From over the transom:
The Current Militia Movement?
After reading the latest “Barry Sends” piece and all 273 responses, actually 272 as I wrote one of them, I decided to weigh in with this forum. I am going to attempt to present some material and to respond to some issues raised in all those responses. To the best of my ability I am going to try not to be condescending in my tone and insulting in my text. That said, let us all try to have a rational discussion. If the best you can come up with is name calling or threats, or if you see any need for either, I suggest you are wasting your valuable breath.
Now, a short note about me. I am old enough to know better and I do not find coloring inside the lines rewarding. I served on active duty in the United States Army for a little over 22 years. A tad over half of that was with Special Forces. I attended the “Q” course twice, once as an NCO and once as an officer. I had a full flash before the tab was even thought of and I have one of those as well. After I retired I became a machinist and welder. Anything else that you may deem relevant may be directed to me personally at this email address: email@example.com.
Let’s start this session with The Constitution of the United States. I don’t care whether you like the document or not. We are a nation of laws whether you like those laws or not is irrelevant to the fact that they exist and each of us is subject to them. The Constitution is the foundation of the government and as much as I may not like the intent of those who say “it is a living document,” they are quite correct. If you don’t believe that please explain Amendments 11 through 27 to me.
Article I, Section 8, Powers of Congress, first mentions the Militia:
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
Article II, Section 2, specifies:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; …
It should be very plain at this point that while The Constitution does define the mission of the militia it does not define what comprises the militia. That is found in a document referred to as the Militia Act of 1903. It is the most recent rendition of the Militia Act and states:
FIFTY‐SEVENTH CONGRESS. SESS. II. CH. 195,196. 1903.
January 21, 1903.
[Public, No. 3.]
CHAP. 196.‐ An Act to promote the efficiency of the militia, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That the militia shall consist of every able‐bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, and every able‐bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty‐five years of age, and into two classes‐the organized militia, to be known as the National Guard of the State, Territory, or District of Columbia, or by such other designations as may be given them by the laws of the respective States or Territories, and the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia.
This is further codified in 10 U. S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes, which states:
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 14; Pub. L. 85–861, § 1(7), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1439; Pub. L. 103–160, div. A, title V, § 524(a), Nov. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 1656.)
Let’s recap quickly. We know active duty military forces are under the control of the Federal Government as are the Reserves. The National Guard, organized militia if you will, is under the control of various state governments but subject to call up by the Federal Government. All that leaves is the Reserve Militia aka the unorganized militia which is to serve as replacements as needed in the case of crisis or war. Additionally some states have what are known as State Defense Forces. They are intended to augment the state’s National Guard in peace time and replace them should the state’s National Guard be federalized.
I have talked a lot about the militia but I have not really defined the term. Here is one of the best definitions I found for Militia:
1. a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.
2. a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.
3. all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.
4. a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government.
5. a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.
At this point I am sure some of you are saying “so what?” The “what” is that these specific cites put to rest the idea that any of the little bands of folks that are organizing and arming to deal with a perceived threat from the U. S. Government are militias except in the lowest sense of the word. They are not militias in the historic or legal sense and it is disingenuous to use the title or try to claim the linage. They can be clubs, they can be associations, they can be rebels, they can be insurrectionists or terrorists and they can even be gangs; but they are not the militia either organized or unorganized as the sole mission of the militia as specified by The Constitution is to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.
It appears that some of you are on the wrong side of this equation. You can wrap yourselves in whatever flag you want, quote any oath you want but the truth remains the same. Now on to some further observations of the responses submitted to the 25 August 2015 posting by SFC Barry. These are in no particular order.
To the banter about the various great successes of militias past and present I can only say, and so? As for the proud moments reflected from the Revolutionary War let me point out that even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again. If the new nation had depended solely on these armed civilians, we would probably still be POMs. As for more modern day touted successes, let me say that the unwillingness of Barack Hussein Obama and his civilian administration to wage war should not be viewed as an indictment of the ability of the military to kill and break things. For those of you who missed the first Gulf War, you missed seeing Saddam’s military in their fighting positions being buried alive when we lowered our blades and advanced. You can go online for pictures of the devastation unleashed by the Warthogs and fast movers on huge columns of men and materiel not to mention what happens on the receiving end of a 500 or 2000 pound bomb. Don’t kid yourselves, the current combat arms soldier is better equipped, better trained and better prepared for the realities of warfare than you are.
Someone queried where U. S. Special Forces were, why they weren’t on the ground helping with some of our merry bands. Simply answered, they are doing what they were trained to do in all sorts of foreign theaters of operation. To expect them to come to the aid of an insurgent movement in the United States is like asking King George to train the rebel colonialists. Probably not going to happen. In fact, under current law that has essentially gutted The Posse Comitatus Act, they would more likely be hunting down rebel groups in the U. S.
For the groups that believe their liberty is threatened, and I don’t necessarily disagree, but feel the only solution is armed revolt; I say, okay what’s stopping you? If you really believe taking up arms against the government at whatever level is the only answer why haven’t you? Call your councils together and float the suggestion. My guess is you will have very few takers. Talking is easy, action hurts. Now if you really want to do something with all that pent up energy I have a few suggestions. You think you are so good at organizing a movement, then organize one. Convince people that there are changes needed. Convince them to get involved. Convince them to vote. For all of you saying voting won’t work, I present to you a community organizer named Barrack Hussein Obama. Seems to have worked for him. Of course now, as our National Monarch aka Dear Leader, he simply uses his phone and pen. This country didn’t get in this shape because conservatives got out and voted. It got this way because they sat on their collective butts and whined.
You say the government is taking from you. I presume money in the form of fees and taxes is high on the list. Maybe you don’t like being taxed on groceries, or auto repairs, or other services. Great! Organize the assets in your community into a barter system. It may not work for everything but it can make a difference. This also helps prepare for the great SHTF scenario I hear so much about. I have heard about it for decades and I am still waiting. Nothing will do more for you than preparedness. Granted, I am well prepared but I’d rather find other ways of averting the SHTF scenario and not play rough with some military Combine Arms Team rolling around with tanks, APCs and attack helicopters. Not going to win that one.
I am also not saying that preparation on an individual basis is not necessary because it is. Each and every individual should strive to be in the best physical shape they can be. This would also resolve some medical issues. What is a good level of physical fitness? It varies with age but if you militia aged folks want an initial bench mark I’ll give you one: 60 push-ups in 2 minutes or less, 60 sit-ups in the same time allowance, 10 chin-ups, run 2 miles in 16 minutes or less, put on your rucksack (minimum 1/3 of your body weight or 65#, whichever is more), add water and rifle. Now trek over rolling terrain for 20 kilometers and complete your march in 2.5 hours or less. That is a real good start to measuring your physical fitness. Notice I didn’t say do 1000 push-ups in an hour. Glad somebody thinks it’s important to do that but I could care less. Demonstrate you can do what I outlined and then we’ll talk more on the subject.
By the way, for a real treat, end your 20K march at the firing line of a range. Dump your ruck on the ground, assume the prone position and engage some E Type silhouettes at say 100, 200 and 300 yards and see how it goes. Usually a real eye opener.
As for other preparation, the sky is the limit. Make a list of what you think you will need to make life bearable or even pleasant. Materiel and knowledge. Then start working on the list. Would you include a garden for vegetables? How about learning to can those vegetables? How will you preserve meat or poultry without electricity? Can you produce electrical power, even on a limited basis, without petroleum fuels? The list literally goes on and on. Look to some of the DIY/self-help/back to basics books and periodicals available. Do research. There is a very old book running around on the used book market titled “Fortunes in Formulas.” I have a couple of copies and recommend the older, 1930’s editions. There are procedures listed in the 1000+ pages for making everything from cosmetics, to film developing chemicals, to black powder, gun cotton and nitroglycerine, to skin bleach. Get a functional reference library pulled together in hard copy.
For the responses that complained about nobody helping, this is me trying to be helpful and I will continue to try and be helpful to anyone who wants my help. Interestingly enough, out of all the responses I read only one that really pissed me off. Someone made a comment about disabled service men and women. Said they should stay on state run TV and beg of their $19.95 a month since obviously their career choices didn’t work out so well. Paraphrasing mind you because looking it up and quoting just wasn’t worth my time. This is a perfect example of the attitude that will get a bunch of folks around him hurt or killed. It is the “me, I am important, screw you guys” attitude. As I said, I’ll help anybody that asks for it but in his case I’ll pass. Don’t misread me here. I am not saying that you should run out and give money to these causes. Charity is a personal matter. I am saying you don’t have to be a huge prig towards people that have enough on their plates as it is.
Along with this I noticed a lot of divisiveness. I am just going to say straight up, if you can’t agree or at least put aside the pettiness you won’t make much progress. That whole thing I said about pulling together and organizing as a community is something I believe in. The whole discussion on “not rich, not a professional” was a supreme waste of time and energy. Why anyone believes the two are interrelated is beyond me but it just doesn’t matter in the overall scheme of things. Some folks drive Fords and some drive Chevys. Oh well. Let’s try and focus on what is important. Same goes for the nonsense someone floated about SFC Barry not being very good because he retired as an SFC. Trying telling that to a Marine Gunnery Sergeant or Navy Chief Petty Officer. Then pick your ass up off the ground. Best to keep your mouths shut and bethought an idiot than to open them and remove all doubt.
I realize from the comments that there are those out there that have decided that people like me are irrelevant FXXKS based on our age. That’s is okay because I can just as easily consider them irrelevant because they are young, been nowhere and done nothing. I am sure that some of those self-same younger irrelevant FXXKS don’t like what I have to say any more than they appreciated anything Steve Barry said. That’s okay. You can’t please everyone all of the time.
I found the diatribes on schools and names to be quite humorous. Believe what you want, pay what you want, but with very few exceptions you are not going to spend a week or so at some “commando” school and come out with Ranger skills. Just not going to happen. Not to say you can’t learn something, just don’t buy into the hype. There are some schools out there that do cater to a very select clientele for huge amounts of money and produce incredible results. They are run by very competent former operators and if you can find one, afford it and get in, more power to you. It will be the experience of your life. In the meantime narrow it down. If you want to learn to shoot, research a school that specializes in that. Gunsite comes to mind but there are others. If you want to learn to track, a very important skill, there are schools that teach that. If you want to learn to fight with a knife, do so. If you want close quarter, unarmed combat, seek out a well-respected dojo. Many will provide one on one training or small group specialty training. Many Community Colleges offer classes that fit into this area. Just don’t think a week at “Club 007” is going to turn you into an international spy. It won’t. As for the naming, it is insincere to ride on the reputation of real, historic organizations that earned their place. If you are any good at all “Joe’s Commando Class” would be as good and word of mouth will keep you busy. There is nothing in any of the “cool guy” names other than hype and fluff.
As for getting your training locally from a former member of that military, that can work in some cases to a degree. If you are friends with a former Infantry Sergeant, Army or Marines, he could be a wealth of information on individual small arms and squad level tactics. Now if this same friend was a cook, not so much. In the military there is a term referred to as the tooth-to-tail ratio. This is the number of support troops required for every combat soldier. This is a fluctuating number and one that very few people agree upon to include the “experts.” On the low end, most will agree that it is 3 or 4 to 1. Meaning 3 or 4 support troops for each combat soldier. Others claim it to be higher, on the order of 8 or 9 to 1. Regardless of the actual number, this points out that there are far more cooks, clerks, supply personnel, and other non-combat arms trained persons both in the military and out of the military than there are steely eyed killers. Know your “friend’s” qualifications before you get too involved.
As far as conducting you own training, if you could learn combat skills with nothing more than a book, I would not have had to endure years of training, training and more training. What do you think the military does when it isn’t actively engaged? It trains. Keep your training goals and aspirations real. If you really want to be an Army Ranger, a Navy SEAL or be awarded a Green Beret I can introduce you to a recruiter.
For the most part, this concludes my thoughts on the matter. If we can reach some common ground and if there is a desire to continue the discussion, let me know. I am quite capable of being detailed in many areas short of classified information. I may be getting older but I am not senile yet and I am still subject to Section 313 of Title 32.
Let me know if I can help in anyway short of sedition and treason. Train, organize, practice and above all, be SAFE!
William David “Bill” Roberts II