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The Reluctant Partisan Book




The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One: The Guerrilla

A Comprehensive Training and Evaluation Program for Community, Tribal, and Family Security Preparedness

by “John Mosby.”

Table of Contents

  1. Cogito, Ergo Armatum Sum (I think, therefore I am armed). The introduction to the book and the reasons why I wrote it and consider the information important.

  2. Tactics are Like Assholes…Everybody has One. This chapter is a discussion of doctrinal considerations for irregular warfare and how to develop doctrine and training doctrine for your own group.

  3. Strong People are Harder to Kill….and More Useful in General. It’s not secret that I believe a sound, solid PT programming is the baseline foundation of life in general, and preparedness specifically. This chapter discusses in detail, my thoughts and beliefs on that, as well as offering a complete strength and conditioning program.

  4. Throat-Punching and Skull-Stomping, or “Put the Pointy End in the Soft Spots”…The Sho Kosugi Shit. This is a discussion on the realities of what works and doesn’t work in the context of unarmed and close-quarters combatives, in the face of people who actually want to fuck you up, versus people who are more concerned with protecting themselves.

  5. Hips and Heads, Kids! A discussion of the realities of running a rifle in modern combative environments, whether an AR15, AK, or “battle rifle.” This is not Basic Rifle Marksmanship alone, nor is it a cool-guy “carbine at pistol range” subject, but spans both…and more.

  6. Oh Shit! I’ve Been Shot! Ouch, That Hurts! Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Casualty Evacuation Care…including extended care in Austere Environments for Irregular Warfighters.

  7. Who Has the Map? Oh Damn! We’re Lost! A primer on tactical land navigation skills and training.

  8. Hide-and-Seek for Grown-Ups. Escape-and-Evasion considerations for bug-out and “get home” planning.

  9. A Chihuahua Can Kick a Great Dane’s Ass…If He Remembers that He’s a Chihuahua. A discussion of the fundamental battle drills for irregular force small-unit warfighters, and how to train them effectively.

  10. Get Off My Lawn! Defending the Homestead and Community.

  11. Nocturnal Nature Walks. Fundamental skills and application of those skills for effective security patrolling operations.


  1. Schoolyard Stuff. Copies of the Mountain Guerrilla programs-of-instruction outlines. These are the notes and plans I use to teach my classes.

  2. How Many Suitcases Did You Bring? Packing for Partisans in both rural and urban environments.

  3. Mine is WAY Cooler Than Yours! A primer on effective weapon selection and set-up.

  4. Old School. Hard School. Best School. A revised and updated version of the classic SF/Recon Tricks of the Trade

The less good thing is that, despite my best hopes, in order to make a reasonable profit off the labor put into this work, the retail price will be $60.00 each, with a $10 discount per copy for bulk orders of 5-20 copies (if you’re ordering more than 20 copies, contact me via email and I’ll figure out a quote for you, once I discuss it with the printers).

Shipping costs are $10.00 for orders of less than 5 books. More than five and I need to figure out the exact cost of shipping.

To order the hard copy of The Reluctant Partisan, see the Forward Observer store at

If you want your book autographed with something special, include the request with the funds for payment.


  1. $60 bucks is a heavy price to pay when all you’ve given us to go off is a nice table of contents. Either dump a couple chapters for free to tempt the purchase at full price, or drop the price to be even close to your MANY competitors…some of which are free (e.g. nearly every military field manual, many of which cover some or all of your listed contents).

    • I would drop my price close to those of my competitors, if there were any textbooks out there that were competitive. I’ll let readers who have already ordered it chime in.

    • Hey E

      Go eat a frisbee

      I don’t remember anyone asking you “hey, can you give me your OPINION on the price I’m charging or whether I wrote a good enough description”

      Why does every idiot who connects his computer to the internet suddenly think everyone in the world wants to hear their stupid opinion.

      Either buy it or don’t. Nobody cares about your opinion.

      • Sweet. Thanks for saving my fingers.

      • ken permalink

        Grid and pace count and callin fire a must if your scouts dead and land nav escape and evade must all scouts have done that a must and murphys laws says tracers go both ways oh yea after first shots fired toss the book beer math and body count gets yu more?not being rude just real scouts more trained than most with special ops rangers ect id buy one for our small towns preppin yu bet if real soldiers are not helpin prep non trained ya good as dead any fully like to see one ok ?

      • Grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary much? Seriously…what the fuck did you mean to say?

    • Hey E,

      You seem like a savvy shopper.
      Please continue shopping at Walmart for all your ‘quality’ tactical gear and pick up the latest copy of Guns and Ammo to learn the latest tactics to survive your next gun fight. Really, you’ll get every penny’s worth.

      As for me, I orchestrated a group buy for everyone on my Christmas list and LOVE THE BOOK.
      I cannot recommend it enough. My group references it all the time. Diz said it perfectly. FM’s are basic information, but nearly useless in the hands of a lay person because you have no context.

      JM puts the theory into context so that even a shlep like E can understand it, or even anyone smarter than E, in a third world country, with a primary education.

  2. Well, as I would say to my mother, when she would remind me of all those starving children in China, name three. There is no one out there other than JM with anything close to this that I know of. Trying to do this stuff from a military manual alone is like trying to take someone’s notes from class and claiming you have a MBA.

    But in the interest of, I don’t know, leading a jackass to water, let’s just say the first half of the book is the knowledge you need to get in touch with your inner Col, Kurtz. We”ll say that’s 30 bucks. Then the second half is how to teach these skills to others, complete with lesson outlines, exercises, etc. Hey, there’s the other 30 bucks. So if it makes you feel any better, pretend you’re getting two books for 60 bucks. Anyone been to college lately and see what a scam the book prices are these days?

    Anyways, all I can say is I have been studying these things for 30+ years and I have never run across anyone who breaks it down as well as JM. If you can’t get to him and train in person, then I would definitely get this book.

  3. Cav Geek permalink

    I’ve read the book, and had plans for some long and eloquent reply, but I’m no author. The book is PACKED with lots of information, and I for one have ZERO regret for having bought a copy. I will be buying volume two when it’s available. You’re free to make your own choice, but if you’re reading the blog you have an idea of John’s style and you must have some interest in the subject matter, the book really does an excellent job of tying the important information together in one place.

  4. Chris Vuxton permalink

    OK, all this talk but how do you order a copy?

  5. Troy permalink

    I bought a copy for myself, and one for an associate. I wouldn’t think twice about ordering more copies and passing them along. The price is irrelevant when you consider the content. Anyone who is complaining about the price should ask themselves if it’s more reasonable to pay for a month of idiot cable television, or eating fast food for lunch for a week. Priorities, people.

  6. Victor Castillo permalink

    I’m ordering this work in hard copy but was also interested in an electronic version. Perhaps this was covered in some previous post but if I could impose on you to provide me with information concerning an electronic version I would be grateful. Mens Supra Corpus

  7. tfA-t permalink

    E. Seriously? This man served in the Regiment AND the Group. Buy the damn book. Or sit on your hill and die.

  8. It’s great that you guys bought a copy and love it, but I echo E’s opinion. Not that JM is being unreasonable in asking $60 for something that is (allegedly) so comprehensive; but if E doesn’t know JM, it is not unreasonable to ask for a small amount of content to convince E that JM not only knows what he is talking about, but can effectively articulate it. What E requires to convince him to buy is totally up to E, and we should respect that

    @Caleb Since E was addressing JM, the question isn’t “who asked E” it’s “who asked you”. Just because you can read the conversation doesn’t mean you are part of it.

  9. The problem with that is: if you need to learn the skills in this book, then how is seeing a small portion of it really gonna help you decide if you need it or not. It comes down to a leap of faith. Either you buy it and find the info is GTG, or not. But again, if you don’t know anything about it, then how are you supposed to decide?

    The problem with you younger guys is you want some ironclad guarantee that what you’re purchasing is the perfect product with a full money-back guarantee. You’ve been brought up in the lap of luxury with very little risk in your lives. Times may be a-changin’, and this book addresses that. Buy it or not. But don’t ask everyone to respect your opinion or space or whatever. The real world just ain’t that-a-way. And I hope you fellas never have to find this out the hard way.

    The only real answer you are gonna find here is by reading through Mosby’s blog. Look at what he’s been saying. Ask any veterans you may know if it sounds about right to them. The book doesn’t contain any startling revelations different from what he’s been laying down here. But it is a good compilation, with some added material, in a convenient hard-back form.

    For those that can’t train with him, this is a good alternative. When you compare spending around 1500 bucks to attend a class, versus 60 bucks for the book, you are getting an excellent deal.

  10. Big Mike permalink

    I have bought and read most of “The Reluctant Partisian” Vol. 1. This one book is the most comprehensive coverage of these topics that I have ever read. Once finished reading, I plan to go back and study in DETAIL and practice. His methods described are excellent and I can tell that he has lived what he writes about. I have not served in the armed forces and have read many army field manuals. There is no comparison! For example, from his escape and evade portions of his book: I’ve hunted and killed hundreds of white tailed deer in a forest environment in my 30+ years of hunting. The tactics he describes are the same ones that I have used for decades to stalk deer. If you can fool a deer, people are easy. Having worked night shifts from time to time over 30 years and playing outside in the dark in the country as a youth, his night tactics are spot on. I have used the same night time tactics as his to sneek up on my playmates and pop them in the head with a dirt clod and then disappear into the darkness. From reading John’s posts on this blog, I can tell that “John” is a man of integrity. When I ordered my book, I included a little extra money to cover his gas to get to his mail drop. So, if you are stuck in the valley of indecision, climb out and buy the book and READ it. I assure you it’s worth far more than he’s asking. If what we expect to happen, actually arrives, you will be prepared. If not, you will be like most of the urban dwellers in this country, frozen by shock and unable to move. I look forward to the next book.

  11. jukk0u permalink

    John, I bought your ($90) book. I have found some useful information contained there-in, but your editing and proofing is seemingly non-existent.
    A few errors could be overlooked, but the misspellings, omitted words, wrong words (spell-check sux) sentence fragments and etc. on each page make the going laborious.
    I would be happy to read and correct your next edition before it goes to print (and still pay for my copy) should you find any value in that.

  12. John,

    Might have missed this but are your books available in PDF format? Same price?

    Thanks for what you do!

  13. Doug permalink

    Any plans for an audio book version? I do most of my “reading” while driving for work.

  14. justanothergunnut permalink

    Sure 60$-$70 would be steep IF the info was simply regurgitated from every FM freely available on the web. It isn’t!! In fact some of the material I have not seen covered any place else. But sure I guess asking for such a exorbitant fee for his knowledge is rather elitist and unpatriotic of the author. I mean it should be almost free right!!!!

  15. Loclyokel permalink

    Hey John, I remember a post a while back stating that folks that didn’t want to order thru FO could still get them thru you but I cant find it now. Is that still an option? and what are the details; $ and drop location/address

  16. Tim permalink

    Thanks John, although I spent 4 years as a Forward Observer under Reagan, the World is changing fast, my soldiering skills needed an update, especially when you consider our own National challenges, Thanks again, really appreciate your years in tough Service of our Country!.

  17. Roger permalink

    The only other book I would pay this much for is Volume 2. I think both are indispensable and I am tighter than a size 5 shoe.

  18. Mark permalink

    Tried to order your book but it isn’t listed at the Forward Observer Store. Suggestion…

  19. What is the usual processing time for shipment? I placed my order on March 12 and got the acknowledgement from F.O. same day. Since then, nothing. Tried the F.O. contact page and the two email addresses listed here, no luck.

  20. Thanks John—it arrived a few days ago. I got about ten pages in and placed my order for the 2nd part.
    Anyone out there who is considering buying the book(s)—stop considering and starting ordering. Worth every penny.

  21. patrick robison permalink

    If you want a couple chapters then maybe do a little fucking research and …I don’t know…maybe read the thousands of FREE fucking pages JM has written on this wordpress page…what the fuck are you doing here? besides being an asshole? Thank you John for all the FREE information and all the FREE training you can get right here without spending a goddamn dime…The book price seems ridiculously low compared to what I’ve learned for FREE. Fuck that guy.

  22. Royal permalink

    Any chance of making a ‘download only’ option for your books? It seems that FO mag doesn’t ship to the Great White North.

    Great website. Thanks for your work.

  23. Mike M. permalink

    Just tried ordering five different books from F,O. The shopping cart only showed the last item I ordered, not all five. I’ve sent an e-mail to them since I could not find a “Continue Shopping” link. I cannot think of another site that I’ve used in the past ten years that only allows for one (different title) item in the shopping cart. I have found and ordered a number of the books on the ‘Professional Reading’ list, so they will have to do till F.O. can get this resolved.

  24. I just ordered the book solely based on the quality of the writing and information I found on this site. I figure if I took the time to go back and read every single post then his book is likely well worth it.

  25. justin permalink

    Got the book a year ago, fantastic reference and instruction manual. Solid. I mean for fucks sake Mosby puts two of his classes entire curriculum training, standards, and how too in the book. You want that for free? You pay for what you get.

  26. Mike permalink

    Hey E, I normally refrain from commenting on posts from people whom I don’t know. And I dismiss the fanboy reflexive genuflecting I see on various combative themed websites, but if you are a regular reader of JM’s website, you must be here for a reason, you must be seeing some value in spending your time here. Go try reading a Field Manual and try to put that knowledge into practice. They are free. I have tried to slog through that stuff, and even with a military trained mind, it just comes out mush. 60 bucks is a monthly cable subscription. Cut the fucking cable and buy the fucking book, you will come out way ahead in the end.

    People feeling entitled to getting shit for free is no small part of why we are where we are at.

  27. cool book i hope i can read it one day

  28. I’ll be ordering the book as a Christmas present to myself. As to price, the same cheap pricks who piss away money on Dunkin Donuts breakfast and cigarettes every morning are the ones whining about the book being too costly. Stop going to the drive-thru for a week and you’ll own the book for nothing. Worst case scenario, re-sell it on ebay if you don’t like it … but don’t come on here and expect something for free while begrudging an author for making a fair and reasonable profit on something he created. You want free, write a book on your own, then learn to read and read it.

  29. Charlie permalink

    I’ve got a question about your survival load on pc 300 paragraph 4. You say to stay away from the TK4 and quickly compress gauze but then two paragraphs later you say that the tk4 and qc gauze is what you need. Am I missing something?

    By the way, I’m getting a lot out of the book. My time in the Army taught me a lot but Signal Corp don’t teach this kind of stuff. Hopefully I can get out to one of your courses.


  30. Diz permalink

    Just as an update, I recently ordered TRP II, and FTH from FO. I ordered Sunday night and it was shipped Tuesday. That’s basically next day shipping. And it’s free shipping inside CONUS. I know there have been some issues with getting these books before, but I think it’s been squared away.

  31. Diz permalink

    OK, just finished reading TRP II, and FTH. All I can say is if you don’t get all three of these books, read and heed them, you are probably fucking up big time. If you are interested in how to survive and thrive in the coming years, in a nation in the state of decline, these books are by far the best source material out there.

    TRP I is basically a manual for those in a rural situation. It covers those aspects of unconventional warfare, as it relates to the partisan out in the boondocks. This is probably the most over-hyped aspect of the survival/prepper world, but if it truly fits your terrain and situation, this is the real deal for defending your retreat. It is basically a ranger manual, with explanations for all those things that are taken for granted, if you weren’t a grunt, and leaves out all the rpt formats/calls for fire, comms, crew-served wpns, etc. that you probably won’t need.

    TRP II is the actually the best manual for probably 90% of the people out there. It basically covers “surviving in place” or operating in a urban or suburban environment. This is probably the most under-served segment of the community, making this manual pretty much indispensable. If you are like the vast majority of us living in a suburban area, with no real chance of moving out any time soon, this manual will give you the T,T,P’s that apply to an urban environment, that you can realistically use, versus all the other stuff out there, which frankly is mostly fantasy bullshit.

    FTH is the explanation behind the Mosby school of thought. It ties everything together, into a coherent package of why he believes in what he does, and what the historical references are to back it up. In his case, he uses a northern European model, but I think you could probably plug it into any tribal model you care to mention, based on your background and preferences. This book will probably be a real game-changer for most folks. It will really challenge a lot of your beliefs in who you are, your family, and your friends. It will make you ask yourself who your allegiance should really be to. If you are totally honest with yourself, and can see what is really going on around you, and what you need to be doing to survive it, this will be the most important book you will ever read.

    I really had to think hard on what I read before being able to decide if Mosby is the most influential prophet of our times, or bat-shit crazy. Me thinks the former.

  32. Mike permalink

    ok how do I buy it?!?!

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