Rank, Duty Position, And Authority, Or Not Being A “Colonel of Corn”

25 June, 2014


Face Book Profile pic of “Kernel” Hershman


I had the “privilege” of being invited, friended, or whatever you call it, to join the Pennsylvania Militia FB page a couple weeks ago. My reasons for going along with it were simple, networking. I feel networking is one of the biggest advantages of social media, and if you are involved in training preparedness minded  folks, then a militia FB page is probably a good place to be. The Page Moderator/Dictator/Starter , is an individual by the name of Christopher Hershman. Mr’ Hershman fancies himself to be a “Colonel” in the militia of PA (my Girlfriend reminded me of the Metallica lyric “Where’s your crown, king nothing?) , and at the time I started there, I could care less what he called himself. This past Sunday evening (Ironically after getting home from a meeting where I was trying to help a militia in PA reorganize their structure) I was lookin’ through FB, and I see an email that Hershman posted, of what he sent out to a Militia Commander from Texas, stating this “My name is Christopher Hershman and am the statewide commander of the Pennsylvania Militia.” The email went on to drop the name of a fellow associate in the militia (an actual militia commander) that they both knew, and then Hershman asks what ways the Pennsylvania Militia can assist the Texas State Militia. Signed Col. Christopher Hershman, Pennsylvania Militia. Great, right? Coordinating of different states militia commanders, right? WRONG!

Mr. Hershman it appears is not only a legend in his own mind, but also likes to go around town, dressed in his bdu’s getting the 50% Mil/LEO/Firefighter/EMT discounts at Denny’s and the like, What makes it bad, is that Hershman doesn’t even have “A Militia Unit” (no group, no training with anyone, nothing) he only has a FB page (but by God, he has over a thousand friends). He appointed himself “Colonel” because he feels that since he has this “FB group/unit”, and goes around talking with militia units, he “deserves” the rank. After he posted the email on FB, I immediately asked him 1) What statewide militia are you a commander of? 2) Who gave you the rank of colonel and the authority? and 3) Who do you command, except for a group on FB? Unfortunately, I already knew the answers to these questions (was already briefed by a few people “in the know”), so the reason for them was to see if there was any honesty in him whatsoever. His responses were less than informative, concerning the questions I posed ( I have the whole conversation saved from screenshots before he banned me). Hershman starts by telling me he’s added 1200 new people to that page in the last 18 months, and  then says “Who gives you the authority to question what we have developed in Pennsylvania?” Well, “Kernel” Hershman, I wasn’t questioning what y’all have built, I just had questions about you.  Your rank, Your duty position, and Your authority. Needless to say I’ve been booted off of that site, along with a number of others who also have questioned the “Kernel”. On a side note, I was told that he called a buddy sayin’ “Who the F**k is this Dodge guy?” he also asked what my rank was in the militia, and in the US military. The individual said “He holds no rank in the militia, he’s a trainer, but I believe he was an E-6 SSG, or E-7 SFC in the military.” The Kernel’s response was, “Oh, he was an entry level manager.” LOL


Group photo of “Kernel” Hershman’s  FB troops training

What’s the point of this post you ask? Is it just a reaming of an individual Asshat with some bdu’s an colonel’s pin on rank, and delusions of grandeur? Not at all. This post is about the mindset of the “Wanna be’s”.  The “Kernel of Corn”, as he will now be referred to, is not unusual in the militia community (we’ve all heard of, or personally seen it). Being part of “The Militia”, is not the same as being part of “A Militia”. All of us, according to historical documentation are part of “The Militia”, but you’re not part of “A Militia”, unless you have a group who has some organization, and trains together. it’s that simple.

Your “Rank” is generally based off of your “Duty Position”. For example, a Team Leader, is generally a Corporal or a Sergeant, and a Company Commander is usually a Lieutenant or a Captain. Unless you’re going for “Legendary” status, you cannot be a General if you’ve only got a squad, platoon, or company’s worth of men (8-130 usually), Your rank (Most use the military rank structure, why reinvent the wheel, right?) is dictated by the number of personnel under your command/Duty Position. Your “Authority”, generally speaking, in a militia, is derived from how many personnel you can speak for as their leader, or what authority other units have given you, to speak on their behalf. For example, if you are a Battalion Commander, and the rank for that position is a Colonel, it doesn’t matter if your organizational table says that part of your state is a Brigade. If the group size of that area happens to be a battalion’s worth of personnel, you might be the de facto Brigade Commander, but you are not a general, you are a Colonel in rank, due to the number of personnel under your command.

What am I alluding to here? Why are you harping on this JC, it’s just the militia, no big deal, right? I’m harping on this, because if you’ve had any affiliation with, or are a member of a militia unit, you will see this. Point it out, Question those who are carrying rank, Where did they get the authority for it. What is their duty position, and what actual authority do they have? They might not have a clue (You don’t know, what you don’t know, right?) and need it explained, or they might be like ‘Kernel” Hershman, and they’re doing it for perks, and they’re legends in their own minds. If you want Militia to get a good rep with people, you have to make it stick to certain standards, and not embellishing rank of the individual is one way to do that. If you’re wondering, the reason this post became reality, it was due to numerous requests from a number of people to explain it, and I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.  1) How can you organize a unit, if you don’t understand the relationship between rank, duty position, and authority, and 2) The “Kernel” Hershman’s out there need to know that the kind of deceit they’re peddling will eventually be found out. Think about this question. What if that commander from Texas asked for help from Kernel Hershman? He has nothing to offer, except a need to be empowered by those that know no better. You might think this a mean spirited post, and you are entitled to your opinion, but if you think that’s what it’s about, you’ve missed the point. Combat IS SERIOUS! training for combat, IS SERIOUS! Organizing IS SERIOUS! The “Kernel” Hershman’s will get people killed, because they think they can lead, when all they’re good for is getting you a discount at Denny’s.



American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE


20 thoughts on “Rank, Duty Position, And Authority, Or Not Being A “Colonel of Corn”

  1. Success goes to ppl heads. Some times Its imagined in their wormy brains because it all they have to offer or ever will have so they turn poser as a last resort for their sanity. Sometimes the flip side of the chaos coin is that they are jealous of other people success and shit on everything they know they cant measure up to it no matter how hard they try. They deal in hate and discontent. Both are toxic people and should simply be avoided. Unfortunately the invent of the net has opened up a flood avenue for both types and they usually talk the loudest and attract the most attention. I see it here all the time in the few p[laces i creep around and the hate mail and hack attempts on my site is proof what I do pisses a lot of people off. People need to realize talk is cheap and its dangerous. Whats more is charismatic people that have 30,000 people on their page should be avoided at all costs. All they offer is an emotional fix from recycled posts and propagated fear that lift them up with a high they need. On the net everyone is a mall ninja with swivel arm battle grip and everyone is a delta ranger marine commando. Everyone talks, few are up for the moment.

    Acta nonverba..or some shit like that…..

  2. Thanks for this Chris, it needed to be said.
    Historically, all Militia ranks are Honorary anyway. You only carry the authority granted by your community and the men serving under you. Originally Captain was the rank granted to a commander of a County Militia, whether it had 8 men or eighty. (Before there were even states). Those Captains would then vote for one of their own to be a State level or Multi-County Commander, this individual would carry the Traditional and Honorary rank of Colonel. (In colonial times some of these gents did actually command battalion and brigade sized formations, or multiple companies).

    Sadly in the age of the interwebs, and yahoo with a keyboard can call himself whatever he wants. Truth is they will get people killed. Sadly all we can do is try to warm people in advance. On a personal note, at a Multi-State Militia meeting in Kentucky in 2009, I met a Militia “General” of the Massachusetts Militia.(who shall remain nameless) He commanded a total of four or five guys. Never heard from him again since that meeting. These guys come a go, or get busted for dumb shit eventually. But we do need to out them, when possible.

    On a side note, Military service is a great asset to the Militia, but not a requirement. Today’s Militia is roughly divided 50/50 between prior service veterans and regular citizens. As such it reflects the strengths and weaknesses of the communities it is drawn from. The original Militias were made up of frontier scouts and Indian fighters, mixed with a large majority of farmers,ranchers, shopkeepers, blacksmiths and other townsfolk. This tradition continues to this day.

    I never had the honor of serving in the Military, but have spent most of my adult life participating in the Militia, I have learned from our veterans more than I could ever teach anyone about Duty, Honor and Courage. My skills come from good trainers and my life as a Citizen. These I give freely back to the my community to the best of my abilities. I would do this with or without “Rank”. That is what makes a Militiaman.

    • To those of us that know you, your lack of .mil background is of little interest. We know your caliber. I can teach SUT to a “Less than academically proficient” individual, but I can’t teach them character. Fortunately, anyone who knows you, understands you have the character needed to lead Brother.

    • Thought I would add something here because I have made my position clear on how I feel about dickheads like Kernal corn. He is what everyone sees and thinks of when they here the term militia. It is good to see the Militia policing itself of these imposters. This is going to pay dividends when the SHTF. I would also like to add for the record. My family has been in Georgia for over 200 years. While doing research about my ancestors I came across a reference to my 4th Great grandfather as a “General”. I was unclear how this could be because I had never seen his name in any list of military leaders from the state. Upon further research I learned that he was indeed an actual Militia General, his service beginning during the war with the Creek and his grave stone has the title before his name. My understanding is that the rank was mostly symbolic and more of a reward for long term service however his son and my 3rd Great Grandfather was a Col in the militia and commanded a regiment that fought in the Battle of Atlanta. That regiment was one of an entire division of Militia defending the city from Sherman’s troops.

  3. In some circles militias have a bad reputation for being a bunch of fat guys standing around a BBQ or bonfire calling each other Colonel. Unfortunately guys like this perpetuate those stereotypes. At least Colonel McMuffin of the 10 man KFC militia actually has 10 real friends, all this joker has is a face book account.

    Sorry if this comes across bad about ‘militias’ that is not my intent. I recognize most people in militias are right minded and trying to do the right thing, of those a decent fraction are probably even making some progress at it.

  4. Pingback: Rank, Duty Position, And Authority, Or Not Being A “Colonel of Corn” | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  5. Pingback: Rank, Duty Position, And Authority, Or Not Being A “Colonel of Corn” |

  6. It was REALLY common “back in the day”(late 80’s) before the weanerweb , for this kind of 600lb ass clown to wander up to a militia encampment announce he was Col. Maggot , or Gen asshole and start taking stuff to his 78 caprice (stealing). They would swagger around giving orders and stealing until someone beat the crap out of them and showed them the road. At that point they would ALWAYS call the FBI and scream that they had uncovered a “white supremacist militia cell trying to overthrow the goobermint”.— Watch your six Dodge This king of turdville type ALWAYS wants “payback” and they are always real slimy turd herders who don’t care who they hurt to get it.

    • I agree Ray, they’re a vindictive bunch. The day I don’t point out such a glaring issue, is the day I stop everything I do to try and make a difference teaching those that don’t know, what they don’t know. That was the point of this post. It wasn’t about how much of an ass “Popcorn” (his new FB nickname apparently) was, it was about if the militia wants respect, get rid of the “Kernel Corns”, and organize correctly, or you’re pissin’ in the wind.

      • Yeh..I can see that. This bunch has plagued us form the beginning– Pushback. The militia /freefor/III% / CIDG have not been on anyone’s radar for most of our history. They may not be seen in a positive light until needed, until then we just keep on keepin’ on.

  7. Strangely, I have yet to meet anyone in a Militia that deserved a rank designation above E-6; none have been large enough to have an officer, though some members were previously officers (O-1 or 2) in the military.

    I have always thought it strange that modern Militia still maintain the Britishesque rank structure. There is certainly no need to continue doing so. I think it should be modernized to something more fitting the American Patriot. And since most officers are made, not born, there is really no need for a separate officer structure. Unless warranted, you simply move from the bottom ranks to the top, much like moving through the alphabet, i.e.: A is the first rank and Z (or some lesser letter) is the highest rank achievable.

    Having served under both Mustang officers, and those simply granted the position by virtue of having been college indoctrinated, I found the Mustang officers to be far superior to the lower IQ placement officers who never truly earned (through actual military service) their rank. So modernizing the American Militia rank structure would be beneficial, and avoid most of the “assumed rank” internet warriors and wannabes.

    That is my 6/100 cents (.02 cents adjusted for inflation, ya know!)

  8. I really like the “entry level manager” comment… One of the many problems that folks (being very nice) like this have is that they really don’t understand organizations or leadership. To some video game playing couch potato an “entry level manager” and a leader are the same thing.

    Just another pissant… Good reading!

  9. Excellent post and one which very much reminded me of the book, “Starship Troopers” by Heinlein (excellent book which bears no resemblance to the movie sharing the name). Heinlein produced many excellent works but the clear salient arguments presented in “Starship Troopers” might should be required reading for us all IMHO.

  10. You are right on point with the rank, Chris. Personally, I don’t have a lot of respect for many militia ranks of non-prior service people, as they have really not been earned. If a person has been in front of an NCO board, or has had their rank given to them by Congress after OCS (not, West Point butter bars) then they have earned their rank. And everyone knows who has been there that is it is that hard stripe buck sergeant E-5 with the leadership tabs, who gets the mission done. Being in a militia unit is nothing like being owned and mistreated by Uncle Sam, 24/7, for years. (Former SGT, E-5 armor recon scout)

  11. This Kernal is still out there and I agree with Yankee Terrier. This post needs put out at least once a year as a reminder or sign post for new militia interests. Just today I saw another post to a new person that this Hershman lead down an unproductive road. Just my humble opinion here, but the only rank I care to hear about is if someone was prior service. The civilians in militia service could hold position of Team Leader, Recruiter, or whatever just so there is a structure, but I don’t think rank should be issued to anyone that didn’t earn it and didn’t receive it from someone of some type of authority. Not given to them by some jackass that took a couple courses and became a minister. In Hershmans case, he is not even a successful minister. Cant even pay his garbage pick up bills. How is he going to assist anyone anywhere?

  12. Didn’t even know our state had a militia, much less a commander, much less a brigade commander who, from the looks of it, has exactly ten less years in the military than i do

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