SPC Slick And You

A reader sends:

SPC Slick and You

A long time ago in a war that actually had an end, I was a young lieutenant that had just recently graduated Officer Basic Course (OBC). My unit was a reserve unit that had been put on active duty for the war. But this story isn’t about me. It’s about one of the young soldiers in my unit, one SPC Slick, and you, gentle reader.

Slick was a good guy, more than a bit lazy but very likable with a great sense of humor. Of course, Slick wasn’t what one would call a model soldier. Getting him to pay attention in training was difficult, to say the least. Getting him to work at his MOS (Light Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic) wasn’t an easy task either, but when you go to war, you go with what and who you have. As good fortune would have it, we had the perfect job for him.

In the desert, there was no running water or sewer system for latrines. There was also no portajohn service available, so alternate means needed to be found to remove those obviously inconvenient and smelly human waste products. In the case of the US Army, the solution was found in the art of shit burning. 55 gallon drums are cut in half, partially filled with diesel fuel, and then placed in a latrine box. People would shit into the diesel filled cans and then the shit burning detail would remove the cans, add a little extra diesel and then would burn off the diesel in the cans and the shit would burn with it. Of course, diesel would be added throughout the burning process as the initial charge of diesel wouldn’t be enough to finish the job. It should also be pointed out that this fine stew of burning diesel, shit, and toilet paper would require the occasional stir just to keep things going.

Now as you can imagine, this was not the most popular detail at camp. In fact, it was considered so unpopular that the shit burners got a reduced work day compared to everyone else just to make the duty a little less unpleasant. Did I mention previously that Slick had absolutely no problems with jobs that most of us would find quite grotesque? Lo and behold, when this trait intermeshed with Slick’s inherent laziness, Slick would always volunteer for shit burning detail. Slick got to maximize his slack and our more industrious workers weren’t burdened with the misery of shit burning detail. Everyone wins.

A couple of months or so into our deployment in theater, one of the other guys began to film the activities of our deployment with one of those fancy new VCR cameras, with the CO’s permission of course. Our young cameraman made his way throughout the camp recording various aspects of camp life and interviewing members of the unit. At the end of the recording, all of the company leadership gathered together to watch our young cameraman’s work. This included the company CO, XO, 1st Sgt, all of the platoon leaders, and all of the platoon sergeants. All was going as would be expected until Slick appeared on the screen.

It seems that Slick was just getting to the end of his shit burning detail that day and had become a little impatient about finishing the job and getting on with some serious slacking. As he was dumping the ash out of the barrels, it seems that one hadn’t completely burned out yet. No worries, it was just a little bit of burning diesel that would cleanly burn off when it hit the ground, or so he thought. Slick turned the barrel upside down, dumping out the burning remnants to discover not just burning diesel, but a BURNING PIECE OF SHIT! Thinking quickly, a little too quickly, he jumped into action and stomped it out.

The best part? The cameraman was there to capture the sequence for all of eternity on a VCR tape. Now, theoretically, Slick could have been hit with a reprimand or maybe even a company grade Article 15, but he got a far better punishment, specifically the embarrassment of being seen by all of the company stomping on a burning piece of shit. In case anyone is wondering, the whole company leadership probably couldn’t have written up an Article 15 or reprimand anyway because we were laughing too hard.

Now, my intrepid reader, you may be wondering why I have taken the time to write this story or why the keeper of this blog has made the effort to publish it. The answer is actually pretty simple. You may think that I think that Slick was absolutely worthless. Far from it. Let me explain. First, Slick did a necessary job freeing up other people to do other tasks. In short, he made himself useful within his skill set. He wasn’t seeking glory, or trying to upstage anyone else. He just did his job, admittedly not perfectly, but well enough and it’s always better to perform a necessary task well with humility than to try to go seeking glory and fuck everything up.

This brings me to my next point. In a post SHTF situation, there are going to be a lot of mundane, but extremely important, jobs that need to be done that don’t require lots of military training. If you’re not prior military, don’t try to do all of the fancy military stuff. Even if you are a former 11B with lots of experience, keep in mind that you won’t have the resources or the recent training that you used to have. Oh, and in case anyone is thinking that they’ve taken a tactical class at tacticool school and can beat Slick, think again. Even though Slick was combat service support, Slick went through 8 weeks of basic training and Slick’s more recent successors have gone through 10 weeks. In those 8 weeks, Slick learned to handle the M16A1, the M60, the M203, and the M2, as well as familiarization with the M72 LAW. He learned to patrol, set up a defensive perimeter, and learned to do fire and maneuver. He did this for approximately 14 hours a day (in some cases more) 6½ days per week, with a few hours off Sunday mornings for church. If you take into account a few days for admin, he had approximately 7 weeks, with the new recruits having 9 weeks, of this regimen. That’s 637 hours of training in Basic alone.

Now some of you will rightfully point out that a lot of that time is learning drill, customs, wearing a uniform, etc., and you would be correct. AND WRONG. All of those items teach discipline, the following of orders, and unit cohesion – concepts just as important to winning as any tactic that you may or may not learn in a class. None of this counts any additional tactical training time that he got in AIT, with the unit prior to mobilization, or the refresher training that we got during mobilization. Add to that the fact that Slick could pass an Army PT test (how many people can actually do that for real, not just behind a key board?) and could do 15 mile road march with a fully loaded pack in 3-4 hours. Yup. Slick could.

Could Slick or any of the rest of us in the unit do infantry? No, at least not well, and I was combat arms. My point? Tacticool school doesn’t even qualify you to take on Slick, much less 10th Mountain, but guess what?

YOU DON’T NEED TO DO THAT! You just have to be able to protect yourself from thugs in a LA riot or post-SHTF situation.

What does that mean? Learn the basics of defense. Cover, concealment, interlocking fields of fire. Setting up a good perimeter. Keeping a good watch. Use and know your terrain. Know yourself and your limitations. At the Battle of the Bulge, an Engineer Construction Battalion was able to hold off German Infantry and Panzers by practicing sound defensive principles. Being on defense is a solid combat multiplier in its own right and is legally defensible, as opposed to offensive training. It’s also, quicker, safer, and easier to learn, with fewer problems for an aging population.

And don’t get your knickers in a knot when an 11B points out that you’re not infantry and you won’t ever be infantry. No, you can’t do what they can do, but they can’t do what you can do. That’s why the Army has different branches. Play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses by admitting them, coming up with strategies for getting around them, and learning solid defense.

Train to be useful.

48 responses to “SPC Slick And You

  1. I’ve always wondered why we were being told that we should train to beat an enemy on his own terms. In my opinion, it’s far better to get a job at a restaurant with a “We Support Our Troops!” sign out front and poison the enemy generals’ soup.

    • there’s a lot of examples of this. For instance, SS-General Franz Stahlecker (c/o of Einsatzgruppe A) was killed off by his Russian maid. And then there’s Michael Collins’ wipe-out of Brit Intel via more of same.

  2. Post of the month, if not the year.

  3. Lt., you get it better than a whole shitload of other officers I have known, and that makes you a frosty guy. There are a half million things to get done, post SHTF, and life not only goes on, but it will need smart people doing it. If I were you guys, I’d listen to him.

  4. Best.Article.Ever!!! I’m having a stressful day and this made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that. It also contains valuable advice.

  5. So, who is doing training to teach defense skills and tactics? I can appreciate the work of qualified and experienced combat infantry trainers who are teaching those who are physically able to conduct small unit offensive and/or patrolling duties.
    Where’s the training in effective defense for people who are physically unable to meet the requirements for infantry/combat operations, but can be trained to defend and support?
    And please, don’t reply “its out there, go find it,” give examples/links/etc.
    There are plenty of us who want to “train to be useful.”

  6. Not another one of those “Only Infantry can do Infantry Shit..because Basic, and AIT! … RahRah!” articles.
    This shit isn’t that hard.. just be in reasonable shape have serviceable equipment and have reasonable basic fire and maneuver skills.. and from there on the fog of war and serendipity takes over in most situations anyway, especially in the extra dose of chaos one can expect in domestic upheaval.

    I would put a fireteam of 4 civilians that have been training with each other recently over some dudes who used to be in the infantry 15 years ago and havent done squat since then, any time of the day.
    And twice on Sundays.

    • No.
      It’s another one of those
      “If you’ve been to twenty tacticool weekends, SPC Slick kicked your experience curve before he got out of basic training. A year ago.
      And he’s twenty-thirty-forty years younger than you, can ruck the fuck out of you, even hungover on Tuesday after a three-day weekend drunk, and is too stupid to quit or be scared of you, because the part of his brain where common sense and mortality lives won’t grow in for another six years, which is true for 19-year-olds forever, whereas every year, Time is beating your dick into the ground.” articles.

      Math and common sense are hard-assed like that.

      Back when we were scrappy, our mostly irregular army outlasted the shit out of a world-class army, and it took substantial support from a major power (look up some time how broke France went doing it, and why the peasants there revolted shortly afterwards) to help us do it.

      And at least twice, we’ve won every battle and still lost the war by being outlasted by scrawny, stringy, illiterate peasant hardasses too stupid to quit, but perfectly happy to drop an occasional random round into your ass from a quarter/half-mile away, addressed “To Whom It May Concern”, or bury a vanload of explosives in the road and light your shit up week in, week out, for a decade and more, given five unobserved minutes.

      The point being, train to your strengths.
      Which if you aren’t somewhere between 18 year-old-recruit and 48-year old about-to-retire sergeant major age, does not mean trying to replicate being a JSOC ninja stud door-kicker, or the Airborne Ranger you might have been 3 to 5 presidents ago. Or never were, and never will be.
      Ain’t. Gonna. Work.

      But those teenage fuck-authority neighbor’s teenaged shits down the road may be your go-to guys if things get sporty. And come the day, they might really find a safe bed, a dry cave or basement, a hot meal, a place to heal up, a barrel full of supplies, fresh socks and a new pair of boots, or some really nifty intel on OPFOR to be pretty effing awesome.

      So maybe wrap your head around what you can do, instead of taking offense at some truth on what you can’t, and won’t.

      Anybody can charge machineguns. Some are even young and stupid enough to do it.
      But ain’t nobody who can’t learn how to build a field fortified bunker, learn to cache a barrel full of food, or ammunition, or medical supplies, or boots and utes, socks, and underpants, or start making up local, district/county, state, and regional intel files on everything and everyone of interest within miles of their front door, come TSHTF.

      SF, or the media at least, thinks they train Green Berets every year during Robin Sage.
      What they’ve really done is make a multi-county area of NC effing Ph.D.s in guerrilla warfare, and I’m talking about the farmers and shopkeepers and garage mechanics who role-play their support force and ersatz insurgent commandos.

      Read up on that, and tell me how you’d favor 4 guys who train together, vs. 50 other good old boys with pickup trucks who’d keep them hidden, informed, supplied, fed, safe, and mobile, and can have their pick of which 4 guys they’ll choose work with.

      • Ok, I’ll get in here too…Sir, I respectfully submit your reply was long on Macho slogans everyone is confirmation biased to agree with….. but short on actual points.
        Lots of true statements in there but none seemed to address the gents (I assume) point in any meaningful way.
        Just adding one slogan to another doesn’t make them so.

        Luckily it seems most commenters pull something different out of this essay here,.. often even opposing points.

        Lately it seems on WRSA we have more cool sounding essays that consists of macho anecdotes and ego self stroking by some.
        But scant actual analysis a la Bracken (who has luckily been back)

        I am really not one for the ad hominem attacks so beloved of some on here. Were disagreeing with them is a sign to them that you are you somehow unworthy and foolish… when a little self reflection instead would probably not hurt.
        ….I really wish people would think more before they write..

        As long as we are on the subject,… I remember your fact free (but heavy on bombastic statements) posts during the Ebola “crisis” of 2014.
        Do you?
        Does anyone?

        It took me no small amount of effort back then to correct that misinformation in my group.
        So more thinking before posting is a good motto for many of us.

        • I remember obtaining an education on the subject. I remember that I didn’t wait in a long line, pay an exorbitant fee, after making an appointment with my healthcare provider, who rushed me through with some lame advice. I remember looking at the type of facility required to treat a victim, which lessened the chances of infecting an entire facility, being stunned at the number of beds available in said facilities, (about 15 or so, I recall) reading the rates of infection should the disease follow its normal course, mortality rates, incubation period, ad infinitum…

          I remember literally dozens of links. I don’t remember being asked to pay one cent for the time required to put this information literally at my fingertips.

          I remember long consideration of just what measures would be required to prevent exposure, should the normal progression occur here, and for how long those measures would be required, having come to the realization that no way, no how, can the disease be treated, without at least the level of equipment required for that type of illness, and due to the progressively worsening symptoms, of melted organs, blood loss through every orifice and pore, extreme dehydration due to projectile vomiting, and uncontrolled diarrhea, sans transmission to the care giver, and anyone who enters the care giver’s space, for at least several weeks.

          That ebola did not progress as normal is a good thing. It is not reflective of anyone’s character, personality traits, quirks, or preferences that instead of falling prey to a devastating pandemic, we rather “suffered” more information than we would have sought independently, if we even knew where to go for it, in the first place.

          Anyone ever consider what an hour of Aesop’s time is worth, and do the math, to get a grasp of what he donated here, to the betterment of this group? Lest anyone think I playing favorites, I assure you that is not so. My time is worth a fair amount. What about CA’s time? What about your time? Someone has paid each one of us for the use of our time. So time is an actual commodity, and as such has value.

          I tell you true, we would be better to appreciate rather than deprecate solid efforts, given freely, which enable us to better navigate the corruption which has and will severely impact the quality our remaining years.

      • Jimmy the Saint

        “(look up some time how broke France went doing it, and why the peasants there revolted shortly afterwards)”

        Left out of that bit is the fact that for France, the American Revolution was part of a much larger war. It wasn’t just the goings-on in the Colonies that ruined them financially.

      • @Aesop Best 2 weeks I ever spent in .mil was playing a ‘G’ in Robin Sage. I was the only one in our group that packed civvies and got to go into town with the instructors to meet local ‘G’ leaders . Hearing the way those old battlers spoke to SF candidates was a real eye-opener. Mid – nineties so can’t say what it’s like now.

  7. Learn a trade skill.
    Civil engineers will need people that can fix the infrastructure to specifications or at least restore function.
    Carpentry, Masonry, Plumbing, Electrician, heavy equipment operator, surveying, .
    Then come the water treatment plant operators and refinery workers and electrical power generation . People will need food and sanitation and medical care.

    Defensive security and Law should be a shared burden.
    You just need to be alert to stand watch. You need to be rational to be on a jury.

    I am an old trucker that can fire a weapon reasonably accurately from a static position.
    I have also done the carpentry, heavy equipment, Masonry, and electrical work over the last 35 years since I was a teenager working Summer Construction jobs until I got my CDL 24 years ago.

    Mechanics, machinists and programmers and IT infrastructure people will be needed.

    Millers will have to find a way to get flour production going.
    Food processing facilities and slaughter houses will need to be kept open.

    Odds are, you will probably be doing something similar to the line of work you are in now with the need to help provide for a common defense if necessary.

    The better and faster the infrastructure is repaired, the less likely people are to go feral.

  8. kay_de_leon

    Hey guys, youre cleared for taking care of our shit.

    Thanks, sarge, couldn’t have a free world without ya!

  9. TeeFat put in the paperwork to get promoted to ShitBurner. When he failed that selection too he stamped his feet so hard that he injured his knee and got mediMustered out.

    • i never desired to be a green snot


      that’s for true believers.

      i just joined to shoot cool guns. and i did.

      then i took my cue and left.

      glad i didn’t or i’d be a washed up nobody like you and the rest of the lifers.

      you’re as dumb as box of dildos.

  10. Well done, this is the truth, ain’t nothing sexy about taking care of day to day life in a SHTF, environment. A lot of shitty work needs to be done daily.

    Good read.


  11. Excellent post, and completely on point.

  12. June J., you’ll probably wind up with a lot of it being OJT. On the Job Training. So don’t sweat it, and know what a typical infantry mans day is like. You get up before dawn, everyday as a habit. You do your morning PT, something strenuous, before it is fully light. Horse down a good breakfast, formation, check and see every one is present, and if not, where they are and disposition. After formation, check of personal equipment, vehicles if any, and prepare for days training in rifles, pistols, grenades, movement to contact, patrolling, guard duty, medical/first aid, CBR, field sanitation and hygiene, etc. Get briefed on the latest scuttlebutt on the enemy or potential enemies. Noon, chow. Afternoon, you bear down on the training, and you train to as high a standard of soldiering as you can achieve. Six pm, stop training and feedback on how good or bad the troops did to the troops themselves.Brief them on what will happen tomorrow, who has guard and other overnight duty. Be sure and point out really good performance and who did it, in each squad/platoon/company. Then give that person a reward, no matter how slight, and let everyone see it, at the same time letting all and sundry know there are bigger tasks ahead, and bigger rewards. Tell the privates that they will be conducting the training routine tomorrow, from sun up till sun down, and they better get it right. Dismiss for chow, and meeting w/ team/squad ldrs/ platoon sgts. Remind them they will oversee and assist the privates tomorrow. Eat last, at every meal, and only after all have been fed and accounted for. Report to officers and tell them how things went, in your eyes. Tend to personal hygiene and equipment, get some shuteye till midnight, then get up, uniform on, and go check the guards at their posts. Get a little more shut eye. Get up and do it all over again. Six days a week, in peace time. In post SHTF, every day. You have your people train to standards in EVERY THING until the hate you, and can do it blindfolded. Always keep moving, training, and checking on your people. Make sure they got what’s coming to them, every little thing. and let them know you care about their lives. If you don’t know what to train them for, find some one who does. Emphasize PT, morning and mid day, and evening, until the troops are ready to eat raw guts and ask for more. Make the training, no matter what it is, as realistic as possible, always. Take note of who “gets it”. Need training ideas? Go to Amazon and order the pertinent manuals. Then get out there and TRAIN. I could instruct, but not soldier much, I’ll give it what I got. Give it your all. Get a Ranger Handbook. Find a decent 11B who knows his shit, and put him to work.

  13. That is a really good guest post; thanks. The skilled doer of the innocuous will still be valuable.

  14. Outstanding,truthful post. Not a lot of glamour in warfare.Be certain to have a qualified ass-kicker in place.Good intentions do not win conflicts.Discipline and training do.

  15. Thank you all for your suggestions and links. Its nice to receive civil answers to serious questions.

    • wendystringer48088

      @ June J “Its nice to receive civil answers to serious questions.”

      I think the un-civil stuff is some of the guys playing games with each other. Since guys don’t tend to do the huggy weepy things (except perhaps at funerals) they do the verbal insults and showing and chest thumping stuff as a game to keep sharp and fighting off frustration and dispair. It’s their way of bonding in coping.
      Just my opinion.

      • Hmmm. Male bonding. I never thought of that. It explains all the interest and references to “body functions” prevalent in males from the ages of 7 months to 70 years; I’ve been blessed to hear my sons, fascinated by their own farts as toddlers, and the howls of laughter heard when my brothers, sons, and nephews sit around listening to dad’s tales from his years of running high line construction crews. I love the laughter…but I try to stay clear of their space. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. 🙂

      • Ladies, us guys are just talking shit. Truthfully, I’d like to here more from the girl side, here. I’ve said this here before. Should sHTF, their is a good chance my groups leader will be female.

        Share your wisdom,observations and thoughts.

        It’s all about learning. Your here, put it out their.


        Dirk Williams

  16. It’s been an all volunteer Army since Nixon ended the draft in 1973.

    Since the first Gulf War under Bush 1 it’s been obvious you can’t count on just going in and playing with big-boys toys for three years, then going home with fun new skills.

    Indeed, their is a good chance you are going to have to be useful to those above you, which if you are lucky might only involve burning the shitters, but if you are unlucky will including losing limbs, brain function or life itself.

    I heard some recent Army vet (on the web) spouting off that he was in Iraq protecting *my* right to free speech. I just shake me head at that sort of thinking. Really? Did the US Army prevent the Patriot Act (or, did they support it?). Was Saddam Hussein going to regulate my access to WRSA if left unchecked?

    People at this site are very down on cops, as a group and an institution, but still fetishize the US Military. I don’t get that.

    I don’t disrespect or dislike people who served, but I also think, in most cases, they probably could have made a better career decision. Those who are West Point bound, maybe it’s a good call for them.
    The West Point will produce a thousands officers a year, Annapolis a similar number. Many will make it to the 20 year retirement cut-off, and start collecting . It’s a career choice.

    It sucks to see friends come home fucked up over fighting some stupid war that has no point, is fought to prevent victory, for which the people we are supposedly fighting have no gratitude, which is so expensive it is draining our treasury and causing us to be over-taxed, and in the end results in new horrible people running the places the old horrible people ran before, and require us to pollute our population with millions of refugees.

    The people at the top, with politicians at the top of it all, bear most of the responsibility for this cycle of Vice, But one has to hold the senior officers, who are trained in history, and military history, and are the most trusted advisers to our political leaders on matters of War, responsible too. They enable and encourage. They continue to plan and run our huge expensive military.

    By the time you get down to your basic enlisted guy who is 19, he doesn’t get all this. OK. So he goes to basic, and learns how to shoot guns, fold his uniform, and follow orders. He gets poorly paid initially, if he’s lucky he doesn’t get shot or bombed and eventually gets out, hopefully with some skills and money.

    According to the author, that’s an important advantage he has over me, and I should sort of acquiesce to former military running things in a SHTF scenario, on account of his training. I can figuratively be useful, like the guys who burn the shitters.

    I see this a little differently, taken as a whole the US Military is an apex failed institution of our society. (I held this position even before the Military made it’s core mission upholding liberal support for rampant homosexuality and now cross-dreessing fagots, too.)

    It is now and has been for a long time a big part of the problem in FUSA, not part of the solution. It’s mostly good for the people high up in it, and it can work out for those below pretty well, sometimes, if they are smart and lucky. But, if push comes to shove, as it has for the last 20 years, they are literally disposable and replaceable.

    I undertand: some guys did this for a long time are really good at very specific skills: creeping around in the dark, killing people, blowing stuff up.

    Mostly though, in today’s military, a lot of those tasks are completed at amazing costs with stupefying complexity of means, and really have no relevance to any plausible future scenario, once that giant infrastructure is not available.

    So, then I’m left with two types of military people: cynical professional rank-climbing bureaucrats who had us fight losing wars for unnecessary pretexts, and guys who at 19 couldn’t figure out that scraping his way through a two year degree in auto mechanics at the local community college was a better deal than the US Army.

    No matter how bad things get in my area, absent a few very particular scenarios, I am disinclined to “make myself useful” to people who were over-involved in the military in the last 40 years. I don’t see that either the greed of the professional officers nor the green naivete of the young enlistees are qualities that encourage me to follow them anywhere.

    Add to that: I’m just not interested in being useful to those who don’t get all this.

    With all due respect to the institution, I guess you’ll just have to burn your own shit, General.

    • The “useful” admonition is intended by me at least as “train now so that you can make yourself useful in helping whomever is around after the blast/heat/rads go down”.

      Personally, the reader who wrote this piece paid for his WRSA subscription simply by explaining a time-proven way to dispose of human waste (assuming POL) so that me and mine don’t die from it.

      Everything else in the piece was a big bonus.

      • And that’s why I’ll follow you to the gates of Hell and back, Mr. C.A.

        Such brutal efficiency in thinking and sorting is a thing of beauty.

        PS: A good friend died too young today, make sure every day counts – for something.

      • Thanks CA and thanks to the author…..

        A simple and gentle reminder of how each one of us possesses something of true worth and the value it brings to any table.

        Those of us here, who were never operators, appreciate it very much!

      • CA:

        I’ll second Mr. Jackson’s comment. The article is much appreciated from a number of perspectives.

        I was explaining to the tribe what I had seen in the “Restrepo” a documentary about a particular unit in Afghanistan, and how waste was handled there…absent running water, etc. Not wanting to overuse water in a grid down situation here, and not wanting waste making into the ground water, this may have been an option, but due to the amount of fuel required, according to this article, renders that possibility, not feasible.

        And…it is refreshing to be taught without being ridiculed because I need to learn. You may or may understand why this is such a big deal to me personally, but it appears that it is a factor in the hue and cry regarding the premise that an E1, right out of basic training, is, and will be, far more skilled at his business, than civilians with no prior service will be at his business.

        So, thank you to the author of this little talk, for both his aptitude, and his attitude.

        And to you dear sir, you are and have always been, in my experience, a Gentleman and a Scholar. Thank you.

  17. The Usual Suspect

    Shoot cool guns !!!!!
    Bullshit !!!
    You were a shit burner, like Slick !!!

    • another loser who never amounted to anything.

      ha ha ha

      go join the ranks of the others who are JEALOUS.


  18. Outstanding.

  19. The first problem is everyone, including myself, get on this little soapbox and pontificate, suppose, or at worse arm-chair quarterback.

    The first order of business regardless of one’s skills is to assess the situation, get your facts straight and your shit together.

    Know your local AO inside and out (like another poster noted). Observe, observe again, take notes and you will discover the weaknesses, the means and opportunity to strike accordingly. Keep it small, keep it simple, know your limitations, and plan your mission in reverse.

    You methods and tactics change with every objective. Many things are never done the same way twice. Be unpredictable. Do not make a pattern or create a signature. Make yourself look small and harmless. Younger men and women are already a threat. Older farts can be more dangerous.

    You see a plan forming here……flesh it out.

    In the coming G4 conflict, alliances will change on a daily basis. Lord protect me from my friends, I know who my enemies are. Well that kind of narrows your team down, doesn’t it?

    As for training? Give me a handful of Apaches, Gurkas, Mujahedeen, or Kurds. Mountain, desert or jungle doesn’t matter. You zig when everyone else zags.


  20. wendystringer48088

    Finally! Great post!
    Spells out the practical aspects of life in the field or post-SHTF. Everyone (who is willing to work) has a job to do and their place in the great scheme of things.
    One thing – implied but not specifically mentioned in the article – is that everyone gets a “nick-name”. I doubt ‘Slick’ was his real name.
    Some people like CB operators and militia members apparently get to choose their own ‘call-sign’.
    But in military units it seems your peers or the others who have been there longer come up with one for you.
    E.g. M.A.S.H. characters “Hawkeye” Pierce, “Trapper” John, “Hot Lips” Houlihan, “Radar” O’Reilly…

  21. Pingback: Part 2 Of “Are You A ‘Snowflake’ Or A ‘Meteor’?” Becoming A Meteor. – Mason Dixon Tactical

  22. Successful insurgencies also need to pay attention to the non-combatants. Either you have to terrorise them into supporting you, which for all sorts of reasons the government is far better at, or you have to provide the services they want “for free” better than the government is able to on the ground.
    Take for instance the situation current in Venezuela, you need to be the insurgency that can supply more toilet paper than the government can.

  23. Train to be useful.

    Rule number 1.

  24. Three things to be successful in UW,.
    1.Unlimited resources.
    2.Popular support of the people.
    3.Unlimited time table.

    These were taught to me as a young man. It was my job to define their application for random implication.

    I also learned early on that life was really nothing more then daily Unconventional warfare. You get out of it, what you put into it.


  25. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.