Thursday, April 23, 2009

You just took the Oath for the first time. NOW WHAT?

Be prepared to E.A.T. O.D.

Educate yourself. As a new member of the armed citizenry dedicated to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic you must raise your own level of martial knowledge and that of your friends and fellow patriots. A partial reading list:

1. Guidebook for Marines. If you are able to buy just one book, get this one.

2. The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival by H. John Poole.

3. Light Infantry Tactics for Small Teams by Christopher E. Larson.

4. Six Ways In, Twelve Ways Out by the USROG.

Finish those, pass 'em around, and then dig into these nonfiction works:

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
Blackhawk Down by Mark Bowden
King's Mountain by Hank Messick
Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer
Small Unit Leadership: A Common Sense Approach by Col. Dandridge M. Malone
The Battle for Hunger Hill by MG Daniel P. Bolger
The Minutemen by GEN John Galvin
To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face by Prof. Robert Churchill
Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer
We Were Soldiers Once, and Young by Gen. Hal Moore

And these novels:

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer
Rifleman Dodd by C.S. Forrester
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
The Defence of Duffer's Drift by Lt. Backsight Forethought

2. Arm yourself. Rifle, handgun, shotgun -- in that order. Another necessary book:

Boston's Gun Bible by Boston T. Party.

Buy the best rifle you can afford that is in common caliber with your friends. Buy enough ammo to practice with it regularly until you attain proficiency. A $129 Moisin-Nagant in the hands of the man who has practiced with it is more effective that the $2000 semi-auto tack driver in the hands of someone who hasn't. If all you can buy is ammo, that's fine. Stock up on the caliber you'll be using until you're able to get a rifle. BUT DO NOT WAIT.

3. Train yourself, or find training.

Your first priority is fitness - physical training. Tough but imperative.

Your second priority is practical marksmanship. Places that teach it:


Gabe Suarez.

There are others local to you, no doubt. Beware the risk-averse training provided by some. We're not talking about the minutiae of concealed carry, but how to put an opponent down hard and fast. Ask questions before enrolling.

The third priority is military training -- how to shoot, move and communicate with your buddies. Here you're going to have to improvise. Find others willing to train with you. Start with buddy teams and then move up to fire teams. Then squads. Uncertain how to proceed? See some of the Praxis pieces (and their attendant comments) by The Trainer on this blog.

Organize yourself, your family and your friends. As above, build fire teams and squads. Assign duties to non-military persons, supply and so on. Establish caches for supply. Build communication networks. Reach out to like-minded law enforcement. How can you help them do their duty?

Defy. All the preps in the world are not worth a thing if you don't have the WILL to use them.

That's it. Sounds simple, but it is not. Organizing militia folk is like herding cats and chickens at the same time. It can be done, but not without extreme effort and massive headaches. That doesn't mean it can't be done, just that it is tough. Given the payoff at the end, why wouldn't it be?

Mike Vanderboegh


Jon Roland said...

Should include the U.S. and state constitutions and constitutional statutes that the oath commits you to defend. To defend something one has to know what it requires, what it permits, and what it forbids. If you are unclear on how to defend applicable constitutions then the oath to do so is meaningless.

And don't make the mistake of thinking that constitutional construction is easy. It is not. One has to approach the interpretation of a constitution like learning a foreign language. Start at

Grenadier1 said...

Glad to see you mention Suarez International. This school is top notch training. They do not teach you how to shoot paper targets they teach you how to kill and win a gun fight. They also bridge the gap from basic one on one confrontation to Team tactics. They offer a number of team based classes taught by guys who have BTDT. These guys are the REAL deal and have actually done the deed. Nothing like learning the AK from former Spetsnaz who served in Afganistan.

Caleb said...

I wouldn't call Appleseed "practical" marksmanship. It's decent enough rifle training if you're looking to become an NRA High Power shooter, but if you're actually training to fight your rifle, Appleseed isn't exactly "ze place".

The Trainer said...

A good practice is to have a copy of "The Citizen's Rule Book" as a required item for all in your 'merry little band'. And, of course, have folks read it.

They can be had all over the internet, usually at patriotic sites, and if you buy them in lots of 100, they are fairly cheap (about 75 cents a copy).

AvgJoe said...

"NOW WHAT" I don't get it. Lets take if from the top for all who would dare go down that path.
The oath:
I (your name) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
This is pretty much straight forward as it gets. Now what it means is you live your life as a decent American and enjoy this great country. However this great country is not want evil wants and you now have sworn to insure this freedom and this country's way of life from such evil.
The Founders knew that for the very first time on God's green earth a country would be put together for the freedom of the people who lived in it. They knew that the evil monsters would go bonkers and spend life times working at under minding such a country build on such God giving personal freedom. And that men would need to put their lives on the line to protect such a country with such a foundation that was based on God giving freedom.
Special note: Any government agents reading this, my advice for you is to reread the oath above. I believe you took it to one degree or another. That part of "so help me God" is forever binding and not worth the trade off to suck on the tit for your short mortal life. You better think long and hard about that because you get no second chances when you take such an oath. Then to go out and destroy decent people's lives who hold God's word to the highest degree. Man's law that destroys God's law is no law but for fools who wish to burn in hell for all times. Like I said, you better reread it and understand what you took an oath to.
Thanks Mike for this line of thought on the topic of taking the oath.

Sean said...

I would add, Do what you can, and don't fret about shortcomings, just make them as small as possible. But do something. Persistence and Determination are the only things approaching Omnipotence that the human race can hope to achieve. The North Vietnamese never had power that was on par with the US. They just never quit. Same with the Continental Army, circa 1780. To the pains in the ass, belong the spoils.

Boston T. Party said...

Thanks for the great reading list, which had some titles new for me.

And I appreciate the recommendation of my "Boston's Gun Bible". The bargain source to save on its $33 retail price is just $20 from:

Amazon also sells it, and for $21.78 with free shipping on orders over $25.

The 2009 printing contains many pages of my comments on the Heller decision.

Mike, thanks for your great blog.
Keep up the fine work!

Molôn labé!

Mike H said...

Sound dvice. Someone asked me about certain movies. NEVER base any training on movies or tv. Be inspired and yes entertained. I've seen some base their knowledge of history solely on films. Uhuh. Learn history then enjoy films. JM2C

Anonymous said...

Excellent article.

For novels, you should also read Unintended Consequences. It is one hell of a book, and 1984 as well.

I just read 1984 recently. I hadn't paid much attention to it when I was younger, though I saw the movie, but I actually got a copy of that classic. It truly shows what happens when good people stand aside and refuse to confront evil and totalitarianism.

straightarrow said...

" Find others willing to train with you. Start with buddy teams and then move up to fire teams. Then squads. Uncertain how to proceed? See some of the Praxis pieces (and their attendant comments) by The Trainer on this blog."

Uh huh, therein lies the rub for me. I am the only person I know anywhere around me who doesn't think these ideas and policies are crazy. I know a lot of people around me who love to hunt, etc., but are not in the least interested in any "political" and no amount of talking to them or listening to them gets them interested. So I will be training, for what it's worth, by myself.

Obviously, I will not have any trouble coordinating with all one of us, but it will be very difficult to anything simultaneously, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

I can identify with what straightarrow said. Even people that I know strongly agree with 3 percenters, they are not at all in that 3 percent. In fact, here at work, they are afraid to speak against "political correctness" and the tyranny that has taken over our country. I leave no doubt in anyone's mind where I stand, so these people at work will speak about politics to me at times in a hushed tone when no one else is around. This is about 10 percent of the folks I work with. The rest do not speak politics at all, unless to show how "politically correct" they are. I know some hard core leftists here as well, and they have stopped speaking to me at all unless absolutely necessary.

My friends are all freedom lovers and constitutionalists, but I really question whether they are willing to fight for that freedom. After all, not one of them served in the military. Of course times are different now and I would not encourage anyone to join and support this tyrannical government.

Nevertheless, that's why they call us three percenters. Don't look for much support.

Sean said...

Straight Arrow, contact me.

The Red Hat said...

Appleseed is NOT training for NRA highpower. It's not run and gun like the military teaches (and has found limitations to). It teaches the basics (and advanced concepts) of long-range riflemanship that act as a foundation for ALL rifle usage. Any military person that has seen combat and taken the classes, finds it invaluable.

Distance is a force multiplier

Anonymous said...

I took the oath at PISC 59 years ago and it still stands and applies.

Another thing I learned that still applies - One Shot - One Kill.

From experience it works just as well in a fire fight as it does on the range

Anonymous said...

Excellent list.

The Defense of Duffer's Drift is available in its entirely online, e.g. at ( IIRC. **** AND ****

From the Wikipedia entry on Major General Swinton's story, we learn that several U.S. Army Staff Sergeants [1] emulated him in "The Defense of Duffer's Drift Brigade Support Area" which appeared in the September 2001 issue of NCO Notes , about the supply company of a forward support battalion.

Supply, supply, supply, guys.

The same entry mentions Dr. Scott S. Haraburda's Premonitions of the Palladion Project: A Modern Project Management Fable (2008) discussing project management. Certainly interests me, although it might not be as central here as some, depending on availablity and price.

The modern progenitor of didactic novels, typically on concerns of business, Eliayahu Goldratt with Jeff Cox's The Goal is widely available (I've gotten two copies at various times quite cheaply) and some of it is pertinent, especially the "Herbie" section, which for the purposes here can be taken quite literally. (It's in the chapter on the hike in the woods. One kid wants to be prepared for anything and
has a much heavier load than anyone else)

IIRC, OSCard's weak on the RKBA.
Don't have details at hand. The book (Ender's Game) isn't
hard to find 2nd hand online though.

Ars longa, vita brevis, et tempus fugit. Otherwise I'd recommend Vasily Grossman's magnum opus Life and Fate U.S. translation c. 1985 more strongly, on the experiences of civilians in the Ukraine in World War II.

A rather obscure book, John Appleby's The Captive City c. 1955 deals with few British military personel and a few civilians , trapped in Athens in December 1944, before the British Army had control of the city. One of them is a Communist traitor This was also a Reader's Digest Condensed Book Selection and may be more widely available as that. The general scenario is, however more important than the details. One key plot element was that the Communists nearby selected one POW and told him if he did not contract the mole all the others would be shot. Something to keep in mind.

[1] Authors named for "The Defense of Duffer's Drift Brigade Support Area" are: Staff Sergeants Reginald Scott and Steve Newman, along with Sergeants William Baucom, Rodney Weathers, and Louise Chee.

Anonymous said...

Here is another book of value for the reading list - Infantry Combat: The Rifle Platoon An Interactive Exercise in Small-Unit Tactics and Leadership which is available through

You are asked to make choices at the end of each chapter. You are then told what chapter you have to read next based on your choice. There are some valuable lessons to be learned here, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WITH NO COMBAT ARMS MILITARY EXPERIENCE. There is also another one available for the company level but I don't see it as being quite so applicable due to the much larger unit size covered. I found this book of value when I was in the Army.