to stop and put down any target at ranges in excess of a pistol/revolver or shotgun’s maximum effective range. A quick example of “knock down” power: A 300 Winchester Magnum with a 200 grain bullet that hits its target at 1,000 yards (to illustrate how far this is, you would have to take 36 inch steps every second for 16 and a half minutes to walk 1,000 yards) with more energy than a .44 Magnum does as “point blank” range. Get the picture? Something or someone hit with a rifle goes down and usually does not get back up. Period. So, what rifle? Simplicity is the key here, especially as you may have only shot a rifle a few times in your life or others who will use the rifle fall into that category. So, you need a rifle that’s easy to learn to operate, doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, is fairly accurate, and won’t take all the money you have available to purchase. Here’s an example that fits those requirements:
Photo image #2
This is the German K98 Mauser, chambered in 8mm.
The K98 or M48 Mauser (later model) is rugged, can take down anything in North America, ammunition is cheap, and it’s maintenance requirements are extremely simple! Cost: Around $300 for “Service Grade” for the rifle and about $250 for a 900 round case of Yugoslavian ammunition. So, for about $550 or so, you have the weapon category taken care of. The really nice thing about older rifles like this is that if all else fails, they are superb clubs and will put down whomever they are hit with. If you have a bit more disposable income, or you are a hunter and don’t need extensive training or are ex-military and want a more prolific weapon that you may have had some familiarization with (although not at powerful – military veterans still complain of hitting an enemy 3 to 4 times before they go down just to get back up again), you may want to consider the ubiquitous AR-15 carbine family or its descendants.
Photo Image #3
Bushmaster M4 Clone – .223 Caliber w/ 16 inch barrel
These will cost you anywhere from $750 to $1200, depending on the source, and ammunition will run from $250 to $350 per 1000 rounds.
Then you have to add in at least five 30 round magazines, so that will be another $50 at the bare minimum, again, depending on your source. So, at the low end, you’re talking about $1,050; at the high end, $1,600 or so. It’s your call. Remember this: The more complex the weapon, the more intricate its cleaning and maintenance requirements are and the more training required to effectively operate it.
A quick disclaimer: All costs have been taken from July 2008 advertisements, well before the upcoming National election and likely price increases if the more liberal of the candidates are elected, Supreme Court decisions not withstanding.
To be sure, there are many other fine weapons you could go with, but the two examples cited above give you an idea of the spectrum you can operate in when you are getting your “kit” together. The 1,000 round examples with each rifle are considered to be a minimum of what one would need to stay viable in a scenario such as described above for an extended period. Something else you need to know: You are your own supply chain. You cannot count on having someone to provide extra, so everything you have needs to be able to fill more than one function.
Ammunition: Just like with the weapon category, there are many, many types of ammunition you could elect to purchase. The examples above were military surplus “full metal jacket” or FMJ examples. FMJ is a good, all around general purpose bullet. It doesn’t expand like hunting rounds, but it rarely fails to chamber and can reliably kill any animal or adversary you need it to take down. If you’re not an experienced shooter, don’t waste your time and money trying to get several types of ammunition for different purposes; get the FMJ and use the money you have left to get other items you’ll need. As previously mentioned, the standard “rule of thumb” is that for each rifle you depend on, 1,000 rounds should be held in reserve to ensure you have a reasonable supply if ever needed. Remember, without ammunition, a rifle is basically an interesting paper weight.
Food: All food consider for this sort of emergency planning must be non-perishable and easily transportable. Not necessarily very light (though that helps), but transportable, meaning compactable, easily packed, able to be put in other containers, water/moisture proof, etc. Power bars, granola, tuna kits (especially the foil packet), peanut butter, honey, dried soups, etc. Light is good. Heavy is not so good. You might be in a position that you have to transport on foot the things you need in order to stay out of the net cast by the nefarious elements in the scenario at the beginning of this paper. For example, if you have the choice between canned soups that are ‘ready to eat’ and ‘condensed’ soups you add water for preparation, the condensed soups should get the nod, because you get relatively the same volume of soup for about a third of the weight. Taking that a step further, if you have dried soup mixes that are vacuum sealed and water tight, you should choose those because they’re about 5 to 10% of the weight of the condensed variety, and you can pack quite a bit more. Get the picture?
You could also choose the ubiquitous “MRE” of military fame or the freeze dried foods mountain climbers use. You could choose to take your entire stock of canned foods in your vehicle (just make sure you use these first incase you have to abandon your vehicle and you don’t have a pack horse handy!). What is essential is that you have a minimum of 1300 calories a day per person in your party for a minimum of 14 days. If you were using full MRE packs, which would mean each person would have to be able to carry 14 MRE’s. That’s quite a bit. Don’t despair, however. Creativity counts here. Through experimentation, I’ve found that 4 MRE tubes of peanut butter and one MRE pack of “trail mix” (peanuts, raisins, and ‘chocolate discs’ (military jargon for M&M’s) equals 1350 calories. Add in a 400 calorie “energy bar” and you have just under 2000 calories for one day. This little recipe also has almost the perfect mix of fat, protein, and carbohydrates required for optimum nutrition. The bottom line here is that you know what you and yours can and can’t eat (due to allergies). So you have to make the decision. The bottom line is that you need food for a couple of weeks (this is just travel food) and for at least 6 months (absolute bare minimum) in your pantry at home against the possibilities of interruption of the supply chain. Remember, our scenario here is national martial law reinforced by UN ‘peacekeepers’. The supply chain is mostly driven by over-the-road trucks, and a shut down of the interstate system would be just about required for this scenario to work.
When it comes to food in your pantry, or ‘larder’ as I call it, make sure you have things like cooking oil, flour, dried beans, yeast, and sea salt in addition to the various canned and comfort goods. One way to increase the size of your larder so it’s not noticed by anyone, including store employees wondering why you have 5 shopping carts full of canned goods, would be to added 4 to 6 cans of whatever each shopping trip. And, as you go through your items at home, cycle through them, using the oldest first and replacing those with ‘new’ items with much later expiration dates.
Lastly, water has to be added to the food category, as many meals, especially those with dried ingredients, require the addition of water for pre-cooking preparation or rehydration (in the case of some beans, soup mixes, or other dehydrated offerings).
In “normal” circumstances, people use several gallons a day for hydration, hygiene, and cooking purposes. In a scenario such as the one we are planning for, this is one of those things that must change immediately! Chances are that water could/would be cut-off as a measure of control or as a result of utility workers not being allowed or able to reach their workplaces. The bottom line is that to depend upon a municipal water system in our scenario is just asking for trouble! To mitigate that possibility, two water sources must be developed. The first, for in the home, is stored water. Storing water isn’t difficult or very expensive at all. All you need to do is go to your local discount house and get two 6 gallon water containers for camping (you know, the one’s with the spigots?) per person. They’re about $7 each. The cost for the ubiquitous American family of four would be under $30. Once at home, take ¼ cup of unscented chlorine bleach and ¾ cup of water, mix it, and rinse out each container. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then rinse again with clean water and let it dry. Now fill it to the brim and add 8 drops of the same unscented bleach per gallon (48 drops from an eyedropper for a 6 gallon container) and fill it up with water to the brim! Try not to leave any air bubbles. Put the lid on it snugly, and keep it in the basement out of the way. Just as it is, this water can be used for a year or more with no ill effects for anyone who drinks it. If in doubt, you can always add 8 more drops of bleach per gallon after the year, year and a half or so has gone by and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before you consume it. As long as no algae or moss grows around it, you’re golden. A smart move is to rotate the water out once a year (if things don’t go South before then!). Take the old water and use it for whatever you want. I personally water my wife’s flowers and the vegetable garden.
In reserve, if things get really bad, you always have your hot water heater to drain as well as your pipes. Once you lose water pressure, get some containers down to the lowest spigot you have in your home (usually your basement). Then, turn on the cold water and fill up your containers until the water runs out. Don’t turn on the hot water! Not yet, anyway. Wait until you know for sure the supply of cold water is not coming back anytime soon. In the mean time, get a section of hose with the female end; 8 feet is more than enough. Attach it to the bottom of your hot water heater. You now have a way to drain your hot water heater into a container as you need it. Most homes have 30 to 50 gallon water heaters, which are a superb reserve that will extend your range of comfort, nutrition (cooking water), hydration, and hygiene for quite awhile, relatively speaking. Apartment and condo dwellers, unless they have individual water heaters, only have the option of getting to the lowest spigot in the facility and getting extra water that way.
What about if you move out? You need something to ensure any water you forage is safe to drink. First, forget the hype about camping “water filters”. Filters are ok, but they are not guaranteed to purify your water at all. So you need something a bit better. This option is the best option currently available today, but it is relatively expensive – almost as expensive as your rifle. But look at it this way: This system guarantees at least 1000 gallons of purified water from any source. The risk of cooking, drinking, and washing with contaminated water is virtually nullified!
Photo Image #4
The “Life Saver Bottle”
This water purification system with a spare filter, will provide up to 2105 gallons of safe drinking water from any source! That’s right – any source. It was developed for the military and is not yet widely sold or known.
The basic model costs $249 and one replacement filter costs $149, so we’re talking $400. If you have an extra hundred bucks, get the 6000 model for $299 with a replacement filter for $199. It will give you over 3,150 gallons of water for $500 – about 16 cents a gallon in today’s dollar value. Not too shabby! Here’s the link: http://www.htistore.com/lifesaverbottle4000yellow.aspx .
One of the superb benefits of this system is that you don’t need to carry water on your person if you move away from your home. Sure, you might want a quart or two on you for convenience, but all you need to have is this system and when you find water, fill it up and start drinking. If weight became an issue, and you had one of these, you’d not have a problem any longer.
On the low end, and for emergencies, you can get something for about $25 called, “The Survival Straw”. I’ve used it in relatively clear pond and stream/lake water with no ill effects whatsoever. It’s good for about 5,000 gallons, but does not guarantee what the Life Saver Bottle does. Buy one for each member of your family if you can as a back up, or, if you can’t afford anything else, it’s better than most of the filters on the market.
Caution: Don’t fall prey to the idea that “doing it on the cheap” will be just as good as spending everything you can afford to spend. Cheap is as cheap does! You get what you pay for! You skimp, you lose! This would be the time, if you didn’t have the cash, to use your credit card or savings. This is THE rainy day you’ve been saving for! Get the very best you can afford! Get the picture?
Medications: Everyone needs to know that they should always have on hand at least a three month supply of required medications for any emergency! To do otherwise is risking certain death, especially in the scenario we’re operating under. Whatever it takes to get your med supply up to par, do. If you have refills, get them as quickly as possible and keep the spares in a “go kit” that you cycle through, just like your larder. Aside from those meds, put a large bottle of aspirin or Tylenol (one or the other), a large bottle of multi-vitamins, a super-sized box/package of mild laxative, a super-sized package of Amodium AD, 3 large tubes of Neosporin Plus (this has pain reliever), a small bottle of Oil of Cloves (dental pain reliever), 100 yards (do the math) of unwaxed dental floss, 1 pound of sea salt & 1 pound of baking soda (best tooth paste when mixed 1 to 1 and can be used to augment food supplies), a large box of assorted band aids, and 2 large bottles of hydrogen peroxide. Why peroxide? It is a superb disinfectant and can be used to treat most foot related problems (athlete’s foot, etc), periodontal disease (rinsing daily for five minutes – don’t swallow, though!), disinfecting small & large cuts or abrasions, etc. You can also include some larger gauze pads, and for serious wounds, have about six super absorbency kotex type pads (the old fashioned kind) and six super-absorbency tampons. The pads are for lacerations; the tampons are for punctures. The idea being that if you need to staunch a large flow of blood, these will help. They’re cheap, too. Now, you also need to spend a bit more money and get some ‘quick clot’ sponges (about ¼ ounce size will do nicely). You can get packages of 5 for about $40. Save these for those really bad cuts/punctures. Remember, we’re talking life and death here. Lastly, as it will save you some emergency, if you’re still of child bearing age and you will have intimate relations with someone who could get pregnant or make you pregnant, a good supply of condoms or a cervical cup. You don’t want a pregnant woman trying to deliver a baby in a bad situation!
Transportation: If you stay in place any longer than 24 hours once a national “state of emergency” has been declared, you’re most likely going to be stuck there unless you have an alternate mode of transportation other than your car, truck, SUV or mini-van. But let’s say you decide if this scenario happens, you’re jumping in whatever you have and hitting the open road. Great! First, though, don’t count on too many gas stations being open, or if they are, expect very, very high prices. A good “rule of thumb” is to quadruple the prices you see today and expect to pay that amount, in cash, per gallon! With prices hovering within range of $4 a gallon today, figure $16 a gallon and for a 20 gallon tank, you need to have $320 on you to fill your tank once! If the gas station takes plastic, all the better! The bottom line is that you need to expect that gas will be very expensive and not on every street corner. You can mitigate your fuel needs by doing a couple things: First, never, and I mean never, allow your tank to get below half full! This gives you a 200 mile buffer (most vehicles get 400 miles on an average tank of gas) so that if you couldn’t refuel at all, you can at least get to a more survivable area. Keeping your tank half full also decreases the amount of cash you need just for fuel by 50% from $320 to $160. The rest of your cash can be used for barter or purchasing necessities you find along the way (like more ammo or food). Second, consider the purchase of at least three 5 gallon gas cans (make sure the nozzle fits an unleaded gas coupling in modern vehicles), fill them up, and treat them with ‘Sta-bil’ gas stabilizer. This will make sure the gas stays “fresh” for quite some time. Then, if nothing bad happens, cycle the gas through your lawn mower or other small engine that always seem to be out!
Some folks have opted for the All-American ATV or “Four Wheeler” that can take one to two passengers and all your gear. A major advantage to these little transports is that they do not need roads. They can also ford many of Michigan’s streams and rivers of 3 feet or less in depth). The problem with these machines, while fun as well as useful in certain applications, is that they are terrible on gas mileage, and you can hear them coming for a long, long way unless the owners have spent the money necessary on buying certain after-market mufflers that reduce their signature to almost that of a car. Additionally, you have to have cash for refueling and plan to carry one five gallon fuel can on the machine as well to give you twice the range.
Lastly, map out a route that doesn’t take major roads out of your area. Secondary and surface streets are the way to go. After you map it, drive it. Find out what areas are good, what are bad, and make route adjustments so you’ll have the most trouble free route out of your location to your “hidey hole”.
So, what happens if you can’t get out in your vehicle or you run out of gas? That ever present old stand-by, ‘shanks mare’, comes into play. You’ll have to walk and pack your goods. This eventuality means that you’ll need to be fit enough to walk for some miles with about 40 pounds on your back! Impossible you say?? Nope. Not at all. Start your fitness upgrade today. After you read this, go out and walk around the block. Do one sit up. Do one push up. There. Not so hard. Tomorrow do the same thing and the day after, walk a little further and do two sit ups and two push ups. Repeat until you’re doing a couple sets of sit ups and push ups with 25 repetitions and walking 3 miles fast! This goal can easily be accomplished in 10 weeks! Most likely, if you’re “average”, you can do it in 5 weeks, and then have the bonus of getting in even better shape by Inauguration day! Walking in the cold, by the way, is good for you!
If you have to go on foot, you need to make sure you have very good boots or shoes (do not skimp on your footwear!), maps, and a compass (and know how to use it). There are “how to” sites all over the internet on this subject – a five minute search will bring up a nice variety. I do not recommend a GPS because it can be used to fix your position by an aggressor and the satellites all GPS units use will, in our little scenario, have an error margin of up to 100 yards programmed into them. You’ll also need batteries (lots of them and the weight adds up and the supply is finite!). You see, an aggressive government like the fictional one in our scenario will not want you to have the same accuracy in navigating as it does. The best compass in my experience is the USGI compass, now made by Cammenga. It’s about $80 on average, but it’s worth every penny!
Photo Image #5
USGI Compass Basic Nomenclature
If you can only afford one, fine. Just take care of it. If you have a chance to get two, do it! There’s an only rule you need to try to follow: “Two is one and one is none”. Sure, redundancy is repetitive (pun intended), but it’s better to have a spare and not need it than need a spare really bad and not have it.
Something else you can do is to use the map below as a guide. It’s not a road map. It’s the Rand McNally rail road map of Michigan. All those tracks are still out there. Some have been made into “rails to trails” venues, but the track beds are still there and can be used for our purposes. You can parallel these routes while staying off main roads and out of sight and still get to where you’re going. Your object in the next ten weeks is to choose a primary and an alternate route and go for a ride or two to get a mental picture of the area you might have to traverse on foot. While you’re at it, choose some spots you could ‘hole up’ for a night or two that wouldn’t be readily noticed or attractive to others. Make sure they’re concealed and far enough away from the major commercial route (tracks or highways) so that your noise can’t be heard your movement won’t be picked up by casual observance. Mark them down on your map with just a ‘tick’ mark or two. These spots could be your temporary shelter in storms or when you needed to stay still and rest.
Shelter & Field Gear: You’re going to need some things here. A tent or two (the USMC Combat tent) is about the best for the money and will hold up to 3 people (very cramped) and their gear. They cost anywhere from $100 to $200, depending on the source, but when it’s cold or raining and you need to warm up, they are well worth the money. Additionally, they have a fly that does not let any light out, so at night, you could use a small flashlight to take care of anything you needed. (Sure, you can get a USGI surplus “pup tent” for about $20, but it’s a lot heavier, needs insulation, and will make you wish you spent the extra money when you had the chance.)
Photo Image #6
USMC Combat Tent
It has two openings, a small vestibule for gear storage, and will take winds up to 55 mph. Not too shabby for a small tent. It’s rated as a “3 season” tent, but I’ve used mine in the dead of winter in temperatures of 25 below, and it’s worked just fine! The fly also has a tan side as well as the OD side. Something for you to think about: Sometimes, in winter, the tan side helps hide your tent better than the OD green side. The tan blends with all the browns of winter. Whatever shelter you get, remember its purpose: Keep the wind and rain from causing you to get hypothermia. Tents don’t keep you warm, insulation does. And, in that light, the best insulation you can get is to make sure you get a “30 below” sleeping bag for each person that will keep you warm in the winter and in summer, you can lay on top of it. You can spend as much as you want on a sleeping bag or sleeping bag system. Just remember “Caveat Emptor” – Buyer Beware! You get what you pay for! A good, well-priced bag is from Cabela’s. It’s their “3D” bag and costs as little as $90. You may also want to get a USGI poncho liner and poncho for hot summer days or cool fall evenings. This will cost about $45 for a set.
Well, let’s pause and see how much we’ve committed financially here:
At the most, getting all high-end gear, you’ve committed about $3,300 and at the least, about $1,400 on the low end for a weapon, ammo, water purification and storage, fuel costs, food, shelter, and a very small amount of field gear.
Between $140 and $330 a week for 10 weeks to spend on making sure you survive and thrive. People spend more than that on junk food, cable and beer these days. Learning to take care of yourself and your loved ones is not expensive or difficult – all it takes is discipline. Only you can provide that.
Speaking of “surviving and thriving”, there’s one written source you need to have to read for the 10 week period. It’s called, “Six Ways in and Twelve Ways Out” It’s a compilation of US Ranger knowledge on how to make it in all sorts of scenarios. You can get it for $13.50 from http://www.ravenswoodenterprises.com post paid. Best book you can get on the subject!
Photo Image #7
Buy it. Read it. Apply it. You’ll be glad you did. Other field gear you’re going to need is a good knife. A plain old USMC KaBar with a 7 inch blade is about the best you can get for the money. Sure, you can get a good Cold Steel knife or something else that you spend lots of money on, but the problem is if they’re more expensive than the KaBar and don’t have that many advantages over the KaBar for the price, why spend the money, especially with only 10 weeks to prepare? Remember to stick to the basics! KaBar knives can be had all over the internet from between $40 to $50. It will not let you down. Remember this about a large bladed knife: It can do everything a smaller knife can do reasonably well, but a smaller knife can’t do a lot of the things a larger blade can do. Like when you need to hack branches when building shelters, or need to butcher a deer, prepare a meal, etc. The other edged weapon/tool you’re going to want and need is a tomahawk. It’s a great tool to make your life more bearable and a formidable weapon, both physically and psychologically. You’ll want your hawk to have a hardened hammer and blade which is superb for making cooking tools, stakes, etc. The one I recommend is the Cold Steel “Trail Hawk” which you can get for less that $30 if you look. It’s light, strong, and takes an edge very well.
Photo image #8
Cold Steel Trail Hawk
Other very important field gear and equipment are: Toilet paper (2 rolls per person minimum), a “spork” (spoon/fork hybrid) made out of aluminum (against breakage), a “utility pot” (can be a canteen cup), 4 tooth brushes per person with the handle cut in half (weight/space reduction), parachute cord (at least 200 feet), a fire starting device (BIC type lighter as well as sparking device and the knowledge on how to use it) .
You will also want to consider a FRS/GMRS type walkie-talkie, spare batteries, flash lights (small LED are best), spare batteries and some spare batteries. Get the point? You’re going to need some batteries.
For carrying this gear on your person, you’ll probably want a Load Bearing Vest or harness. You can pick these up cheap at GI Surplus in Wayne, Michigan, or on the internet. If you buy it at GI Surplus, the kind folks there will help you set it up and fit it to you. Just ask them.
Photo image #9
USGI Surplus Load Bearing Vest
As for clothing, make sure it’s not bright and at least doesn’t clash with your surroundings. If you’re going to be moving through or staying in urban areas, you don’t want the latest camouflage pattern; if you’re moving through or staying in a rural area, you definitely want some surplus GI camouflage uniforms (with all insignia removed). You can find these very cheaply at garage sales, on the internet, and so forth.
Make sure you have weather appropriate clothing as well: Cold weather boots, socks, underwear, etc. Frostbite can kill you.
These are most of the items you’d most likely need to survive a scenario from an equipment perspective. But what about the “people” angle? Contrary to what some think, no man is an island and you can’t do it all by yourself.
You need support – a team member, someone to watch your back. Oh sure, some folks have large families and can delegate those tasks, but many, many others, just have themselves or a spouse/significant other. And, usually, that spouse/significant other is not trained nor has the discipline to handle the more arduous, but very mundane tasks required.
So, what do you do then? You get yourself a “buddy”. You can do that in the 10 week time period handily. Start checking out your friends. See which ones seem to be alarmed with what’s going on as you are. Then, find a time to speak with them alone and “test the waters”. If they agree and want to do something, give them a copy of this and get to work.
While getting your equipment and supplies together, draft and develop your plan. Will you:
Stay put? Doing so in a large urban area most likely means you will be searched, possibly relocated, and should you resist, be in danger from the occupying force.
Run for the “hills”? Ok, that’s plausible, but you need to really pay attention to where you might go, because here in Michigan, a couple million other people may be doing the same thing! By necessity, your rule will be “no contact whatever” with others that you see along your way because you will have no way of knowing who, if anyone, is with them or has them under observation.
Pack up and move to Grandma’s? Also feasible, provided Grandma has a place that will support the group you’re moving. Think of hygiene requirements, sustenance, and life support (can you or your little group do something to earn silver?)
Give yourself up? Many will be tempted and eventually succumb, but those who do will be even more miserable than those who stay the course. Remember Thomas Paine, “…these are the times that try men’s souls….but he that stands it deserves the love of both men and women….”
Once you have your buddy and you begin to build trust between you and learn each other’s (both individually and group) likes, dislikes, habits and so forth, you can still find another “buddy team” to partner with. That gives you a group from 8 to 24 or so, depending on family size. The logistical requirements are more complex, but if each handles his own family/team, it’s not so overwhelming.
The next issue is leadership. It just won’t work as a committee. All your members will have input, sure, but someone has to make the hard decisions. This may be the most complex issue you need to solve: who will you or your little band trust to make those hard decisions, and will the group follow that person? It’s not about popularity, either. It’s about ability and reason. The best case scenario for you would be to have someone in your group who’s an experienced leader either in business or prior military (not just being in, but being in and being a leader!) That provides you a foundation of discipline for your chosen leader. The leader has to be secure enough to listen to others, humble enough to know others may have a better answer, selfless enough to put the group before his own desires, and tough enough to make the decisions that won’t be popular sometimes. Admittedly, a tall order, but it has to be done. Your leadership discussions may cause one or two to fall out of the group. That’s going to happen. If it does, let them leave with their self-respect. Don’t hurt their pride or “throw them out”. That’d be the worst thing you could do! Remember, we’re talking about a whole new paradigm here: Martial Law. If someone leaves and goes away with their pride intact and holds no hard feelings, they won’t be so likely to turn you in to the “new” authorities. They just might, however, if they have a chip on their shoulder or want to “pay you back” for some slight, real or imagined. Be conscious of this group dynamic!
Networking follows: If the net is still up, find others close by or in the area you are moving to (if you can) that feel as you do, at least on the face of it. Start a dialog and listen carefully! They should exhibit about the same anxiousness you have in networking. If they’re too open and promise the moon for nothing in return or if they’re so closed they accuse you of being in the “enemy” camp, you don’t want anything to do with them. Look elsewhere. Common sense and values are key here.
Finally, develop your “line in the sand”. This is that one thing that will cause you to execute your plan. An example would be the actual deployment of foreign or UN troops anywhere in the United States. That action is an obvious declaration that the compact of the Unanimous Declaration and the Constitution of the United States has been discarded.
So, as I said earlier, this is a “quick and dirty” discussion on how to plan and what to do in the 10 weeks between the election and inauguration of the new President. How it comes out, we’ll all know soon enough, I guess.
Timeline wise, here’s an outline that may help:
Week 1: Inventory, evaluate and prioritize equipment needs; evaluate available funds; begin fitness program.
Week 2: Incorporate weapon familiarity training into schedule; gather fiscal resources and begin purchases.
Week 3: Look for “buddy”; evaluate friends on like-minded concerns; begin to educate your family/spouse/significant other.
Week 4: Help “buddy” start preparations; continue equipment gathering.
Week 5: Determine “GOOD” location (if any), map route, and do initial route familiarization trip. Modify route as actual conditions warrant.
Week 6: Determine “line in the sand”; if you can, zero your rifle. If not, practice with dry fire.
Week 7: Look for like-minded people in GOOD location and at home. Network.
Week 8: Pack newly gathered equipment into GOOD kits and locate near transport.
Week 9: Continue preparations; family/network education & planning.
Week 10: Dress rehearsal; clean weapons, check equipment, food, etc. Hope the new President complies with his Oath of Office.
Lastly, remember, you’re adapting a new way of life here. Not some sort of paranoiac, delusional “everyone’s out to get me” mindset, but one of careful evaluation of what is and what can occur, and a solemn determination to keep freedom alive. Because this is just the beginning-once all the people in the country doing this get their “sea legs”, the long journey undertaken to reclaim our freedoms and reign in a government removed from the Constitution has just begun.
Praxis Snippets From The Trainer: “It’s the little things that make the difference.”
This just in over the electronic transom from The Trainer . . .
Improving Your Abilities:
There’s a lot you can do to increase your abilities in the field (you can translate this to ‘life expectancy’) providing you are serious about being able to ‘hack it’ should we ever be forced into a SHTF situation. Here are a few things to consider:
Nutrition – Cut the Fast Food out of Your Diet – Nutritional studies have shown that a steady diet of fast or processed food over time significantly decreases the metabolism, increases fat retention, elevates both sugar and blood pressure levels. You can’t be overweight, out of breath, insulin and BP medication dependent in the field. It’s just not going to turn out well for you. So, if you can (and we all can if we want to), cut out the fast and/or processed foods in your diet as much as possible. Go to whole grain breads made with unbleached or wheat flour. Cut out all “diet” products made with asparteme. Drink more water because it flushes toxins out of your system. Try not to eat anything after 6:00 pm and make breakfast your best meal of the day with light lunches and very light suppers.
Rest – Start making yourself get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. Of that time, 5 hours should be uninterrupted sleep because the body heals itself during that time. That’s when the body fights off any infections or viruses you may have (colds, illnesses, etc). A good way to help yourself do this is by knocking off the hours upon hours in front of the reality based television. Our parents were right: TV really does rot your brain! Same thing with the computer. Limit your time on the pc. READ some of the references Vanderboegh listed in stead. If you’re one of those people who can’t seem to sleep well, doing the next item below an hour before you retire will help out considerably. In some cases, adding the natural supplement, “Melatonin” to your regimen about 20 minutes before bed may help, too.
Exposure – Contrary to what some say, humans need exposure to the sun. That’s where we absorb most of our Vitamin D. It’s what causes the body to produce the necessary amounts of melatonin that helps us sleep. Get out of the house, put on some shorts (wear sunglasses to prevent blindness if you must!) and go for a walk.
Walking – Add an hour a day EVERY DAY of brisk walking to your nutritional and rest program modifications and you will see some remarkable changes in your personal physiology! You’ll start to get leaner, have more energy, and generally feel better. Don’t walk so fast that you can’t hold a conversation; a 15 to 17 minute mile in sweats or shorts with good walking shoes ought to do it. After a few weeks of this, when you put on your LBE and ruck and try a ‘forced road march’, you’ll be surprised how well you perform, especially when you compare your performance to those who do nothing.
Marksmanship – Dryfire and position exercises. Breathing, sight picture, sight alignment trigger depression, and follow through. At least 10 minutes a day (not a whole lot of time, but the effect is cumulative!). Once a week, take your rifle down to its major groups and put it back together again. Make it fun. When you think you know it well, blindfold yourself and then add time as a stressor. “Becoming One” with the rifle isn’t just some neat little ‘zen’ saying; it’s a reality. The better you know your rifle, the better you’ll be with it on the range and in the field. Practice magazine changes until you can do it without looking at the rifle or the magazine.
Little things, all, but it’s the little things that make the difference.
Praxis: Secure Patrol/Ops Base
The latest from the Trainer. Much wisdom here.
Secure Patrol/Ops Base
When in the field for training or for “real world”, each established Group or Training Team will be responsible for their own Patrol or Operations Base including set up, positioning, concealment, security, and usability by team members.
For a Patrol Base to be effective, it must meet certain criteria.
360 Degree Security/Observation
Interlocking fields of fire
Defense in Depth
Flexible (expand or contract as necessary)
A well-tested formation that also fits well into any Maneuver Warfare ‘play book’ is the “Reinforced Triangle”. It is ideal for groups of 4 to 12 as a single, self-sustaining “base camp”, and should the situation warrant, can be expanded into a series of RT’s that will provide an almost impenetrable perimeter as it grows and positions are improved into prepared, defensive positions.
Figure 1 – Basic Reinforced Triangle
As diagramed, the strengths of the RT become apparent:
Each position has the ability to mutually support all others by fire if required.
No one position is left without a fall back position (the center).
360 degree observation is achieved (perimeter interlock & mutual support).
Distance between positions is flexible (terrain & situation dependent)
Any position can be developed to hold/house 2 or more team members (each point of the triangle could be developed as a triangle in and of itself).
Figure 2 – RT Perimeter Interlock and Mutual Support
Moving In – The RT, like most other temporary perimeters, is established by “moving in” from a tactical movement formation by a fire team or larger strength group. For academic purposes, we’ll keep it at fire team level and, again for academic purposes, we’ll presume we are moving at night, so we’ll use the file as our formation to move into and set up the RT. Note: That does not mean the only formation to use is the file; it just best suits night movement most of the time. In terrain that’s open or sparsely covered, other formations would be better suited; in tight cover or extreme darkness, the file is best suited.
Each position within the file has its own primary Area of Responsibility to watch over. The secondary area of responsibility for each position is directly opposite of the positions primary area.
To move in, the FT Leader stops the movement and signals to his team what he wants done:
When each team member moves into his or their (larger teams) respective positions
TL takes the center of the RT
TL check the positions; establish as appropriate tug lines, fall backs, emergency egress rally points, etc.
If and when to start improving the position (as warranted for the length of the stop – generally a 12 or more hour establishment would justify the establishment of at least hasty fighting positions).
o Hygiene Considerations: All ‘cat hole’ areas should be downwind, down hill (if possible), 30 meters away from the RT, concealed, and not placed near any potable water source.
The team leader places the ‘points’ at the following clock positions by visual signals:
Point 1: 12 O’clock
Point 2: 4 O’clock
Point 3: 8 O’clock
The team leader determines 12 O’clock by his direction of travel or use of a landmark he and other team members can easily recognize, area of primary concern, or assigned area of responsibility. It should be noted that the 12 O’clock position is not necessarily the “front”; it is simply a baseline used for ease of RT establishment. The RT has no “front”, per se, and many times two of the 3 points will be “on line” against an apparent threat, depending upon which direction the threat moves from.
Each position within the RT has a primary direction: 12 O’clock. When two men occupy the position within the RT, they assume a primary Area of Responsibility of 2 and 10 O’clock, with 12 O’clock being directly to their front. If 3 men occupy the position; they in turn set up a mini-triangle with their primary points being 10, 2, and 6 O’clock. The 6 O’clock position takes on the primary responsibility of defense in depth for the 10 and 2 O’clock positions and also provides mutual support to RT points to the left and right, as well as a 180o observation and support to the center position occupied by the RT leader.
When communicating with the Team Leader or other members of the position or RT, whether with visual, radio, or oral methods, the sender and receiver must both understand that the sender always describes reports as positioned from his 12 O’clock. Any extrapolation on where the movement or threat is from the receiver’s position must be done by the receiver.
Example: Position 2 (4 O’clock from the Leader’s Pos) reports that he has movement at 300 meters at his 12 O’clock. The RT team leader figures that the movement (from the RT Team Leader’s position) is at his 4 O’clock, because that is where the TL placed position 2.
Within the team establishing the RT, there will be, be necessity, “buddy team” assignments. These teams can be as few as 2 men or as large as 3 men. In the case of a team consisting of only 4 men, the buddy team will be separated for the positional integrity of the RT, but will have a secondary AR of overwatching their “buddy” with the primary AR of perimeter interlock.
Team Work within the RT:
Each member of the RT, whether the RT is comprised of 4 men or 12 men, has the inherent responsibility to work with each man within his position as well as those who are in other supporting positions (this includes the Team Leader). Some of the responsibilities involved are:
Assisting in position preparation and camouflage.
Position development/improvement (depending on the length of stay).
Fulfilling watch responsibilities while other team members are resting, eating, etc.
Covering each man as he moves to perform body voiding outside the RT perimeter. Example: A man needs to void his bowels. He must move outside the perimeter at least 30 meters and away from any water source that could be used by the RT members for sustenance.
To collapse the RT, the FT leader signals his team and, through use of prearranged hand & arm signals, gives the direction of travel and the signal to move out. Once the team has their movement formation set, the FT Leader takes his position, and the team moves out as quietly as possible.
Things the FT Leader and each member must do prior to moving out:
Police all signs of the team’s presence (trash, ensure cat holes are buried, spoil from digging in is replaced or spread out, etc)
Determine, as best as possible, that the team is not under observation.
More from The Trainer on 4GW.
After I posted “Fourth Generation Warfare (NOT for Dummies)” below, The Trainer sent me this:
Along those lines, to help our group get more in line with 4GW & MW concepts & principles, I’ve excerpted some highlights from the Marine’s FMFM-1 (Draft) 9/2008 on Light Infantry Training & Ops. These guide us as we develop and conduct our training.
Highlights from USMC FMFM-1 (Draft) 9 Sep 08
As applied to __________ Training
• The light infantryman characterizes himself by his mental resourcefulness and physical toughness.
• Hard physical training convinces members that they are able to overcome the most difficult situations that combat could present.
• LI do not feel defeated when surrounded, isolated or confronted by superior forces. They are able to perform their duties for long periods of time without any type of comfort or logistical support, obtaining what they need from the land or the enemy.
• LI are neither physically nor psychologically tied to the rear (supply trains or ‘secure areas’) by the necessity to maintain open lines of communication. This attitude of self-confidence provides LI a great psychological advantage over its enemies.
• LI employs a decentralized command philosophy and at a high tempo. An unpredictable ambush mentality and reluctance to follow a specified method is the essence of LI. This ambush mentality generates other secondary, but distinctive, characteristics. Among them are the ability and speed with which LI adapts to the terrain in which it operates.
• LI exploits adverse environmental conditions by turning terrain roughness to its advantage, using the terrain as a shield, a weapon and a source of supplies at the same time. As a result, LI has an incomparable superiority in those terrains that restrict Regular or Line Infantry operations (especially mechanized and armored forces), usually allowing it to face and defeat larger and better equipped enemy forces.
• This gives LI a distinctive operational versatility, being able to operate alone in restricted terrain or in a symbiotic relationship with line units. Light infantry easily adapts itself to all types of operations, and faces the natural evolution of war with no need to modify substantially the way it operates. This characteristic determines that LI is the only type of force able successfully to counter the challenge imposed by the current transition toward the Fourth Generation of War.
Command & Control (C2):
• LI operations require both commanders and subordinates to perform their duties in a highly decentralized environment.
• Command requires the wide use of mission-type orders, in which the commander’s intent provides guidance that enables subordinates to exercise initiative and make decisions in the absence of detailed orders.
• LI Command & Control relies on top-down vision, low-level planning, and decentralized decision-making allowing timely and effective response to the changing and chaotic situations that are usually faced in combat, enabling them to maintain a faster tempo than the enemy and get inside his OODA loop.
• Light infantry’s decentralized C2 is not feasible without quality leaders at all levels, especially at the lower levels.
• Leaders share the same shortages and hardships with their men and lead their teams from the front.
• Goal: Build teams able to operate in small, often separated, groups in a decentralized environment and under unfavorable conditions of terrain, weather and friendly and/or enemy situations for long periods of time.
• To achieve the goal, all personnel, regardless of age, rank, or time in service, must undergo the same training.
• Top Priority: Develop a LI mindset. To do this, training must be heavily oriented toward free-play field exercises, performed in the most austere conditions possible; with the balance set between a good learning environment and strict absence of any kind of comfort for the troops.
• Training must also include a rigorous professional reading program to develop the intellectual side of the LI. A good program will focus on enhancing critical and integrative thinking capabilities, encouraging initiative, and developing the required professional judgment to support LI leaders’ decentralized decision-making.
• The ability to conduct long, fast, demanding foot marches between engagements is a trademark of LI. If mindset is LI’s main weapon, its legs are real combat multipliers. However, also integrate other skills that light infantrymen must show in the field, such as land navigation, combat first aid, close combat, etc.
• Development in mastery in arms throughout all members. All LI must be able to employ and maintain all of their units’ weapons effectively; training should also ensure proficiency in enemy weapons’ handling and the ability to drive all kind of vehicles.
• Training will include the development of superb fieldcraft and camouflage, the ability to construct and breach simple obstacles, and survive in all type of restrictive terrain.
The Case for Combat Load Carry & Rucksack Roadwork…
The latest from The Trainer:
The Case for Combat Load Carry & Rucksack Roadwork…
“Speed marches gave maximum development to lungs and legs, and most importantly, to feet. In the early stages we had blisters by the bushel. Finally, though, we became hardened, and our feet were able to stand up under any kind of pounding. On one occasion during the training in speed marching, the Rangers flew across ten miles in eighty-seven minutes, flashing that long stride that was to become our trademark in the Mediterranean war.” – William O. Darby and William Baumer – “We Lead the Way”
Before we go any farther, let me make this clear: “NO, we are not Rangers!” Never have we claimed to be; however, we can take their example as they are superb light infantry, and when allowed to operate in MW methodology, do not have many peers in the world. Our group is special in that it does not accept modern, ‘politically correct’ reasoning in our training choices such as ‘gender norming’ and others. We are instilling in our members that they need to accept this one fact:
Your enemy is training as you read this. He doesn’t care how much his ruck weighs, it weighs what it weighs; he doesn’t care how long the walk is, it’s over when it’s over; he doesn’t care whether you’re a man, woman, or a goat. He doesn’t care if his weapon jams when he’s firing for practice; he clears it and continues firing. He’s training to kill you right now. Period.
With that in mind, let’s look at what’s going on with our own military folks recently and see if we can learn from their ‘real world’ feedback. It’s a truism on the job anywhere that if you really want to know the score, ask the ‘grunt’ in the field humping the heavy stuff because he will not lie!
One major complaint coming back from the ‘sandbox’ is that soldiers are extremely unhappy that they did not train as they are required to fight and it cost them. In garrison, or when training in the States, they don’t carry ammo or munitions in their rucks and on their person; they aren’t made to carry their primary weapon on conditioning marches, and so on.
Those lessons have not been lost on us.
We require all of our members to carry their basic load (minimum pack list) on their person with their rifle, ammo, water and food when we’re demonstrating our fitness level with a road march.
And it does work!
Yes, we push ourselves to our personal limits; yes we are bushed when we’re done; yes, it’s a pain in the ass to go back and get those who’ve not finished yet, but the reward is worth much more than the sacrifice: We’ve all learned about boot quality and foot care; we’ve all learned about the importance of conditioning; we’ve all felt the gratitude as well as the guilt when someone who’s in better shape finishes and then comes back and helps us finish because they are our teammate, and we’ve all felt the exaltation of finishing under the minimum acceptable time, especially when we’ve failed previously. On top of that, our rifle qualification scores mean that much more to us when we know we can shoot accurately after expending so much energy!
But sometimes when we’re out doing a road march exercise with 35 lb or heavier rucks, rifles, ammo, food and water, somebody starts bitching that we’re carrying too much….that we won’t do that in the field….that it’s ‘too hard’ (even though we see people actually smoking along the way!). Apparently, there will always be people who whine in private life just as much as there are on active duty.
That’s not the point, though.
The point is that after doing some research on the subject, actual feedback from active duty soldiers validate our methodology and why we’ll keep ourselves focused on getting from point A to point B quickly with a load that requires upper body strength, wind stamina, and strong legs and still be able to operate when we get there.
Now, will those of us over 40 ever achieve the speeds indicated below? Probably not – but it doesn’t mean we can’t meet our own minimums and keep trying! Our members under 40, especially those in their 20’s and early 30’s, who don’t have medical restrictions should be able to get much closer to the higher end of combat mobility speeds than us ‘olf farts’.
So, how is ‘combat mobility’ defined? In today’s parlance, a group or unit has “Combat Mobility” if they can move on foot from 4 to 7 mph to their objective and complete their mission after arrival.
We don’t meet that right now. Currently, our minimum speed for a road march with a 35 lb ruck, rifle, ammo, water and food is 3.9 mph for all walks ranging from 2 through 10 miles. A 7 mph speed on the high end is a 8.5 minute mile! Damn fast, and would be expected only with web gear, weapon, and ammo for short distances. And even so, that’s just a tad under the speed youngsters must achieve for entrance into some of the more elite military schools today, so we don’t have to address that.
Even at just over half maximum speed, we’re still not too awfully bad with our standard minimum of 15.5 minutes per mile for moving quickly from start to finish. Even at that, you’d be surprised at those who can’t do it at first, but it can be done.
Yes, it takes work on everyone’s part and you have to have the discipline to keep your exercise and roadwork routine up all year so that when we are in the field, you can meet the minimums. And remember, I’m talking about those who don’t have medical restrictions. But even those who do have medical restrictions can work with their doctors and improve their diet, their physical capabilities and shape so they can be more self-reliant and more of an asset to the group. There’s really no excuse that will hold water, now, is there?
This year, we will be increasing a few of the road march speeds to 4 mph, cutting 30 seconds from the minimum acceptable time when we do it with just ‘combat gear’ (rifle, web gear, ammo). Why? Because it may mean the difference between success and failure! Remember, ‘more sweat in peace means less blood in war’!
Incidentally, history documents that forced march speeds going all the way back to the Civil War was 4 miles in 50 minutes, or 12.5 minute miles (just under 5 mph), and yes, that would be with just ‘combat gear’ (rifle, ammo, & web gear). Incidentally, this ‘forced march’ speed allowed no mitigating factors for age, height, weight, etc. You either did it or were considered ‘unfit’. Stragglers were not looked upon with great favor, either.
Let’s see what today’s soldiers have to say about the subject, shall we?
Here are a couple of quotes:
“We recommend that we change the two-mile run to a three-mile or 6 mile speed march in BDUs, 35-pound rucksack, Kevlar(c) PASGT helmet and weapon which can be a “rubber duck” or a 2×4 piece of wood cut to a 36″ length and spray painted black. To get 100 points, you must do the three miles in less than 30 minutes or 6 miles in 60 minutes for a speed of six miles per hour or better. A tangible goal. A lot of people wail about the “Soldier’s Load” problem but do not do anything more than offer a band aid solution of telling leaders not to overload their men. There has to be a yardstick to prove one way or another if men are overloaded or not. If they cannot move at 6 mph with their battle gear they are not “all that they can be”. If they cannot even maintain 1-2 mph they are overloaded, not properly conditioned for COMBAT or both.” – Anonymous Soldier on US Army PT program standards
“The 2-mile run is done with NO load whatsoever. Unfortunately, this means that people who run really fast for 15 minutes dominate the PT test, and are seen as the ideal — and physical training is geared towards making greyhound runners, with little concern for upper body strength. (Got news for all you ‘PT masters’ who can do 2 miles in 10 minutes, and still make good scores on situps and pushups — if you ain’t GOT any upper body, it’s pretty easy to lift it off the ground 75 times in 2 minutes, ain’t it? But that won’t help you carry heavy things?)
Personally, I’m less interested in how fast you can run 2 miles in jogging shorts and sneakers than in how long you can carry a 50 load at a reasonable pace — and I’ve found damned little correlation between the two tasks. Most super runners I’ve met couldn’t hump worth shit, and vice versa. The ‘moderately good’ at one was generally moderately good at the other — but the current test slants the emphasis the wrong direction.” – Anonymous Soldier on PT tests versus Real World Requriements
So, let’s take what they’re saying into context:
As you are a ‘light infantry’ type group, you need to carry a reasonable amount of equipment on your back, including extra ammo, food, and water. This load will be a minimum of 35 pounds, maybe more like 50 or 60 pounds. But whatever it is, you need to be able to carry it for long distances and operate when you arrive at your destination.
The only way to get to the point of actually being able to achieve that is to practice it under similar conditions. You can’t just hit the track or treadmill or elliptical (though they do help getting your wind and legs in shape!) You must develop the core strength needed to perform over long periods of time and still fight at the end of the trip.
Garrison BS, standing around and looking cool doesn’t do anything but help get you killed.
So, here we are getting ready to go out and train. With things being the way they are in the country and world, can you honestly say it isn’t time to ratchet what we do up just a couple notches?
And the about the bitching? Well….we can’t have everything, I guess.