When will the Resistance begin?
What can little ol’ me do?
I see a lot of people in the comments of this blog and others ask these types of questions in regard to what they can do to resist what they perceive as unjust, tyrannical, unconstitutional violations of natural human rights by the government. My personal perception is that these queries are attempts to legitimize their personal desire to start shooting motherfuckers in the face. Why? Because I get the same desire when I read the news.
Unfortunately, I’m not going to “give” you “permission” to start shooting anyone. It’s not my job. It’s not anyone’s job, and as Claire Wolfe so famously wrote, “it’s too early to shoot the bastards.” It’s also not necessary yet.
Thomas Jefferson wrote a great deal about government existing with the consent of the governed, and as with most things, Mr. Jefferson was spot on. The problem is, we’re usually too stupid to understand what he meant. The government—any government—only has the power over you that you permit it to have; no more. If you refuse to comply, they can either ignore you, or hunt you down and try to imprison or kill you.
There’s no organized resistance movement in this nation. There’s not going to be, anytime soon, judging by the bickering, backstabbing, and plain ignorance that is often displayed. I’m never going to condone racism—period. That means me and Adolf the Aryan are never going to organize against the government. I’d as soon shoot the ignorant fuck in the face as sit down and discuss philosophies with him. What are the chances that he and I are going to successfully share the proverbial foxhole? Pretty goddamned slim, huh?
On the other hand, does that mean “resistance is futile?” Not at all. Organized resistance amongst normal people (of whom I generally consider myself one, since I’m not aware of any psychological disorders that I suffer from) will not begin to occur until the kernel of that resistance is formed by individuals and small groups becoming disenfranchised enough to start developing their networks. Failing that, any overt acts of resistance—especially armed resistance—will result in the resistors being labeled as “terrorists” in the minds of most people. If you want to ensure that future resistance—next week, next month, or next year…hell, even in the next generation—you must make it real now, by living the resistance you claim to believe in. How do you do that, though?
The answer depends on what you are angry about. Are you angry about the devaluation of the US dollar? Are you angry about unlawful surveillance by the government? Are you angry about unlawful actions without repercussion by LEO? What can you do to stop those–through underground action, instead of through pointless violent actions that result in nothing but increased sympathy for your enemy?
Many of us are frustrated and angry about the increasing devaluation of the US dollar through ridiculous fiscal practices of the government and the continuation of fiat currency. How can you resist that? Bitcoin sure as fuck is not the answer. (Seriously!!!???? “We don’t believe in fiat currency, so we’re going to make up our currency that has value ‘because we say it does!’” Someone wanna explain to me how the fuck THAT makes sense…to ANYONE? Buehler…..Buehler…..Buehler?)
One obvious answer is to quit conducting transactions with dollars. Barter and trade, conducting transactions with silver, etc….Of course, that’s not a complete solution. When you go to the local grocery store, they’re going to value that pre-’64 quarter the same as they do the circa 2004 quarter. Nothing you can do to explain to the minimum-wage Wal-Mart clerk the concept of inherent value is going to change that. He/She/It does not get paid to think…
That doesn’t mean you can’t minimize your use of the fiat currency, as pretty much every survivalist- and liberty-oriented financial advisor on the market recommends. Whenever possible, use barter. Negotiate for reduced prices. (Hell, I used that method at Best Buy the day before yesterday and got 25% off the price of a brand-new laptop for my wife!) Quit buying so much shit.
When you save money, consider the Alpha Strategy (google and read the eBook if you’re unfamiliar with it). Invest in silver and other precious metals. No, you’re not necessarily going to get the same return on your investment, and in the event of a collapse, people are decidedly NOT going to be running around looking to trade beans, bullets, and band-aids for your hoarded silver dimes. Thinking otherwise is delusional. That doesn’t mean it’s not a decent store of value that will always hold some level of value in the long-term.
If you’re pissed about anything the government is doing…quit paying for it. I hear lots of people (myself included) bitch about pet-killing cops, or cops shooting bystanders and then pushing the blame off on the unarmed suspect…(or the current winner in my mind…the two D.C. Cops: one arrested for child pornography, and the other for running a prostitution ring, including a 16 year old hooker in his stable…The chief of police got angry because she’d had 3 officers killed in the line-of-duty in the last year, and THEY represented the real 99.9% of DC cops…2 bad guys…3 dead in the line of duty…I can’t even imagine how those numbers balance out that way in her head….). How do you resist that? Do you start assassinating police officers? Not necessarily.
I don’t believe the lie that “99.9% of cops are good.” I don’t even believe the lie that “50% of cops are good.” I do believe—I KNOW—there are cops out there that are legitimately good guys who got into the job to “protect and serve.” While those guys need to make a more concerted effort to push the bad apples out of the basket (For the cop readers…do NOT blame your unions. They are supposed to represent YOU. If they don’t, that’s your fault.), I don’t want to reduce their presence even more by shooting the one good cop on a department. That doesn’t make a bit of sense. However, there are three things I believe should be done by legitimately concerned “resistors.”
Quit paying as much tax as you can get away with. It’s more than you think. Don’t want to pay sales tax? Pay the small tax necessary to get a local business license, and buy everything on that so you’re not paying a sales tax that supports the local government. Go make your purchases that you have to pay sales tax for in a jurisdiction with responsible, civic-minded police departments. Who gives a shit if you have to drive further, paying for more fuel? Is it the money you value, or the principle? I refuse to do classes in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and other states that outright ban the citizen’s right to protect themselves with legitimate tools. I’m not afraid to use my weapons in those states…I simply refuse to contribute to their tax base by having to purchase things in those states.
Talk to your local cops. Get to know them. Befriend them if they’re good guys, shun them if they’re assholes. Don’t go out of your way to flaunt your non-compliance. Use the “Heinlein principle” to determine what laws are convenient to follow and which are inconvenient. I don’t speed. It’s more inconvenient to me to pay a traffic ticket than it is to leave a few minutes early to get somewhere. I get license and registration—even though those support the local regime—because it’s less inconvenient than the alternative. The less I have to deal with local cops (actually, our local sheriff’s deputies are pretty reasonable), the easier it is for me to ignore the unconstitutional laws and continue my personal resistance. I’ll still jump in and fight to protect the local cops that I know are good guys though.
If a cop—or cops—does something illegal or unjust to your family or friends, or the family of your friend? Make him pay for it. Since someone somewhere will read this and pass it on to his cop friends and they might get offended because I am “implying” that they should shoot cops….Don’t bother. I’m not implying anything. I’m telling you…if you hurt my family or friends—regardless of what clothes you wear to work—I will hurt or kill. You don’t get to hide behind a badge.
It’s not a matter of simple vengeance though. As a reader, student, and friend pointed out in a class discussion a while back…vengeance isn’t fixing anything. If you go hunting under those circumstances, it needs to be readily apparent why. Don’t hide your reasons.
Does that mean you’ll be on the run afterwards? Of course. That’ll be inconvenient. Honestly? You’ll probably get caught eventually. That’ll be REALLY inconvenient..and probably result in execution. Scared? You’re talking about violent resistance…did you think you were bulletproof?
I have friends and family members who tell me I should self-censor what I write on the internet. I should not use Facebook to communicate with friends and family. I should be careful of what I say on the phone.
Those same people however, are aware enough to recognize that “a right unexercised ceases to be a right recognized.” Which is it?
I believe in (un)civil disobedience. I will say what I feel I need to say, when I feel I need to say it, about whatever I feel I need to talk about. If they want to eavesdrop on my conversations….more power to them. There’s still a way to fight back though, beyond withdrawing consent by ignoring them.
Withdraw consent by refusing to fund those activities.
“But John! I can’t decide where my tax dollars go to!” says an acquaintance.
“And that’s why you’re not a resistor. You’ll never be anything but a slave.” is my reply. You most certainly CAN decide where your tax dollars go…by not paying them. If you’re truly pissed about the actions of the government—quit supporting them by paying your taxes. If you work for an employer who practices withholding, either quit your job and go work under the table, or claim enough deductions that it reduces your withholding to zero (I’ve been told the magic number is 5 deductions. It reduces your withholding to zero, but doesn’t automatically trigger an audit alert at the IRS). At the end of the year, continue practicing (un)civil disobedience by not filing. Withdraw your consent by ignoring them.
That’s a damned scary notion to most people. You might end up arrested by the IRS (although..outside of people who are prominent public figures like celebrities…really, how many people have you heard of who were successfully arrested and prosecuted for tax evasion? If there were a lot, wouldn’t you think they’d make a public spectacle of those people to continue coercing people?). You will almost certainly be reduced to a lower standard of living if you trade a six-figure job for under the table wages….depending on what the new job is….going to work as a self-employed contractor in the same field might actually INCREASE your income….
Your wife might leave you if you have to decrease your standard of living. If that’s the case, you were an idiot for marrying a money-grubbing whore, and are better off without her (ask me how I know….HH6 is my second wife…). Granted, none of these are a panacea. You’ll still be paying taxes in the form of sales tax, property tax, etc….it’s still ACTION though. It’s doing SOMETHING. It’s RESISTANCE!
That’s what scares the shit out of people. The ironic thing about that fear though? Those same people in the survivalist-liberty movement are happy to jerk off to masturbatory fantasies about running gunfights with cannibalistic San Franciscans, DHS, or Chinese airborne infantry brigades….Of course, those fantasies are easy, because they’re remote. The fear of ending up in a cage because you could actually do something effective—today–is more frightening because it’s more immediate. It requires you to actually put up or shut up.
Quit being a coward.
Reader “karmaisabitch” posted the following in comments. I like the idea so much that I’m going to put it into practice (besides, this will slow down the emails to me pointing out specific typos….I’m already working on that). If you look at the tabs at the top of this page, you will see that there is a new page, “Book Questions and Concerns.” If you have suggestions or questions, feel free to post them there. I can’t promise I’ll address every point raised, but I will answer questions on topics in the book.
I am a computer programmer, and I read a lot of technical books.
Some of them suck and are worthless, but some are extremely good, and they still have errors, after all the proofreading.
What they do, is have a webpage (which is also mentioned in the introduction to the book: which means they plan this in advance!..) where they accept feedback (“error reports”) from readers, review the, and if agreed, publish them on the page.
Just an idea…
Also, getting feedback in some kind of an organized manner also helps the author to crystallize his ideas for the next book: what users need is what they mostly ask for.
Although, in this case, the vast majority of your readers will be like me: those who don’t know what they don’t know.
But maybe what we will be asking for, makes sense, because some things may be obvious for you as a professional, and completely unknown to the “never action guys”.
I announced the release of the pre-sale eBook version of The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One: The Guerrilla last week. At the time, I mentioned that I has some serious concerns with the quality of the final product, ranging from presentation and typographical errors that should NOT have been missed by my proofreaders or myself (all have been summarily executed…including myself…), to some missing content that I had intended to include in the final product. In light of that, some of the repairs I’ve been working on include a Table of Contents at the beginning, better chapter titles, and repairing the typos.
I have maildrop negotiations ongoing, and will have a final price for the hard copy (it’s not going to be $15/copy, but it won’t be over $50. Currently, it’s looking like $30-40) by Tuesday of next week at the latest.
In the meantime, the Table of Contents….with the Pistol, TC3, E&E, and defending fixed locations chapters, plus the appendices (all but the bibliography were done and were supposed to have been in the eBook version. I fucked up somehow) added, the page count is actually looking more like 500pg. We’re currently debating between a wire spiral binding that will lie flat on a table, or a regular trade paperback type cover, so you can read the title on the bookshelf…..thus the delay in final price details.
Table of Contents
Cogito, Ergo Armatum Sum….”I think, therefor I am.”
(Introduction to the Book)
Tactics are Like Assholes…Every One Has One…for a Reason (doctrinal considerations)
Strong People are Harder to Kill…and More Useful in General (PT—the chapter title is a Mark Rippetoe quote)
Throat Punching and Skull-Stomping…the Sho Kosugi Shit (Combatives)
Shoot Him in the Face! (Partisan pistolcraft)
Hips and Heads, Kids! Hips and Heads! (Combat Rifle)
Oh Shit! I’m Shot! Wow….that sorta smarts!(TC3)
LT’s got the map? We’re fucked! (Land Nav)
Hide-and-Go-Seek for Grown-Ups (Escape-and-Evasion)
A Chihuahua Can Kick a Great Dane’s Ass!…as long as he remembers that he’s a Chihuahua! (Battle Drills)
Get…Off…My…Lawn! (Defending Fixed Locations)
Nocturnal Nature Walks (Patrolling Operations)
Schoolyard Stuff (Mountain Guerrilla POI)
How Many Suitcases Do You Have? (Packing for Partisans)
Mine’s Cooler Than Yours Is! (Weapon selection and Set-Up Suggestions for Different Platforms)
Old School, Hard School, Best School (Tricks of the Trade, revised)
Bookworm Feces(Bibliography, Recommended Reading, and Other Resources)
(Volume Two of this series will be on the auxiliary…if that weren’t abundantly obvious…..)
(The USMC veteran officer who wrote the recent AAR from last summer’s West Virginia Patrolling class—posting under the pseudonym Leatherneck556 asked recently in a comment about my personal conditioning program. The reasons for it will be evident in this article, but I hesitated to post it. Those readers who purchased and have begun reading the ebook are aware that I advocate a Crossfit-type conditioning program. This article will help to explain my philosophy on this, as well as to—hopefully–motivate some fuckers to get off the couch.–J.M.)
It’s no secret that I’m a very vocal advocate of the importance of high levels of absolute strength for combat fitness. I’m not going to even suggest that not doing extensive PT means that you’re automatically going to die within the opening seconds of a fight…but I will straight out say that refusing to do PT while you have the chance is going to do nothing but fuck you. If you don’t die in a fight, you’re going to die of illness or some other ridiculously stupid reason because your immune and other body systems collapse under stress. But hey, what the fuck do I know? Maybe your chores milking the dairy goats and splitting firewoods will be sufficient (not fucking likely though…).
I am a big fan of the Crossfit-type metabolic conditioning methods. Whether you drink the Crossfit Kool-Aid, or you prefer Rob Shaul’s interpretation at MilitaryAthlete.com or Mark Twight’ Gym Jones is irrelevant. They’re all different flavors of basically the same fucking concept: using strength and anaerobic interval exercises to develop general physical performance, and then adding the necessary sports-specific conditioning activities to that.
A Mea Culpa
I hesitated to post my PT program at that time because—to be brutally honest—my PT program has been largely non-existent. Between living in a tiny, cramped cabin on the mountainside with my wife and kid, to being on the road traveling for classes more than I would like, I let myself get lazy and complacent, thinking, “Well shit, I can still outperform students in classes, so I must be doing alright. I’m getting enough PT!” So, instead of lifting heavy and doing hard workouts, my PT had degenerated into typical “prepper” PT of nothing but farm chores…and the weekly walk in the woods (ruck run).
At a rifle class in Washington state recently, a friend and student with multiple combat tours in the Middle East in a non-US military expressed disbelief that I weighed 200 pounds, thinking I looked an easy 30 pounds lighter than that. I chalked that up to a decline in my muscle mass—which means I was also declining in strength. The night before the Arizona patrolling class this fall, I sat down for supper with Brazilian Jujitsu Black Belt Cecil Burch, who I’ve mentioned in this blog previously. As we discussed different aspects of combatives and training, I had to admit that I hadn’t been doing PT like I should’ve been. I felt guilty as fuck having to admit that….(Shit, I feel guilt as fuck admitting it here too, but at least now I’ve started remedying the situation). Those two episodes were enough to make me sit up and reevaluate.
While I could still outperform 95% of the people I met, I was not able to perform at the level I feel I should be able to perform at. So, after convincing HH6 of the criticality of it (not a hard sell, truthfully…), we invested in a power cage weightlifting rack and several hundred pounds of Olympic bar and plates. Before you start thinking I’m made of money, realize that with very little effort, we managed to get all of this for less than the cost of a used Glock…Use your local Craigslist or other resale website and you can find smoking good deals on barely used fitness equipment, because most Americans really are lazy fuckers.
I use a variation on basic Crossfit that is sort of a combination of Crossfit Football, Crossfit-Strength Based, and my own concepts, with lots of Bill Starr, Jim Wendler, and Mark Rippetoe (for the non-athletic amongst the readership, those are all really well-known strength coaches) tossed in for good measure on the strength side of the house.
I am currently working a 3 days on/1 day off routine. I start with a firm emphasis on pure strength. This means lifting heavy shit. Using Bill Starr’s concept of the Big Three, this means I center my strength training on a squatting exercise, a pushing exercise, and a pulling exercise. With my purpose being the development of athletic attribute development, I focus on ground-based exercises.
I start each workout with one of these exercises. For squats, I use either barbell back squats or front squats exclusively. For pushing exercises, I use an overhead press variation (overhead press, military press, or push-press…typically the last one, since it involves the athletic triple extension of the ankle, knee, and hips, as well as the ability to lift a lot greater weight than the other two) or heavily weighted parallel bar dips. For the pulling exercises, I use power clean variations (because of the limitations of my home gym space, this typically means a rack clean, more is the pity), deadlifts, and chin-up/pull-up variations, with weight on a belt for added resistance.
For the first portion of my training sessions, I will perform either five sets of five repetitions (5×5) or five sets of 2 repetitions each (5×2). In order to allow myself the greatest strength for performance of these heavy sets, I use a minimum of 3 minutes of rest between sets, and perform plenty of warm-up sets (last time, my warm-up sets for squats were: 135lbx5, 185×3, 205×2, and 225×2, before my 5×2 working sets of 235lbs.)
Following my heavy working sets for strength, I perform a metabolic conditioning workout of the Crossfit WOD type. In order to make them more “sport” specific to our needs, I use heavier weights than typically prescribed in the Crossfit workouts, and perform them for longer durations.
In order to demonstrate the concept, I’m going to include examples of my workouts. Are they perfect—in themselves? Of course not. Are they sufficient in themselves? Of course not. Are they damned near as good as you’re going to get? I believe so—as long as you remember to modify the basic Xfit workouts to make them more specific to the demands of our activities. In addition to the WOD workouts, one day out of every six training days, I use a 5-10 mile road march for my conditioning session, although generally not right after a lifting session. Since I suffer from insomnia, occasionally, one of these will be done in the middle of the night, when everyone in the country is sleeping except me. It’s cold enough now though, I’m going to be stuck doing them in the daylight.
Barbell Back Squats @ 235lbs
2-2-2-2-2 with three-minute rest intervals between sets
After the final three-minute rest interval:
complete 5 rounds for time of:
5x chin-ups with a towel grip
10x parallel bar dips
15x hanging straight leg raises
(I performed my five sets in just under 14 minutes this day. Although that’s an average of just under 3 minutes per round, my first round was done in 1:20, and my second set was completed by the 4:20 mark.)
Barbell Push-Press @ 175 pounds
2-2-2-2-2 with three-minute rest interval:
After the final three-minute rest interval:
Complete as many sets as possible in 3 minutes. After a one minute rest interval, repeat for a total of ten 3-minute rounds.
3x rack cleans @ 165 pounds
6x feet-elevated push-ups
10x 24” box step-ups
(While this might not sound difficult…after all, box step-ups are some Richard Simmons aerobic workout shit, right? I do the entire met-con circuit with a 40 pound weight vest on…the same weight as my fighting load…Last time, I managed to complete 3/3/3/2/2/1 sets per three-minute round….)
Barbell Rack Cleans @ 185 pounds
2-2-2-2-2 with three-minute rest intervals
After the final three-minute rest interval:
Perform 3 complete 4-minute Tabata Intervals, with a one-minute rest interval between Tabata Intervals. Alternate push-ups and bodyweight squats each 20 second work interval (like the last workout, these were done with my weight vest on).
Barbell Back Squats @ 245 pounds
2-2-2-2-2 with three-minute rest intervals
After the final rest interval:
perform 3x Tabata Intervals of step-ups onto an 18” box with weight vest and a rucksack on, loaded with 100 pounds of sandbags (this one made me puke…just as a warning…)
Barbell Rack Cleans @ 205 pounds
2-2-2-2-2 with three-minute rest intervals
(My last set, I actually lifted the weight three times, because I missed my catch at the top of the second rep….)
After the final rest interval:
Perform as many sets as possible in 20 minutes:
7x 135 pound barbell thruster (this is a front squat with a push-press combined into one exercise)
14x 70 pound kettlebell swing (I perform this by holding a 35 pound weight plate in each hand)
21x 45 pound unilateral farmer’s carry box step-ups (it might not seem like it, but this exercise actually offers AWESOME core/abdominal strengthening benefits! I kind of wish I had a 70 or 80 pound KB to do this one with…If any of you has a suggestion on how to perform this effectively with heavier than a single 45 pound plate, let me know…)
Barbell Push-Press @ 175 pounds
2-2-2-2-2 with a three-minute rest interval
Following the last rest interval:
complete 10 rounds for time:
5x 305 pound deadlift
(this one was performed with weight vest on as well)
There are a couple of caveats to consider. Number one, when I quit acting like a slacker piece-of-shit, my back squat weight was 175×5 for two working sets. My push-press weight was a paltry 115 pounds, and my rack clean was limited to 135. So, I’ve made gains. The ONLY reason that has been possible this quickly is because I’ve been stronger than that in the past. My neural system has been trained—in the past—to function at these levels, so the nerve synapses know how to pull this shit off. I don’t suggest trying to jump weight this fast for inexperienced weight lifters, or those who haven’t done any serious PT in years.
Start small, and take small steps. It’s called “progressive resistance” for a reason….
In the comments of the same article, someone else asked about my scheduling issues for training all the subsets of skill disciplines. I’ll get that article done shortly. As well as some on the auxiliary that I’ve been percolating in my head.
In order to make the January patrolling class to happen, we needed 12 people signed up for the class. Deposits were due by 30NOV. As of yesterday evening, we had received four deposits. We had received verbal commitments for several others over the course of the last two weeks, but only received two today, according to my mail drop handler.
Unless there is somehow a miraculous occurrence in his mail box tomorrow, I would consider the Mississippi class canceled. If you have sent a deposit, expect it to be returned in time for Christmas. For those that committed to this class and demonstrated that commitment by sending the deposits–and on time–please accept my sincerest apologies for not being able to make it happen.
If further deposits are received after this, they will be returned as well.
The following is an AAR of the West Virginia patrolling class from last summer. The author is an USMC infantry officer combat veteran. The AAR obviously took him a while to put together, since he offered to write one at the end of the class….We’ll chalk it up to being an officer….He didn’t have a NCO to pass the work off on (Sorry, Sir….I had to…..).
Since the ebook is done and mostly out in the hands of the purchasers now, we will return to your regularly scheduled programming soon. I will also have ordering instructions for the hard copy available and posted here on the blog within the week.
3 Day Patrolling Class AAR
I would first like to start by saying that I stumbled upon the Mountain Guerrilla blog late last year, and I quickly fell in love with it. Having served in the Marine Corps on active duty as an infantry officer, I feel pretty confident saying that I know a little bit about small-unit infantry tactics. I’m not the expert, but I do have some knowledge.
What spoke to me immediately was that John has a way of writing that cuts to the essence of the matter and really focuses on what is important. I have always thought a little bit differently about light infantry tactics than many of my peers, and I observed shortcomings in the training of the small unit in the big Marine Corps. I was able to express some of my dissatisfaction with that way of doing things, but I wasn’t able to articulate many of my feelings until I read John’s blog.
He really hits the nail on the head with one particular thing that he says: you must have the context to know how to apply violence in an organized manner with small units. The information contained in old military publications (well… the Army’s pubs, Marine Corps pubs are usually garbage) may be correct, but it isn’t complete per se. Without seeing with your own two eyes what real light infantry does, the manuals are only of limited usefulness.
So with that said, the first thing that I need to point out about John’s patrolling class is that it is not designed to make you a guerrilla warfare ninja in three days. That goal isn’t even realistic. What John does seek to do at this course is to provide the context that surrounds light infantry tactics, techniques, and procedures so that those with no experience can train themselves and their groups for real world situations as opposed speculating about what should be done. And what you need to know is that he delivers that context with skill.
The first day of class, we showed up and went through all the typical administrative stuff. After that, we got down to business with the first part of the training: stalking and camouflage. John taught the class about what makes good camouflage (it isn’t necessarily clothing with a pretty pattern) and the techniques of stalking and camouflage. After that, we split the class into two halves and practiced trying to stalk into the enemy’s perimeter unnoticed. In my time on active duty, I had only ever seen this skill practiced by scout/snipers (which interestingly enough, my old company commander had decided were just really proficient riflemen and not some special unit unto themselves) and not by regular grunts. This would make sense had I only experienced motorized and/or mechanized units, but for both of my deployments I served in the battalion’s heliborne/light infantry company. Stealth is critical to the survival of the small, unsupported unit, and this was an excellent first lesson.
For the rest of that day and the next two days, we worked mostly on what I would call the “bread and butter” of infantry training. We practiced the technique of the assault (“buddy rushing”), discussed patrol orders, executed patrols, learned about fire and movement vs. fire and maneuver, talked and executed live fire IA drills, practiced TCCC (tactical trauma care), and covered many other core topics of concern to the light infantryman or guerrilla. John and his fellow SF/Ranger veterans did an absolutely phenomenal job in teaching all of the skills to the highest possible level in the time allowable.
All of this training was done in the field. We did plenty of talking and lectures, but at the end of the day, the important thing to note is that we actually got dirty, sweaty, and tired executing the techniques. Much of our patrolling and movement was done with packs (sustainment load) in addition to our full fighting loads. While this is a lesson I learned on active duty, I certainly got a refresher that walking with a heavy load through the woods is HARD. Moving tactically with that same load is even harder. Do NOT underestimate how physically demanding the execution of light infantry TTPs will be.
In addition to all of this training, John and his cadre did a great job of using every available second to impart as much information as possible. Some in attendance had both light-amplifying and thermal night vision devices. John led the students through a class on the capabilities and limitations of such technology, and those who had never been exposed to these devices before were able to operate them and gain some familiarity. These sorts of hip-pocket classes were scattered throughout.
Trust me when I say that you need to take this course. In his 3-Day Patrolling Course, John seeks to provide the uninitiated with the context necessary to prepare for combat, and he delivers. I have taken several other weapons/tactics-related training courses with other instructors and this one delivered the most bang for the buck of any I had taken. It would still be an amazing value at twice the price.
I do have some admonitions for those of you who are interested in this course:
1. 1. Understand that even if you are in good shape, this will be a suckfest. Carrying a heavy load (and trust me, your pack is heavy regardless of what the scale tells you) is HARD. Fire and movement in hot weather is HARD. Going for 3 days while sleeping outdoors and eating MRE’s is HARD. Be physically prepared so you don’t have to waste your time and everybody else’s by going down as a heat case.
2. 2. This class is not for beginners, or rather, I should say that it is for beginners. It just isn’t for beginning gun handlers. You don’t need to know a thing about light infantry tactics to show up for this course. The very reason you should go to this course is because you don’t know the things that John will teach you. But understand that this course isn’t about teaching you how to live comfortably in the woods or how to operate a rifle. It’s a course about what to do with that rifle once you already know how to shoot it.
3. 3. This goes right along with #2, but read the section on the blog titled “Required Reading Before Attending a Patrolling Class”. It will put you ahead of the power curve, or at least keep you from falling behind so that you can get the most possible out of the class. You may be an experience woodsman, but have no idea what specific things you should pack for this type of an outing. John has already written articles about what a guerrilla needs to carry. Use the recommendations he makes on his blog and then fine tune your specific list based on your experience in that class. If you have already done some reading on METT-TC and battle drills, then you won’t be in the dark when John starts talking about them in class. Just take ownership of your training and do a little work beforehand to get the most out of the class while you’re there.
So that about sums it up. John is a great instructor and, contrary to what he writes, he is very intelligent and well spoken. He is also clearly a dedicated husband and father. Take his class – you will be better for it
Not with the blog!
The book is complete. 345 pages of sleepless nights, ignoring my wife and kid, and re-reading old articles, manuals, and class notebooks, to ensure that I didn’t overlook anything….and then I realized I had anyway.
So, more accurately, the eBook is done, but there will be some further revisions done between now and the release of the hard copy in January. I will announce when those revisions and additions are complete. If you purchased the eBook, let me know via email after I make the announcement, and I’ll put the revised sections and any additions into a pdf file and send them when they are done.
I also lied…..unintentionally. I was going to accept suggestions on the book title, and then let the readership vote on it, but one of the very first suggestions grabbed me and wouldn’t turn loose, so I’m using a modified version of that:
The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One: The Guerrilla (whoever the reader was who suggested The Reluctant Guerrilla has a hard copy coming, on me.)
This volume focuses on some of the individual critical skills like physical conditioning and combatives, to land navigation and a complete Combat Rifle course outline, lesson by lesson and drill-by-drill. It also covers the common collective tasks required to conduct local security patrols, from battle drills and patrol base activities and actions at danger areas beyond what you’ll find in the FMs, to patrol movement formations and techniques that are no longer widely used in the US military, outside of SF.
Of course, despite my best intentions, I discovered a Truth that every author has undoubtedly discovered in the past. There’s no way to fit all the information you want to into one volume, so subsequent volumes will follow, including a volume dedicated to the development of an Auxiliary next.
Thank you for your patience.