Choosing Your Instruction Wisely

13 Oct, 2014

When you decide you’re going to begin preparing for “TEOTWAWKISTAN” what is the first thing you do? If you’re like most people that I know, you will either seek out a knowledgeable friend/acquaintance, or buy a book on the subject. I’ve read  (and own) a lot of manuals over the years, and without a doubt, most manuals have one huge failing. That failure isn’t due to incompetence on the part of DOD, it’s due to the audience it is provided for, and directed towards. Military manuals are generally written for military personnel, not civilians. The implied task here, is  that the users has a minimum of “Boot Camp”, and maybe even some other specialty schools, before they will be using the information that they glean from that manual.

One of the hardest tasks for me as a new instructor in the civilian sector four years ago, was translating “milspeak and technique” into a product the average civilian with no .mil background, could not only grasp, but absorb into a cognitive, dynamic reality. This is as opposed to the “learn by rote” technique, without any true understanding of the  raison d’etre. I want my students to grasp the reasons behind techniques, not just be “do as I do” robots, without understanding the “why” behind the trained, implied task. Fortunately, there is a book that does a very good job in the translation of those tasks, It is called “A Failure Of Civility”.


I’ve talked at length with Tom, at Defensive Training Group, and Quietman3, and we all agree, that it is probably the best “stand alone” resource/manual out there. Not only is this a great resource for those who take instruction from Tom or I, but also for those who don’t have the funds to come train, but still want to prepare. Am I saying this is the “be all, end all” of manuals? No. but if someone asks me “I can only get one manual, what should it be?” this is the book I recommend.

Garand and Lawson do an excellent job of giving a scenario, then explaining the implied tasks necessary for protecting your area under that tasks conditions, with easily understood standards. Do I believe there are other good manuals out there? Sure are. One of the best is my friend Max Velocity’s “Contact”, but Max’s book is not as all encompassing of different scenarios as AFOC, and I don’t believe he ever meant it to be. Speaking of scenarios and scenario based training (what I usually use). One of the recommendations I make to my SUT courses students is to read Max’s book “Patriot Dawn”. This book will give you a very true to life story of how things can go sideways in a hurry, and make you start thinking of ways to mitigate those specific threats.

Time is short, get your family and friends to training and prepped.  GET TRAINED! Whether it’s through DTG, Max Velocity, Sierra12, Mosby, or MDT, or a friend who was an NCO or officer (read that as “subject matter expert”) in a Combat Arms MOS in the military, I DON’T CARE!, Just get it, the ride is about to get very bumpy!


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

12 thoughts on “Choosing Your Instruction Wisely

  1. Problem is-the book is simply not available,I even checked Abe Books-which is thousands of bookstores all on the same site-they had one copy last week,now they have none,and apparently no used bookstores in their system have a copy either.

    Just now on Amazon…

    Perfect Paperback
    from $120.00

    It’s now a rich man’s book. There is exactly one copy available on Amazon.
    I just spent a half hour trying to find a copy online-no luck,other than the one copy for $120.00 at Amazon.

    • Link just goes straight to godaddy.
      says website is parked for free.
      Does not go to authors site,as far as I can tell,neither Mike Garand or Jack Lawson have a site that is offering the book for sale.

  2. Own it. Read it. Wish they had hired a college English Major for $500 to spend a weekend proofreading it and suggesting format changes.

    • So other than stylistic concerns, did you believe the book to be of value in training others to prepare for SHTF/WROL?


  3. Yes and no.

    First, a little back ground. I am not some high speed military operator. I have taken a large number of tactical shooting courses under various instructors though for over 20 years. I’m an avid shooter, hunter, reloader, hiker, camper, Run and Gun competitor….

    I have lived as a survivalist my entire life…grew up on a farm-we canned, gardened, hunted, fished, trapped, fixed most anything that broke ourselves, …..I have an advanced degree and do moderately well financially, have traveled quite a bit. I have studied military tactics, history and politics professionally. I live in Texas in a mid size city, in my mid 40’s, wife of over 20 years, two sons of high school age. We actively train and plan as a family in Tac Med, weapons skills, martial arts, food production/storage, basic personal/home security procedures etc…It’s a lifestyle for us. I say all this to give some perspective- everyone has an opinion, mine is formed in part by my background, things I have seen done…. I think that’s important to explain…..

    I think for someone starting at Zero, the book was worth the $29 they spent. For people that have been around firearms and actually thought about their defensive use- WROL etc… long term, well read, serious, lifestyle survivalists– the value was somewhat less. Admittedly, it’s been a year or so since I read the book. I will go back and take another look. The book was “pushed” fairly hard on several Prepper/Survivalist/Patriot type sites when it was released. I just didn’t feel it lived up to all the billing it was given perhaps?

    Having said that, I learned a few things from it. Anymore, if I go to a tactical course and I learn One Thing, I consider it a success and a decent course.

    • Hey, thanks for the reply! We’ve got to continue to build our ability to discuss, debate, agree, disagree, and otherwise exchange our thoughts without engaging in circular firing squads if we’re ever going to get our stuff in one bucket, more or less!

      That said, I’d agree that the book is primarily for self-starters/beginners, and that more skilled folks, no matter their background, military or not, would be those described in the book as the leaders the NPP team looks for when starting their initiative. People such as yourself have valuable feedback for the various schools teaching beginners; DTG welcomes it to ensure our service meets both the situation our students are faced with as well as what they’re capable (skill wise) of absorbing during a single seminar or class.

      AFOC’s price went up after you bought yours; my son in law got one in August for $39 out the door from Amazon (if I’d have known they were going out of stock I’d have gotten a couple extra!).

      Thanks again!

  4. I appreciate the book most because it isn’t another put on your face paint and head into the woods survivalist fantasy. It covers how to handle staying at home with your neighbors like no other, and that’s where most will be during a failure. In my opinion it forms one leg of a great triad. In a gross oversimplification (my comments are oversimplified, not the books), Max’s Contact deals with small unit tactics and how to smack around the other side, Mosby’s book covers the why’s and hows of aggressive patrolling so the fight doesn’t happen in your front yard or living room, and AFOC deals more with the home base side of it – not an unrealistic guerrilla base in the woods, but near home where most folks (read families) will find themselves in a failure.

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