Part 2 Of “Are You A ‘Snowflake’ Or A ‘Meteor’?” Becoming A Meteor.

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Last week a group of four Combat Arms Veterans contributed to a post I wrote concerning the premise that, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. Although the majority of the comments, both here at MDT, over at WRSA,  and in personal emails were positive, even though there were still those who are still unwilling to mesh reality with their delusions of grandeur, concerning their level of training, and it’s comparison to that of the experienced Infantry PFC.

I have mentioned a number of times (these highlighted links are just a few examples) a variation of this theme, “You are not a Commando/Infantry, but you do not need to be.”. I actually had a guy say, “YES! and if you had just said it this way from the beginning then you might not be getting any negative feedback.” to part of my response to another comment he had made. My actual comment to him consisted of this, “Here’s the thing, “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”.

Let’s talk about that phrase for a minute. “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”. The question I’d imagine most SAC’s (Situationally Aware Civilian) have is, 1) How do I put myself on par with a guy who has not only gone through a 4 month One Station Unit Training course (Basic and Infantry School)? 2) Do I need to put myself on par with that guy to have a chance at surviving what is coming?

This post is about some of the “What”, the “Why”, and the “How” of “Combatant/Survivalist Skills” needed for the Neighborhood Protection Team member, or Survivalist. You are not Infantrymen, you have to be much more. As I have said a number of times, “Be a Survivalist who is a ‘Jack of all Trades’, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).”. Are there Infantry skills that you should master? Hell Yes! In this post I mentioned the Army’s “Everybody requirement” concerning Common Task Testing. This is not an “Infantry specific” requirement, but an “Everyone” requirement. Have you mastered the tasks in that post? Even the “Water Purification Specialist” in the Army has to show proficiency in those tasks.

Most of you want to pick and choose what you want to learn, and what you want to avoid, and that doesn’t cut it if you are serious about surviving a combat scenario. This is what I said in the post, “If you can’t show proficiency in the common tasks of First Aid, Commo,  Land Nav, Movement as a Buddy Team and in a patrol, and be proficient and accurate in the use of your primary weapon, when even a Dental Hygienist in the Army has to do it every year, how do you plan on functioning in an ‘Infantry’ type role?”. Remember that? Probably not huh?

Something else of note that was “made clear” in one of the comments on the last post was that we apparently don’t explain terminology well enough. The terms in question were “Offensive” (you are taking the fight to the bad guys) and “Defensive” (you are defending what you already have secured against the bad guys) in the context of operations. My response was thus, “You make out like we treat you like you are stupid, then get pissed when I don’t explain simple terms like “Defensive” and “Offensive”. Make up my mind, are you guys a bunch of illiterate, dull eyed retards, or are you rational, generally above median, adults (like I believe you are)?”.

This type of juvenile criticism is one of the reasons many of you get grief from people that are knowledgeable and experienced in the craft you wish to learn. So here’s the deal,  if it is a term that is specific to the subject I am writing about, and not in common use, I will explain and define it. If it’s something simple like the two terms above, I expect you to look it up via google, a dictionary, or any of the following Field Manuals: FM 7-8, FM 21-75, ST 21-75-2 (presently the SH 21-76), or the ST 21-75-3.

What follows is the thoughts of the same four Combat Arms Vets who contributed to the first post. They all have a unique perspective, but you will notice, once again, a recurring theme. After the last contribution is complete, I will give some thoughts in closing.

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Where You Are, Where You Need to Be, and How You Get There…One Way

 Background of the Vet:  21 plus years active duty in the USAF; retired as a Senior NCO.  Of that time, 12 years in Air Base Ground Defense (Air Force for ‘Infantry’); comprised of 5 years teaching advanced ‘infantry’ training, rated “Master Instructor”, specialized in patrolling, 5 years on a RDT (Rapid Deployment Team) for 81mm Mortar & Hostage Rescue concurrently.  5 years as NCOIC of Air Base Ground Defense at field units building and conducting local unit training.  

 In relation to the previous post regarding training and capabilities from those wishing to increase their personal skills for defense of home and community, my perspective is the following based on my own interaction with people asking for training over the last 17 years:

Where You (or the group you’re in probably) Are:

Awake to the precarious position of our society, economy (over-inflated market reports notwithstanding), and culture (the ever-increasing lack of civility and respect for individual property and natural rights). 

  • Equipped, armed, and supplied to various levels from a minimum of a pistol, a rifle, and 500 rounds for the pistol and 1,000 rounds for the rifle, 6 months to a year of food for you and/or your family to the maximum of being able to arm your family and select friends, have a couple years of supplies, cases of ammunition, and a group of likeminded friends (some of which may or may not be former military with weapons and/or combat training/experience at one level or another).
  •  Steadfastly refusing to standardize weapons, equipment, and other important factors.
  • Able to use your weapons on various ranges to various levels of accuracy without added stress during the exercise.
  • Possess disposable income or the ability to save in order to pay for more advanced skill set training than you have.
  • The proper mindset regarding what you are willing to do to safeguard those you care about to one degree or another.
  • Varying levels of physical fitness; mostly on the lower end (upper body strength, cardio, etc.); much improvement needed.
  • Deficient in knowledge and ability to apply:

o    Realistic analysis of what training provides the largest return on investment for ‘real-world’ scenarios v. ‘cool guy’ training primarily centered on CQB or squad strength offensive operations.

o    An analysis of capabilities necessary for your local neighborhood defense

o    The ability to approach and persuade willing neighbors to join the effort

o    Finding which neighbors possessing specialized skill sets for SHTF scenarios (doctors, nurses, dentists, HAM operators, etc.

o    How to establish a secure defensive ‘pocket’ or area and keep it that way.

o    Leadership skills (not a shot; most people aren’t trained in effective leadership – leadership is a learned behavior – that is founded on the ability to subordinate oneself to the mentor leader, and then the respect from your group must be earned).

o    Intimate knowledge of avenues of approach into your personal AO by various organizations or entities (marauders, etc)

o    Networking with and participation in any local emergency response initiative (yes, that means local government entities, as they will be first responders when S does HTF and can use the help, so long as you or your group isn’t posturing as ‘wannabe operators’).

 Where You Need to Be

 In a nutshell, you need to be able to personally do or complete all those bullet points above as well as others that will be apparent when you get to that point.  Then, you need to get your group to buy in and do the same. The real trick is how you get to that point the most efficient and rapid way possible.

 How You Get There (One Way)

  •  Acknowledge that you need to refocus your efforts from attempting to emulate various high profile paramilitary groups and organizations to that of a “Neighbor Hood Protection” function.  Keeping your efforts localized will help you protect that which is most important: family, friends, neighbors and your property.
  • Understand that learning never stops.  You must constantly read and study a myriad of subjects from history to teaching methodology focusing on the adult learner to military tactics and strategy to classics that underscore the importance of personal courage and honor (some people have never been taught these values, and you may have to be the example and mentor).  Buy, beg, borrow a copy of, “A Failure of Civility,” which is now out of print, and make it your personal blue print.  It lines out exactly how to do what you need to do.
  • Read and apply Dale Carnegie’s, “How to win friends and influence people.”  Doing so will go a long way in networking with your neighbors and persuading them to participate in any local preparations prior to a SHTF event.  This might mean taking off the Oakley’s and boonie hat while having a barbecue, and losing the ‘thousand yard stare’ when being asked questions.  Smile a bit.  Talk about light hearted things during social events.  There’ll be time enough during your Neighborhood Protection Meetings to be serious about setting up the defense.
  • Subordinate yourself to the most experienced/trained person in your group for training activities.  If you are fortunate enough to have someone you know that’s a former combat arms type and was at least a staff NCO in your neighborhood or group, be humble enough to let the subject matter expert lead the training selected for the group.  If you are lucky enough to be invited to a seminar given by a former SF troop (or even be involved in a social get together for coffee), especially the ‘old school SF troops (trained in unconventional warfare and force multiplication with indigenous troops) sit down, open your ears, take copious notes, and try to see how it applies to your situation.  Not everything might be useful right away, but you’ll get an education.
  • Read and apply, “Extreme Ownership,” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  You’ll not be sorry, because this reference will provide you a very good set of leadership principles that work.  There are others, to be sure, but at $17, it’s the best money you’ll spend. 
  • Disregard information on anything from anyone who tells you they have, ‘the only way’ or ‘the best way’ to do something, especially if they are selling their services.  Be intelligent enough to know that there’s nothing new under the sun, and having many tools in the tool box provides more return than following one particular method because, well, ‘cool guy’.
  • Keep information on activities flowing to your group members, or ask for more information from your leadership on schedules, plans, etc.  Don’t make your people be ‘mushrooms.’ 
  • Train with your team regularly in all areas you have learned.  Make sure that some of the training involves being miserable, wet, tired, and cold if possible.  Nothing makes a team come together better than shared misery.
  • Encourage personal defense weapon standardization. Platforms and calibers are not so important as everyone having the same tools, or as close as possible.  It’s essential for increased survival odds during failed civility scenarios.
  • Get some people HAM qualified and licensed. Practice using the communications.  Get a good scanner that’s capable of listening to emergency response organizational transmissions.  You’ll be surprised what you can learn and what kind of warning you may receive on situations you might face.
  • Make sure that the scenarios you train for match your local area. If you’re not rural, you should concentrate on built up area tactics (defense, NOT kicking in doors…).
  • Understand that your training standards are absolute minimum acceptable performance measurements. There’s an old saying, “You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.  Train right along side your people.  If you’re doing dry fire, then dry fire with them.  If you’re doing land nav, do the same course.
  • In planning your neighborhood protection plan, leave nothing to chance. Make sure that you know everything there is to know about your defense zone.
  • Get the group to volunteer for service projects in and around your neighborhood. Be helpful.  Be cheerful.  Be something people want to belong to, or at least, something people are glad is in the neighborhood.  One way to do this is to either join or form a “Neighborhood Watch Association” or a neighborhood association and hold events that promote preparedness without information dumping on attendees on the imminent end of the world as we know it. Got an old folks home?  Get some people to volunteer for visitations to lonely old people, clean their grounds, cut their lawn, etc.  Be service minded because that is a very good way to gain local credibility and allay any fears you and your group might be wacko.
  • Do not use rank! Use positions, innocuous names are best.  Stay away from paramilitary sounding names and/or acronyms when dealing with the public.  Don’t have multicam or military clothing making up your wardrobe.  Earth tone field clothing works, too.  Have gatherings where the ‘uniform of the day’ is business casual, such as a golf shirt and khakis.  Why?  Because you look ‘normal,’ that’s why.  Remember, you’re not a military unit, and you shouldn’t dress or act like one.  Drill and ceremonies have no place in what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Rid yourselves of any conception that you are some sort of ‘unit.’  You’re a protection group.  End of transmission.

If you try the above, you will eventually get to where you need to be to protect your local area that you are capable of defending.  No, you won’t be, ‘Infantry’ trained, but you don’t need to be.  There are other ways – this is one way.

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Retired Infantry Captain

Apparently I was hard on PFCs, so here goes.

PFC used to mean you’d arrived at being a qualified Infantryman.  PV1, PV2 meant you were not yet fully functional.  Somewhere along the way, Recruiting Command was allowed to award rank for PT scores, bringing a friend, or making it through a semester of college without ending up with a “judicial enlistment.”  This was a mistake.

What makes PFCs are NCOs.  Full stop.  These are missing in JC’s scenario and, once upon a time, in Iraq.  Keep in mind the events below occurred concurrently, with lots of moving parts that don’t make for a logical narrative.

When I was a senior adviser to a newly formed Iraqi unit (2004-5), we had 68 guys in man dresses and flip flops.  We were issued Iraqi officers.  One company commander (Major) was outstanding and the lieutenants were surprisingly adequate.  That commander had fought Americans in Desert Storm and the first month of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  His comment to me?  “I’m tired of having

my ass kicked by you guys.  Our [Iraqi Army] problem is we have no NCOs.  We must train NCOs.”  “Yes, sir.”

Selection went something like this.  (Mob of Iraqis.) “Who here has combat experience?”  (Hands go up.)  “Great: Stand over there.  Who fought Americans?” (Iraqi vets look at the ground.)  “Ok fellas, we’re on the same side now.” (A few hands.) “Great: You guys stand over there.”  First group

was made team leaders.  Second group was squad leaders and platoon sergeants.  Brevet NCOs, pending combat performance, which was not long in coming.  The learning curve was quite steep, as the training consisted of new tasks, rehearsals, and off to the two way live fire.  Initially, Iraqi squads were sent on confidence patrols with American units commanded by friends who agreed to

help while we sorted out NCO and officer training.  (This doesn’t even begin to address the logistical issues, which were fixed with an unpretty combination of horse trading, deception, lies, outright theft, and confidence targets. That is the subject of another paper.  Suffice it to say the US Army had not given Iraqi Army logistics any thought whatsoever.)

Those who did well kept their new rank.  The less functional were promptly returned to the ranks for further assessment.  The newly blooded NCOs were then turned over to veteran American NCOs who had orders to impart discipline, skills, and organization. Once the original 68 were sorted, recruiting began.  Initially, we did all training in house.  All of it.  All. Of. It.  Iraqi NCOs were drilled in the evening on the next day’s training, then put in front of their flip flop shod recruits, with American oversight.  Emphasis on discipline, marksmanship, and

battle drills.   Keep in mind while this was going on, officers were being trained on their tasks, then integrated into collective training and combat operations.  Later, the US Army got around to setting up basic training in the middle of the desert.  It was satisfactory and wholly based on input from operational units.  The Iraqis did not get around to marching for some time.  PT was brutal, by design.

Keep in mind that medics, commo guys, drivers, supply guys, clerks, cooks, intel, personnel managers, staffs, etc. were being trained concurrently as well.  We were rebuilding an army.  Die, Bremer.  Just. Die.

Some of you will recognize the preceding paragraph as the staff formation discussion that was conducted at JC’s a few years ago.  One hopes you at least compiled the recommended manuals.

Here’s the deal:

​You must have good NCOs to have good PFCs.

Bonus, guaranteed to aggravate everyone who isn’t already ticked off: You must have good NCOs to have good company commanders.  Lieutenants are there to learn to be commanders, coordinate, and be brave.  If you have bad commanders, there are two reasons: NCOs who failed to train lieutenants, and senior officers who failed to get rid of the unwilling, untrainable, and unskilled.

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Survivalist Tactics vs. The Infantry, II

This writer held every position on a Long Range Surveillance Team up to Assistant Team Leader (ATL) and on the Line as a Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader and Weapons Squad Leader, and had three deployments, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

In my last I identified why training and working under the assumption that you are an Infantryman and can conduct yourself as such is not only foolish but is likely a death sentence for you and your people. You do not have the material nor the support, and especially not the discipline nor the people. Perhaps that last one needs touching on again; what happens when your merry band of defenders say, “No.”? How do you compel a volunteer group to actually face death? Why would you want people who are generally blowhards and/or never-has-beens to do this anyway?

You know that type I’m talking about. That’s your average militia dud with a facebook or twitter page and his whole network on display posting circle-jerk memes. Enough of them, let’s get to you. Before we go anywhere or put on our cool guy kits, lets face reality:

  1. You Don’t Have an Army Behind You.
  2. You are your Own Logistics.
  3. You Can Only Defend What You Can Support (and you need to know how to support what you plan on defending).

These three are interdependent realities. You may not have an army behind you but you do have a community; they live there and know the area better than any occupying force will. Rural communities are better at self sufficiency.  Those same communities are far more likely to properly defend what they own as a means of ensuring posterity versus the house of cards that is modern suburbia. They’re leery of outsiders too; keep that in mind. What constitutes ownership, anyway?

The ability to enforce command over that which you claim; my the third point. The community and your standing within it, known as social capital, is what lays the foundation. It is the first tactic. With nothing to defend and no consent of those defended, you will be outcasts and killed off quickly as problems and not solutions.

Infantrymen as a cohesive unit have none of these concerns. Their supply line is theirs and the responsibility of an adjacent supporting unit. Their job is to close with and destroy an enemy; the consent to function is granted by that entity which feeds, trains and arms them. Nothing more. That’s why the Afghans call us ‘tourists’.

The second is planning. You must identify the objective before you can rock a mag into that sweet Kalashnikov you just bought. Community defense is exactly that; defense. You are not offensive troops and you lack the capability or tactical sophistication to be anything other than what you are.

Without overwhelming numbers, the use of converging routes, or the means to replenish significant losses you will remain defensive if you want to live. So if we’re planning a defensive posture, our biggest ally is terrain. All people are creatures of habit. We follow patterns and take the paths of least resistance generally. Some of the more experienced calls this ‘natural lines of drift’, meaning, paths people drift along, like roads, rivers, valleys, passes, etc.

The defender then, like a hunter, uses this reality to his advantage and can create natural choke points to create the maximum number of casualties among those he’s attacking. The faster the fight is over and the less material you’ve wasted, the better off you are. Using that AR-15 like a bullet hose is a bad idea- marksmanship matters, a bunch of noise doesn’t, and marksmanship out to longer distance (3-400m) then becomes another force multiplier.

Hit probabilities to those reacting to contact at 400m and from multiple angles is far less likely than those on the attack from pre-planned hides with the inclusion of other force multipliers. Once you’re in your positions, you should have the range to your killzone already known, drawn on an improvised range card (a piece of cardboard with hand drawn target references on it with distances) and

should train on coordinating fire from those positions.

The idea of an ambush is to quickly and efficiently kill everything in the trap, but in case you don’t, have a team watching the opposition’s march in, closing the trap once they pass by. Of course I have to know they’re coming first, which

​means my contacts in the community let me know one way or another…see the pattern here (more than just you or your ‘little group’)?

So the two most important tools to learn are terrain analysis and team marksmanship, coordinated over an area. These are called intersecting fires. Is there a time for the battle drill 1 stuff? Sure, absolutely, when you’re taken by surprise. You should rehearse this for that reason; what to do on unexpected contact, because the reality is that if you’re walking about with your band o’ bubbas and happen to forget the principles of concealment or quiet movement, it might happen. But you shouldn’t be bunched up to begin with, plan converging routes for your group members to get to their positions, and should be taking the path of MOST resistance to afford the maximum cover. Don’t forget the utility of crawling.

Once more we find our plan at the heart of staying alive. In order to plan, we have to know our terrain. In order to know our terrain, we have to be familiar with the lay of the land. In order to do any of the above, we have to have consent of our community. And you do none of the above, but parade about in a show of self importance, one will learn just how important they actually are.

Effective training on tactics, from any trainer with real credentials including time actually doing it, begins with learning to plan. This is why Operations Orders and Troop Leading Procedures are emphasized from the first day of any military school. This is why you should seek out those with actual experience for training; they know the value of the basics and the consequences of forgetting them in lieu of something you learned playing airsoft. And while this may seem mundane to the uninitiated, running around shooting fast at targets makes you an easy one to the guy who knows what he’s doing.

Do not lose sight of your reason for being.

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From an 18F

Nobody said don’t take classes or train. All we said in the last post is don’t give yourself airs you neither earned nor can claim. A couple or half dozen weekend “SUT” classes (they are no such thing) may give you some confidence in weapons handling or impart some elementary level of “buddy team” cooperation [how much is debatable because the “buddy” you trained with probably lives over 100 miles away], but it will never make you a “squady.”

What whichever classes are available to you will do for you is give you a skill set that is above the skill set of the street shit you are most likely to encounter – and that is all you will need. And here is the thing… with your weekend “SUT” classes you are in a position to train others who live around you. I’ve said this many times, and it bears repeating: Be cadre.

But here is the other thing… When you are cadre, in necessity others will look to you. At first for technical guidance (weapons handling, etc), and afterward for leadership –   because you know how to handle weapons, etc.. And there, guaranteed, is where you will fall flat on your face and put everybody who has turned to you in peril.

Because of your “SUT” training, which has nothing whatsoever to do with small unit tactics and cannot help you in small unit tactical situations. So there is your dilemma. As a “SUT” trained cadre you can train a neighborhood guard to whatever standard you learned. Which will largely be sufficient against common street shit. But, inevitably, someday, somebody is going to show up with an army. What are you going to do, cadre, when all eyes turn in your direction?

And that is what separates the infantryman from the weekend “SUT” class tourist. Keep taking “SUT” classes. Learn what you can. Be cadre and help your neighbors. Fend off street shit. When somebody shows up with an army… take an oath of fealty.

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I read a post by Bill Buppert at Zero Hedge, and although I understand where he is coming from, I don’t think he has a realistic view of the average people he is talking about. He said, “There is a stream of consciousness modality currently coursing through the prepper and III% community that if you aren’t infantry, you can’t take the fight to the enemy no matter how competent you may be as men of the gun or whatever background you hail from.”

So let’s get some terminology straight. “I haven’t said “Can’t”, I’ve said “Shouldn’t”. Why is that my opinion? Reality and practicality. The majority I have encountered cannot even get their defensive preps squared away because they’re too concerned with doing the “Tacticool” “Operator” shit (CQB, Raid, Ambush). You’re first priority should be to your loved ones defense, correct? Post SHTF, Offensive Ops shouldn’t even be considered till your defensive ops are underway, and even then, probably not because most just will not have the appropriate manpower for anything but defense.

Start with the basics. Lay the groundwork for a solid defensive foundation, then MAYBE move on to the consideration of an offensive action if urgently needed. But keep in mind, depending on perspective, that offensive operation you conducted could come back to bite you in the ass legally. If you believe that’s BS, look at some examples from the former Yugoslavia, and tell me that possibility isn’t there.

Another post that WRSA put up today, reinforces the point we made in the last post about, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. “SPC Slick” can shown proficiency in the CTT. Can you?

If you still wanna run Offensive Infantry Ops I’d say, “Show me your group commander and it’s NCO’s and tell me about their experience. As was said earlier by the Captain, the NCO’s are the core of the group in an operational setting, and any operation being conducted by the group is made to work by it’s NCO’s, and you don’t have any….do you?

Organization is critical. Figure out what scenarios you believe you should prepare for, and prioritize preparations according to the degree of immediate threat, the likelihood of the threat, and your realistic ability to prepare for the threat. Here is some things I posted in this post,

  • 1). Do you have general, realistic preps in place?
  • 2) Do you have a solid, well thought out and realistic plan to deal with the general and specific concerns you’ve identified?
  • 3) Are you physically and/or logistically equipped and able to carry out the planned responses to these threats.

If your answer is “No” to any one of the questions above, you need to address and correct that. As was said by at least one of the contributors, after you get training in something, pass it on to your group as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean you are now a professional trainer. What it means is that hopefully, you have the ability to take what you learned and immediately regurgitate it to your family, friends and group members (it is critical that you teach it as soon as you can, so the lessons are still fresh and clear in your mind, a three day tactical class will give you familiarity, not proficiency or mastery).

An issue I had with a couple guys who received their “Bushbastard” tabs was that they wanted to be able to confer the award to those that they taught, and I said, “Under no circumstances will that be allowed.” The comment I received was, “I thought you wanted us to go home and teach what we learned?” To which I responded, “Yes, teach what you learned, but the only people handing out “Bushbastard” tabs are me or a designee that I feel are not only trained well enough to teach the material I have put together exactly as it is supposed to be taught, but will also enforce the standards in testing that I require for the award.”

Any trainer that has an issue with a former student teaching what they’ve learned to their family and friends is probably more worried about the almighty dollars they are missing out on, than they are about helping people prepare for what’s coming.

To recap,

  • Decide whether “Preparing for doomsday” is a hobby or a conviction. If it’s a hobby, stop reading. If it’s a conviction, continue with this list.
  • Pick the Leader of your group if he hasn’t been selected already. ( or was it going to be a democracy….? Good luck with that).
  • Make a plan that covers the scenarios you’re concerned about.
  • Organize you’re logistics on hand and plan your future purchases based on the realistic needs required for the scenarios you’re preparing for.
  • Determine which logistical preps can be generalized to cover all scenarios, and make their acquisition a priority.
  • Organize the personnel in your group based on A) Abilities they already possess via employment or hobby (Former Infantry, EMT, HAM, etc.), or B) capabilities they plan on getting via training course or new hobby. Encourage furthering the education in those areas.
  • Organize the critical information about your area (maps, area sketches, etc.) into something that is detailed, easily accessible, and understandable.
  • Get as much realistic training in personal protection (both empty hand, and firearm) and area/ retreat defense from a proven source (I wrote about how to find and verify the bona fides of the non-professional ones here).
  • Get as much First Aid, TCCC, and Extended Care training as possible.
  • Do as much PT as you are physically capable of doing. You know if you are cheating yourself and those who will be counting on you.
  • Learn as much as you can about how the pioneers of the 1800’s did EVERYTHING!
  • After your group get’s organized, network with other local groups for support.

Defending your area (to include presence patrols) is a full time job and takes a number of personnel for round the clock security. I wrote about how to put together a schedule for security here. This post contains some good defensive area prep info, and in this post I wrote about the steps I recommend for the individual to get prepared. This post is in no way exhaustive, but the bottom line is that five people took of their precious free time to try and give suggestions to help you get ready for bad times. Whether you agree with them or not, take that for what it’s worth.

YOU ARE NOT AN INFANTRYMAN, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE. YOU HAVE TO BE MUCH, MUCH MORE!

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Part 2 Of “Are You A ‘Snowflake’ Or A ‘Meteor’?” Becoming A Meteor.

  1. Outstanding info. Going forward, this will help frame our continuing training and planning.
    Thanks to all contributors.
    Brad

  2. This topic has needed to be addressed for sometime…
    And I am thankful for these veterans to bring forth what’s
    needed to said in a way as to make folks take notice…
    (for full disclosure, I am just a regular guy, trying to prepare
    and equip just like everyone. One advantage which I might
    have, is that I can identify the bull**tters from the real deal.
    For I have done my home work and am familiar with the basics.)
    What these gentlemen are putting forth is the truth, no doubt.
    What regular folk need to do is simple…get familiar with the
    basics, identify your needs and the areas which you’re lacking.
    Then start building up those areas. Be a realist, the regular guy
    will never be a hardened, blood drinking, rambo warrior. Unless
    the “days of doom” put you through months and years of on the
    job training…and if you’re planning on that…get real…
    you’ll probably get killed in the first couple days of your
    “on the job training”….Because those who don’t know, will do
    stupid stuff…and in this game, that’s terminal !
    But alas, There’s hope…to at least one having a standing chance
    to make it through the dire days ahead…So, once the regular guys
    and gals get their minds straight…and become “realists”…put your
    plans in order, then your gear, then your PT, then seek out a REAL
    instructor(s). There are several which I am aware of…good ‘ol JC,
    MVT, Mountain Guerrilla, and others…Our tax money has paid for
    their training. And they’ve received the Best in the world. We should
    be taking advantage of their experience as much as we’re able to.
    AND FORGET WHAT YOU’VE SEEN IN THE MOVIES…
    Yes, we all have budgets, and schedules, and families…but we need
    to try. This way we will have at least a chance to survive the days
    ahead. When the time comes, when we’re confronted with the
    challenges of patrolling our immediate areas, and/or helping with
    a medical need, or even guarding an area…it’s then, while we’re
    doing what we can, that those who can really fight, and kill, and
    blow things up, will be freed up to do so…as they were trained to do…
    and not have to be concerned about those of us, in the rear.
    All this said to make this point…
    LISTEN to these guys, for they know of what they’re trying to
    TEACH YOU ! and you just might learn enough to save your life as
    well as the person next to you.
    ( This was not a paid endorsement, this is being a realist )

  3. Thank you Sirs, for the Outstanding efforts you have made, and continue to make, on our behalf.

    I have Heard your words
    I Understand my tasking.
    I Acknowledge the wisdom of your counsel.

    Best going forward.
    Joe Fahy

  4. Good advice. Sadly, many people won’t take the advice because they’re convinced that after a few classes they’re going to be able to function as an effective combat unit and conduct offensive operations.
    There’s way too much focus among the community on the tacitcool stuff and not enough focus on stuff like comms, medical training, how to feed your group while providing them the necessary calories and nutrition or not getting people sick due to zero knowledge of safe food handling in less than ideal conditions.
    Too few guys are out in the communities they live in making friends/ contacts.
    Too few shoulder a ruck/ pack and get out in the woods/field around their communities.
    There is a serious lack of people with even basic land nav skills.
    Fewer with any medical knowledge beyond basic first aid.
    To survive any of the possible “SHTF” scenarios will take a wide range of skills. Best to have a group of people in which there are people who are “experts” in their fields than to rely on books and try to learn as you go.
    As was stated- you need to be a jack of all trades and master a few.
    There are groups here and there who are well trained, have members with various skills, and who are known in their communities- these are the people who will fare the best.
    Most groups need to lose the cool guy multi cam gear and make contacts / connections in their communities.
    Not everyone has a place to
    ” bug out” to that’s far enough from big cities to escape the problems that will arise in the cities and the ‘ burbs.
    This is why you form local groups and ” bug in”. Most of the looters and gang bangers are going to avoid well defended areas. Those who don’t won’t be around long.
    Listen to the advice these guys are giving you- they know a lot more about training and combat opetations than most of us.

  5. Reblogged this on Alpha Charlie Concepts and commented:
    Pay attention (as usual) folks. These are for the most part, all positions, thoughts, and ideas that I’ve long held and expressed. This is some serious validation for them and has actually helped me clear up and reconcile some things in my own life and situation.

  6. Thank you my brother! This and the related posts have gone a long way in helping me to not only validate some of my long held positions, but also to clear up and reconcile some things. The validation from those far above my paygrade is a welcome feeling. I really liked all the contributors, and agree for the most part/98% with all of them. In regards to the 2%, its not really even disagreements, but more, I’d love to sit down with a pot of coffee and pick minds kind of thing. Of all the contributors, I’d have to say like like the LRS guy’s entry the “best”, but then, I am admittedly biased towards those guys. 😉

  7. Pingback: Snowflake Or Meteor, Part II: Becoming A Meteor | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  8. Thank you,
    This was the clarification I was looking for and it fits very closely with how I train and prep. You may think that my request to define Offense and Defense was juvenile but I know that in the military world there are terms that have a specific meaning that may not be apparent to those of us in the rest of the world. For example is an ambush offensive or defensive? I could see how it could be called both given specific circumstances. Your information above made that a little more clear.
    I very much think this a conversation that needs to be had so I do appreciate that you have made this happen. I know I annoyed the shit out of you with my comments and you dismissed me but I got a thick skin and a hard head so I will still keep reading your stuff.

    • As to the terminology. If it is something that has a specific meaning in the mil or for a mil application, I will explain it. If it is common use and common meaning, I expect adults with common sense to figure some things out for themselves. Your example of the word “ambush” works perfectly. What is an “Ambush”? An ambush (whether “hasty” or “deliberate”) is a SURPRISE ATTACK on UNSUSPECTING targets from a CONCEALED position. Now you tell me, is that “offensive” or “defensive”? I don’t dismiss you, but I do expect people (especially one with your rep with my friends) that have access to the internet to do some research instead of making remarks like this one about defense or offense, “You add that people just need to focus on defensive operations because offensive operations will be too hard. But you don’t define those two terms in plane language that the non-military will understand.” I will not treat you like a juvenile unless you earn it. BTW, you have a stellar rep with two good friends of mine, and thus I did not address some of your remarks as I might have otherwise.

      • I have that rep for a reason, an we share those two friends. That’s why I am just trying to have a conversation. Maybe this is more the imperfect nature of writing wherein sometimes thoughts are not properly conveyed, on my part at least. I am afraid that my smart ass comments at WRSA colored your perception of what I was out to learn. But that’s my job at WRSA, I add things where I can, insults an humor are part of the package. At any rate, sometimes I ask questions that I already know the answer to just in case I could be wrong. I have a compulsion about it.

        • OK. Accepted. Speaking for myself I’ll take you at your word.

          Take this however you will. The old embittered veterans are only trying to prevent you people from hurting yourselves. You may not like the way we do that. But we don’t care.

          S//

  9. Great stuff, thanks. I hope lots of old guys and FNGs read it and take it to heart.
    Then buy another case of 5.56, sure, but more importantly, get out there and PT. And please learn to be a night fighter in your own area of operations. Most of the skills can be learned without spending a dollar to attend a tactical course. I wrote something a few years ago called “Night Fighting 101” that might help. It doesn’t even cover night observation devices, just the basics. If you learn some of these night fighting tricks, you will be way ahead of the game, it costs nothing, and you can start tonight. If you are serious. If not, well, that’s on you.
    “Night Fighting 101”
    https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/bracken-night-fighting-101/

    • Thanks Matt.

      You are absolutely correct about night fighting.

      Somewhere in a mountain of book boxes I have an old and rather thick Japanese manual dating from the Russo-Japanese war that is exclusively devoted to that subject. When I taught sniping and recon I used to teach out of it.

      Mike Walsh sends his greetings.

      S//

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