Friday, April 27, 2018

Needful Things

In a recent meatspace convo, I mentioned that I've done the training legwork to train and equip anything up to a battalion of folks.
What's lacking, for anyone between the two great oceans, is the folks in question.

That fact noted, I have, in fact, ginned up a list of the sorts of topics you'd need to cover, for folks who'd had zero training nor prior military service. And have largely laid out the syllabus for same.

Most of it you can find other places. Some of it by people with more expertise.
No where, that I am aware of, so concise, nor centrally located.
(Well, unless you're between 17-39 years old, and you want to give up 4-8 years of your life, with a good shot at winning a Purple Heart, perhaps posthumously.)

For all of it, I highly recommend, as many times previously, that you seek out bona fide Subject Matter Experts, for real-time hands-on training and practice in the subjects in question. In these things as in, e.g., skydiving or scuba diving or flying small aircraft, you aren't going to learn how to do it, for real, on the day, from reading a book. Let alone a blogpost or ten.

But at some point, you've got to make the first step, which is always going to be looking at the material, and learning certain things in your head, so that you can eventually progress to doing them with your hands.

So in shameless tease of that point, starting next week, I'll start putting up the building blocks. For some people, it will be cursory review. Good for you. For some others, it will be all new Things You've Never Heard. With my compliments.

I will also put up pdf links to material you'll need, should you lack the hard copy references in question.

For both, diligent practice, with people who can answer your questions in person, and supervise your execution of same, correcting errors as necessary, in real life and real time, is the ultimate goal of the exercise. Because book learning isn't street smart.

We're not talking about taking over the world. We're talking about keeping you and those you value and/or love alive, in anything from a local emergency to a major disaster, or worse. The smaller of which are inevitable, and the larger end of which remains an open question. (Trump will not be president forever, for just one obvious thing. And like rust, the enemies of this country in general, and your individual liberty in particular, never sleep. No small number of them are paid for with your tax dollars, and have been every day since before you were born.)

The skillsets for any of the above are frighteningly but conveniently very similar.
(This is why the Notional Guard is the go-to group for riots and natural disasters, capice?)

And on your own, you should already have or get CERT training, a basic EMT class/card, basic firearms instruction on rifle, pistol, and shotgun (and in that order), orienteering/land nav/geocaching skills, and radio training to any level of HAM licensure that you can get to.

You should have your medical and dental ducks in a row, and be in shape (round is not a shape) and doing some level of regular cardio exercise and fitness, whether it's power walking, hiking, bicycle riding, swimming, or jogging. (Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing also counts for those of you north of the snow line, either latitudinally or by dint of ground elevation.) You don't need to be able to do BUD/S or SFAS PT (although it's something to definitely aspire to), because most of us aren't 18 years old any more, but if you can't do 15-20 minutes of cardio at your target heart rate for age, you're pretty much going to be baggage for anything constructive - and you can lie to others, but you can't fool yourself, try though you might.

And if - and only if - actual inescapable physical disability prevents the latter, you should double down on the other tasks, because you're the immobile target zebra in the herd, and predators don't give handicap scores. They will be grading the Final Exams; I nor you will not.

For anyone interested, the bus unloads Monday, at the footprints.


Suz said...

Very cool!! Looking forward to this.

Unknown said...

Thank you.

T-Rav said...

For me it will definitely all fall into the Things You've Never Heard category. Looking forward to it, and thanks in advance.

Also, please forgive a really stupid question: why is it rifle, pistol, shotgun, in that order?

Anonymous said...


Will mirror at WRSA/Twitter/Gab.

Full attribution of course.



Anonymous said...

Thanks as always Aesop

I ran my grade: not as good as it should be, but, work i progress.

I'm in the dead (pun intentional) average for my age (60+) in fitness.
I am certified and practice regularly (500 rounds each a month) in this order: shotgun, rifle, 9mm pistol
Medical and dental up to date.. but age, consequences thereof.
I am an active EMT with lots of cases and I keep up to date. So there's that.
I read paper maps and terrain well.
Courtesy of Her Majesty's Army I learned to walk a long way years ago, and I still can, loaded up, just slower.
Radio; not yet. Which means, no, Fail.

Your reminders are really good and I take them to heart. I am not preparing for me as much as for my children.
Thank you.

Aesop said...

Thanks, CA. I'll try to make it worth your while.

With a pistol, you can defend yourself from immediate threats.
With a rifle, you can enforce your will, out to as much as several hundred yards.
The only three excuses for using a pistol are because
a) your hands are busy, can't use/conceal a rifle, etc.
b) you're fighting your way back to where your rifle is, or
c) your rifle is out of ammo/action, and its either use a pistol, or rude gestures.
The shotgun, being neither as long-reaching as a rifle, nor as handy and concealable as a pistol, has both certain benefits, and certain disadvantages, and thus requires experience with the other two, and a full appreciation for what it will and won't do, before digging into it, when to use it, and when not to.
Someone who can shoot a rifle well is trained enough.
Someone who can use rifle and pistol is well-trained.
Shotguns, unless we're talking for rabbits, ducks, and such, is the least-needed skill of the three, 98% of all times. But game hunting, and those 2% of cases, make knowing it a worthwhile expenditure of time, even if only for basic familiarization.

Baldrick said...

"And if - and only if - actual inescapable physical disability prevents the latter, you should double down on the other tasks, because you're the immobile target zebra in the herd, and predators don't give handicap scores. They will be grading the Final Exams; I nor you will not."

Bears repeating for those of us with those inescapable disabilities. Be smarter, scoop up and earn everything Aesop is teaching plus some, pass on that teaching (and refer people both to Aesop and those courses he's listed on the side, etc.), and don't plan on living through something like a massive EMP. For real. Plan on getting people through the beginning. Reality is a bitch, be bitchier, stronger, smarter, and willing to sacrifice so you don't kill everyone around you. Aesop's probably going to be too kind to say that. Know how to help yourself out quickly and painlessly, and have the means to do it so you don't become a distraction or a burden when it comes down to it. Folks around you can mourn later when they've made it. Least that's how I see it, and how life rolls anyhow.

RandyGC said...

As someone heading down the road of disability, I have two thoughts.

1. In Dune it was stated that the difference between a human and an animal is that an animal will gnaw a leg off to escape a trap, a human will lie in wait in hopes of killing the trapper.

2.A Riflemans Prayer

Oh Lord, I would live my life in freedom, peace and happiness, enjoying the simple pleasures of hearth and home. I would die an old, old man in my own bed, preferably of sexual overexertion.

But if that is not to be, Lord, if monsters such as this should find their way to my little corner of the world on my watch, then help me to sweep those bastards from the ramparts, because doing that is good, and right, and just.

And if in this I should fall, let me be found atop a pile of brass, behind the wall I made of their corpses.

In such a situation, the long term benefit to society is to remove as many of the goblins from society as possible, and instill a sense of fear in the survivors.

To quote Mal Reynolds, that ain't exactly Plan A. But if necessary, teaching a bunch of barbarians not to mess with grouchy old men with training and experience, who can't run away, don't expect to survive, and are buying time for their families to beat feat, well, there are worse ways to go.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to it! As it is I've studied and adopted a number of your previous work. Many of the Army manuals, the treatise on aseptic conditions, bought and read an Orange book, and one of your best works was 5 parts beginning with Army logistics. One thing I found on my own is how to obtain and stockpile antibiotics. Obtainable through fish and bird suppliers... they are the exact same pills as for human... when you know what to get. Look up Dr Bones survival medicine articles on web.

Anonymous said...

Great prayer Randy.
Course those footprints are in CA in the daylight. At Parris Island they were seen for the first time in the dark after midnight. By design.
Boat Guy

Aesop said...


You may not have known this, but AFAIK at MCRD SD, no busses arrive and unload at those footprints until after dark. At least they didn't back in the day.

I processed into MEPS L.A. starting @0500, we were kept up and awake at MEPS for no particular reason all day long, and the bus left there for SD @1830, and we stopped en route in North SD county for a Denny's sit down dinner on Uncle's nickel, just so they could delay us arriving until it was well after dark. (I could have driven from home to MCRD in about 3 hours.)

At which point, everyone had been kept up (by design) all day, before we even arrived.

I'm pretty sure we were up for about 36-40 hours straight, and IIRC, no one needed to poop until some point on Day Three, mainly from the pucker factor starting out so high.