Guerrillamerica had an interesting post linked from Western Rifle Shooters the other day, about a man in his older middle age wondering if he still had what it took to be part of the modern unorganized militia.
According to U.S. Code, our obligation to the unorganized militia ends at 45 years of age. Of course, that bit of law was written to mandate that unwilling souls must serve up until that point if called upon; it does not put an upper limit on volunteers, and indeed, how could they? Competence, grit, and determination doesn’t stop because of an arbitrary day on a calendar.
I’d invite you read this man’s letter asking about his ability to serve, and the response the author provides.
Then I’d like to point you to this intriguing comment:
If you feel overwhelmed by age at 59, just wait until you hit the seventies! Our minds and hearts are still willing, but the body simply won’t cooperate.
Since I’d now hinder more than help, I’ve concentrated on other ways to support the youngsters who would defend the Constitution. I built a “patriot pack” for a guy with an able patriot’s body and mind, but a pauper’s bank account. It consists of an Alice pack, loaded and ready to strap on. It also includes a holstered 1911 with extra magazines, a scoped .223 rifle, extra magazines, and all the ammo he can carry for both.
If it hits the fan, I can instantly supply one patriot with what he needs to defend and survive, and as funds allow, I will work on gathering the items needed for a 2nd patriot package.
It makes a heck of a lot of sense, and I’m surprised I haven’t run across the idea before. Perhaps we tend to focus to much on how we can contribute directly, instead of looking the best way to contribute from our areas of strength.
In any event, this gentleman knew that he didn’t have the health to contribute physically to the never-ending American Revolution, but he did find that he had the financial resources and know-how to put together what he aptly calls a “patriot pack” to equip a younger person in the event that the unorganized militia must be called forth to defend the nation from tyranny.
He (wisely, in my opinion) chose an ALICE pack (I’d suggest surplus large ALICE pack with pads and frame) as the base of the system, and an AR-15 with optics and 1911 pistol, with ammunition and magazines for both.
I was intrigued by what he included, and as a mental exercise I put together a conceptual list of what I’d put in a patriot pack (or packs) if I had the funds to invest in our nation’s future.
It goes a little something like this:
- Military surplus large ALICE pack with frame and straps/pads
- Semi-automatic rifle in a common military caliber, with appropriate supply clips, magazines, and 250-500 rounds of ammunition (depending on rifle). I’d recommend either an AR-15 or a Garand with iron sights instead of optics, and I know a ton of folks will recommend an AKM-pattern rifle as well
- Cleaning kit and common spare parts to match the rifle
- Basic G.I. loop sling
- Full-tang utility knife with 4″-5″ blade and sturdy sheath
- mil-spec poncho and poncho liner
- water purification (filter and cleaning kit, plus tablets)
- canteens/water bottles and holders
- eye protection with anti-fog solution/cleaning cloth
- pocket Bible
- bug dope
- sun screen
- shaving/hygiene kit
- first aid kit
- individual first aid kit (IFAK)
- battlebelt with suspenders, clip/mag pouches for rifle
- entrenching tool with case
- sleeping pad
- wool blanket
- small camo tarp to make shelter
- 550 paracord
Sure, you can spend $2000 or more with a custom rifle spec’d out with top-end optics, but I think you’d be better off investing in a reputable basic rifle with iron sights and quality ammo. A decent instructor can teach anyone to put “the pumpkin on a post” with military sights in an afternoon, and good glass might be wasted on a new, low-skilled shooter. You’d be much smarter to put your money into quality gear for the rest of the pack, particularly the water purification and sanitation elements that are so often overlooked, and yet inevitably account for the majority of wartime casualties.
Is there anything you would add or change?