There have been a few comments from my recent camo posts aimed at some things I mentioned about the public perception of militia and camouflage etc. I am going to come back on that and take an unconventional view that will be at odds with many of the comments. I mean come on already: I did make myself clear in the posts about the impression that you are to avoid giving to the public right? The whole thing about the fat guy in the woodland BDUs or other tacticool camo? Tracking? The main venue brought up was gun shows, but let’s look at the general perception and PR of Militia in public, including gun shows.
Ok, so the conventional wisdom in the comments is that you must avoid camo at all costs. I call bullsh*t on that. I love camo. Let’s wear more of it. If you are a Militia, you are public, you are not hiding. You are not a lone-wolf super-secret squirrel. Get over it. For those of you commenting who are super-secret squirrels, then you are not a militia and have a different agenda, so wear your dirty jeans and pretend that you are not potentially being tracked on the interwebs and potentially under surveillance. LOL.
We are all free Americans here, with the right to keep and bear arms. We are all in the unorganized Militia. That’s despite busy-body authoritarian morons and goon squads thinking otherwise. Either stand up, or go hide like a secret-squirrel. The more you hide, the more you will generate interest. I’ll go pick up flyers from a Militia booth at a gun show, and I don’t care who takes my photo. I might politely confront them and get int their face and ask them why, just because I am a difficult ornery SOB like that, who likes to challenge wrongs as I see them. What I do and my photos are all over the interwebs already. Am I committing any crimes, save thought crimes against the regressive agenda? No. Does the regressive agenda rule America and trump the Constitution? They may want you to think so, but no. All it takes is for good men to stand by to let evil triumph. Don’t let them push you into the shadows.
Stand up, and be counted.
Ok, tirade over, back to the camo. There are two strands here – the camouflage qualities of camo, and the ‘uniform’ effects of it. As stated before, there are lots of options on the concealment side of the camo/drab clothing game, and I’m not going to go down a rabbit hole about which is best or not so good. I’m really not. The ‘uniform’ side is slightly different. As stated in my post on camo (HERE
), if you adopt a BDU camo pattern , you are adopting a ‘look’ which can have positive or negative connotations.
If you are a Militia or other tactical group with a booth at a gun show, you have to give thought to your PR image. There may be good reason to have one of your guys in 5.11 pants and a smart polo with insignia. However, it goes deeper than that. If you are an organization, you likely recruit in your own image. ‘Face fits’ and all that. That is the impression you will give at your booth. Militias are made up of everyman, that’s the whole point, but if you want to be sharp you must set standards and generate the right public image. Therefore select who is in your Militia and specifically who is at your booth as your public face.
The Military operates recruiting offices and has recruiting booths. They wear camo. They also have weight standards and ensure that whoever is at the recruiting booth looks at least somewhat the part. Paramilitary Police often wear camo, and they pull it off, because they are dressing professionally. So, if you are going to wear camo, you have to do it right. You don’t want to look like a banana republic paramilitary or revolutionary group. Get some advice from veteran members of the organization. You may wear one thing in the field, but have a public uniform, so long as your State laws allow Militia. That’s something about A-TACS – it may be awesome camouflage, but perhaps not ideal for a public perception of a uniform. Subjective again, make your own mind up.
Choose a smart camo pattern and wear the BDUs right. Matching boots. Blouse your pants. Wear some form of identifying unit badges, perhaps with a subdued US flag on your shoulder. Have photos in the booth of your guys looking awesome in the field doing tactical stuff. Not of the fat guy at the BBQ. If you want to recruit, and pull off the look, you have to be sharp and look sharp. It’s not the camo that is the problem, it’s the fat out of shape guys wearing it.
I’m sure there are plenty of guys and gals out there who perhaps do not want to join the military but want to do army stuff. They may gravitate towards airsoft. They may think Militia is full of fat crazy extremists. Prove that image wrong. You may want to think about going for a more, not less public image. Help in the community and all that. Get your town used to the helpful professional guys in the Tiger Stripes maybe….
If I was running a booth at a gun show to recruit for a Militia, I would first start about a year before with a small group of people. I would select and train the right people and generate a snappy looking BDU uniform (hmmm- tiger stripe, maybe….). I would establish an insignia and a way of wearing the uniform with badges sewn on right. The booth would be filled with photos of awesome looking tactical stuff, some fun stuff and even a BBQ and Beer photo or two. It is a club after all right? At the booth I would perhaps have my guy in the 5.11 pants/polo but I would have a couple of other guys in the snappy looking cammies. Maybe a female or two: But only if we had them in the team: even if she was nice to look at, she would be a real capable team member and not hired eye candy. Maybe a female or two in the 5.11 pants and polo?
The other side of the uniform thing is don’t make it too formal. You are not trying to look, for example, like a State trooper in a cross belt, which is more likely to attract real fascists with neo-Nazi tendencies. Smart but casual BDUs set up right, team baseball caps, the right badges sewn on, decent haircuts and trimmed facial hair.
I don’t see any reason to avoid camo at all. Be proud of the camo. Just make it look right.