Throughout the course of last week I watched a few events unfold with amazement. We had:
There was of course, a kernel of truth (like that?) in the points about the ‘militia.’ We have all seen the shows on the Discovery Channel. The ‘militia’ is in itself a problematic term and as such I prefer to not use it. You can tell me that is a wrong approach, and that it is a historical term, but it has been polluted. Not only by the media, but also in too many cases by the actions and poor PR of the actual ‘militias’ themselves. This is not said to hate on the ‘militias’ themselves, but if the cap fits, wear it, and it simply reflects much of the reality. If you are an un-publicized squared away militia out there, then good on you and keep going. It is however true that many of the groups that were termed ‘Joe’s Armed Gang’ reflect poorly; modern voluntary ‘militias’ are also not the same thing as historical militias, which were official State units. So perhaps ‘militia’ is simply not the right word to use? But either way, whatever word you use, it is the professionalism, or lack of it, that you display that is important.
If your militia is overweight, unfit, poorly trained and consists of three heavyweights led by a ‘Colonel’ who looks like the Michelin Man, then it is very easy for not only the general public, but also the professional military, to get their hate on. Or disdain. You are your own worst enemy.
But on the other hand, it is simply not good enough for military to show blanket disdain of civilians engaged in serious tactical self defense training as teams. (I use the term Citizen Unconventional Tactical Teams, or CUTT). Why?:
As a means to demonstrate my point, take a look at the video below. To the uninitiated, this is a ‘hero’ doing his thing in Afghanistan. However, even as a trained member of a combat arms unit, this guy has no weapon manipulation skills at all. He is also a liability, if you read the description from the guy himself:
“I got a hit a total of 4 times. My helmet cam died and I made it down the mountain on my own. I was also hit in the side of my helmet and my eye pro was shot off of my face. We were doing overwatch on the village to recon and gather intel. I was point heading down the face of the hill with the LT. when we got hit. The rest of the squad was pinned down by machine gun fire. I didn’t start the video until a few mins into the firefight for obvious reasons. I came out into the open to draw fire so my squad could get to safety.”
I wasn’t there, but he was suppressing nothing with his wild fire. If his squad was in overwatch, they were likely near the crest / on it. But they had started moving down the forward slope? They then came under contact. What happened to fire control orders and break contact back over the crest? Acting as an individual and getting hit stuck out on the forward slope, now calling for help, will only put the rest of his team in more danger, having to move out there to recover him. Luckily he survived, and we have another case of poorly trained survivor bias:
I know it may appear harsh, but just because you were in the military and deployed, doesn’t make you better than a civilian.
The majority of the problem is training and fitness. Most people won’t train. Even if they like to comment on blogs, and are worried by the potential for economic collapse, they don’t train. The level of ‘unconscious incompetence’ out there is staggering. That is why you:
It is a sad fact that in our society there are far too many loud mouthed obnoxious opinionated gut buckets. The majority of these are in the ‘unconscious incompetence’ phase. Those who fear the ego bubble are those who do know what they don’t know, and are at a level of ‘conscious incompetence.’ Come and train at MVT, we do not belittle students, and better to learn it right at MVT than kill a family member, or fail to prevent your family getting killed, when it happens for real.
However, ego is a major fail factor in our society, people live in constructed realities, legends in their own lunch break, and I have said it before, ego is one of the main impediments to effective training. MVT is an ego free zone, and if you can wake up and gather sufficient humility to actually come to training, that is the best thing for you. If you can’t we can do nothing for you.
If you make the decision to make yourself more tactically able, we have fitness training programs, training courses, all that that you can take advantage of.
Regarding the ‘militia’; thing, I was looking at my FaceBook feed a while back and I came across a video that a ‘State Militia’ had posted. It was of a training session, dry, in react to contact drills. It was fairly terrible absolute basic level training. But we all have to start somewhere, right? The issue as it appeared to me was that in comments, there were a whole bunch of offers to train these guys up, from combat vets, I even put a link up to MVT Training. It was all refused, mainly with the reason that ‘they were doing something.’
This ‘at least we are doing something’ thing has to stop. Why? Because it simply isn’t good enough. It is nothing more than a ‘no child left behind’ mindset. Perhaps accepting training from a combat vet (I have no idea how good that training might have been – see my point on combat vets above) would threaten the position of the group leaders, or at least would be perceived to be a threat? However, here is the main point:
Whining that you are ‘at least training’ and ‘doing your best’ when in fact you are not is going to result in a much higher chance of you being wiped out. Because, at the end of the day, this isn’t school sports. The enemy does not care. In fact the enemy will be happy that you ‘did as best you could’ but didn’t actually do any effective training, because he wants to kill you. He will take advantage of your weakness and keep pumping rounds into you until you stop moving, and then some more to make sure.
This is where the issue of ego in ‘militia’ groups, and fear of being tested and shown up, really leads to a dangerous place. If leaders of such groups are dumbing down training, and not seeking good training due to such attitudes, they are really doing a lethal disservice to their people. But of course, many such groups are more about ego and fake rank badges than actually being effective…..
It was my desire to raise training standards across the civilian tactical community that led me to create the MVT Rifleman Challenge. However, such standards have remained at MVT, and not yet spread as I wish they would, again due to the actions of the ‘usual suspects’ who are behind this attack on training in the civilian community. There is also an entitlement mentality out there among so called ‘liberty’ supporters. I see this in the attacks on the III% Society, and I have also been attacked for it. Are you collectivists or do you understand the free market? In order to provide tactical training, or any training, we have to be viable as businesses. We don’t have resources to provide it gratis, and there are expenses. We have made considerable investment in training equipment and infrastructure at MVT, for example, in order to be able to bring you a better service. Where does the idea come from that training is a free entitlement? Do you get your other prepper supplies for free? Have you tried that entitlement mindset when purchasing your Mountain House? When I created MVT and subsequently decided to go full time at it, in order to bring a service aimed at ‘keeping good folks alive’ I had to make considerable investment, and I need to make a living to support myself and my family. Even those doing training as a part -time weekend job only still charge you money in exchange for their services. Do you understand that?
(Cue some nut job making comments about future urban resistance shooting tyrants in the ear in a coffee shop with a suppressed .22….who needs training?….WOW!)
The reality is that for motivated people, any multi-class MVT Alumnus has an excellent grounding in SUT, and better training than many will received in the military. I do not say that lightly. Couple that with continuation training and returning routinely for classes, and you have an excellent training effect. And this isn’t all about MVT. We have students who have been to multiple trainers. maybe a class at Mosby or two, a couple at MVT, maybe a Texas Mobility class. Choose your poison: choose capable training schools where you can learn real SUT, and not the ‘tacticool’ substitute.
Contrary to what I hear, MVT is not building a ‘militia’ or preparing for ‘the revolution.’ We are simply training to give ‘good folks the best chance of surviving’ uncertain times ahead. It appears inevitable that the USA will collapse at some point, we are simply lacking the actual timeline and exact mechanism. We also have no real idea what such a collapse will look like. We are already in the ‘gray collapse’ simply waiting for the big ructions that will really take us into the dark. We could be in the gray collapse for long time. It behooves you to get a group together and train to be effective. Such an activity is entirely legal and inherently American. You must pay attention to legitimacy when you do this. Pay attention to the PR impact you have if others notice what you are doing, or if you attempt to recruit.
There are far too many nut jobs out there as it is. If you are a sensible sober individual or group training for potential collapse, do it right. Work on legitimacy, which is vital. Put out the right image. Be fit, and get the best training that you can. If you can get a qualified combat veteran to train you, do so. Worry less about being a ‘militia’ and holding rank, and more about being an effective tactical team.
Military / retired military are not better than you, and depending on your level of training they may have training they can offer, or you may actually be able to offer them an effective team to be part of. We all know that survival isn’t all about tactics. The military simply has some skills to offer, and civilians can be very well trained at SUT, and bring other skills. In fact, it may even be that the military person brings the logistic skills, or mechanical skills, or medical, from his / her trade in the military, and not the tactical skills: maybe you civilians need to train them up in those?
Quiet professionalism applies to those who are creating / training CUTT’s. Be professional, seek training, be the part and look the part. Take everyone as an individual for what skills they may bring to the party. The traditional ‘militia’ thing does nothing but harm to your own image and unfortunately will evoke an automatic disdain reaction from professional military and the general public alike. However, it isn’t about the name ‘militia’ – either be professional and call it something different, or be professional and call it a militia. Your choice.
It really isn’t at all about whether you are military or civilian. Effective training is now available for civilians (and military, privately) that is the equal to, or better than, much of the training available in the military. This is because it is specialized SUT training by qualified experts. So you never joined the military? Well, you can have world class SUT training. Went to boot camp twenty years ago and learned some outdated semi-useful tactics? Get re-trained! You cannot sit on your laurels, or put yourself out to pasture.
It is all about maintaining the fire, the warrior mindset. That is all.
As a finishing note: as a trainer myself, I spend more time training others that I get to train myself. I get out there when I can. I hit the woods the other day to make a video about the MVT VERSA Chest Rig. The following video is just a scenario and not about the best thing to do in such a situation: it is a scenario and demonstration to run the rig through its paces. It is also not real combat, like the video above is. However, even despite my primary focus on students I manage to keep my weapon manipulation squared away to a reasonable standard: