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I lay on a pile of cow crap and nettles, peering uselessly through weeds growing on a wire fence. I am unable to see more than 12 feet into an open field. Prone, my neck and shoulders hurt as I crane hoping to see far enough so that I can have some warning of advancing forces. I am sweating out buckets, soaking my Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), boonie hat and underwear as thoroughly as if I had been caught in a thunderstorm. My neck is developing a sunburn because, like an idiot, I failed to put sunblock into my kit. Baking in the sun, unable to see anything, feeling hot, bored and useless, I remember why I left the Army . . .

Rewind a few months. I am very concerned about the lawful lawlessness of Federal State and local governments. Legislation and regulation seem to me to be oriented to favoring the fortunes of politically connected persons and groups rather than the general benefit of all citizens. What they do is legal, but it is immoral.

The dustup between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management really focused my attention as it made an abstract argument for overbearing government concrete. On one hand, it is clear that Bundy has dug his heels in and is ignoring the rulings of the authorities – he is on the wrong side of the law. On the other hand Bundy is the only rancher in the area left after years of management by the BLM – an agency supposedly empowered to manage land for the benefit of everyone, even ranchers. I think the Feds are morally wrong and the fines and penalties unjust. Unjust laws ought not be complied with.

Even so, I am glad nobody went home limping that day when citizens, joined by militia groups, confronted the BLM agents posting an armed guard on a fence between Bundy and his property. To my eyes, an armed revolt against the Feds is a kind of abyss. In the US, our experience with revolution is mixed. If there is another revolt, I am not sure that what replaces the government will be any better. The track record is sketchy at best.

Further, my impression of self-styled militia groups and their leadership has been pretty low. In the runup to a recent election, I ran into someone at a gun show all decked out in a set of woodland BDU fatigues with patches and a name tape. She growled about how rotten the Federal government is, but when I asked her who she is supporting in an upcoming race, she was ignorant of the candidates. I guess their plan was to walk around dressed up like GI Joe and grumble.


I found another self-styled patriot remnant dedicated to restoring freedom’s light to America equally unimpressive. Bedecked in everything you can buy for 200 bucks at a military surplus store, these guys were unprepared for a cold April night. Most who had supposedly gathered for “training” shuffled around uninterested in the disaster preparedness lessons I was offering. It was clear to me that a set of fatigues and Kevlar helmet did not an effective warrior make.

As the Bundy incident unfolded, I checked the website of the Missouri Militia. I discovered that, by statute, I was already a member of the Missouri Militia being that I was an able-bodied citizen between the age of 18 and 64. I found the contact information for the local unit, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade of the Missouri Militia.

In my reading, research and discussion with folks on the topic, I learned that there are other groups that call themselves militias in Missouri. The 3/2 was an element of what I believe is the largest organized militia group in the Show-Me state. Using the contact information on the website, I got in touch with Major Y.

On the phone, Y is genial, and informs me that there is an ad-hoc meeting at Denny’s in St. Charles. I make plans to attend in a few days. On the evening of the meeting, I meet Major Y along with several other men interested in signing up.

Y has a sturdy build. He sports a light grey horseshoe mustache that makes me think of a biker. His grey hair is not long, but it is not exactly high and tight, either (you vets know what I mean). I could not tell you what I was expecting from the commander of a whole battalion of the Missouri Militia, but I was pleasantly surprised. Even though the Major had an easygoing manner he exuded a workman’s competence.

I order some fried mozzarella sticks and listened as Y describes the history and mission of the Missouri Militia. Among the tasks the Missouri Militia takes on are search operations and disaster relief. Missouri Militia members voluntarily take land navigation instruction, a handy skill if someone wanders off into the woods in rural Missouri – the last thing you want are well-intentioned searchers getting lost, compounding the local Sheriff’s problem of a missing person.

As I anticipated, many of the assembled men are old fat white guys. I even scope out some familiar faces, given that I am well within the OFWG orbit of guns and gun politics. Major Y answers questions, and promises to get us applications if we are interested.

I, along with a number of other folks who had been attending informational meetings, are invited to attend a Joint Training Exercise (JTX) in July. It looked to me to be an ambitious weekend schedule.

Among the training blocks on tap are:

  • Nighttime land navigation
  • First aid
  • Communications
  • Hand to hand combat
  • Early warning devices
  • Small unit maneuvers, specifically “movement to contact.” We are instructed to secure 40 rounds of blanks chambered for our rifles and a blank adapter.

The three-day, two-night event seemed like a good chance to see the Missouri Militia in action and take their measure. So far, nobody involved struck me as a kook and lacked the deficiencies noted in encounters with other groups. I made arrangements to attend, including painstakingly filing a weld off the ring protecting the threads of my AK-47 barrel. The ring had probably been tack-welded as part of some import restrictions, (damn you, California!) as it rendered the bayonet lug unusable. I needed to do the gun surgery so I could install a threaded blank adapter.

Candidly my expectations were fairly low. I anticipated a bunch of grumbling, discontented OFWGs (myself among them) who were all kit and no grit. In the week before the big JTX I attended a local training lead by Lieutenant H who showed about a half dozen men and women basics of small unit movement in the field. H was tall, pleasant and somewhat reserved, but in the course of the training demonstrated knowledge and competence. He and his son would be at the event.

The weekend for the JTX arrives, and I catch a ride from another non-member “guest.” J is a pleasant young man in his late twenties. We chat and get to know each other. Our 2 ½ hour ride is filled with discussions ranging from the recent documentary America, to politics, history, a rasher of theology (it is hard for me to not include my faith in a conversation, not that I try) and culture.

We arrive while there is still plenty of daylight. The sun is hot and the swampiness of rural Missouri hangs over the mowed pasture outside of Springfield where the “Forward Operating Base” is set up. J and I check in with the Major who is loping up and down the line of tents welcoming people and lending help and advice. We empty the chamber of our sidearms in his presence. Concealed carry permit holders are asked to keep an empty chamber in our pistols. We then begin setting up gear in our tents.

In minutes, I am sweating. My home state is not known for its pleasant July weather, though the first three days of the week lulled me into a false hope for low 80s temperatures and low humidity. I am clammy and uncomfortable, but that hardly surprises me.

Chow is called shortly after we are finished setting up. We gather around and I first meet the state commander, Colonel S. S has the easy manner of a rural Missourian. He answers questions and gives direction in a cadence that is collaborative rather than authoritarian. It is clear to me that the man has earned the respect of the men and women he knows and who know him. S asks for a volunteer to say Grace over our meal. I offer, and we all fall into the chow line.

J forgot his mess kit, so I lend him the lid to my cook-pot. It is easy to fall into neighborly habits, everyone is open and friendly. I’ve been in churches that are less welcoming. The food is tasty and the company pleasant. I meet men and women from all over Missouri, as well as members of the Illinois state militia who have joined Missouri’s militia for training. Everyone I talk to are liberty-minded. Most express concern for the welfare of the United States. Most see our nation’s politics lurching toward something alien to the vision of liberty embodied in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

After chow, there are a series of briefings, and we line up to have our weapons checked. The rules are empty rifles and an empty magazine. Attendees have been asked to leave live rifle ammo at home. We line up to walk through a weapons check where our magazines are checked, chambers cleared and blue tape is wrapped around the base of our magazine. We are instructed to not load any blanks until the next day and to keep the blue-tape magazine empty.

The guard roster is posted, the Illinois team is going to perform the duty for that evening so that the next night they can rest for the longer trip back home. J and I get into our bunks. I no longer camp, though I have plenty of camping gear. Most of my stuff is showing its age. I lay down on my Craigslist aluminum cot and slowly slip into a fitful night’s sleep, my extremities laying uncomfortably on the too-short frame.

Camp is rousted shortly after sunrise. I pull my “uniform” out of its pack, BDU trousers, and jacket along with a GI belt and tan boots. I don my boonie hat and report to formation. Even though it has been decades since I wore a uniform, I begin to check that all my pockets are buttoned and that my collar is straight.

The formation slowly comes together, with direction from the colonel who is at the flagpole facing the parade field. We all jostle around and eventually form tidy files and ranks. We are called to attention and the colors are posted. At rest, I look around and note that we as a group are attentive and more or less uniform. We recite the Pledge of Allegiance. We listen to the day’s announcements, and the schedule is described. Among the announcements is an encouragement to be active in our communities and to vote. Contrary to the anti-government moniker pinned on Militia groups the Colonel described thoughtful participation in civic life as the most effective weapon against the challenges facing America.

A man in his mid 30s takes over the formation and leads us in “light PT” which, in the acronym-crazed world of any military-ish organization means physical training. I know know my nemesis no matter what it is called. Curse you exercise, you have found me! We stretch and flex, ending with a warmup of jumping jacks. Nothing strenuous, just a warmup, which makes sense given that any PT oriented toward conditioning would be pointless.

Breakfast comes, beginning with thick French toast with syrup or blueberries. The cooks had a tasty pile of “Ramadan ham”, a dish of sliced ham fried up and seasoned with a gracious helping of political incorrectness. I resist the urge to take a photo of my meal and post it to Facebook. There is a lot of information to cover, and so the Colonel and subordinate leaders hop to it and keep a tight schedule. Like clockwork we are sent off to the classes of our interest. These classes are taught by people who know what they are doing.  A medical doctor is teaching the first aid class, a lifetime ham radio operator teaches communications (he has a big antenna set up by his tent, just in case.) I am not sure what the experience of the warrant officer teaching early warning devices is, but I can tell you having been an Army engineer, his noisemakers meant to alert us to interlopers are by the numbers.

I attend the small unit maneuvers class. It begins with about an hour of classroom instruction. A young man by the name of Staff Sergeant F gives an energetic presentation on terms and tactics for moving infantry formations in the field. He described vanguard versus reserve, different types of reconnaissance and reacting to contact. Soon he is directing us in the cow pasture to practice these techniques in “shoulder drills” in which we move in a variety of formations.

Before long I notice that even though I am a bit thirsty and tired, I am not particularly bored. The training on a level where any person of normal intelligence can participate, but is not so dumbed-down so as to be dull. Unskilled trainers can make make even something as inherently interesting as running and gunning a yawner. Ssgt F combines energy, good humor and knowledge into the class. Soon I am out in the field as a “team leader”, responsible for half a squad of eight. We practice moving as a unit and reacting to various challenges, such as coming upon a small group of opponents while looking for a larger group of opponents.

Safety is emphasized, but it is common sense safety, not overweening nanny safety like the kind you might find at a state-run gun range. We are encouraged to drink regularly, and are reminded to maintain good finger discipline while drilling with our empty rifles.

Shortly after the basics, we begin the process of loading blanks. Each and every blank is inspected by a team leader to make sure it is in fact a blank. One by one, I examine .223 and .762 blanks to make sure they are just noisy and not able to punch holes. We load up and move out as the sun reaches its glory.

We have been split into two groups and sent to opposite sides of a very large field, well out of sight of one another. Lt. H and his son are made squad leader and patrol leader respectively. Our “mission” is to secure a cow pond. We will engage an assaulting force. Our lieutenant is responsible for deploying his force to accomplish the mission.

Lacking a fancy system like the military Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES – even the acronym sounds expensive), we have to determine simulated life and death with a simpler method. Each combatant is fitted with color tape on their arms. If you see someone in the field and choose to shoot, you have to call out the color of the taped armband of the person at whom you are shooting. Referees are on hand to pass judgement on whether or not a casualty has been inflicted. It is an imperfect system, essentially a backyard game of cowboys and indians with louder cap guns – but the basics of movement and recon are being effectively practiced even as marksmanship obviously cannot.

So, I am on the fence line, slowly stewing in my own sweat. I begin reflecting on lifestyle choices. Would it really kill me to hit the gym from time to time? Maybe cookies really SHOULD be “sometimes food.” I scan the limited horizon. I recognize that life as a grunt is rough.

In the distance a shot rings out, then a long gap of nothing. As a leader, I cannot kill or be killed, I have to use the men and women of my two fire teams as my weapons. On orders from Lt. H’s son, I move myself and another grunt into deeper cover, mercifully in the shade. There is a large walnut tree and blackberry bushes. I am tempted to snack, but decide instead to position my shooter in the thicket. I will observe and call out targets, taking advantage of my invincible but harmless condition.

Horses move up on my left. They are looking at something. Then they run away. I see hats popping up over the treeline. I cannot make out the armband color, so I whisper a warning to my shooter, and move to signal the patrol leader. A volley of shots ring out in the distance, and the heads I am observing drop back down. A young man with pink armbands moves up, appearing out of nowhere. I point my rifle and yell bang. He shoots a blank at me, and exclaims “You don’t have an armband!” Moving my body to conceal my shooter, I acknowledge his observation. “No I do not.” In the heat of the game my coy answer is meant to give my opponent a brain cramp while my shooter moves in for the “kill.” The kid runs off before being eliminated.

My position revealed, I call out shots to my shooter “Yellow armband, just over the ridge – get ‘em!” My shooter, a wiry man from Illinois, shoots and calls out the color. Dutifully, the man with the yellow armband removes his cap and leaves the field. A few more shots, and soon the referee who is observing us calls out “Endex!” This is a command to cease, clear our weapons and bring it all in to see our commander.

Our team had set up two listening posts, both of which were able to stay largely concealed until the advancing elements had come into easy range of being assaulted. I did not observe those movements, being in the reserve element securing the objective, but I understand the clobbering was pretty bad for the other side.

After a lunch of Meals Ready to Eat, we are back in the field, this time maneuvering through wooded terrain. This time the clobbering was ours to receive as our platoon, split into three elements, were pinned down. We were wiped out as we fumbled a simple road crossing. Someone had a 50 cal they were touching off, and the umpires recognized the mercilessness of that gun. I lost contact with all three leaders in our unit and had no idea what to do. Even though I could see movement along a fenceline, I did not feel free to reveal my position, and my one shooter had a rifle jam. My team is further decimated retreating. Our unit was completely unable to move a meaningful support force, pinned down as we were. We were attritted down to a broken force.

The final engagement was a bit more even. We thought we were being thrown into an ambush, but in the “fog of war” we were able to give as good as we got.

Hot, soaked in sweat and a bit sunburned, nevertheless I found being a grunt engaging, if not fun. The day passed quickly enough. The old farts in the group were able to more or less keep up. I managed to keep my chow down despite doing a few wind sprints (OK who am I kidding, I was doing “breeze sprints.”) The youngsters looked to have a grand time working through the terrain and clashing. Even a middle-aged woman, a compact lady with a merry heart, kept up with the rest of the grunts while lugging a Mini 14 rifle.

Chow, a meal rendered magnificent by both our exertion and the exceptional efforts by our mess team, is pork steak, a massive baked potato and beans. My new battle buddy J thoughtfully grabs my camp chair and puts it near a table and we eat. I tuck in slowly, my fatigue catching up to me, but the tastiness of the meal induces me to eat almost all of it. Any army’s stomach could do worse than the men running mess for the Missouri Militia. I learned that Missouri Militia planning and training starts with meals, and their goal is to be able to support a both a Militia unit deployed in a disaster and a large body of others.

Our team is back out in the field by 10:00 PM, navigating in the dark by compass, finding tent stakes driven in the cow pasture by following an azimuth and counting paces. Our little group does well, each of us taking turns shooting the azimuth while Lt. H, whose pace count proves to be EXTREMELY accurate, steps off the distances. In both the Boy Scouts and in the Army, I have been given instruction on land navigation (the Scouts called it “Orienteering”) but I never did quite “get” it. Watching it done so seamlessly was very interesting and well worth the effort.

I had guard duty from 12:00 to 1:00, so I took in a 30 minute nap. I walked my post, and an hour later, I collapsed into my cot, resting a little better than the night before.

Sore and tired the next morning, light PT worked out a few kinks. Chow was followed by a brief religious service that was offered, but not mandatory. Prayer was offered at each meal, and morning formations included prayers for peace, safety and camaraderie. The only mandatory gestures of reverence were the removal of caps during communal prayer, but those gathered at the JTX were all familiar and comfortable with the traditions of Christianity. One need not be a Christian to be in the Missouri Militia, but if one is actively hostile to traditional expressions of Christian faith, they might find themselves vexed.


Shortly afterward we had hand to hand training. We men of a certain age paired up and grappled like little old ladies, practicing moves at “demonstration speed”, judiciously avoiding hurting one another. The younger guys and some older guys in better shape than I wrestle like tiger cubs. It was actually fun to watch. The instructors were from Illinois, and proved to be patient, pleasant and above all, grown-up.

Overall, that is how I would describe the whole experience. The Missouri Militia is run by grown-ups. Nobody is posing, flexing or fronting. Some are bearded, but I met no one seeking “the bubble reputation.” From the commanding officer Colonel S down to the the lowest squaddie, folks are grown-up about being a militia.

People who have not been in a “disciplined” organization like the military or the Scouts may not fully appreciate what discipline in this context means. Discipline is power under control. Discipline is an answer to chaos. A culture of good discipline actually liberates the participants in that culture from the headaches and drama brought about by people thoughtlessly pursuing their own gripes and agendas.


I am reminded of a revealing incident. After our final force on force engagement we were ordered back to camp. As we marched, I noticed that my team was chatting enthusiastically about the simulated fight. I turned back to the column and said “We are still outside the FOB, let’s maintain noise discipline until we are safely back inside the wire.” It was a small thing. We are in a cow pasture for Pete’s sake, but then again, we were here to practice being a combat unit. I was curious how they would respond. Rather than rolled eyes and snickers, everyone acknowledged the “order” and immediately fell silent. That’s what I mean by grown-up. They had invested the time and effort to gather together and train, and were willing to do so even to the last fiddling detail.

Conversations with members and leaders paint a picture of a militia focused on “training trainers”, to produce leaders who could be ready to support their neighborhood in time of trouble. In my neighborhood are at least a half dozen good men with stout hearts whom I know I could rely upon in a disaster, but I do not know what their competencies are. If there were an emergency, who would fill in the gaps of their knowledge? Among the goals of the FTX was to give each member the knowledge to in turn bring a neighbor or group of neighbors up to speed on things like clearing out a house looking for survivors, or basic first aid. In the great flood of 1993, a single 18 year old kid in ROTC was able to direct the work of building a sandbag dyke in a threatened subdivision. I naturally reported to him and got to work. One need not get into fight with the Feds to see the value of a well-regulated group of men and women. Once upon a time, we called it civil defense.


I have to admit that I felt a bit ridiculous slogging around a cow pasture toting a rifle wearing fatigues that were designed before the collapse of the Soviet Union. I am also chagrined that I feel we actually need a militia for reasons beyond civil defense. I am old, and out of shape. Candidly, I did my time in uniform. It pisses me off that I feel that such a militia is necessary, like chafing at the cost of insurance. One only really appreciates insurance in the event of a loss.

We have a wonderful country, and a wonderful way of life if we choose to embrace it. The freedom we enjoy in this country is rare within the warp and weave of human history. Quite the contrary, it seems we humans will choose tyranny and misery 99 times out of 100 over making the effort of ordered liberty. Our “leave it to the professionals” method of civil defense and protection of liberties has not worked out as hoped.

The common culture has little respect for organizations like the Militia. I feel like admitting I went to a two-day militia training event is a lot like admitting I went to a strip club. Hollywood would readily make a man like Colonel S the villain in a movie even though he and the rest of the cadre are quite decent, the kind of folk who are good friends and neighbors. They carry within their heads useful, practical skills and in their hearts a willingness to serve their community.

Football, baseball and basketball teams all suit up to look alike and train to do tasks together. We accept that teamwork and sportsmanship are valuable. The Boy Scouts are styled after the military, and Scouts pursue skills and knowledge useful in life. Being a Boy Scout made me a better soldier. That a militia member wears a uniform is not necessarily any more odd than a uniform being worn by a soccer player.

A well regulated militia is necessary for a free state. Even though the numbers are small, there is great potential for good in the Missouri Militia in a time of crisis. I think they can be effective well beyond their weight class. By my estimation, my home state indeed has a well regulated militia, as does Illinois. Good men and women of Missouri and Illinois need not be shy in taking part.

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  1. I appreciate strength in numbers and all but I am most effective alone. Harder to find + I don’t trust people easily.

    • I must agree with you almost 100%. However I would rather be with a small team 4-6 men for cover and support. However if need be I can do just as much alone. Or almost as much, depending on load out and such.

      • Lone wolves, small isolated teams, and large organized units are all equally important. Go with what suits your abilities best.

        • Lone wolf is an interesting term when you consider how helpless a wolf is without a pack.

          Then again it is a really cool term so I will gladly adopt it even if it is illogical.

        • That…That sounds even more badass.

          “lone wolf” or “millitia of one”? 1st world problems indeed. I can probably use both, just alternate every other time.

    • I can understand your reluctance. If I understand the mission of the Missouri Militia, it is in part to give a guy like you training, and then you muster your own squad in a time of crisis among men and women you do trust. Who knows, you may become a warlord some day…a one-eyed man in a blind world and all.

      • Forgot to mention:

        My reluctance to trust others with my life stems from personal issues – not tactics. Humans are pack animals and we work better that way. What I am saying is that I am at a disadvantage. Sooner or later you have to let your guard down (sleeping, peeing, etc.) and then it is nice to have someone watch your back.

        Also, do you pay for this training? Even if it costs I would recommend it, that and going hunting with someone experienced (especially forest rangers). You learn a lot of useful/important things that way.

      • I was one of the guys laying in cowpaties and nettles, I can tell you this man speaks the truth about his experience over the weekend at JTX, Tim’s insight into our militia is perfect.

  2. Now that is in the true spirit, and in the real meaning, of “Well-regulated”. 😉

    Not that absolute garbage dialectic that the Statists are tossing around, as if it even means anything (which it doesn’t).

  3. Good article. Militia’s get a horrible representation in the news, and even within the gun world. Everybody has heard the labels that the MSM, SPLC,..ect has applied to them. I have found that it is in fact a very open and accepting world. I would in fact argue that militias are even more supportive of civil liberties, civil rights, and equality than the majority of the common population. Militias are driven by that freedom, and fully embrace it, and promote it. I have also been around some extremely competent militias that that could give any active duty unit a run for their money.

  4. Good article. Thanks for taking the time to go and the time to write about it. It’s a great example of government by the people.

  5. No, what the politicians, even the police, do is not legal; it’s just well camouflaged under the guise of legitimacy and yet violates every major tenet of what what our forefathers stood for.

    • Alas, “legal” is what the law allows. Moral is an entirely different matter. I think tyranny is, in part, when the immoral is legal.

  6. Honestly, I can see why the media casts such a poor light on militias. They lack goverment accountability (yeah like the government is ever really accountable for anything) & they are essentially doing what the National Guard should be doing (providing in state disaster relief and other missions at the request of the state Govenor.) So they scare most normal folks that have grown used to military power being a government held sword since around the time our state militias were last used in a war (the civil war I think… might be earlier). In the public’s mind militias are those weirdos out in the woods printing their own money training to take over the country or state when in reality most are becoming more like the group Mr. Mcknabb wrote about. Oh and far as the military’s view on em well some just don’t like civvies musclin in on their turf, I won’t start to get leery of em till they get air support, armor, and artillery.

    • in reality most are becoming more like the group Mr. Mcknabb wrote about

      In the 1990s there was a full-on effort by the media to paint unorganized militias in a bad light. It’s not necessarily that they are becoming more like the group described. There were many units operating in a proper manner then; probably more good units than bad. But, just as with gun owners being smeared in media today, there was a huge effort to discredit citizen militias. Statists were trying to get around the first half of the Second Amendment because they were rightly concerned that militias posed an insurmountable barrier to their tyrannical intent.

    • I will have to somewhat disagree. We are accountable to the government. We obey the law just like everyone else. We also look to our state legislators and our respective sherrifs for leadership. One needs to understand just what a militia is and what it’s for. It’s not just to run around the woods prepping for SHTF but also to learn how to and aid your neighbor, community, and state on a local level. I know that everyone is always saying “that’s what the Nat. Guard is for” The guard is a federal force now, financed nearly entirely by the fed as was told to me by the State NG commander. There was militia a long time before the NG was created. Nothing against the NG, but militia can do a lot of good locally that doesn’t warrant a NG response. If there was a company of militia in each county that could be called upon by the sheriff or local entities (mayor,commissioner,etc) to help in a crisis, it could save a lot of time and money that the state wouldn’t have to come up with to pay for everything, plus you have local people trained, educated to help their neighbors out. It comes down to this, being reliant upon yourself and community, just like in earlier times, and yes, that does include military training as we are able to do it.. The last time the militia was called out for service was right after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the military wasn’t prepared. People were called upon to watch, and report for enemy activity as we didn’t know if the mainland was next on their list. Also from 1942-1947, Missouri brought back the State Guard for defense of the state and it’s defense facilities. If you would like to know more there is a museum in Pierce City,Missouri dedicated to the State Guard. I tell everyone that this is not something new, just forgotten.

  7. Thank you Tim McNabb for your well written article. I hope more people read it and understand that Milita is not a bad word. Civil Defense is essential with the government constantly proving it is not up to the task. When SHTF knowing your neighbors and working together is what will get you through.

  8. Weird. The only militia members I’ve ran across were the ones the author described at first. All hat and no horse. Or the crazies…ohhh man the crazies. I had a lady asking questions about the militia and wondering if she should get her horses ready for battle. Horses. Battle. Wow.

    • “Weird. The only militia members I’ve ran across were the ones the author described at first. All hat and no horse.”

      Keep looking. I did. Found a great bunch of people..

  9. I feel that paintball or airsoft would be a better simulation than ‘bang you’re dead’.

    • Yes and no. Neither paintball nor airsoft reach out to the kind of effective ranges of a rifle, so you’re not doing an effective simulation with those either. Probably pretty good for CQB though.

    • They did have some miles gear in the story which is ok, but if they could find and afford sim rounds, that’s as close as you can get.

    • Prior service Marine Corps here. About 90% of our force-on-force training was of the “bang you’re dead” variety. We never had MILES gear and the simmunition was for special occasions.

      • MILES is expensive and failure-prone. Bang-you-re-dead, with good Umpires, is still useful for learning movement and tactics, especially for teaching leaders how to move units.

        I really need to get my ass in shape too – it’s only been 12 years since I was a Reservist, and yet I know that any real training would leave me a seriously hurting unit.

    • I was an Engineer in the Army (ESSAYONS!) so, we did not even do much Bang Your Dead. We did blow shit up, and build barbed wire fences and such, but not much force on force.

    • I actually wonder how hard it would be to rig up a laser-based hit detection system out of readily available components. Lasers, even powerful ones, are much cheaper now. I doubt that the usual laser boresight is powerful enough, but it could be used as a base.

  10. Thank you for that excellent article. It was well written and informative. I remember having similar experiences in the 1990s. It seemed like the media went out of its way during that time period to demonize and ridicule unorganized militias. A well regulated militia is indeed necessary to the security of a free state.

    As a side note to 1990s history, most involved were convinced that domestic strife was imminent so we were always loaded up with live ammunition. IMHO, our training would’ve been more effective with blanks and such. However, with having militia units raided by feds, events like Ruby Ridge and Waco happening, most of us were reluctant to be disarmed at any time.

  11. . I joined the southern California state militia about 6 months ago.(at 35), and its like playing army.. yes weekend warrior stuff, I didn’t get to join the army (collapsed lung) so this is fun for me, learning new things and meeting like minded. im not a nut job., I fix copy machines, but when the big earthquake happens I will have the skills to help my neighbors that I learned with the local militia. this is strictly volunteer and self funded. last month a retired army maj. teaching a class, dr. and nurses and combat medics teaching life saving skills, learning repelling from a 25 year search and rescue instructor. if you want to learn new things and meet some lifelong new friends I recommend you give it a try.

  12. At this point in time, the militias are not large or well organized on any scale. As things deteriorate, they will become larger and be taken more seriously. I think more ex-military and military defectors will be swelling the ranks as things become more serious. I really do hope that the statists are left with a hobbled or dysfunctional military remaining loyal to their cause.

    • You make a really good point. There is allot of good people, leaders, and militias in general, but I’d really like to see allot more communication and unity between them.

  13. A teacher of mine that served in WW II talked about being the teen age leader of forty other boys training as militia back east; with uniforms they made themselves, training in marching, maneuvers, combat field exercises, using live ammo in their rifle during marksmen ship training.

    Then they marched in formation in front of the whole town with the mayor and other town officials in attendance.

    How times have changed; and not much for the better.

    • In our not-so-distant past, there were lots of paramilitary organizations that trained and drilled. The Civil Air Patrol was around when I was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood. There are other organizations, such as One Shepherd (at least two of the young men I ran into were alumnus) and the Project Appleseed which focuses on marksmanship and history.

      • ” The Civil Air Patrol was around when I was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood.”

        The C.A.P. is still very much around. Search and Rescue is one of their primary gigs.

        “In emergency services and operations we not only need aircrew members, but also ground team members to aid in the rescue of survivors or to assess damage after a disaster. CAP needs communications personnel to relay critical messages when there is limited or no telephone support. Administrative staff, financial managers, logistics and supply personnel are needed to document missions and get personnel critical supplies and equipment in the field that they need to conduct missions.”

    • My uncle, my dad’s baby brother, was in HS during WWII. He was in a JROTC program that would have had him commissioned on graduation. In June of 1944, after his junior year, the Army decided they needed enlisted soldiers more than they needed JO’s, so they inducted him at 17 and sent him to France. He served with the Timberwolves, the Army’s first night fighters.

      He was badly wounded in early April 1945 and sent to England to recover. Just as he was about to return to the front VE Day occured. Instead of going back to the front they gave him a month’s leave back to his home in Salem MA. From there he was to report to CA to train for the invasion of Japan. They gave my father the same leave so they could see each other.

      My dad was stateside. As far as his family knew, he was guarding German POW’s in Virginia. He had graduated Northeastern in May 1944 with a degree in chemistry before enlisting. (He tried to enlist after graduating HS, but with the US not in the war yet and his 20/80 vision, the Army wouldn’t take him.) What he was actually doing was enriching uranium at Oak Ridge. In January he was transfered to Los Alamos, and spent the rest ot the war purifying plutonium. At Los Alamos he worked under the direction of Dr. Glen Seborg, the discoverer of plutonium and many later-discovered trans-uranium elements, and for whom element 106 – Seborgium – is named.

      So my dad and his baby brother met is Salem. My uncle was very worried about getting killed in the invasion of Japan. My dad said, “Steve, I can’t tell you what I am doing, but I’ll bet you $5 that you’ll be home by Thanksgiving.

      Not yet 21, my uncle, who had been awarded three Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts, an E7, made it home with three days to spare. He said it was the best $5 he ever lost.

  14. News flash… There is no part of the Constitution safe from compelling government interests and/or justifiable need.

  15. I remember seeing a 60 Minutes story on The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA). It left me with a very bad impression of people running around int he woods in camouflage gear. This was also long before I became aware of how the news media distorted things. The CSA may have been white supremacist assholes, but I am not willing to take 60 Minute’s word on it (or Wikipedia, for that matter).

    While stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood I had a roommate who was hooked up with a bunch of white supremacists. We talked about it in context of our shared Christian faith. I convinced him that racism was incompatible with Christianity, but I wonder if he fell back in with that crowd when he got out.

  16. I am glad you mentioned the religious subtext.

    I find the prayers off-putting when I go to public events that have “voluntary” public prayers. I never let on that it’s annoying. But I think the dominance of in-your-face christianity in the preparedness movement is an ominous sign for this country’s future.

    • “But I think the dominance of in-your-face christianity in the preparedness movement is an ominous sign for this country’s future.”

      Respectfully, the entire concept of constitutional governanace comes from congregational churches that fighred out they can manage their own affairs withut an overweening church heirarchy.

      I say make common cause with Christians who seek limited government, and after we win, hash out your differences.

      • Respectfully, I will avoid joining the MO militia until they respect my 1st Amendment rights.

      • “Respectfully, I will avoid joining the MO militia until they respect my 1st Amendment rights.”

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        I am not sure how what I reported at this JTX would have been some kind of violation of your 1st amendment rights, but I think finding another group for you to join is a sound plan.

        • Nothing is infringing on the freedom of religion, as they are not a government institution.

          Nevertheless, things like “Ramadan ham” should not be a part of it.

        • “Ramadan ham should not be a part of it.”

          Agreed. While it’s human nature to have, and express, opinions about others and it’s not helpful to be puritanical about tolerance, the best people in our history have made the effort to reach out to others and learn from them. For example, there are few people in the modern world more used to running their own community affairs without the help of a central government than middle eastern muslims. Someone with recent experience living in e.g. southern Lebanon would have a lot to teach us about local control and community governance.

        • To your point about “Ramadan Ham.” On on hand, I think it is important to be polite to people of different faiths. The Gospel is not served by being a jerk. On the other, Islam is not simply another religion among many. It is a political as well as a spiritual thing, and its most vocal adherents are not interested whatsoever in getting along peacefully with their neighbors. I have a baseline of tolerance that I need to build into being a citizen in a pluralistic society, but they need to meet me at least a fourth of the way.

          “Moderate” Muslims need to own the fact that their faith is in dire need of some sort of reformation, and extending them courtesy they have not earned may extend the time until they take control of their faith and weed out the nutjobs.

    • “But I think the dominance of in-your-face christianity in the preparedness movement is an ominous sign for this country’s future.”

      By all means enlighten us with examples of this in-your-face dominance and compare/contrast to the first 200 years.

      I’m pretty sure in response I can give an un-ending stream of the diminished position of religion in all aspects of this country and their subsequent ill-effects.

      • I do not mean to be impolite, but there are some of my fellow citizens who think the first amendment includes freedom from religion. The worst are hostile to faith itself and feel compelled to whip out a stick and drive the faithful into the closet so they can enjoy an expression-of-faith free world, as if the faithful have no social value.

        Many libertarians are like this – we are natural allies (though I am not a fan of the whole hookers and pot brand of libertarianism) but they bristle at the faithful, as if inside each and every MethoBapterian is a Thomas of Torquemada waiting to fire up the red-hot pokers and force them to pray to Mary.

        People are in far more danger of economic depravation and reeducation camps from Statists than from aggressive proselytizing from someone like me in a free republic.

        • I disagree. Completely. First, I believe the idea of “freedom from religion” comes from the USSC. But mostly, as you proclaim me some manner of extremist, I gather, I’d like you to understand that shortly before I retired from the US Air Force in 1991, after participation in 3 wars, I was ORDERED to take part in public prayer, and when I and others objected (a Jew and a Hindu objecting because the prayer was Christian, an atheist because it was a prayer to abject ignorance), we were told to shut up and sit down. THAT is”in-your-face”.

        • “…after participation in 3 wars, I was ORDERED to take part in public prayer, and when I and others objected (a Jew and a Hindu objecting because the prayer was Christian, an atheist because it was a prayer to abject ignorance), we were told to shut up and sit down. ”

          Well, this ain’t the Air Force. For my part, I would never order someone to participate in what is essentially an act of worship, though I do not think it is too much to ask someone to just be polite and quiet for three minutes while we primitives pray to our crazy sky-God. It’s not like you were asked to be the main event at a bris.

      • I grew up Jewish in a part of Canada that was still quite true to its Scots-Presbyterian roots, and I actually find the presence of a few common Christian prayers to be rather welcoming and familiar – I guess it feels like home to me. Nobody should ever be forced or “encouraged” to pray against their wishes, but I do find it offensive how some folks they have the right to always be free of the sight of OTHER PEOPLE expressing their own religious beliefs. America has been more welcoming, on a sustained basis, to people of different faiths than any other major nation in history. Catholics (once a disfavored minority), Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims have all prospered in America, and it’s insulting and historically wrong to ignore the role that Christian faith played in shaping the America that allowed that to happen.

  17. Great story, I’m glad you found your state milita and that you joined it. I live in one of the toughest gun control states in the nation, CA, but despite that, we have a very “well regulated” militia that I joined a year ago. I came in a novice, never served in the armed forces before, but as of recent years, I had started reading the constitution and kept seeing the word “militia” and wondered, where are the militia of the states today? So I went on google and found the California State Militia, I filled out the contact form, attended a meet and greet and after that an FTX and I was hooked. I went from Recruit to PVT in my first 2 months, then PFC 5 months later and a year after I joined, I earned the rank of SPC. I love every minute of it, I try to get the word out to as many as possible and help people see that the militia of the state is not a bad thing, it is more of a civic duty than anything and I am proud to be part of it. I see the constitutional militias across the country growing very rapidly lately and it is a great thing to see. Keep up the good work and if anybody reading this is in CA, log on to and join today!

  18. Sensible-minded militia-type people, IMO, aren’t so much trying to be soldiers as just seeking to be prepared as citizens in case a SHTF scenario happens, that could involve anything from maintaining order in the community from say rogue gangs and posses if the police and/or military are unable to, to survival, to basic medical skills, etc…such a militia person should be familiar with certain basic soldiering skills, but militia are needed for a secure state for more reasons than just threat of tyranny. You’ll know you’ve prepared well if a real SHTF situation happens and you and your fellow militia members are the folks everyone is turning to for help.

    IMO, good soldiers should not use fancy equipment for their initial training. You learn to shoot a rifle the old-fashioned way, without any scopes, and get proficient in that manner. Learn wilderness survival without any of the fancy equipment. How to start fires with just what the woods have, hand drill, bow drill, pump drill, and fire plow. Learn how to start and maintain fires in the cold. Learn how to build basic shelters. Learn how to make primitive stone tools. Learn what plants can be used for food, medicine, etc…and of course, learn land navigation and basic medical skills too. All the fancy stuff can come for later to make things easier.

    And PHYSICAL FITNESS. I don’t know how anybody could ever expect to be part of a serious militia group and not be at least somewhat physically fit. What if an EMP attack happens and your car won’t start and you have to walk the forty miles back home? All your fancy survival gear won’t mean anything if you can’t even get to it. Serious soldier fitness should include the following for the 20 – 40 crowd, can be eased up for older people.

    Running: Be capable of running five miles in 40 minutes

    Ruck marching: For ruck marching for Special Forces (Green Beret) level, be capable of marching 20 miles straight with a minimum of 70 lbs in the ruck

    Bench Press: Minimum 10-12 repetitions of bench pressing your own bodyweight (you need a minimum of such strength in case you need to carry someone to safety)

    Barbell Squat Barbell squat your own bodyweight for at least five repetitions, preferable 10-12

    Deadlift Deadlift your bodyweight for at least five repetitions, preferably 10-12

    Pushups: Minimum of forty in two minutes, preferably be able to knock out 50 straight

    Pullups: Minimum of ten straight, preferably 20 (and real pullups, where your palms face away from you, like you’d do to pull yourself up over a fence, and where you lower your arms to lockout and don’t swing your body into the movement)

    Situps: Minimum 50 in two minutes, preferably 50 straight at least

    Kip-Ups: Minimum 12 straight (kip-ups are where you place yourself under a bar in a parallel manner; if facing left, place your left hand with palm facing to your right above you and grip the bar with hand in front of you, and place your right hand above you with palm facing left and grip the bar with hand behind you; with your feet together and legs straight, raise your legs up to the bar, then lower down). Do six facing left and six facing right.

    Burpees If you wish to be hardcore, you can include burpees. Just Google these. They will prepare you for torture 😀

    Also practice sprints with the rifle (make sure to sprint with the rifle pointed down). Learn how to crawl forward with the rifle pointing forward too, so you don’t have a negligent discharge and hit the guy on the side.

    • On the minimum of such strength to carry someone to safety, I meant that more for the barbell squats, not the bench press.

    • Kyle, I am with you on this. I had made it to the point I could pass the APRT for my age group, but I am well out of that conditioning level. Too many MAEs (Meals Already Eaten).

      • So long as your heart and so forth are in decent condition, just a matter of gradually working yourself back into basic shape. Work out a regular exercise routine and try to stick with it.

    • While I am a huge proponent of Physical Readiness Training, I am also mindful that Militia are Volunteer Defensive Troops.

      In keeping with the Guidelines provided by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution, minimum PRT’s for Militia are overboard as a set of qualifications.

      Everyone has a place within a Constitutional, 100% Legal and Legit, Organized Militia.

      Chief Water Tactics Operator
      Illinois State Militia

      • Mark,

        I see where you’re coming from, in that EVERYONE has duties and obligations. I’m a volunteer firefighter in a rural county – it’s like a little militia with no guns (issued, that is) and a more specific set of goals.
        We have no physical requirements. Some people are… Well, let’s just say that when I joined I got the very smallest pair of bunker pants available. It will fit over me, my Glock 17 in a retention holster, spare mag, and radio, and have LOTS of room to spare.
        Some of our guys can’t conduct some firefighting operations – they are too rotund.

        I like the way they were starting to do it in New England at the start of our war for Independence. There were three bodies to some militias. There was the main body, there were the minute men who had much higher standards, and then you had the old guys who formed the last emergency reserve and would serve as a home-guard.
        Everybody has duties – but not everyone is physically qualified to perform all types of duties. I would not let fat, out of shape, people into combat (like if the Reds invade) if I had a choice. They are not just putting their own lives at risk, but the lives of everyone around them. If they want to think they are combat ready they need to get into some other shape first, and they shouldn’t be coddled in their fat lifestyle.
        Otherwise they can make chow and perform other non-combat roles. If a man is crippled, or if there’s no-one else to do them, there’s no shame in these duties. But if he just won’t stop with the TV and Cheetos? Then I think a “sorry bud – no patrols for you until you can meet our fitness standards” is in order. And I say this not as a muscle-hunk but as a guy that’s having to work at decent fitness because I’m behind.

  19. Interesting article, Tim.

    I considered this group but, honestly, there was the distinct whiff of the “out there” about it that didn’t appeal to me. Glad you enjoyed it though.

    You should spend some more time out at Asymmetric Solutions, great training, covesr all the field craft, shooting and martial art skills you mentioned, all you could want, and it sure is fun shooting and blowing stuff up out there.

    • Lots of guys at the JTX spoke well of Asymmetric. I also spoke of my experience there. Ping me next time you plan on going down and I will do my best to make it.

      I imagine in any group you get some people who are “out there” but I am pretty easygoing and tend to overlook people’s foibles. I have a 20% rule. I assume that 20% of what people say and do are going to piss me off, so I figure that if they are below that threshold, I will just let it ride.

      • @Tim:

        Headed out in about thirty minutes for tactical shotgun, in fact, today.

        Check out their new course offerings, your militia buddies, I think, would be particularly interested in the new series of classes on land/urban warfare classes (three of them). We also have the AK Operator class being offered again, which was really fun. Maybe you might light to take that one.

        You may have to put up with day-long insulting remarks about the AK, the instructor got shot three different times with a bullet from an AK and so he kind of holds that against them. Go figure, huh? (John W.)

        Glad to hear of your good experiences, you are a brave man pounding the ground in July in BDUs for a long weekend.

        Here’s a link to their courses, by the way, if you want to take a closer look:

      • Brave, dumb – you choose.

        Well, I will admit to having a good deal of stamina. I am pretty stoic. I’ve never fallen out of a run or a march. I just need to back off the cupcakes and hit the gym.

  20. Neat article, however, i dont think i would personally join a militia. I have a pretty solid core group of friends who id rather rely on in an emergency situation

    • In my state, I already am a militiaman by statute, though things would have to be pretty dire to get mustered. That said, even with extensive experience both as an outdoorsman and having been trained as a soldier, I learned a good deal form the experience.

      I do not think the primary benefit of a well regulated militia is having reliable friends, it is in getting reliable training that you can share with your friends.

      My plan is to see who in my neighborhood is interested in learning some of these skills too, and see how I might share it with them against a time when we might need it.

      • The fact that your a militia man by statute in MO makes me curious about the laws in AZ. Based off your article it seemed that there were giys teaching skills your pretty likely to use (like first aid) and guys teaching less likely skills to use such as small unit tactics. And as was mentioned, if this helps people get more active and in shape im all for it.

        As for networking with your neighbors thats a great idea. Im not nessescarily talking about WROL, but lets say theres a bad storm, having an human network is a great idea. Its good too because now you an provide security for yourselves and help with relief efforts.

        • FWIW, every male of the right age in this country is a militia man by statute on the Federal level:

          “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

          (note that this even includes non-citizen green card holders who declared the intent to become citizens)

          Many states have similar provisions on state level. For example, in Washington:

          “The militia of the state of Washington shall consist of all able bodied citizens of the United States and all other able bodied persons who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, residing within this state, who shall be more than eighteen years of age, and shall include all persons who are members of the national guard and the state guard, and said militia shall be divided into two classes, the organized militia and the unorganized militia.”

          And yes, Arizona has it, too:

          “The militia of the state of Arizona consists of all able bodied citizens of the state between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years and all residents of the state between such ages who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, except:

          1. Persons exempted by the laws of the state or the United States.
          2. Persons with a serious mental illness, totally blind persons and persons convicted of infamous crimes.
          3. Judges and clerks of courts of record.
          4. State and county civil officers holding office by election, and members of the legislature.
          5. Members of the clergy. “

  21. I hesitate to openly participate in militia training because of government infiltration.

      • Tim, the nuts don’t concern me. Problem is the government thinks we’re all nuts and that concerns me. They tend to use a pretty broad brush. Few in government are as candid as Andrew Cuomo but I’m pretty sure most share his opinions about limited government constitutionalist, liberty loving Americans and valid or not that’s how the government has painted militia groups in my opinion. Just saying. They may know who I am but no sense in making it too easy for them.

      • “Tim, the nuts don’t concern me. Problem is the government thinks we’re all nuts and that concerns me. They tend to use a pretty broad brush.”

        Indeed – but so long as all they do is THINK about you being a nut, that is fine. When the government decides to DO something about the nuts, that’s when having well trained friends might come in handy. If they come to get the militia, they will eventually make their way to you. I think you are better off in a herd.

      • Tim, THAT is the truth. The excuse that the gubt will see you has gone out the window since Saint Snowden (as he should be known forever.) The gubt is ALREADY watching you. Which is part of why I didn’t hesitate to buy an SBR and silencer. It doesn’t matter.

      • Tim, great article (again). Haven’t read all of the comments, but what was the cost to participate?

  22. Tim McNabb,do you have a blog or where else can I ‘follow’ you? I appreciate your insight and experience and would like to learn more from you. This article was very well written. Thank you!

      • Hey Tim,thanks to your great article about your experience with the Missouri Militia FTX-I have since found and joined Wisconsin Constitutional Militia! Met so many great people so far! Just wanted to thank you again for your great article…it made a difference in my life and will have a ripple effect here on out! God bless you!

        In Liberty,
        Deb Dodson

  23. i’m protesting the age limit,,i’m 72, retired military, and can still move about.. don’t have to worry about me running–have arthritis n too slow..but am as sharp as ever with a weapon. also cooking. 🙂

    • Brother, if your index finger still works, I am sure the MO 3/2 will find a slot for you. The age limits mean nobody can require you to mobilize.

      • Yep. The spirit of the age requirements, AFAIK, are about obligation and not volunteering. We welcomed adults of all ages in our units. Sometimes, teenage boys trained alongside their dads, uncles, and (occasionally) grandfathers.

  24. Good article. Well written. Almost makes a militia sound attractive.

    The part about making fun of Muslims was covered. How about the other requirements: Hating Obama and wanting to shoot brown children on sight when they cross the Rio Grand? After all, for the 5-6 “militia” that are down around McAllen right now that’s the mantra.

    I’ve done disaster relief for years, for the Red Cross and for FEMA. If they actually incorporated some disaster relief training I could see it. But old white people getting together in the woods to shoot an imaginary “invader” … that’s the road to being justifiably labeled a domestic terrorist.

    • “How about the other requirements: Hating Obama and wanting to shoot brown children on sight when they cross the Rio Grand?”

      Look. There is no need to be nasty. Nobody I met struck me as the kind who would “shoot brown children.” I can only speak for myself, but I do not hate Obama though I loath his policies and I loathe the philosophy he represents.

      People who do not think those policies and philosophy pose an existential threat to the country should not join a Militia, or better yet, form a Red Brigade or something. But there is no need to accuse people you have never met, never talked to or spent any time with of being so awful as to murder children.

      • Perhaps the group that you hung with were more civilized. On the surface. It’s well documented that the ones that were in Laredo a few days ago were going to threaten children at gunpoint.

        And then there is that requirement for hating Obama. That’s pretty consistent.

      • John, my big point is to call you out for making sweeping ugly statements about your fellow citizens without so much as speaking to one of them or taking the measure of their character.

        It is perfectly legitimate to look at a persons’ actions and critique them. It is perfectly legitimate to listen to statements and critique them as well. But to make assumptions about a person’s character (and groups are made up of persons) like that is just prejudice.

        On the topics for which you offer your slur, the President and the current influx if illegal aliens, nothing I reported shows these men and women to be anything but citizens who believe in constitutional government and secure borders. You should be ashamed of yourself for your slander.

        A good man would reflect on this and apologize.

        • As a left-wing extremist, there are many things John G and his ilk should be ashamed of. No idea why he bothers to post here other than to troll. If it is to show everyone he is a slavish Obama lover, mission accomplished.

          • To keep a balance and to remind ultra-rightist Limbaugh-suckers like yourself that you are in the minority in this nation.

        • So, for everyone playing along with the home version, John was called out for his slanders, and responded with more slander. Way to keep it classy.

  25. Great article Tim,
    More in my E-mail 2 U.

    Guns & Constitution to live Safe & FREE !!

  26. I really injoyed reading this article ! I’ve wanted to join a militia but through looking some were a bit radical . Do you know of any in Tx that are in DFW area? Would be very interested in joining a group like your article

  27. I was already a member of the Missouri Militia being that I was an able-bodied citizen between the age of 18 and 64.

    What about those of us who have gimp parking hang tags and saw 64 some time ago, but who have useful skills? In my earlier life I was a gunsmith and still retain some knowledge thereof, and my marksmanship skills probably rate “reasonably competent.” I don’t think I’m above preparing chow, or any other task required, but sacro-lumbar injuries preclude hard labor.

    Better to perish in the fight for freedom than live to see defeat.

  28. The Self Defense and Hand to Hand Combat Training are available to Any Organized, 100% Legal and Legit, Constitutional Militia’s.

    Simply contact me… and we can make it happen!


    Chief Water Tactics Operator
    Illinois State Militia

  29. Tim, Thank you for an accurate report on our weekend…I enjoyed both the training and the well written expose on our JTX…I was so up lifted to find like minded souls standing together. Inspired by the younger men and women willing to invest time effort and funds in the cause of Liberty when and if needed. I was so proud to stand next to them only hopping there is something this old fart of a,” middle aged compact woman” as you put it has to offer. Skills that should have been learned in my youth. However every one counts. Being a little cocky at least I for sure kept up with the other old farts. If any thing at least I felt like one of them…As long as I am alive I will gain what ever knowledge is available to aid in the efforts of a Well Regulated Militia, I have the heart of a Warrior, The Spirit of Truth in me and a none quitting determination to stand for the nation I love under my God given rights…..Once again, Thank you for your gift of writing and voice. Militia Jane /as my ex is now calling me..LOL

    • Dear Militia Jane(lol)
      You sound like a kindred spirit and I’m wondering what state you reside in. I live in Wisconsin and haven’t met very many women like us. I haven’t checked out the Wisconsin Militia yet but I’m inspired to do so after reading Tim’s article.I was also inspired by your comments to Tim’s article.write me back if you have the time or inclination,if not I understand, life is busy.

      In Liberty-Deb Dodson

  30. Very good Report of a Active Militia, I remember the Militia of the 1990″s and it was a train wreck, I was active for about a year, and after Things cooled down, it looked like it ran out of steam, and every Unit was Infiltrated with a Fed..Things have actually gotten worse, but the Militia has gotten Better, I am past the Stated age for Deployment, but my Marine Corp Training could be Put to Use to Train others!!!

    Semper Fi

  31. Very nice article, I can vouch for the IL State Militia that everyone there are great men and women wanting to support and defend our communitues in a time of need. The militia is indeed the people themselves and the IL State Militia thanks you for this great article.

  32. I am in the process of joining the Missouri Militia – I’ve only been to one training and I’m slowly buying gear, piece by piece.

    Contrary to the implications of some disparaging comments above, the Missouri militia is not a cabal of right wing kooks. Many, probably most, are of a conservative bent but there are those who are not – Myself, I’m not comfortable with either major party and only partly comfortable with Libertarianism, and I know a number of other folks who lean a little more to the left.

    Anyway, if people think they’d like to join and then don’t because they don’t see people like themselves… well, why would you expect to see people like yourselves if you all refuse to join in the first place?

    But there may be people like you – I’m not Christian and I don’t fit the conservative mold in any way really EXCEPT for my view of the 2nd amendment. Even so, I’ve never been made to feel unwelcome. Some people express views I don’t necessarily agree with, and I can do the same – at the end of the day that doesn’t make us enemies, incapable of working together as a team, for community and common goals.

    The Ramadan Ham I felt was a poor joke and I probably would asked when where they were keeping the Baptist whiskey, but it would not have been a reason to write the whole group off.

    As for Texas – Texas isn’t Missouri.

    I wasn’t at JTX, because I didn’t have the time and money to make it – but I hope to be, next year.

    And yeah, I’m an old (I guess, I’m 42) fat white guy. So? I’m working on the weight problem, but there’s not a lot I can do about the rest.

  33. Very good article Tim! You know you are welcome to come back to Missouri anytime you like to train or visit with us!!

    Sgt. Mathew Morgan Missouri Mitilia 4/8.

  34. I can vouch for everything that was in this article. In 2010 I had the opportunity to attend a JTX with Missouri Militia. I was with LTR and pregnant at the time. They were amazing. I always felt included and respected. I learned medical skills that I probably would have never had the chance to learn otherwise.

    I’m with the OKDF now, and originally we were supposed to attend this JTX that was described, but we had things come up. I’m glad to see that MO Militia is still the great group that they were when I knew them.

    As for religion. I’m Pagan. Never once was that a problem with Missouri Militia. How hard is it to say a prayer to your own deity at the same time, or just remain silent if you’re atheist?

    • Exactly my point. I lived in Indonesia, and while I am not a Muslim, it would not have occurred to me to demand that I be protected from the daily calls to prayer.

  35. Bundy isn’t on the wrong side of the law, just so y’all know. He is violating unconstitutional statutes regarding those fees. Also, the BLM is an unlawful agency, just as 90% of the federal agencies are also. The Constitution has the Law on the issue relating to the land issues & Bundy is innocent for not obeying unlawful statutes. The states are (have been) in bed with the feds and have essentially given up their sovereignty for a criminal conspiracy to defraud the American people and overthrow the Republic of this Country as well as our Constitution, because they have no real interest in obeying the Constitution/Bill of Rights, they do not exercise it and have turned their backs on us, far before the Bundy issue came up. Good article overall.

    “Article One, Section 8, Clause 17, offers the only provision in the Federal Constitution for federal ownership of land. This allows for an area less than 10 miles square called the District of Columbia. All other federal land must be purchased with “…the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.” Conservation of wild-life is not mentioned. The 14th amendment states that all powers not specifically mentioned by the Federal constitution belong to the states. The Western States must assert their property rights! Wyoming, Nevada and Utah in particular are facing and all out Federal take over. The BLM is determined to halt the use of any natural resources by the people and hoard them all for the friends of the elite. These states have more justification to rebel against the empire than the 13 original colonies did in 1776.”