Militia, My Take

By Tracy T

I read this blog often though I rarely post. Perhaps I should participate more. Mr. Creekmore has done a great service by offering this forum and creating a place where like minded folks can interact. There is always good information here and many of the posts and articles are extremely well written and represent not only some terrific ideas but are indicative of the higher caliber of reader and contributor who visit this site. That being said, I would like to get down to my purpose in writing here which is the subject of Militias.

I am a retired U.S. Marine. Twenty-one years spent of ones life ingrains certain ideals, habits, and perspectives in a person. After I retired I was approached by a few militia representatives and invited to join their groups. I didn’t know much about the militia movement other than what I saw on television and knowing to take what the media portrays with a very large grain of salt I was still open minded about it.

I want to make clear here that I am not bashing the militia movement at all. I believe that the principle is sound and the desire to form a unit of cooperative effort is a natural tendency. Our ancestors knew that safety and security is found in numbers. The tribe, or the pack as it may be, is the family and all work to the greater good of the whole. Safety, defense, sustenance, and camaraderie, are all important aspects of human life.

I would like to offer here a description of my first encounter with a so called Militia unit.

I was at a public shooting range in California (yes they still have a few), where I noticed a group of about ten individuals wearing various stages of camouflage uniforms.

There was a large pot bellied man drinking coffee from a canteen cup wearing cammies and apparently enjoying a position of authority next to the tail gate of a pick up truck. He wore Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant chevrons on his collar and was being addressed by his subordinates as “Gunny”. Since I was a “Gunny” myself, and quite capable of recognizing a fellow Marine whether active or former, I decide to engage the man in conversation. I watched for a moment as the rest of his clan ran around the area with weapons at port arms. One young man, of active duty age wore heavy cammo paint on his face and a booney hat. He yelled at the others as if he were a drill instructor. It is difficult to describe the scene correctly. Picture a group of over zealous boy scouts with no adult supervision and live rounds.

The “Gunny” welcomed me to his “C.P.”. I asked when and where he served. His face turned red. He never had served. I expected that, but I intended to give the man a chance. “Why are you wearing Gunnery Sergeant chevrons?” I asked. He described his unit’s chain of command. The “Gunny” was an elected office and was the unit’s immediate senior enlisted rank. There were officers, of course but none were present at the time. Biting my lip, I introduced myself -with rank- and asked if I could observe the goings on of his unit’s training exercise. Although, I didn’t see the going on of much actual training. He replied with a nod and said if I had any questions to just ask.

There were a few individuals on the firing line shooting their weapons into the dirt berms. One individual was armed with a Marlin .22 rifle. He was firing at some cans that were placed maybe twenty-five to thirty yards down range. He fired from an incorrect kneeling position and hitting maybe one out of three shots. Having been a marksmanship instructor I couldn’t watch this young man very long before I had to intervene and attempted to explain to the him in a polite and helpful manner the correct firing position and forward support required to improve his shooting. I knelt down beside him and demonstrated a proper kneeling position and explained how and why it would help him. His position was backwards from what it should have been. He looked over at me from his awkward position with a smirk. “I know what I’m doing!” He snapped. The “Gunny” instinct in me wanted to snatch his smart ass up from there, but that sort thing is considered unacceptable in the civilian world and probably equally so in the militia. I decided to leave the young ‘rifleman’ to his own accord and hoped that he would figure it out himself.

I was conversing with the units “gunny” while a handful of the ‘troops’ were practicing what he described as squad assault tactics. It looked more like a special olympics Easter egg hunt, -with rifles-. (I mean no offense to the special Olympics) The young man with the cammo paint came running up. He popped to attention and saluted. The gunny switched his canteen cup to his left hand and slung an ‘F Troop’ type salute in return. The young man wore Marine Corps Sergeant chevrons. He complained that some of the other militia members weren’t listening to him. The gunny smiled as a father to a child and promised to have a talk with the offending ‘troops’. The gunny assured me that his unit was a force to be reckoned with. I asked if while he was conducting all of this training if anyone there had any training themselves. “Well … we have the manuals and we improvise where necessary, we train to be flexible.” He said. I took the word “flexible” to mean they made it up as they went. I had enough of my visit.

By this point I had grown from curious to angry to downright disgusted. I turned to go as the gunny asked my thoughts on his militia unit and extended an invitation to join. It was not a pleasant conversation from that point on. My skin was crawling as I walked away.

This particular militia unit was a fallacy of the militia movement. A misconceived group of yahoos and goofballs that I’m sure is a prime example of groups who give the entire militia movement a bad name. I did attend a couple of other units ‘exercises’ and found that they were better organized and more mature than the first but reeked of para militarism and full of wannabe soldier of fortune individuals, arm chair tacticians, and false bravado.

My personal experience with the militias has been negative to say the least. Yet, I still hold to a belief that the militia can be a good thing if properly organized, trained, equipped, disciplined, and held to a standard of positive conduct. I’ve no doubt that there are good solid militia units out there. I however do not choose to participate for many reasons.

Joining or creating a militia is a personal choice based on an individuals needs and his or her thoughts on how to best survive, serve his community, or how to best take a stand against the wrongs that are being legislated over us. I certainly don’t fault anyone who feels a need to join a militia group. I do have to stress here that the premise of a militia engaging a professional, armed opposing force will not likely have the possibility of ending with a favorable outcome. We made it work in 1776, and I hold strongly to the same spirit and belief those men had, but technology has come a long way since then. Resistance may have to be rendered in smarter ways.

Preparing for the worse is something all Americans should do. Knowing how to make do with a lot less than what we enjoy now is something that we should all practice. Home defense, self protection, helping your neighbor, and learning how to survive are things that we should all learn now before those lessons are forced upon us by actual circumstances. Associate with like minded people. Get to know folks who live in your area. Learn their strengths and shortcomings as well as your own. Work to improve areas where you may be lacking, be it a particular skill or your physical condition. Networking and having a plan is always a good idea.


  1. I nominate this article as the funniest I have read here yet!

    Good job!

    • MSGTretired says:

      Join your local militia and improve it at least those fellas HEARTS are in the right place. YOU bashing them does no one any good. If your such an awesome warrior go out and share your training and skills and improve them. The life you save may be your own or that of your family members.

      • Swamp Fox says:

        I have to agree. You could of changed them to become so called High Speed Individuals. You could of became a trainer. Taught proper shooting techniques. Taught them modern technology and how to avoid it. You could of taught them…

        You are a complainer and not a doer.

        • To be clear, is it Tracy’s responsibility to join a farce of a group and polish that turd? Would not a more effective use of Tracy’s skills be to form his own group or find an existing militia group that takes training seriously and help maintain their higher level of skills?

          Groups like the ones described in this article ruin the reputation of all militias. But their own ignorance and self imposed mediocrity are exactly that “self imposed”.

          • CS,
            As a civilian NRA instructor I have too often run into groups (not always calling themselves militia) and individuals like this, whose bravado far outweigh their skills. You’ll note that when offering to help the rifleman improve his skills, instead of listening, all he received was a snarky response. They are the bane of any organized group.

            It is groups and people like this who hold us all back. We’ve all heard of the million man march, and the million mom march, etc. and I often heard people ask why the NRA doesn’t do the same thing. Surely a million plus gun owners on the DC mall would send a message, and if everyone who attended dressed nicely and acted courteously, then this would indeed be beneficial; however, I think everyone knows that in a group that large, there would be some camouflaged ignorant jerks, who despite their small number, would be on the news reports that evening.

            On the militia commentary article, Encourager mentioned that the instructors in the recent CERT training, all wore camouflage, but carried no openly display firearms, and treated everyone with respect and understanding. I’m betting that they received no media coverage for their efforts, and that group Traci encountered at the range is much more likely to make the news, thereby smearing all of us who ever wear camo or shoot firearms.

            In my opinion, when Traci opted not to attempt to change or associate with this group, it was the correct decision, especially when the help that was offered was ignored. Life is too short to try and fix all of the wanna be’s in the world, when there are others out there who are really engaged and learning to do things the right way.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          Way to grab the moral high ground there Swamp. No personal attack there, right?

          Set the example for us, Swamp. Go out there and take charge yourself. Show us how it’s done. Lead the way.

      • MSGTretired;
        I stated clearly in the article that I was not bashing the militias. I did not say anywhere that I was “such an awesome warrior”. As far as saving my life and those of my family… you needn’t worry about that. Again, I appreciate your passion for your militia, I’m sure it is a great unit. I haven’t come across one yet that I would associate with. As far as sharing my training and skills I do that whenever the need or opportunity arises. There are plenty of other ways to serve and make a difference that aren’t part of being a militia. I read one of your other posts about hearts in the right place and spending one’s own money etc to protect me or us however you want to apply it, while we hide in a hole. Are you so wrapped around the axle that you think anyone who is not in the militia are cowards or unable to defend or provide for themselves? If so, you are incorrect. If the article caught you on a sensitive note then that’s your issue. Like I said, I’m sure there are some good solid militia units out there. It’s just not for me. I’ve worn a uniform quite proudly, no other uniform would fit. While I talked to these militias particularly the one described, it was clear that they had their own agenda, and their own methods of operation. I’m not in the business of trying to rescue a bunch of screwballs from themselves. Frankly, I’ve got better things to do. I’ve got nothing but respect for you and your service. I have uncles who are retired Air Force A Msgt and a LtCol. You should have heard the ass chewing I got when they heard I joined the Marine Corps! I also recall getting kicked out of an Air Force chow hall in Kuwait because we were to dirty. Those are different stories and not relevant here. Thought you’d get a kick out of it though.

        • Richard J Medicus says:

          Thank you for the time you served.
          I hope that no militia is ever needed.

      • He DID offer advise, and was brushed off by the young “marksman”. That tells me everything I need to know about that group.

  2. I compare these self proclaimed “militias” to hunters that spend thousands of dollars on membership fees, the latest camo clothing, every little gadget that has the word deer or hunting on it,as long as its camouflage, and spend two weeks a year at deer camp and 20 minutes hunting. Same with fisherman with more money and time than fishing skill. $40,000 boat, the lasted high tech fish finding gadgetry,200 hp motor that would get you killed on a stump filled bayou and they never catch fish. Meanwhile, the dude with &50 Jon boat and one oar, goes home with a cooler filled with fish. It’s the same with these militias. Harmless, expensive, ostentatious,ego driven children that have never grown up. In my opinion,you would never know if the existence of a militia that had a chance of being an effective fighting unit. Secrecy would be equally as important armament and training. Training wouldn’t be anywhere that could be viewed by non members. I think like hunters who can’t hunt or fisherman that can’t fish, militias members that trip over their own guns, probably serve a good purpose in allowing those that are serious about their chosen endeavors, to go about pursuing them or training with out a bunch of folks giving them any attention.

    While I was writing this , we had about a half dozen phone calls concerning a family member who will be undergoing bypass surgery today. I hope the above didn’t sound to disjointed. It’s hard to put a thought down on an iPhone,especially with multiple interruptions.

    • BC:

      I actually think that these ‘militia” types described here do serve a viable public service; they keep the attention focused on them and their amateur tactics. Many of those in “authority” actually believe that is what the militia movement is about. This causes them to “write off” the movement as a “bunch of clowns who will run at the first real confrontation”. I know 2 who are involved with the militias, both would laugh at the antics described about, as do I. These guys are “fooling themselves” if they think this is real training.

      Although my military training in Infantry tactics is far less that Tracy’s, I did spend a considerable amount of time teaching “Support Troops” how to handle their weapons and shoot to qualify (totally different from combat). I have offered my services to those I’m met at the range, and many have consented to a little instruction. If you are “all camo’d up” I will avoid you.

      Training is extremely important! But as my old music teacher taught me “correct practice leads to perfection”. Being able to “kill” a piece of paper, with no other “distractions” at 100 years from a bench, means you know how to make it “go bang” and it works. If from there you can’t put “every round in the black” you won’t hit @#$#@ when the golden BB’s are flying.

      • JP,
        Unfortunately, militias, survivalists, preppers, and even many gun owners, are often lumped together by the mass media, painting us all with a broad brush, and showing the antics of these yahoo’s as indicative of all of us.

    • Hey those idiots tripping and falling over their guns can serve a purpose. I was thinking canon fodder or bait in an ambush.
      Or they could be the first line of defense. The enemy would be LTAO and become easier to deal with.

      • patientmomma says:

        “They keep attention focused On themselves”…..+10

      • Survivor says:

        Law enforcement probably looks down on them as combatants, as well. That could be their weakness…

      • MSGTretired says:

        Help those idiots from tripping with all your great knowledge. Those should be your brother in arms and you should not look at them as cannon fodder the larger the militia the more recognition it will gain by you all not joining you weaken the movement and assist the enemy by helping the militia stigma grow. The militia freed this country and is in the 2nd amendment quit bashing them and join them.

        • MSGTretired,
          The problem with militias is that there isn’t just one. Although defined by US Code (and in my case Ohio Revised Code) as essentially all able bodied aged 17+, the fact is that there are many militia groups in existence, and they all write and play by their own playbooks. The ones I know of that are effective, are low key, rarely dressing in camo, and stay involved in community and public service activities. Those who have the high profile are sometimes covered by mass media and portrayed as fringe, unless of course they do something really stupid, in which case they are portrayed as criminals.

          • Check out the Ohio Military Reserve. Not part of the Dept of Defense, Ohio Gov is Commander in Chief — this is the “active duty” Ohio Militia and state funds are allocated biannually to it:

          • RSR,
            I’m very familiar with OMR; however, it looks like in recent years they have been almost completely focused on logistics.

    • Backwoods Prepper says:

      BC that reminds me of deer camp years ago. This guy shows up with the latest and greatest scent blocker camo bragging how fast he was going to kill a big buck. On the third day while super hunter was saying he has seen deer but nothing he wanted to shoot my uncle kills a huge 9 pointer…… He was wearing blaze orange coveralls smoking a Winston. On the last day super hunter kills a doe but the way he was bragging and we knew it was the only thing he saw

  3. Semper Fi Gunny. Like you I have been aproched by a few groups , and I keep telling them no I ‘m not joining. Because there not orgenised. Sorry for any mis-spelling I ‘ m not awake yet.

    • MSGTretired says:

      Organize them and quit complaining most would love some prior service experience.

      • I was talking about the Mo. malitia ( the roosters ) There papers they were handing out talked about expocives & other devices. That was why they were being watched by the state troopers.

  4. I might add the reson they wanted me to join was because I ‘m a vet and a combat vet a that. But the state troppers are always watching them.

    • if they are not doing anything illegal there should not be a problem if the state troopers are watching them.
      If they are seeking out vets to help them isn’t that a sign they are looking to become more organized?
      It would take you a few trainings to get through the basics of individual movements and fireteam movements.
      You have to remember they haven’t been through boot camp so they have to be brought up to speed just like recruits.


      • M.

        Who will be (and are now) enforcing unconstitutional laws? If they are being enforced by the enforcers (police, government etc), but the “Militia groups” do not want to do anything illegal (not saying that they should) then how does the Militia plan to fight those unconstitutional laws and the enforcers, without breaking the law? Something to think about…

        It’s my opinion that when it comes to defending the Constitution that the “Militia groups” are pretty much useless. Groups should be geared more toward helping their community at a county level and members should all preferably, live in the county, for example instead of the what ever state Militia, it should be say the “Fentress TN County Militia” for example and they should work to help within their county.

        For instance, they could go out and check on the elderly, and haul in food, generators and other needed items to people that are in need after an emergency. Act as a community watch. Even picking up trash from illegal dump sites and from the roadsides. Anything and everything to help within their county – and yes to defend the county and its resources, from refuges if needed after a disaster. The Arizona Militia that was on the recent video that I posted are helping their county and local area by patrolling the border. Have a purpose, stay at the county level and a actually do something.

        You’ll do more good and get more results defending the Constitution by joining the NRA, the Tea Party and other political groups and being active in those.

        • jsallison says:

          This is more like it. A ‘militia’ should be able to provide value to their community in challenging circumstances, not just playing mall ninja. First aid, Ham radio, how about being a repository for jackleg votech type skills? A group of folk willing and able to get up off their 4th point of contact to help their neighbors.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            You may have heard some of us talking about CERT, civilian emergency reponse team, Skywarn, storm warnings, and the emergency communications groups involving ham radios. Now, everyone in my neck of the woods wears camo cause it’s a fashion statement. Even our Fire Departments are volunteers. So there are many ways one can prepare, network, exercise doing cool things wearing camo, and serve their community without getting on someone’s bad list.

          • Tactical G-Ma,

            Yes, and do more good in the process.

          • jsallison ,
            I thought I was generally up to date on most prepper jargon and acronyms, but what is “jackleg votech type skills”? Not slamming or kidding, just really would like to know.
            Having originally hailed from the Appalachians in W. PA, I have my share of phrases that can also get you that duh look.

        • Stealth Spaniel says:

          Wow! Suggestions that actually make sense! So many people are all wound up with guns, maneuvers, and “secret” plans. How about doing good at the community level, learning about your community? Get to know the people who live there- who is transient and who isn’t, get the layout of the area and be familiar with all of the roads. This is basic military 101. You cannot fight “the enemy” if you are unsure of what is going on. Once again, MD-you nailed it!

          • how about some militia and t party members pick their brightest and calmest and campaign for them for public office?
            we cannot do anything about shadow governments and international bankers but we can take care of our own areas and experienced statesmen can help teach those in adjoining counties how to make their way through the political maze.

        • Survivor says:

          I may run for mayor on that premise!!

        • MSGTretired says:

 check out the pages we have on responding to the JOPLIN tornado we responded with chainsaws communications and water. We make plans and back up plans and plans for when those plans go astray. That’s why it is an ORGANISED militia with all the command staff being prior military. Col Sumpter has gone to other states to help start other organized milita if you want to contact him his info is on the website.

        • Encourager says:

          Exactly M.D. And even break it down further – help those in your township or your neighborhood, not just the county level.

          The more you are recognized in your community as a “helper group” the more positive recognition you will get. Check on the infirm and elderly. Have a food drive. Help out at the parades, concerts. Do ride-alongs with your local PD. You remove the fear factor of being a ‘militia’ by becoming recognizable for your community service.

        • MD,
          +10 & Amen.

    • MSGTretired says:

      1/2 the state troopers will join them when SHTF. A militia done right should have contacts with the sheriffs department. Militias have HAM radio personnel to use during natural disasters like tornadoes.

  5. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Tracy T
    Thank you for your article. Personal experience and opportunity is all we can count on. Had your initial encounter been a positive one, you may have joined. In all fairness, no other military, mercenary, or civilian para-military group is likely to measure up to USMC discipline and training.

    That being said, your article is good and reinforces my preconceived ideas.

  6. Tomthetinker says:

    Thank You Gunny for the polite to the point evaluation of your encounter. Question: Were you ‘in’ one of the State’s or County’s “Open Shooting Areas”?

  7. From another retired Marine: Until militias are formalized at the state level, made mandatory from the age of 18 through 60/62, trained in a formalized manner, issued state approved standardized uniforms, 782 gear (web gear), standardized weapons & ammo, & drilled at least monthly…they will remain as a blight in the eyes of the American public. IMHO, this move would be the best thing America could do to immediately turn around the wayward attitudes of the past few generations as a whole, especially the current teens and rid our neighborhoods of violent gangs, drugs & illegal activities. Not advocating political lifestyle changes one way or another, just love & respect of both the constitution & country.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Now there is an Alabama State Militia that is Commanded by the Governor and may not exceed 1,000 members. But then they are sort of like the Guard but they do not take orders from anyone but the State.

      • Then wouldn’t that be called the organized militia(national guard)?


        • You have to look at your State Constitution to see if it authorizes the state to have a State Militia. (Not the same as the National Guard). Most states do, but not all. Some state constitutions allow them but they don’t actually have one. Texas has one and there are some actual assigned members on the state payroll. In Texas, all males between certain ages, 16 to 60 I think, are subject to call up for duty and are required to report with their own weapons and ammo.
          We were required to research and write a report when I went thru the ANG NCO Academy in 84.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          Organized militia, but NOT the National Guard. State militias like this are for the sole discretionary use of the state and under the Governor’s command. Usually they are heavy on medical and logistical/communications personnel since that’s the kind of help the governor usually needs the most in a natural disaster. According to Title X, US Code, such state militias do count as “organized” militia, but are held separate from the state’s guard component (which is subject to Federal use). Note also that according to Title X, US Code, all American Citizen males between the ages of 18 and 45 are AUTOMATICALLY part of the “unorganized” militia. Which rather defeats the anti-Second Amendment types’ arguments about whether or not a normal person can or should have a weapon.

          • JeffintheWest,
            To add to your description under USC Title X “males between the ages of 18 and 45” should actually be “17”. Title X 311(a) also states “and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”. Additionally, with all of the discrimination lawsuits and precedence being set in the last few decades, I suspect that sex and age would need to be left out of the definition if the person were able bodied and willing to serve.
            As for your notation on the second amendment and militias, I concur, but a simple law or legal definition has never stopped the righteous anti gun zealots who are only trying to protect society from the inanimate objects that they all irrationally fear.

      • Tactical G-Ma,
        Ohio has a similar group called the Ohio Military Reserve. They report to the governor, but unlike the National Guard, are not affiliated with any US military branch, and therefore not subject to being called up and taken over by the federal government.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Bring back the draft! I lived under it. It screwed up my life but I knew it was for the good of the country then, and I still think that way now.

      • HD,
        Although there is currently no draft, there is still selective service registration for males at age 18. Hmmm, wondering where the womens equality folks are on this issue.

    • MSGTretired says:

      check out for an organized militia.

    • Thats conscription , and is problematic constitutionally , especially at the state level , The Vietnam debacle forced the government to reevaluate the use of the draft , this because of huge public pressure , todays young people would avoid the draft by any means necessary , and considering the bullshit ways we go about doing things today and with highly questionable motives for the conflict itself , they are justified to dodge the draft . Just Sayin

  8. I agree with this ” Resistance may have to be rendered in smarter ways.” To me a lot of the militia mentality is about developing a lifestyle and it should be. It should be a means to an end and should exist exist within the larger context of protecting a positive culture, not just protecting the freedom to be able to do what you want, but to protect ” the “standard of positive conduct.”

  9. Rider of Rohan says:

    After reading all the articles and the back and forth comments on one subject or another the past few weeks, this one being one of them, I’m sure of one thing. There is no unity on anything, no hope of unity on anything, so nothing will be done by the people to stop the madness in DC. So…..back to prepping for the end.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Rider, you seem to have given more thought to this than I can claim. I am sitting here with my second cup of coffee getting cold. You prompt me to believe that keeping ego and envy out of my comment in here is … a better way to interact. Would the lot of us, sitting around a table, have ‘acted’ the way we … I … have? I’m thinking .. No.

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Tom, I read your comments knowing two things. First, you are going to make me laugh, and second, there will be nuggets of wisdom for me to pick out. Yes, there is a better way to interact.

        When I think about Michele, the first thing I think about is how kind and helpful she is and how much she loves people. Even people she doesn’t even know on a personal level, but has met on a blog. Michele has forgotten more about prepping than most have ever known or will hope to know. So you know how I treat Michele? With the utmost respect and thankfulness for her efforts. She doesn’t have to do anything for us. She freely gives her time and knowledge.

        So, you know what? I’m lucky…fortunate that she does. I have her back because she is busy doing the things I can’t do. Like posting a treatment for cancer. Or posting a treatment for the cytokine storm that kills the young in flu epidemics. And then going to the trouble to get the herbs, mix them herself, and make them available to the pack at cost. She should be treated with respect and not the juvenile way Occam whoever treated her and her husband. Is it fair? Maybe not. But some people should be revered for their wisdom and knowledge, and that’s Michele in my opinion. There are a few others I revere here as well, many of them women, and I’m just tired of the coarse manner now prevalent in the comments section. It does nothing to promote prepping or relationships. I’m far from perfect myself, and I’m making a promise to myself and the rest of the Pack to be more kind, more accommodating, and more understanding of other people’s opinions. If I forget, or get out of line, I would consider it an honor for members of the Pack to correct my behavior.

    • Hey Rider,
      Just wanted to say good bye my friend. Of all the people I’ve met online, you seem to be one of the few who have a pure heart. It’s been really nice to know you, but I believe that the good Lord is telling me to be “Be still and know that He is God”.

      Keep Rohan Safe,

      Rev. Dan Bauler, (Ghost)

      • Sure hope you can avoid those 18 wheelers reverend. Can’t believe your gonna leave a great blog instead of continuing to contribute your insight and opinions. But, I suppose if others input and opinions make you want to leave,then maybe the blog is better off without such weak willed characters. Adieu

        • JeffintheWest says:

          Not really very helpful. B.C., I’m thinking that’s the kind of comment that Rider was thinking about when he said we should be kinder and more constructive.

          • heres the thing jeff,if you dont like my comment,you are free not to read it. its that simple. Im giving ghost the exact same kindness he showed me when i wrote my article outlining my experience with the popo. i dont think he has forgotten,and i know i havent. the comment was for ghost,if you dont like it, i cant help you.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            Likewise, I’m sure, and while I’m sure he was just as disrespectful, did this solve that? But whatever, dude. I generally like what you have to say, but changing the confrontational attitude has to start somewhere and I’m thinking you are one of the guys most likely to rise above it on here and be a leader in that change. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

          • Rider of Rohan says:


          • Encourager says:

            “if you dont like my comment,you are free not to read it”…by the time we decide we don’t like it, it is read…as you very well know, BC.

            I agree with JeffintheWest: It IS that kind of comment that is nasty and hurtful. It saddens me to hear you talk (write) that way since it just shows your heart ~ “Out of the mouth, the heart speaks.”

            You have contributed a lot to this site; you have wisdom and insight in many areas. But you have a critical, hurtful way of cutting people to the quick. That is NOT something to be proud of, in my humble opinion. Yep, I am braced for your reply; fire away, BC.

      • k. fields says:

        Ghost – I’m going to miss those stories from the great frozen land of moose and squirrel. Good luck on all your future endeavors.

      • Donna in MN says:

        I must have missed something, you are leaving? I felt you were my brother Minnesotan on this blog.

        I will miss you buddy. I have faith that God will take care of you and your family. Darn, I don’t want you to leave! Your sister in Christ and Grace,

        • Donna in Mn I to don the cloth of the cold country, I have never posted here before but I do agree with a lot that gunny has to say I left a lot of my life in vet nam but we must all treat other as we wish to be treated ourselves. an outdoorsman myself I wish we did have a draft again, I have 3 boys they all went through basic training, all went airforce, but I digress it teaches the basics of the unit and what it takes to all think and act as one. be it helping your friends or helping your nation.

    • worrisome says:


      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Rev. Dan,
        I don’t really know what to say here. I’ve enjoyed interacting with you over the past few months, and have enjoyed our little forays into the comical. You are one of the regulars who I have come to respect and love to interact with on every occasion I can. You are wise as Gandalf, and have his good and kind heart as well. If you must leave, I truly will miss you. I would never seek to persuade anyone from following God’s will in their life. I’m praying for something good to come from all of this. On the positive side, I will see you one day, we will laugh together in the land where time will have no chains on us. I’m looking more forward to that with each passing day, and that gives me a peace beyond understanding.

        God Bless you, Sir.
        Your friend in Christ,

    • Consider two things , we are not in unity because shit has not gone down yet . THis is natural and normal , we can afford to have differences on approach because nothing has happened yet , like just before the Revolution , just before the Civil War , just before Pearl Harbor . Once it does go down , the direction is clear at that point , this is how it has always been . Another thing unique to this country , is that only about 3% of the population of the country actively participated in the Revolution , if that is an indicator , it may or may not be that way again , the numbers for the civil war were much higher . There will be many people who dont want to get involved , one way or the other .

  10. Jersey Drifter says:

    Thanks Tracy for a well written first hand experience. I feel your displeasure.

    Now DON’T ANYONE GET MADD. And please don’t take this personally.

    When I got out of the Navy, I joined the local National Guard unit.
    What a mistake. This was about 1981, and a few had combat experience in Nam, some like me vet’s without combat experience, but most only seemed to have experience in the Boy Scouts. First time I was with them on a weekend at the tank range at a base on the other end of the state, I knew I had made a mistake. At night in the tent most of the guys seemed to want to be a pain in the neck instead of sleeping, chucking thing at each other, even pieces of hot dogs. None of which was directed at me, but this went on most of the night. I did my one year and got out fast.
    That being said I do have the utmost respect for todays Guard. They have been carrying a big load in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are the ones who have to put their jobs on hold, leave their families, and take up the cause at a moments notice.

    I know not to judge all units from my one experience. And I don’t belong to a militia or have ever met any knowingly. From what I have seen and heard, and from your experience, most I would think wouldn’t agree with me.
    But lets pray that some out there are squared away, we may need them some day.

    • Sounds like you were living the NJ version of the movie “Southern Comfort” if I got the title right, anyway, I have seen militia groups that are the real thing and others that are jokes, but has it not always been that way? during the Revolutionary war period some groups were “well regulated” and others were not, I believe that is why the founding Fathers put that line in the second Amendment, they saw the folly of the past and wanted our defense against tyranny (foreign or domestic) to be effective.

    • Thanks for the article Tracy. I do realize this was one specific group and not a reflection of all in any way. Congratulations on your self control!!

      My entire family has deep military roots & my DH is a marine (not active now) and my deceased brother was a marine. When I read the guy had the gall to put on a uniform with rank insignia, my blood pressure went crazy and then I wanted to puke. What a way to dishonor the honorable who have sacrificed greatly. The snot nosed kid who was so rude to you is a perfect example of the lack of personal discipline rampant in our society today.

      BC has it right….not what you appear to be rather what you quietly and confidently are.
      Now I’m gonna go slow my heart down…

      • MSGTretired says:

        In the we join with the rank we held when we retired or got out of the military any new people are given E-1 unless certain criteria or skills are met. EMT’s are moved immediately to SPC-4 we basically give life skills credit to your rank. HAM ,CERT, Firemen, Police or sheriffs deputies get some rank. Join your local militia and help them organize. Feel free to use our website as a resource.

    • Navy = Never Again Volunteer Yourself
      LOL had to throw that in , I knew a guy that was in the Navy , and had never heard that before ….I guess he didnt like it . Funny tho .

  11. axelsteve says:

    I see a reason and need for a militia.I do not plan on starting or joining one any time soon though I would not try to impede someone who wants to.We need more at our Mexican border then what we have now for instance.A milita guarding the border would be welcome to me,hell a couple of Hells Angel clubhouses on the border would be an improvement to it.

    • I feel your pain brother , grew up in a border town , the only thing Mexico is good for , is dropping a bomb on .

  12. riverrider says:

    my militia experience was somewhat similar but different in that the group i met and ran with for a few months has their hearts n minds in the right place, but egos get in the way. they were preppers, politically astute, well meaning bunch but very little real world experience and seemed to be clueless as to how to get any. their leader was smart, articulate, but a babe in the woods with respect to running a militia. i respect him and his efforts, but its like herding cats to get agreement on anything. after several months of no one even asking what experience i brought to the table, i slowly faded away. i do wish them well and hope they get the training and guidance that they deserve. they are good men, every one that i met.

  13. I was going to post this when the video was up, but didn’t want to offend M.D., of other pack members however……..

    A. Must like to dress in camo 24-7
    B. Must be between the age of 48-60
    C. Must be at lease 75 lbs. overweight
    D. Must be either suffering from a mid-life crisis, or newly divorced.
    E. Must have never served in the Military
    F. Will get extra rank if living with parents.

    • well i meet two of the requirements (b and c) but i have a brother who is a butcher (cheap bacon) and another brother that is a baker (cheap donuts) im thinking not only am i elligible,but i wann be general!

    • MSGTretired says:

      I am a member of the milita retire military.
      A. We train 1 or 2 days a month that is when we camo.
      B. The kids of today were indoctrinated in their schools to be sheep and don’t know true freedom. We do have several 18-30 yr olds in the MO militia though.
      C. I currently am about 25 lbs over weight but who isn’t in America. I can still walk 5miles at 4mph with my 60lb ruck and full kit on.
      D. UM isn’t 1/2 of America 50% of marriages end in divorce.
      E. Our whole command staff is prior service Colonel captains and a Doc.
      F. None of our members are on food stamps and all are working members of society.
      I hope this clears things up all militias are not the same and only by joining can you make it better. Complining is the weak mans way out. WE all sacrifice our time and money to train and share our skills. Who knows what you may learn.

  14. Tract T:

    Thanks for the submission. Well stated and timely.

  15. ChandlerX says:

    I think that my biggest pet peeve when speaking to, or being lectured by, militia members is that they have a “I am right” or “military entitlement” attitude. Now, I have not met most groups in my area, not by a long shot, but enough to understand this attitude. These militia are being staffed by a lot of young men that have not outgrown what I call the “invincibility gene” and are also part of the generation that has poor control over themselves and their need for immediate gratification. As Tracy recalled in the post above: discipline and training are taken as a guideline that is too stringent, hard and to slow. They try to imitate the military mindset but cannot honor the work and humility that it takes to achieve it.

    I have also met persons in a non militia group (although a left leaning person with no contact with arms would see them as Militia Bad) and they were mostly all ex-military with open minds and open to criticism (both constructive and derisive). They had no rank, no outward agenda… they were training and practicing, Hard.

    I expect that what we are all trying to do within our own network groups is the latter. We may not have a completely ex-military group or any ex-military personnel at all… but we are all open to learn and work hard at acquiring the skills (with practice, practice, practice) that we need to support our families and friends in an Event. We do not need the bravado that a lot of militia members exude nor do we need to play at being in the military. We are all (hopefully) doing what we need to do to be safe; whatever comes we will be ready.

  16. Donna in MN says:

    I have been to reinactments of the American Revolution and the Civil War. Everyone does what they are told by their commanding officers and never saw an incident where a soldier steps out of line. After reading what you experienced, I’d rather have those reinactors as modern militia who plan battles, know their positions, and show respect and have dicipline among their group where I live. Most were an entertaining lot, and had gentlemenly respect for the ladies.

    The reinacting groups I belonged to made it difficult to shoot a muzzleloader at its target, have to carry a person on your back across a body of water, shoot from a canoe, and keeping your powder dry while running and reloading your rifle for surpise targets along the trails. The ones who did best got rewarded, and people listened and watched to be like them. Women and older kids also took the challenge on the bramble runs, and often were the person on their backs to cross water. I sure miss those days….

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Donna, you brought back some great memories for me. I was a Civil War(preferred is War Between the States) re-enacter with the 3rd Arkansas, Hood’s Texas Brigade, back…well, a little while ago. I picked that particular outfit because I had an ancestor in the 3rd, and it was mostly guys in SW Arkansas, which was not very far from my home in NE Texas.

      One of the high points, if not the highest, was when we took part in the filming of the movie Gettysburg, which is a moment in my life I will never forget. The first time Martin Sheen rode up to the Confederate encampment on horseback you would have thought he was the real Robert E. Lee. He was mobbed by thousands of rebs a hootin’ and a hollerin’. It was a crazy experience to say the least, and one I will never forget. The entire experience at Gettysburg that week was truly awesome, and awe-inspiring. The cannon barrage was deafening.

      And yes, we learned close order drills of that period, and used Hardee’s Infantry Tactics as our guide. We also did funerals, honorary and real burials, but the one I remember the best was the transfer of the body of David O. Dodd from McArthur Park Arsenal in Little Rock to the Mt. Holly Cemetary. Several hundred re-enacters marched 2 miles behind a caisson carrying Dodd’s body. That was pretty awesome.

      I left the 3rd after watching a man from another company die due to heat exhaustion re-enacting a battle at Old Washington near Hope, Ar. The temperature was well over 90 degrees that day, and we were all dressed in wool uniforms. I well remember being ready to fall out of line myself due to the excessive heat. I still have all my accoutrements, including my Mississippi rifle, leather, boots, cooking utensils, etc. Every once in a blue moon I travel to different places to do an encampment. No more re-enacting. Now, I’ve told you more than you wanted to know.

      • Civil war-Damn-Yankee expression, War between the States-Northern expression, War of Northern Aggression, Southern expression.

        • Interesting thing is , each region of the country is completely different in both attitude and mentality . G.Washington was chosen to lead the Continental army , not because he was a great general ( he was mediocre at best ) , but because he was the only person that both the Northern and Southern colonies would stand behind ………..they hated each other , even then lol .

        • JeffintheWest says:

          When I was a kid, I moved a lot, being a military brat and all. Up in Ohio, it was the “Civil War” and the “War to End Slavery.” Down in Texas, it was the “War Between the States,” and the “War of Yankee Aggression.” And the school books in the schools taught it that way. That’s right, each region taught their own version of History on that one. Gives you something to think about, doesn’t it?

      • Jersey Drifter says:

        The thing you learn here !
        And one very good movie.

      • Swamp Fox says:

        Very interesting RoR.

      • Donna in MN says:

        How interesting to read your experiences. I personall only experienced one battle to take FT Creve Coeur in Ill, the rest was more individual acomplishments, although the Civil War and Rev War battles were amazing watching on the sidelines. Some did the salute for funerals of those who died, that is an awesome thing to send your friends off. My firend Peg Leg,(George Patterson) had such a salute, and they ran his wooden leg up a flag pole at half mast.

        My former costume business did some costumes for “God’s and Generals” (2003) and my ex was General G.A. Custer for a historial film, and still portays him at Gettysburg–as a sutler now. He did both sides, and when he dressed a rebel, I called him Col. Sanders.(He got tired of losing battles so he became a rebel to finger lickin win em)

        It was a life for me for 30 years, still do some outfits for both Yankee and Rebels, but I’ll never forget coming into a camp with campfire smoke filling the senses of history, come alive.
        Thanks for sharing Rodan.

  17. Hooligan6 says:

    Well written article, Gunny. Your comments combined with the militia video ensure that I will steer clear of these groups when I retire this year.

    There are so many retired and former vets around that it is a shame there aren’t better organized militia taking advantage of all this experience. But I imagine that once I leave the military I will have more important things to focus on. Fixing a group like the one you described would be a nightmare.

    If these young men want to experience life in uniform, I encourage them to enlist. Otherwise they subject themselves to the leaders you described or like the militia video showed, leaders screaming at untrained, armed young men at the range and telling them how they are useless. In my 29 years of service I have never seen such poor leadership.

    • My experience was similar but there are diamonds in the rough out there. I would not write them off based on this. The militia documentary was just like the nat geo prepper show. Do you believe that show is a good representation of preppers?

      It is not a nightmare to fix one of these groups IF they want to be fixed. If they don’t want to be fixed then leave them.


      • riverrider says:

        m, i concur. there are some good ones out there but they have to want it. sadly, many are happy playing games.

    • MSGTretired says:

      I retired and 3 months later join my local milita and share my skills with them for free. I was put straight on command staff. HELP your local militia with all your skills you can improve it and make it better instead of putting it down. Their HEARTS are all in the right place all they need is guidance and training.

    • Hooligan6,
      I think there is a large unorganized militia out there that does not call itself that name, and is in place for former service members and those in public service. It’s the Oathkeepers, and they may well be worth looking into.

  18. OwlCreekObserver says:

    Well said, Gunny. I belong to a local gun club and even a few of those folks give me the heebie jeebies.

  19. Unorganized says:

    The militia referred to is the unorganized militia. Everyone is in it whether they want to be or not. There are no leaders, no rates or ranks. Any attempt to organize it is bullshit. There are 20 million living today who have served in the armed forces. We too, are in the unorganized militia, each an army of one.
    Keep your rifle close and a sharp edge on your knife.
    Semper Fi

  20. Brearbear says:

    …i think N.A.T.O. needs to follow the Swiss model of civil defense…i do believe in having a very strong military as well…

    The main problem i see is that the N.A.T.O. Alliance
    has left it up to the individual to have to deal mostly with s.h.t.f. issues…on their own.

    When you wrote:
    “There is no unity on anything, no hope of unity on anything, so nothing will be done by the people to stop the madness in DC. So…..back to prepping for the end”.

    You hit it bang on…and has pissed me right off!

    I have decided to try even harder to somehow change this mentality.

  21. SonOfSam says:

    When I was very young, I wanted to be a fighter pilot in the USAF. My father had been a mechanic, and had worked at Andrews AFB. I wanted to shoot down “the bad guys”….I had no idea who these bad guys were, but they needed a missile up their butts, of this I was certain.

    Reality intervened when they found out why I sucked something awful at T ball: I am extremely near sighted. My father explained to me that night why I couldn’t be a fighter pilot. Crappy ugly glasses and I cant shoot down bad guys: a bad day for a 7 year old boy!

    So I never served in the armed forces. But I know enough that I can state the following with confidence:

    A)Never assume a rank that’s not yours. You don’t get voted to be a gunny or an officer… that’s just plain crazy. Plus its an insult to the people who actually EARNED that rank

    B) Camouflage is meant to HIDE you from the enemy. Wearing “camo” clothing in a civilian environment does exactly the opposite; it makes you a great big bullseye target. You wanna really be camouflaged? Wear civilian clothing that’s not too flashy. Polo shirts, jeans, sneakers. No one will look at you twice

    C) While on the subject of hiding in plain sight, if you want to be a soldier, you need to learn to hide from the enemy. That means that you actually KNOW who “the enemy” is, and you hide by NOT leaving a trail so wide that high school girl could follow it. How many of those fools do you supposed used their credit cards or personal checks to buy their “gear”? Gee whiz, at least TRY to make it difficult!

    D) No one person knows everything. That means if someone shows up and tries to HELP you, don’t be an ass and snarl at him. That’s short sighted and stupid

    Just my two cents 🙂

    • riverrider says:

      in my area, camo fits right in. you’d be picked out pretty quick in a polo shirt. folks would figure you for a fed. just for fun i sometimes dress like that and wear a jacket with a tiny fbi logo on it. i like to watch them squirm 🙂

    • Couldn’t agree more with each point here.

  22. Deovindice says:

    I enjoyed this ‘Gunny’ and his story! After I quit laughing at the image of the obese ‘ObiWannabe’ Gunnery Sergeant, I got to thinking that maybe it is a mistake to laugh off the existence and ability of these quasi-paramilitary ‘units’, regardless of their level of skill and ‘Three Stooges meets the Keystone Cops’ appearances. They are a threat: real, not imagined. They are armed and they are numerous. Those two factors make them dangerous on their own merit. In peacetime, we can laugh them off all day long, however, when the balloon goes up they become one more threat we need to be prepared for. You may not be impressed with their skills, weaponry and resources, I’m not in the least but what does concern me is the vast amount of personal supplies, effort and ammunition I will have to expend eliminating them when become the marauders they intend to be. A lot of today’s ‘militias’ can be defeated on the field by just about anyone that received basic training in any of the Armed Forces, but there are a few whose membership requires proof of a DD214 and proof of a combat arms MOS. Additionally, the 214 must reflect that the individual is an actual ‘combat’ Veteran and not a ‘served-in-a-combat-zone’ Veteran. I know of at least three such organizations in existence and was invited to join as a ‘prospect’ for one of them. After a weekend with them, I respectfully declined. Many of them, if not all, are ex-SpecOps kind of guys; the kind movies are made about. Not all of their intentions are patriotic by any stretch of the imagination, and that’s what concerns me the most. I fear not any of the three letter government agencies, and where I live, I am 90% certain I’ll not have to deal with any of the U.S. Armed Forces en masse when TEOTWAWKI occurs, but I’m quite sure I’ll have the rogue militias and other groups/gangs roaming around to contend with. It’s not so much the presence or absence of their skillset that I am concerned with as much as it is their numbers and the drain on my personal resources to deal with them. As well, as confident as you or I may be in our own realm of personal skills and abilities, an amateur can get a lucky shot off. In the unit(s) I served in, we used to say that ‘every bullet has a name on it’ but it wasn’t those that scared us. We were concerned about the ones addressed to ‘Current Resident’.
    So now I present the dilemma: Do you befriend all of those individuals that you can, whether you like them or not, and hope they don’t turn on you as soon as they realize their training and logistics has left them short? Or, do you hope the 10K rounds you’ve horded is enough to fight the good fight?
    These ‘militias’, while seemingly unorganized and not very intimidating, may have a ruse built in to appear as untrained and pompous to outsiders/spectators so as not to draw serious attention from the local/Federal LEAs. Not really a bad plan if you think about it – appear so disorganized and untrained that no one gives you a second thought – until they hit your flanks simultaneously at 0445hrs, then wedge through your center 10 minutes later. Something to think about.

    Your mileage may very.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      I know it is terribly unfair but I cannot get the pointy hats and robes out of my mind. I lived around them in the hills of TN when I was a child. If the grand poopah decided to do something then the brethren went along with it. All the other hundreds of grand poopahs throughout the states had there own agendas.
      Folks, fringe religions can get wonky. Remember Jim Jones?So you know, fringe activists could be great one day and the death of us the next.
      I am absolutely positive there are good people with the best intentions in some of these groups. But the groups still scare me.

  23. For me Militias a bunk, fantasies, fairy tales. Should such circumstances arise I believe we will be on our own and resistance groups will form to do as much damage as possible to the political and military as possible. Their goal will be survival, not playing games. We will not know what to do, but we will know something, and will require some level of leadership for planning. I obtained a text on various methods and means to disable mechanical equipment, ergo, knowledge of what to do will clearly be helpful. Guarilla (sp) war fare will be the method of operation. We will not be collective forces to go face to face with the military, but it will be covert operations of breaking down equipment, spreading rumors and etc.
    I once wanted to join a Malitia, but having lived long enough I have come to my conclusion that it is the last thing you want to become involved with. Resistance will be the course as is demonstrated by over 300,000 Connecticut citizens refusing to register their semi-auto firearms and magazines of more than 10 rounds. The resistance has already begun.
    My passion is that millions of Americans to stop paying federal income taxes. This would cripple a government trying to enslave us, but how do you get people to stop paying taxes. As I see it this is the most ideal situation to resist the government which has no respect for the Constitution. In fact it is an annoyance to them and for the most part they do not follow it nor do they commit to their oath to uphold and defend it.

    • Thats the reason I picked up some more guns and ” high capacity ” magazines and ammunition , than I really need lately . If they dont want you to have them …………then you probably should be getting as many as you reasonably can .

  24. Gunny,
    One thing you failed to see was a group of men who willingly came to a training session on their free time to practice defending their liberties. Were they unorganized? YES Did they lack leadership? YES Did they lack motivation? NO
    How much would have given to have PFC’s and LCPL’s show up motivated to train on the weekend after working 40 hours?
    I had the same situation you described happen to me when I got out. I tried to get in there and help but soon realized they were just looking for a reason to buy gear for their zombie addiction. I was able to find a few groups well off the radar who were there for the right reason. With these groups I focused my time and we came up with some itineraries for training. We had a weekend long training where we invited all of the non-desireable groups along. We did no live firing and made sure all firearms were empty. It was about 30 degrees at night and we did some training. definitely nothing strenuous. After that most of them realized what was expected of them and some either got in line or left.
    There were some growing pains but now I know multiple groups in the state who would have my back in an emergency. I am by no means a combat vet. The trainings I set up I ran by seasoned combat vets and they gave me real world advice. I then trained the groups to the best of my ability.
    The groups you’ve seen probably could not handle squad tactics because no-one ever showed them individual movements, fireteam movements, or safe firearm handling.
    One day with you would do a great improvement. Showing up to help them train does not mean you have joined that group. You may find a few neighbors among them who are there for the right reason and more interactions with the group will help you identify them.
    If I was in Cali. I would be trying to find as many like minded individuals I could.


    • I agree that many of these guys probably have a much higher opinion of their skills than is justified. So it is with most people until they run up against reality. That is why competition is such a grounding experience. Paintball games often served well for this when it came to learning fire and maneuver though admittedly the range of the guns was very limited. It seems to me they need an objective test of their skills such as range competitions where humiliation and failure is a great teacher. Many of these guys have no idea what they don’t know.

  25. Occam's Disposable Razor says:

    BZ, Gunny.

    That reflects my experience as well.


  26. Dan Bluehawk says:

    thank you gunny for your input ! i hope you will be around when and if your services will once again be needed in the name of liberty and freedom !! i would like to remind everyone, that if you are between the ages of 18 and 45, you ARE a member of the state militia, ( male ) whether you like it or not. you can be called to serve by the governor of the state in which you have residency in. this is a unrevocable law !! you are exempt however if you are a convicted felon, ( by the standards of 1902, not in my opinion of todays standards, where they make you a felon for spitting on the sidewalk !! ) this law is called DICK act of 1902, efficiency of Militia, bill h.r. 11654 of June 28th 1902 . you can look it up with a little effort by going to U.S. government, house bills, dick act of june 28th 1902. you will find it like normal bills, filled with legal speak, ( long and hard to understand to us normal everyday country rabble ) however it boils down to simply mean that a lot of states are doing illegal things to its residents ( illegal mayors against legal guns, comes to mind here , in my opinion !! these people should be tried for treason !!) you will most likely not be taught anything about this bill in any school you attend, as it could easily be counter productive to our communist agenda’s ( again my opinion on the matter ) thank you for your time !

  27. zartanyon says:

    What the Gunny experienced is probably the norm, but not all are goofball oriented.
    It is a need for the inexperienced general public to get involved because of a real growing fear of a tyrannical government.
    It is to bad that some militia minded citizens are spinning their wheels, but the waant to do something.
    What is needed is experienced ex military trained experts that will step up and again do their part in defending our Constitution and country against a domestic enemy.
    Don’t just throw up your hands and walk off. Start your own with vetted people of military standing and then bring in untrained but committed citizen who want to be correctly involved in perserving our heritage if need be.
    Gunny, you have shown that there is a problem that needs correcting.
    Not all undisaplined citizens can be trainable.
    Drop or weed out the lazy and untrustworty.

  28. Hunker-Down says:

    Tracy T,

    Thank you for your service.

    You have the experience; start a group and do it right.

    Would the dudes that fought under General Washington meet with your approval? If things get bad enough I hope we would respond as they did. I know, 99 percent haven’t ever been off their couch, but if they get hungry enough a third will follow a good leader. We desperately need one to pull us together.

  29. k. fields says:

    Here in Northern CA there are a lot of militia groups, some of them official, some organized as subdivisions of the so-called “California State Militia” and others independent of either of those groups.

    The official groups are the CA National Guard (and the CA Air National Guard) and the CA State Military Reserve – the “official” State Militia and a group I maintain a lot of respect for.

    The “CSM” is a private organization although they do try to maintain some sense of order and decorum of their local chapters. Some of these local subdivisions are very helpful to their local communities serving as an extended neighborhood watch (actual law enforcement coverage is negligible outside of the larger cities in Northern CA) and additional manpower during emergencies, but some just offer an organized forum for folks to complain about the government and play soldier.

    The remaining militia groups are the FBI, ATF and Homeland Security watch list folks usually organized as to their favorite choice of prejudice – liberals, gays, Jews, Muslims, blacks, immigrants, etc. or for some, just everyone “else.” A lot of these militias are actually more organized and much better trained than the other non-official groups.

    For my sins, I still seem to know folks from all of these organizations (and many of the individuals I list as friends) and have at one time or another been personally involved with most of the groups. In the early ’70’s especially, there was not a clear line between being a survivalist here in Northern CA and being in a militia – with no internet and very few “newsletters” to share ideas you would meet in person, usually for the weekend, to discuss the issues, try out different equipment and firearms, and “train” for the impending collapse of the society. At that time, most folks involved were Vietnam vets so the meetings were also a form of catharsis that wasn’t being offered elsewhere. The meetings mostly seemed positive for lack of a better word although prejudice against “others” was always apparent if not blatantly spoken. It was kept in check though because the groups were always a mishmash of individuals from ultra conservative loggers to back-to-land ex-hippies. There was always real discussion, not just a parroting of some talk-radio host’s ideas.

    But that positive feeling seemed to change as the years progressed and I moved from group to group trying to find a good fit. The numbers of groups and members rose and fell as the economy improved and worsened – which really showed me how complacent folks are when they feel their personal lives are comfortable – no matter the reality. After Obama was elected President at the same instance of the housing market collapse, groups and membership soared (as did the “prepping” movement). But the tone was even more negative than ever before.

    I think (hope) we are just going through a phase that brings out the worst in people instead of the best – and the TV entertainment programs simply highlight and characterizes the worst of the worst in all of us. It will pass as it has before through out our history.

    There are positive militia groups out there trying to do what they can to help us all, just like there are positive prepper groups looking only to inform and serve as inspiration to the idea of actual independence. Both are worth searching for.

    • riverrider says:

      k, with respect, the national guard is no longer a militia in any sense. it is an extension of the standing army. it is wholly funded by the fedgov and beholding to it. it is trained, equipped and organized in direct alignment with big army. it is routinely called up for federal duty outside of emergencies in foreign lands. the tag on their shirt even says “” if govs try to refuse fed deployment of their troops they are presented with a bill for the billions spent on it. the guard is bought n paid for, part time army. they only let them do state duty to keep up appearances. they even have to pay the feds for the use of the gear during state duty.

      • k. fields says:

        Very true on all points but let me explain my thinking.
        If we look to the Constitution, the Militia can be called upon by Congress to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions with Congress being responsible for the organizing, arming, disciplining and governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States.
        That Constitutional description certainly sounds more like the present day National Guard than the civilian militia groups like the ones featured in the video, so that’s why I included the NG as an official militia.

        • riverrider says:

          k, i see your point. however the guard is more an arm of the executive now than congress. i hope this changes as a result of the current regime over-reach.

  30. JeffintheWest says:

    This article does a really good job of expressing my own concerns and experiences with so-called, self-declared “militia” units. Most of them do, unfortunately, come across like Keystone Kops when they “train,” and when I think about what some of my old Drill Sergeants would have said about that training, I’m kind of reminded of Bill Murray’s outfit in “Stripes”….

    Sadly, if things ever did come to some kind of open hostilities, most of those “militia units” (the ones I’ve seen, anyway) would be dead within minutes. Most of them never learn to move tactically at all, and one good horseshoe ambush and their tale would be told. That’s not to say there aren’t really good outfits out there, but I’ve certainly never seen them (which might just demonstrate how good they actually are), and the ones I have seen haven’t been…well…”good.” Personally, I’d much rather get a few “good old boys” (of any race) that happened to be really good hunters together; I’d feel at least marginally confident that a few of us might survive our initial engagement.

    Anyway, that’s why I don’t get all ate up about joining some local “militia” outfit. I think I can find better things to do with my prep time and money. Obviously, YMMV and all that, but that’s what I think based on my own personal experiences and observations, and I’m deeply sorry if I’ve inadvertently offended anyone here by saying this.

  31. One of the most articulate articles I have seen in a while, with just the right amount of humor, and done with out the need for any personal insults. Ain’t it a wonder what we can do when we put out minds to it? Thanks, TracyT!

  32. MSGTretired says:

    Quit complaining about the problem of the militia and JOIN the militia and fix it with your great military expertise that’s what I have done. folks we are doing it right. The whole command staff is prior military and we are sacrificing our time and money to defend all you who will hide in your holes as individuals. If you are so much better than your local militias join up and help them. Personally I am sharing my 23 years of skills with my neighbors. 23 years of self aid and buddy care but now we have like 4 Iraqi veteran medical troops and 1 REAL doctor, 10 years of Security police tactics, 3 months of Ranger school , 10 years of Radio Electronics HAM certified, and my last 2 years I spent in Emergency management in the command post. quit complaining about militias and join to make them better. I am training some great young men that are sacrificing their time for NO PAY. That is a true PATRIOT.

  33. Good post , thats the problem , if you are considering joining a militia , you have to do some shopping around , just like buying a car or a gun . There are the ” goober ” militias , that have leadership that has never been in the military , then you have the serious ones , that are being trained by discharged or inactive military . If you see anybody out of shape ….keep looking around . Like I said on another post , we need to go back to the state sponsored militias , they were trained properly ( for the ideals of the time ) and legitimate . The only reason that does not exist today ( although some states do have one , not associated with the National Guard , and cannot be federalized ) is government fear , because the state militias were called up to form one of the finest fighting forces in our history …the Confederate Army , and rather quickly I might add . Either way , that is what our forefathers intended as a check and balance . Today is more problematic , we would most likely be more affective in defense of tyranny by adopting the loose structure of the cell method , that has proven itself to be very effective , cels can combine to form a large force , or operate in small groups independently if needed .

  34. George in Minnesota says:

    Very interesting thread here. Gunny, I appreciate your points and have had similar experience. I remember one of the “officers” I met who tired to tell us that he would rush in and finish anyone he did not kill with his “M4orgery” with his Kbar (he pronounced Kaahbar). He looked and acted more like an insurance salesman with a Walter Mitty complex. It was pretty easy to apprehend a total lack of experience other than his watching a lot of Hollywood war movies. It kind of illustrates to me a problem endemic in the Prepper Community where folks tend to be the stars in their own internal movie.
    Fact is that most of the real deal guys I have met have been quiet & understated. You’d never know who and what they were until you had spent a lot of time with them and gained trust respect and friendship. Personally I never went anywhere nor did I ever do anything. I like to keep it that way so I stay off lists and don’t upset the fantasies. I’ve found that when you challenge fantasy of guys like your overweight “gunnery sgt” they tend to get nasty. What I know and can do will be kept to myself. My Carhart jeans and work boots are the real cammo for my part of the country though I do wear a Massy Ferguson cap which stands in stark contrast to all the John Deere headgear eh

  35. When I sent that article in I told M.D. that I hope it doesn’t set off a firestorm. Looks like it touched some nerves. This was a description of my personal experience. I should have mentioned in the article how seeing those guys wear Marine Corps rank insignia and especially the “gunny” wearing MY rank insignia hit a particular nerve. Made my frikin blood boil. In parting I expressed those sentiments very clearly.
    I’ve read a lot of posts on here, not only dealing with this issue but many others. I have been impressed with the maturity and thoughtful responses of the majority of them. I sure as heck didn’t want to chase anyone off or burn any bridges. I truly believe that the folks who post on here are true blue Americans. I read courage and commitment in practically every post I’ve seen on here. I know we don’t all agree and we have different methods, capabilities, and ideals. I also know that folks on here have a tendency to work together for the most part and indulge in -constructive- arguments, that’s something that we just don’t see much of these days. Thanks for reading and thanks for all of the inputs and posts… every one of them. I hope to engage with you all more in the future. Thanks again. Take care, Stay SAFE, and God bless you! Semper Fi!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Thank you for your article.
      First, let me say you should feel NO guilt or responsibility for the departure of readers.
      We all knew from the beginning of your article that it was your experience and therefore was totally subjective. At no time did you try to show documentation or statistics to show what percentage of militia members resembled those you met.
      We all can understand your anger at having trained so hard and risked so much for the privilege to wear those chevrons. And then someone who could never legitimately earn them, wears those chevrons in public. It showed great self-control, IMO, for you to not assault the imposter.
      Thank you for your service and for sharing your experience. Now as for readers and participating pack members.
      I come and go because honestly, if I am out doing what needs to be done, I spend almost no time on the web. I do subscribe and read articles that apply to what I am working on and the archives is the first place I look for information because it has been so reliable.
      I believe that those who have dropped off this past week were planning to do so anyway. I have a hunch there was a precipitating reason for their departure, and if it is true makes me sad about how it was done. But I can control only me.
      I also believe that we lose subscribers who are from nations other than the U.S. who tire of the articles being dominated by Christian Yanks who don’t know or care about what life and times in Canada, Australia, or New Zealand for example.
      Of course, prepping is prepping, and we can benefit from all experience regardless of what part of the world it comes from. And, I have heard the same comments said a 100 different ways before it finally sinks in or I understand what is being said and how it applies to me.
      Now of course, I have no proof that there is a shred of truth in what I have written here except that you did no wrong. And you are responsible for your actions only.
      I have the highest regard for the USMC and the honor and tradition it represents.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Exactly what she said. You are responsible for yourself and what you choose to do, not anyone else or what they choose to do. And that includes that militia group you saw too — you are under no obligation to share anything with them.

        (Unless and until you are appointed over them by a legally constituted authority, that is. 😉 )

    • Thats one of the problems with America right now , things dont get said for fear of controversy ……so nothing gets done to correct the problem . Never worry about offending or starting a heated discussion , if you think its a subject that needs to be brought up , then by all means do so . Thats for everybody .

  36. Encourager says:

    Gunny-T, thank you for your service and for this article. Well done.

  37. I’ll bite. I was involved with one and it was eye-opening. They were fat, undisciplined, alcoholics for the most part. A couple of the guys splintered off into local groups and the so-called leadership condemned them as traitors for leaving. Does a militia demand that you pay dues? Would a militia discuss their plans online? Would a disciplined militia be out in the open at a public range? NO!

  38. retired army SFC says:

    I have met a couple so called militia. Not Impressed. Ran into to them at the flea market, Big fat slobs wearing bdu’s with all kind of patches. Asked them if they were prior service. Nope. Remember most militias have been infiltrated by law enforcement. A standing nail is soon pounded down


  40. I’m of two minds on the milita movement. On the one hand, I applaud those who want to be ready in case ‘it’ happens, on the other, I’ve had the personal experience of meeting some of the ‘Mall-Ninja’ types (before that term existed).

    In 1990, about a year after I got out of the Reserves, I was approached by a member of my old unit, who also was out of the service. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in joining up with a group he was with, that went under the title ‘Utah State Guard’, even though officially, it had disbanded three years prior. It was interesting.

    In some ways, it was two militias, not one. On the one hand, there was a ‘company’ made up almost entirely of ex-servicemembers, who tended to be more low-key and professional, and the other element was comprised out of people who either had never been in the military or had been refused admission for any number of reasons. The stated goal was to re-activate the State Guard, this time without all the riff-raff that had caused the original organization to disband.

    The first ‘drill’ I attended was very casual: at one of the officer’s homes, a barbeque, and a short presentation where he outlined what the ‘new mission’ would be. There was no talk about battling ‘Big Brother’, or ‘hit lists’, and no one was in uniform of any kind (the captain had actually been a captain in the USAR). He spoke of being an asset to the National Guard, search and rescue, community service projects, things that would give the ‘new’ group a better public relations image.

    The next ‘drill’ introduced me to the ‘other’ half of the new group. Picture all the stereotypes the posters above listed. Overweight, untrained, undisciplined, racist and many with underlying agendas they wanted to air out. It was a ‘field exercise’, shorthand for going to a private firing range where all the armchair commandos got to show off their toy collection, for the most part.

    That ‘company’s’ commander was a blithering idiot who had never spent five minutes in a uniform for real. The only reason he was given a ‘commission’ was because he owned the property the ‘new’ group was training on and he had an extensive collection of ‘evil black rifles’ and ammo. The members of his company had no interest in doing any worthwhile actions, merely to train and prepare for when the ‘gummint’ decided to crack down on the population.

    The first group I interacted with tried to distance themselves from this second arm, but I saw the writing on the wall and politely kept my distance from both. While the first group seemed genuine and respectable, their association with the second wing made me nervous. For a citizen militia to succeed, I believe there are a couple things they need to address before starting up.

    Have a clear mission, other than ‘being prepared’. That first captain didn’t talk about patrolling, fire support, small-unit tactics, or anything like that. Since the bulk of his men (and women) were prior-service, all he’d need would be to reinforce what they already knew. He wanted to make that unit an asset to the community, rather than an object of ridicule and fear. There was even a serious discussion about adopting a highway for the public exposure, and training for back-country rescue.

    The other half were more interested in posing in camo, debating the merits of various weapons systems, and whining about how they weren’t taken seriously. They also seemed to lack a lot in the physical training, discipline, and deportment areas, and quite frankly, scared the bejeebers out of me with their cavalier attitudes regarding loaded weapons.

    In the end, I declined to join up. While some had nothing but the best intentions, it was more than offset by the ‘dangerous ones’ who occupied the other half of the group. It foundered and quietly went away, from what little I heard about it later.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents on this topic.

  41. nnyready says:

    i am not a prefissonal solder or ex lawenforcement whos traning i have the utmost respect for ifact i propably moore fit the grope the auther was discribing except unlike them i know no bunch of woudbe rambos would have a chanch aganst a profesionaly trained outfit we would git wooped and wooped bad espesaly if the hevey stuff was throun aganst us so ive no illussions about who would come out on top if a civian fores whent up aganst a profesonal outfitt i just hope if we ever git invaded or fall into social anarky the pros use us as cannon fadder as thats what wed be

  42. Antizombie says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet but the thing that irks me most is the wearing of “gunny” chevrons and acting as if they have earned them. I never served (God bless those that have) but I have military (active and retired in my family and I would NEVER put on a single piece of rank hardwear because it was EARNED by those individuals and I would be too embarrassed to think I deserved it. Those guys are an embarrassment to themselves and don’t think that everyone who I’ve met who served doesn’t think so.
    Just my take.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      I strongly concur with that point. Heck, I wouldn’t put on a Gunny’s rank either, and I retired as a LTC. I didn’t earn Gunny though, and to wear it would be an insult to gunnery sergeants everywhere.

  43. I think it’s a shame that a lot of the negative image people have of militia.. not all, but a lot of it.. comes from criminal gangs or domestic terrorist organizations calling themselves militia (which they’re really not) That said, I’ve thought about joining my state militia or at least going to observe one of their training exercises a few times.. decided against it in the end for a couple of reasons. I’ll admit the stigma is one of them, but also because the Michigan Militia got infamous in the mid 90’s for being involved in some kind of anti-government nonsense, and the Feds still pay a lot of attention to them. Also, from what I seen on their site, they do kind of put me in mind of an overzealous boy scout troop, as the OP said. MI does have a Volunteer Defense Force, I want to check it out too but I was told by a guy who volunteered with his state’s (not MI, somewhere down south) VDF that it was almost all NG retirees and he learned more from the Red Cross when he was on a CERT team, I’ll probably go that route. As an aside, on the other prepping site I visit fairly regularly ( Zombie Squad, there was a discussion a while back on militias and whether or not belonging to one was a good idea for a prepper. One guy said if he knew there was a militia in his area he would consider them his biggest security concern in a shtf or wrol situation. Quite a few people agreed with him.. what do you guys think?

    • Encourager says:

      Hank Hill, funny you should post this as I was just going to post the following:

      There is another group in Michigan called the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force. The group I met at the CERT training we just recently completed were from the 3rd Element of the Michigan Military. They were composed of former military members, current National Guard members and even some ‘youngsters’ about age 17-18 and also others that had never served in the military. We were very impressed by their conduct. The young folks were so respectful of everyone else in the class, helpful, polite and I cannot remember when I was called Ma’am so many times in one weekend! This group composed at least 1/3 of the class.

      At one point, after we had completed a search and rescue scenario, they asked for comments. I mentioned that one of the ‘wounded’ I was standing next to was in the process of being taken care of when a higher ranking person came and took the ‘medic’ and abandoned the ‘wounded’ and no one ever got back to her – and that it was a good thing it was just a drill. A few minutes later, the young ‘medic’ that had abandoned her, stood up in front of the entire class to apologize to the ‘wounded victim’. I am sure that the ‘victim’ and I were not the only two completely amazed by that.

      Many of the instructors were also from this group. We were extremely impressed by them.

  44. 3rdgen4wars says:

    As a former Marine, it is hard to get on the stereotypical miltia bandwagon

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