Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Thoughts on militia kit

Written By: Bob - Dec• 28•13

I’m going to be working on a post for Bearing Arms ( you know, the Second Amendment site that I now run for a living) on “militia kit.”

The basic premise for the article is that as the Founders wanted Americans to be armed with arms and accouterments of military utility for militia use, then we have a civic duty to be appropriately armed, equipped, and trained to function at a very basic level as riflemen.

The problem I’m having in writing this article is deciding:

  • What arms should be considered acceptable for militia use? Considering that the M4/M/16 platform is the military standard and shares 80%  parts commonality with the AR-15 for repair, maintenance, and resupply purposes, I’m having a hard time accepting an argument for anything other than an AR-15 from a logical point of view… but I’m open to persuasion.  I’m less interested in pistols and shotguns because of their comparatively limited use.
  • how expansive the ” standard kit” should be? Should it just be the rifle, mags, ammo cleaning kit, and something to carry it all, or should it include sustenance equipment?
  • What should be considered a minimal level of acceptable training and competency?
  • Should a minimal level of  physical conditioning be part of the requirement, and if so, what is that minimal standard?

I do not have any illusions of developing actual functional militia units or even fire-teams with such a project, but think that a nation of riflemen with adequate arms and marksmanship training form a powerful deterrent force against tyranny that could be molded into a fighting force with real training in a shorter amount of time than a citizenry with no standards, common equipment, or minimal proficiency at arms.

I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Steve in TN (@sdo1) says:

    I think that you have to go back to what the militia in America is – unorganized. The kit should consist of whatever firearms one may have and use along with necessary supplies. To standardize a firearm platform is counter to what we are; an amalgamation of citizens placed together in an emergency. Besides, if one is aiming to “arm” a group to resist an enemy combat unit, a dozen citizens armed with Nagants beats one guy with an AR any day.

  2. Dave says:

    Lensatic compass and topographic maps of the area. Good boots (broken in) and at least 3 changes of socks (more are better). Basic fire making tools and materials. Basic water carrying and purification gear. Military poncho and poncho liner. Leatherman type multitool and a fixed blade knife (Ka-Bar or similar). 100 feet of 550 cord. Some level of small, personal first aid kit. E-tool and a half roll of toilet paper with tube removed and then flattened. Six energy bars of some sort (I like Clif bars). This is in addition to an AR-15 and six loaded mags (another 100 rounds in 20 round boxes). Short of carrying actual rations, this is a good basic loadout to keep you alive and functional for a few days. My opinion, anyway.

  3. Tam says:

    Every household should have an AR-15. It’s for America.

  4. Patrick McHargue says:

    Something that even a Californian can have would be nice.

  5. Chaplain Tim says:

    Basic militia equipment and training should probably encompass what the .mil teaches (or at least used to teach) in Basic Training. Weapons familiarization, map reading, communications protocols, etc. If your goal is to work alongside the active military or neighboring militia units, you should have some common frame of reference.
    Standardizing on the M4/AR15 platform makes sense, with allowances for the creation of units for purposes other than land combat. The tooth-to-tail ratio of the militia is going to mimic that of any other fighting force. A group designated to guard a freight yard or warehouse isn’t going to need the same training/equipment as a Navy Seal unit. There will be uses for the Mosin/AK/deer rifle carrying militia members when they show up.
    Standards of fitness are going to follow the same allowances. As long as they’re not dragging an oxygen tank along behind them, and can do the job they’re assigned (or have freely taken upon themselves), not everyone has to be a 18-year-old weight lifter. I may not be able to do all of the things I could when I was 20, but I can still man an OP/LP and do a variety of other valuable jobs that don’t require humping a 100 pound pack for days on end. There is no one-size-fits-all.
    Basic equipment is going to vary by location and season. Here in the upper Midwest, I’d rather see emphasis on cold weather gear over protection from snake bites. A militia unit in an urban setting would benifit more from body armor than a rural unit due to differences in threat levels and distances between bases. Basic water, food, shelter, and a method of carrying them should be required but I don’t know how far you want to go to standardize them. I wouldn’t care if someone opted for Nalgene bottles over an issue canteen, as long as they can carry their water with them. As long as their rucksack isn’t neon orange, the differneces in camo patterns doesn’t matter as much as how far they can carry it.
    As a last thought, you have to remember that we’re dealing with a whole bunch of individuals and small units that have no large command structure (by design). I see standardization as a useful goal, but one that should be tempered by reality instead of the “zero tolerance” BS that occurs when things get too organized. The attitude of “my way or the highway” will only lead to people walking away from you, as I’ve seen in several instances in the militia movement.

  6. B says:

    Common caliber: (5.56?) and AR magazines. Any rifle as long as these are true.

    3 days of food, boots and sox. 40 rounds of ammo and pack to carry above. Canteens. (say 2 liters)

    ability to run 1/4 mile in some number of seconds….with kit.

  7. Andy Stevens says:

    Should push come to shove, just about any firearm/ammo combination in current use will have value. The average hunter/sportsman has a variety of such on hand….and with 300 million firearms in country throwing away or discarding 90% of them from the onset makes no sense.

  8. What arms should be considered acceptable for militia use?

    Whatever you got. What should you have? Sez who?

    Perhaps a case can be made for State Adjutant Generals or County Sheriffs to suggest some voluntary guidelines, maybe with an understanding that unorganized militiamen who follow the suggestions can expect some logistical support.

    • Jrggrop says:

      Historically, Congress specified militia equipment as one of their duties. One of the first Militia Acts said that:

      “every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger, and espontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.”

      • I don’t see Congress specifying unorganized militia equipment any time soon. Who presently has the lawful authority to tell me what type and caliber of weapon I must buy with my own money? That guy, the horse he rode in on, and the colonel who sent him are quite likely to be subjected to rude suggestions.

  9. Mike in NC says:

    I would say that the militia kit long-arm should be any rifle chambered in one of two standard calibers used by the military: 5.56mm or .308/7.62 NATO. AR-pattern rifles should be encouraged, but not required. The large number of .223 chambered AR’s in the wild (of course, this does not include Wylde) will be a nightmare for quartermasters in the event of an actual militia call-up.

    The militia statute here in NC (last modernized in 2011) calls for those who are over 17 years (no upper age limit) and “able bodied”. While I have not looked for a definition of “able bodied” within the law, I would expect it to be an 18th/19th century definition as opposed to something ‘modern’ where chronic hang-nails qualify for ‘disability’.

  10. Scott says:

    In 1789, standardization i.e. “mass production” had yet to be invented.
    Each minuteman was required to have sufficient ball & powder for his own rifle or musket. Rifles often came with their own bullet mold.
    I’ve chosen my rifles, sidearms, and shotguns based on what works for me – not some “one size (caliber) fits all” solution, selected by some puke in Washington who probably never fired a gun in the first place!
    Isn’t that the essence of freedom?

    • David W. says:

      I think the idea of having weapons “selected by some puke in Washington who probably never fired a gun in the first place” is so when you and a squad of marines are defending your town from zombies and someone tosses you a STANAG magazine you can then proceed to put it in your gun and shoot said zombies in the head.

  11. rumcrook™ says:

    first, I mean this in the best possible way, ive been reading bearing arms enthusiastically,

    proof reading is your friend Bob.

    now on to the question you posed, I carries the m-16 while in the army and I have owned an ar-15 ever since but I have many friends I would want to count on in shtf scenerio and they have asked me late in the game what they need to buy to have a kit, to be prepared for what could come, and while they have some basic firearms experience they dont have any military experience and my thinking is the ar is for serious firearms enthusiasts, while those who need to start a kit on a budget and dont have the skill set and are starting late in the game of being prepared and are not independently wealthy should go with an AK.

    the AK is the peasants arm for a reason, its half the price to feed and it wont quit regardless of the operators skill.
    a thousand rounds of ammo for it is around 220+ so getting stocked wont break the budget. decent 5.56 is still twice that and when the shortage hit over the last year it reached 900-1000 for a thousand rounds. ak ammo never really got out of hand. and for someone starting this late in the game 3-4 thousand rounds is a minimum stockpile, thats not cheap in 5.56, thats ballpark 1,200 bucks versus half that for ak ammo leaving room to spend on other critical needs, pulling together everything needed like a dozen magazines minimum, water storage, utility/web gear,first aid, ect,

    its just not sensible to not include the ak platform unless your footin the bill.

  12. Ray says:

    Any of y’all ever notice that in country’s where they have been killin’ each other since the beginning of time. NO ONE uses or even WANTs the M-16/M-4/AR-anything? We GIVE them away just like the old USSR did the AK, and the locals ditch them in favor of ANYTHING ELSE at the first opportunity. Also much is made of “battlefield recovery” for resupply–FORGET THAT! The US Military policy on that since Vietnam has been to “destroy in place” anything that the “enemy” can use that cannot be recovered by withdrawing US forces. The chances of finding useable amounts of military resupply “just layin’ on the ground” are pure fantasy. We are told endlessly to “stockpile”–Well guess what! If you can’t carry/move that stash away from the OPFOR its NOT YOURS ANYMORE. The only thing infantry gets to keep is what they can carry. Look If we are REALLY lucky we’ll get a horse to haul the spare ammo and food. Carrying 120lb of mags,ammo,bodyarmor,snivle gear,water,food,boots,clothes,tents,sleepingags. IS A FANTISY. You want to be a Militia Solder? Then you need a THREE DAY WW-2 level combat load. Basic age appropriate fitness training, basic combat (infantry) training. and basic animal transport for food- water-ammo-meds-resupply & support(I list animal transport because the first thing to dry up WTSHTF will be POL) Look Most guys will be FAR better off with a Mauser and a Swiss Rucksack , than they could ever be with the current fantasy “High speed warrior” “Seal team Ninjas use it” Tackticool Meme/mindset/fantasy that has gripped the internet “freefor”.

  13. ned ludd says:

    To me the bigger question might be will people accept paramilitary structure to repel a militaristic invading force? But I agree with the other posters here which is basically run what ya brung and while not everyone is capable of forced marches there is plenty for everyone to do to the level they are capable. Personally of everything in my gun safe including ar’s, semi-autos and fancy schmancy toys if it came down to the choice of one rifle it would be an old model 94 in 30-30 caliber with open sights. No batteries required, simple, functional, it does not need a velvet lined sack to carry it around in and just about everywhere you go you’ll be able to find ammunition. That’s my two cents, for what it’s worth.

  14. Cole says:

    **Maybe I’m missing something but I can’t see the comments on any of the articles at Bearing Arms. What am I doing wrong?**

    I agree on the AR15. It’s ubiquitous, most people can operate it, and you can carry more ammo than you would with a larger round. Yes to food, hydration, and a medkit. I’d require at least a 3 day pack similar to a go bag. Allows for extended patrols and the ability to bug out if things go bad. I’d want them trained in basic rifle marksmanship (i.e. Appleseed), land navigation, squad formation/movement, first aid, building basic defensive fighting positions, and military hand signals. Fitness is a must. Just use one of the military fitness tests. That would give a foundation of gear and training to build on or adapt to specific threats/tasks.

  15. Mr. X says:

    Hi Bob just wanted to state for the record I feared this would happen and ‘right wing neo-Confederate insurrectionist gun nuts’ would be blamed, with the Southern Poverty Pimp Law Center citing your lights out in NYC hypothetical scenario as some sort of manual:

    Of course, it could’ve been anyone — or even the feds false flagging attacks on the power grid. But ever since I read your piece I’ve feared fedtrolls would attack and blame the slightest act of sabotage on the III%ers or the militia movement. Certain feds and fed auxiliaries have certainly been itching for a new Oklahoma City for a while to go after preppers, tea partyers, and the III% movement.

  16. David S. says:

    SMEAC. Since the foreseeable is not really foreseeable– I would rely more on elements of SMEAC and in particular the “Beans, bullets, bandages and bad guys” part. Everything depends on situational awareness and one’s decisions from that. Personally, I prefer my S&W Model 29 and Henry B006 because of the conditions where I live and work. Nevertheless, that is not as important as being prepared mentally and have a bug out bag on the ready.

    I have a lot of other options as far as weapons are concerned but am I expecting close quarters or sniping? MY choice of a 12 gauge Dbl Barrel only fits one of those choices while the 30-06 or 300 mag. scoped fits the other. In an urban environment or Big Sky country?

    Mental preparation for the expected bad guys, beans, band aids, and bring what you have will work fine as it is well known that there will be plenty of weapons and spare parts if the SHTF. As the old joke goes, I have a French rifle for sale–“Never shot ~ only dropped once.”

  17. Jack Spadoni says:

    Good luck with the article Bob.

    I’m starting with the basic premise that this milita would not be tasked with offensive operations but rather defense of towns and villages, and basic patroling.

    I would agree with the AR/M16 platform simply because it’s so common. I would dare add small parts kit. And if your responsible for your own weapon, then I would agree with any weapon ammo/mag commonality with the AR.

    Kit should include basic rations since there would be no supply train. Small first aid kit with some basic OTC meds.
    Maybe one out of ten men a designated Medic with larger med kit. 2-1 liter canteens and again one out of ten with a water filter.

    4-30rd. mags plus 1 in the weapon gives 150 rds. For defense the ammo load would be doubled.

    The minimal level of acceptable training and competency I’ll leave to others.

    As far minimal level of physical conditioning, at least be able to travel 1 mile in 20 mins. with weapon and kit.

  18. LCB says:

    **Maybe I’m missing something but I can’t see the comments on any of the articles at Bearing Arms. What am I doing wrong?**

    I can’t see the comments either when I’m at work. It’s because we block Facebook access here.

  19. Phelps says:

    I think that it should be a common caliber rifle, a minimum amount of ammo, a knapsack, canteen (or other water carrying device), cleaning kit for the rifle, entrenching tool, an IFAK (this is the one thing that SHOULD be standard — and sold at WalMart), and that’s all that’s required of the militiaman.

    The rest should be supplied by the state. Food should be from forage (hit the local McDonalds). This isn’t an infantry patrol. This is militia.

    Most importantly, since militia membership is a right, like speech, healthcare, a living wage, and cell phones, it should be heavily subsidized by the government, and paid for outright by the government for the indigent.

  20. I’ve been giving thought to this subject for a while.
    Not only check out Mosby but also check out Max Velocity for his battle belt config, which he just changed around.

    Here’s my system. I have two rigs, a Peace Rig and a War Rig. And, I’m a girl so some of this may not apply to you guys. The key is that I do it in layers, with the idea that I can lose the outer layers like an onion and still have something.

    First The Peace Rig (EDC). I carry this daily. This is without any rifle fighting stuff, but with CCW and survival stuff.

    Inmost layer: Bra with tiny knife and small lighter in a pouch, phone and wallet. Pouch is attached to bra strap with a breakaway lanyard I shortened. If I lose all else I still have fire and a knife, money and commo. People always think it’s funny when I pull stuff out of my bra. I have a mouse gun that I could add, but mostly don’t. It’s crowded enough in there.

    Next layer: Homemade corset, with a slim 9mm pistol, extra mag, multitool and folding knife in pockets. Very steampunk, but hidden under clothes. I wear a tank top under it.

    Radio: I have a handheld HAM radio. It can clip on and has an earpiece. I have it now in a vinyl camera pouch with a repeater guide and manual and a copy of my HAM license, in case someone needs to see it for some reason. I keep this pouch in my lunch bag which has another metal water bottle, and some Ziploc bags with snacks, and my lunch (unless I ate it). I don’t carry it everywhere. I tend to leave it in the car if I’m on an errand and I throw a coat over top. Or sometimes I will attach it to the EDC bag instead of the lunch bag.

    EDC bag: This does go everywhere with me. Basically it’s a small neoprene knapsack (made by some designer purse co.) with paracord, poncho, shamwow, lensatic compass, small water filter, metal water bottle with a cotton cover I sewed for it, snivel/girl stuff, lighter, map of my city I pulled out of a phone book in a ziploc, small knife sharpener, clip on open carry belt holster, Sharpie, and some OTC cold medicine) and… the Peace Belt.

    Peace Belt?!? Yep!
    This is like a battle belt only with no pad and no rifle stuff. IT has an IFAK (homemade) and a SERE kit (homemade). It also has one 9mm Army mag pouch and a sheath for the multitool. I can hook the open carry holster onto it.

    OK so that’s my “peace rig” aka EDC.

    I also have a GHB in the car (sustainment load) with an empty spot on top for lashing this bag to it. The GHB is a civilian frame backpack that contains around 5 days worth of food, canned heat, another even bigger metal water bottle, water tablets, more paracord, a few pairs of socks, a change of clothes, a box of ammo for the pistol, a little plastic spade, a contractor bag, and a poncho liner in a pouch. There is also an empty normal size knapsack to use as a day pack, so I can rearrange things as needed. This knapsack has a built in holster and looks totally civilian. (no webbing)

    I also have a winter sleeping bag (that can fit on the bottom of the pack), water, extra winter coat, another first aid kit, pair of boots, socks, small bag of cat litter, trash bags, a small tent, a tarp, a camp chair, a piece of rug pad, and an e-tool in the car along with road emergency equipment. (Full trunk.)

    Then there’s the War Rig, which stays stored away.
    The inside layer of this is a battle belt with a pad, with 2 Army canteens at the kidneys in those old school pouches, ammo pouches cut and altered from an SKS bandolier (SKS is my platform) and with grommets added to hang them off the belt, duplicate IFAK and SERE kits, an old school M16 cleaning kit, and a pouch on the back between the canteens for snacks and the poncho liner. I’m not done assembling it yet and I still need an Alice suspender for it. And I am wondering if I can squeeze a holster and mag pouch onto it for the pistol or not. Maybe if I go 2-deep with the ammo pouches.

    Then there’s the plate carrier I made, with steel rifle plates. Right now this is bare. I hope I never have to wear it. It’s heavy as F. If I turn out to be wimpy and have to ditch it I don’t want to lose any other gear. If I donned this I would take off the corset thingie and redistribute its stuff. I also want to get Infidel Armor’s IIIA soft armor panels for it as cushions, although that’s redundant, but if I did have to ditch the plates I could keep the panels.

    I also have another bigger 9mm pistol and a leg holster but I don’t know if I would find it too annoying to wear – might have to move one of the leg straps. And of course the SKS. I’m saving up for a plastic folding stock.

    I also have a civilian Camelbak which is gray and black. I can strap this to the carrier but more likely I would try to wear it under the carrier or on the war belt suspenders. It has its own straps. That’s 3 sets of straps I’d be wearing at once!

    I also have a set of roller skating pads, a helmet (old school), and more boots and socks. I keep one set of boots in the car and 3 or 4 pairs of boots at home. They’re all pretty well broken in.

    So, that’s it. Well, I guess it’s good to have a hobby! I’m not in any militia, I guess I’m just a fangirl but I do want to go to one of Max’s classes in the spring.

    While I hope to never need the war rig, I have used my EDC IFAK on someone before. Also the Army can opener in the SERE kit gets a lot of use, as does the HAM radio (girls like to gab!). I know you’re not supposed to use the IFAK on anyone else but the first aid kit at church only had band aids in it and someone had fallen and gotten a big gash. I think they thought I was weird when I pulled out this big green belt from my purse…

    I guess that’s a lot. But the Peace Rig doesn’t weigh that much and I’m used to it. I think it weighs around 12 lbs total without the sustainment load.

    • I forgot to mention my flashlight. I have a small keychain one and a headlamp. Headlamps rock (not when you’re sneaking but for lots of other things).

      Another thing about the IFAK: Make sure you have things to doctor your feet up. If you are not used to ruck marching and suddenly have to, you will get blisters in a mile or two and if you ignore it, it will cripple you in a few more miles. Extra medical tape is a good thing, as is neosporin.

      There are other little things you could add depending on what you expected to be doing. One might be a B&E kit: set of lock picks, water spigot key, and small pry bar. Lightweight stuff sacks. Ziploc bags. Latex or nitrile gloves. Maybe a video camera (with IR?) for recon or documentation. Another might be a fume respirator and/or a few dust masks (so you can share them, and also they wear out/get clogged). A tear gas remedy in a small spray bottle. Goggles. Earplugs. Waterproof leg gaiters. Rain suit. Gloves. Hat. Duct tape. Extra batteries for your radio and scope. Does your scope use batteries? Are they common or are they some fancy Chinese lithium thing you won’t be able to get? Flares. Wire cutters. Binoculars or a monocular.

      Extra parts and tools for your firearms! Springs, an extra firing pin, etc.

      I just want to keep it all as light as I can though, it’s possible to add the kitchen sink and then weigh too much to move, especially for a wimpy girl. The weaps, armor, ammo and water are quite enough weight. I guess it goes without saying that carrying that much weight is something you should practice, starting light and adding weight as you get better at it. It’s very hard on the feet, for one, and I already mentioned doctoring your feet. If you practice rucking, you will know where your feet will get blisters and then you can doctor them before you go out. Also if your arches are going to bother you it’s best to know now and get the right footgear/inserts.

      Don’t go running in public in your battle rattle, substitute something else heavy. You don’t want to alarm people. But do jump up and down in it and make sure it doesn’t actually rattle and then secure those things that do.

      How much ammo? 210 rounds is standard fighting load in the army. Of course you can stick more in the ruck or cache more. For someone trying to stay low profile, someone with bigger ammo, or for wimps like me, maybe 120 rounds would be more ideal. But it would suck to run out.

      My day pack and EDC pack are black which is nice for “urban camo” i.e. not looking military – but too visible in the wild, so I have a couple OD bandannas I can tie on them. 45″ to a side is the size of a shemagh, which can double as an arm sling. Bandannas are around 16 or 18″ to a side. You can make your own from fabric for cheaper than buying them.

      Another thing to consider might be disposable or expedient insignia and I’ve noticed that bandannas might be a good way to do that – it works for the street gangs anyway.

    • Keepitsimple says:

      Penny’s lists make a lot of sense, but biggest reason is because she’s thought them through and tried them out IRL. It works for her.

      The standardized kit only works as far as the training for its use. Mind you, I believe basic first aid and disaster survival should be required before graduation from high school. The militia kit should include gear to implement those skills, along with the firearms.

      AR 5.56 platform, sure. Yes, it will be a PITA dealing with a lot of the .223 riles mixed in, but that’s the way it goes.

      I would absolutely include the AK platform, though. It allows a lot of tight-budget folks to be in our ranks.

    • Right_2_Bear says:

      +1 on Mosby and MV. Personal fitness is probably the most important thing one can bring to the fight. These guys stress this all the time.

      I’m impressed with your preparedness – you have shamed me into doing more!

  21. . . . provide himself with a good musket, or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or, with a good rifle, knapsack, shot pouch, and powder horn, twenty balls, suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; . . . all muskets for arming the militia, as herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound.

  22. Jrggrop says:

    Bare minimum? Trying to standardize on one specific rifle caliber might be more trouble than its worth – any modern militia in the US won’t be fighting off armies halfway across the country, and would be more of a local paramilitary force. The strict necessities of a military logistics system might not be required. Settling on common calibers such as NATO, Warsaw Pact, and popular pre-Cold War military rounds might be enough.

    As for equipment? Well, aside from rifle and ammunition, here’s what I’d go with as a minimum:

    -cleaning kit
    -water canteen
    -folding knife
    -local map
    -suitable pack
    -rain gear/poncho
    -clothing suitable for colder weather (where required)
    -first aid kit
    -3 MREs or equivalent
    -identifying arm-band
    -two-way radio (or at bare minimum a cell phone)
    -necessary batteries

    Now, I think it’s important to note that a modern militia, one that was actually used by state governments like back in the 19th century, would likely be called out for disaster response or assisting law enforcement. So, mandating gear similar to that of CERTs might be wise.

    -work gloves
    -dust mask
    -blanket/sleeping bag
    -tools (such as crowbar, sledgehammer, shovel, ax, prybar, ect.)
    -helmet (construction or military, so long as it would provide protection from falling debris and is cleared marked with militia insignia)

    If you would lump in the historic role of militias being used to deal with riots, then gas-masks and some sort of shield might also be required.

  23. Comrade X says:

    My tools of choice is the Tavor in 5.56 w/optic & 500 lumens light, 10 loaded 30r mags, vest with plates, Glock 19 with 4 mags, water pills, canteen, some power bar type food plus a few MREs, IFAK, knife(s), GOOD BOOTS, GOOD Socks (as many as I can pack), waterproof poncho, zippo, one extra set of dry cloths, thermal underwear, gloves, FLIR, binocular, maps & compass, & MVT Shield (whenever Max gets it to market).

    But the most important thing is the PT because we need to be making the right decisions at the right time however if we are fatigue we will not only not be thinking straight but we won’t be thinking or doing right;

    As Vince Lombardi use to say “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

  24. Keepitsimple says:

    Penny’s lists make a lot of sense, but biggest reason is because she’s thought them through and tried them out IRL. It works for her.

    The standardized kit only works as far as the training for its use. Mind you, I believe basic first aid and disaster survival should be required before graduation from high school. The militia kit should include gear to implement those skills, along with the firearms.

    AR 5.56 platform, sure. Yes, it will be a PITA dealing with a lot of the .223 riles mixed in, but that’s the way it goes.

    I would absolutely include the AK platform, though. It allows a lot of tight-budget folks to be in our ranks.

    • Historian says:

      Any militia organizer worth his salt ought to have a 5.56 NATO or .223 Wylde finishing reamer together with a T handle and HS gages immediately available to correct the .223 problem or have a strategy to deal with separating those who use m855 and M193 rifles

  25. Bill Anderson says:

    I started a page for Muster USA on a popular social media site. I want to start a Muster Movement across the nation. Every city, town, hamlet and country PO Box would have a monthly muster. Every able bodied male between 16 and 60 would meet once a quarter for muster and inspection.

  26. AT says:

    This may of been posted as I did not read every post but a copy of the Marine Guidebook (I’m biased) and a copy of A Failure of Civility…

  27. Pericles says:

    We do have the Militia Act of 1792 as a guide. The idea of standardizing the caliber of musket at .69 cal. was to allow for a uniform set of logistics standards for equipment that could not so easily obtained on short order. Some type of uniform is good, along with individual gear that is sturdy, but over time it will get replaced with better kit. The basic premise is for the individual to have gear that can last for some months of use until a supply system is functioning.

    If we go to the Militia Acts, the premise is that the militias also server as the building blocks for a national army. This is much more difficult to achieve because of the training required to have proficiency in combined arms operations, integrating indirect fire support, air support, and communications. In this sense, those with active duty military experience would be well used as cadre for militia units.

  28. Historian says:

    Militia were the rapid response force of the day.

    As such, the essential is that they be ready to fight, and willing to fight, for a relatively short period of time on very short notice. That requirement seems valid today, and is a good basis for setting requirements.

    To that end, I think that any reasonably powerful rifle, together with between one and two hundred rounds of ammunition for same, reasonable spare parts, magazines or clips to hold the ammo, cleaning kit, boots, extra socks, and at least two liters of water are a reasonable minimum, together with a pack, belt or other carrying device ought to be required. Commonality of caliber and magazine is desirable, but not critical. You need to be able to move across terrain to fight, you need water to fight, and you need a functional rifle and ammo to fight. The rest is up to you.
    (For that matter, if a one-armed pistolero with a .44 magnum Redhawk or a scope sighted .454 Casull wanted to go and see the elephant, I’d take them!)

    The fact is that many other things may help you fight better or survive being shot or injured, but they aren’t essential to being able to fight. Recommended equipment is fine, but the essential attribute is the ability to deliver aimed fire on target, and to have some degree of mobility.

    Rather than focus on the gear, I submit that skills are more important.

    One ought to be able to put 5 rounds into a 9″ paper plate offhand at 100 yards within a reasonable time limit, say 10 or 15 seconds. Same from standing to prone at 200 in perhaps 20 seconds. One ought to be able to cover 2 miles in one’s fighting kit in perhaps 40 minutes prior to shooting. I debated requiring fluent English speaking, but frankly if somebody who knows how to shoot and is willing to fight shows up at the muster sight I think they’ll be of use, even if my Spanish and Vietnamese is pretty sketchy.

    Every member ought to know the basics of SUT. This includes but is not limited to how to maneuver in small units, (down to the fireteam level and up to the company level,) and know the basics of movement under fire, low crawl, high crawl, and jack-in-the-box ( I’m up, I’m down!) movement. Knowing how to peel and how to maneuver by fire team are good. Knowing how to find good ground and pick out movement avenues are important skills, too.

    Not everyone needs to know how to use a map and compass, and not everyone needs to know first aid. These things and lots of other skills are all great to aspire to, but they aren’t critical to the main function of the militia, which is to be able to fight for a short period of time on extremely short notice. If you can move about and hit a target on the battlefield then you meet the minimum standard.

    Maybe the most characteristic of all, they have to be “willing.” I don’t know how to test for that, wish I did.

  29. Stu F. says:

    *Appropriate clothing (in muted colors, and including a hat)
    *Rifle in common caliber
    *Basic clean/lube kit (i.e. Boresnake, oil, small brush)
    *Food (e.g. couple of Power Bars and some dried fruit)
    *Basic First Aid Kit (e.g. regular Band Aids, antibiotic ointment, gauze pads, gauze rolls or triangle bandage, butterfly closures, and sterile absorbent pads [e.g. maxi-pads])
    *Large bandana
    *Cordage (primarily for repairs)
    *Lighter or matches
    *Duct tape (again, for repairs)
    *Toilet paper
    *Flashlight w/ some red cellophane and a rubber band
    *Tin/Steel cup and spoon, if you’re planning on eating more than the quick food above.
    *Fanny pack or other LBE to carry everything.

    The remaining equipment would depend on the duration and conditions of deployment (e.g. one summer day vs. 7 days in the snowy mountains.)

    A person should be familiar with and know how to use everything that they have on them. Basic first aid, marksmanship, manual of arms, fire making, communication/signaling, etc. are good starts.

    Indeed, if someone is planning on functioning at a fairly high level under any sort of stress (as in disaster response), they should be in decent physical shape…otherwise, they impair the functioning of the group as a whole.

    I live in the Mountain West, and most (I’d say 90%) folks around here already have most things except the firearm-related equipment. Not sure what the rest of the country would look like, though.

  30. Stretch says:

    I’ve not read all comments so I may repeat others.
    At least 2 pair woolen socks in zip-lock bags. Trust me on this.
    Wool watch cap would be a good idea too.

  31. Peccable says:

    What ever weapon the opposition is using is the weapon of choice. You’ll always have ammo, you can raid for more. Most of the time you’ll be foraging for food if you’re in the field unless you are planning on bringing along a field kitchen with cooks.

    Carrying the same weapon as the opposition means you don’t give away tour position by the different sound. In shape? Believe me, you’ll be in shape after a couple of weeks. Or dead.

    How good are you at hand to hand? You will want to have a decent grasp of that.

    For those of you that never have been in combat, you’re in for a rude, crude shock. It ain’t the “World of Warfare”.

  32. Peccable says:

    Let me add two more items: learn to shoot and hit you target at ranges at 500 yards and learn to run away fast. Both are vital combat skills for being able to fight another day.