There are many that want to be the cool guy running in the hills with a rifle, taking out targets, conducting raids, and setting up ambushes. Several think that they can sit on a hill top with their rifle and take out any targets in sight. Just about everyone wants to do something tactical.
While learning, knowing, and practicing those skills is great, it is not practical to have everyone in the prepper community running and gunning. Everyone in this community needs to know how to run their rifles, pistols, and shotguns, but it is not necessary for everyone to run into the hills. Everyone needs to have their gear laid out and ready so that they can, if necessary. However, it DOES NOT need to be your first option, nor your second, third, or even fourth. For most, it SHOULD be your last resort.
To talk about gear for this last resort would invite a discussion that would literally fill up several blogs, mostly due to opinions of what’s good/bad and even some real world usage. CPT Rawles goes into detail in Patriots about the gear his characters use– LC-1 and other ALICE gear. While many have this (from surplus and cheap resources), it is not always the ideal system. I personally prefer the ALICE ruck (with a new frame from Tactical Tailor), and everything else in MOLLE/PALS (still surplus and cheap, if you know where to look and have spray paint). If one does a little research, specifically in military circles and on mountainguerilla.wordpress.com, you will find that gear is usually layered in tiers.
This is the kit that you always carry with you. Whether it be on duty or off, at the airport, in the car, out in the woods, or someplace else. It is what’s in your pockets and on your belt. For most of us, it is currently a wallet, lighter, keys, pen, paper, medical needs, pistol, magazines, and a knife, not to mention the clothing on our backs. It includes no food or water, but by using our first tier, we can survive (if you must). In this tier you have shelter (clothes on your back) and self defense. Using some of your other equipment, you can always find a way to survive.
This is your fighting load, which can be set up in many ways. For instance, I have a battle belt as my 2.1. On my battle belt I keep three M4 magazines, three pistol magazines, two quarts of water, an individual first aid kit (IFAK), my pistol, 550 cord, a stripped MRE, some pogey bait (non military issue rations), a compass, and a way to purify water. Using my battle belt, I can fairly easily stay alive for 24 hours and potentially push it out to 72 hours, if I am careful.
Tier 2.2 is my plate carrier– currently an old IBA I have that’s been painted. The most I ever put on it is a couple of M4 magazines and some first aid equipment (tourniquets mostly). The reason for this is that this is my protection tier. It has one purpose– to help keep me from being ventilated. Some soldiers will attach all their kit to their vest. While this works out great for some, it doesn’t work out for others.
Tier 2.3 is nothing more than my battle belt taken up to a combat-effective level. This usually has everything that my belt has minus the pistol. Tier 2.3 consists of a modified fighting load carrier (FLC) with six more M4 mags, another IFAK, maps, compass, whistle, and food. The FLC is supplemented by a small backpack– a Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack. This bag contains enough food for at least three days of operations, a three-liter water bladder, some more ammo, water purification stuff (iodine tablets), fire starting (lighter, tinder, ferro rod), and shelter (poncho and poncho liner).
At this point I am usually about 40 pounds heavier than normal, and that is dependent on what plates I am running and how many spares of things are in my bag. Needless to say, it takes some training to get used to. Thankfully this is about the same weight as my combat load out at work, which means that I do get the kind of PT in that I need for these two tiers.
I don’t need to rehash what should go in here, because all this is supposed to be is a Bug Out Bag that has been packed for more than just three days of supplies. Mine is set up so that my little back pack actually attaches to my *rucksack to make it easier to grab and go.
Yes, there is redundancy built into this system, and, yes, there is a reason for it. At any given time, you should be able to dump any portion of your load and keep moving and fighting to your objective or disappear into the brush to fight another day.
The problem for most is the weight. My rucksack weighs about 45 pounds. That adds to create a total of 85 pounds that I have to carry, if I am going to be doing light infantry fighting in the woods, or anywhere for that matter. I am fit enough to move this load and then some for several hours, while moving at a rate of about three miles per hour in somewhat wooded terrain (over the hills, through the dale, and into the trees), so long as noise discipline isn’t an issue. For the record, I am NOT a super soldier; I just do some good PT.
Even with good PT, it still “stinks” to do so. It is not easy, and it is not for everyone, especially if you have little ones to look out for. For me, bugging out, either in a vehicle or on foot, is an absolute last resort. For me to do so, my wife and I would both have to carry what I have listed above, plus a stroller, each filled to the brim for what our boys need, like formula, diapers, and such. This is assuming that everyone has had to get out of dodge.
What is our plan then? (Hint: Look at the title.) Our plan is to be part of the auxiliary. What is “the auxiliary”, you ask? Well, in traditional Army terms, it is everyone that is not combat arms. It’s the cooks, the supply guys, the truck drivers, the ammo handlers, and the intelligence weenies (like myself). It is everyone who supports the warfighter, from the lowliest fueler all the way up to the General in charge of procurement. They are the force behind the fight.
Should we be forced to live in a time where we must get rid of an unwanted presence, then the warfighter will need help. The warfighter will need an auxiliary. The auxiliary needn’t be comprised by those who are unable to hack it in the woods. The auxiliary can be comprised of everyone, who for one reason or another, isn’t doing light fighter stuff in the woods. The warfighter will need to have food brought to them, gear repaired or replaced, and wounds patched up (as well as medical supplies furnished). They will need ammo and intel.
In order to acquire all that, the warfighter will not have many options. It will be up to the auxiliary to support them. How? One could simply be a farmer that “accidentally” loses food to some local “predators”. It could be the seamstress working on patching clothes and uniforms. It could be the Baker Street Irregulars playing around and listening in on conversations. If you want a really good look at how an auxiliary really could function, then look at the big drug operations, prohibition era gangsters, or the mob. Just substitute the bad guys with good guys. Drug peddlers become light fighters, mules become modes of transportation, and suppliers become you.
The nice thing about being part of the auxiliary is that whatever you are good at, you can contribute. Whether you are the local barkeep, who listens to everyone’s issues; the local farmer, who grows his/her own food; or even the man/woman who makes everyone of the opposite gender feel special, there is a place for you. It is the engineers, machinists, and the mechanics. It’s the baker, butcher, and candlestick maker. It’s the postman, the truck drivers, the school teachers, and shop owners. It is everyone who makes the small town and big city run. Being part of the auxiliary isn’t easy, though.
One must be able to keep OPSEC, as well as know when to stop. One must also be willing to put themselves out on a limb. One must be willing to act like the White Rose society from WWII Germany, the French Resistance, or the resistance during our American Revolution. Some must be willing to be CPT Nathan Hale, if necessary, and all must be willing to sacrifice what they have.
In many ways, being part of the auxiliary can be even more dangerous than being in the woods. Retribution from the unwanted presence can/will be swift and harsh. It may just be the person who gets caught, or it could be their family and friends as well. No matter the risk, the bottom line still remains the same. If the warfighter does not have an auxiliary, then that warfighter will more than likely have a really rough time in the woods, and the unwanted force will be even freer to operate than before.
There are many things for the auxiliary to consider, like how do we get compromised individuals “off of the X” and out of danger? Where do they go? How to we protect their/our families? How do we create double agents? All of this must be fleshed out (as much as possible) before the SHTF. Also, the auxiliary must always remember who they support and why.
If there is anything you get out of this article, I would like it to be three major things. First, and foremost, is the act of not just building your group but the act of building others. It is the act of networking and social interaction. Without those things, the warfighter will die. Without these acts, an auxiliary will never get formed. Through networking, you could (intentionally or not) set up a half a dozen different groups with each doing a specific job. The Army breaks it down like this in every Battalion: S-1 personnel, S-2 intelligence, S-3 operations and planning, S-4 supplies, and S6 communication. The funny thing is, it actually does make things run a little smoother for the warfighter. Through your networking you could set up something very similar to a Battalion. Just don’t forget who and why.
The second thing is that one must constantly be learning many skills, not just what interests them. One must learn basic infantry tactics, survival skills, and so much more. Essentially everything that has been beat to death on this forum and others like it. There is one learning point that I don’t see brought up often and that is to learn history. History of occupation, warfare, peacetime, revolutions (successful and failed), resistance movements, and anything else you can get your hands on. I love reading and learning about WWI and WWII. From those two wars you can learn everything from tactics and politics to resistance and auxiliary, and much, much more. NEVER stop learning.
The last thing I would like you to take away, is the simple fact that one is not required to be a super soldier to be effective. You don’t have to be some Special Force/Ranger/Force Recon/SEAL/PJ/TACP to be an effective part of the resistance. All one needs is the ability to act, the willingness to support a cause, loyalty to those whom you work with, and “stick-to-it-ness”. If you want “better” ways to see it, read the Soldiers Creed, and the Creed Of Non-Commissioned Officers. Internalize those values, and live by them. However much I hate that the Army does some of its promo stuff, these are two things that I love and live by.
“THIS WE’LL DEFEND!”
P.S. This article is nothing more than my opinion on this kinda thing. The following guys have made a professional living off of actually doing the exact things that I touched on in this article. I highly recommend you check them out. FAIR WARNING: Both are very plain spoken, and there is some foul language, BUT the knowledge will outweigh the language.
John Mosby’s blog at mountainguerilla.wordpress.com
and Max Velocity’s at http://maxvelocitytactical.com
Both of them offer training opportunities as well as more links to other sites with a massive fountain of knowledge.