Gear, Fitness, Organization & Current Situation: Tying in Interrelated Concepts.
This will be a wide ranging post in an attempt to tie in some interrelated topics. It’s been a while since I posted opinion, but here we go.
I have made many a post about the ‘Lite Fight’ concept. The purpose of the Lite Fight concept is to be as deliberately light as possible in the gear that you carry. However, there are nuances to this: although I talk about ‘light’ it isn’t really so. The purpose of the lite fight concept is to not carry more than you need, but at the same time you must carry what you need for the fight. Thus, a basic combat load based around a plate carrier and battle belt with all the items that you need to fight the battle as ‘first line scales.’ Bottom line, that isn’t light. Thus, I’m not supporting the ‘tacticool’ guys who you see wearing a plate carrier with three mags on the front, and that is it. That’s great for flat range posing, but it doesn’t equate to ‘first line scales’ for an infantryman. A light infantryman is indeed what you need to be, however unpopular that opinion is – it doesn’t matter if you see yourself as an irregular fighter or some such, the concepts and basics are the same.
What I do see are guys planning to carry rucks, talking about bug out bags, and similar stuff. I don’t think that is what we will face, and I’ll elaborate on that below. Given a ‘lite fight’ load, which in itself is not light, and adding a large daypack or ruck to it, immediately causes you problems. The most I would consider is a small daypack with some essentials in – probably mainly water and night vision for starters. You might be thinking about rucking in as an approach march to a patrol base? Why? Under what circumstances? What will happen is that you will be exhausted. I will, sadly, talk about fitness also below. This will make you complacent in terms of route selection. If you do run into contact, you will be slow to react and take cover, you will have to dump the ruck, and thus you will lose all your gear. We also face heat and humidity over the summer months that will paralyze you if not prepared or carrying too much without the right amount of fitness preparation. There are ways you can logistically support an operation without weighing down the guys with loads that will degrade their combat effectiveness, such as the use of vehicles whether that be trucks or ATV/UTV. Also, given a real combat operation, such vehicles will be used for ammunition forward (to supplement the first line scales via resupply) and casualties to the rear. But that requires a level of organization, and probably a command cell / QRF, that is well beyond where we are right now.
Do I remember carrying rucks and large loads while in the infantry? Of course I do. But my fitness was top notch, and I had the ability to recover, because I was young. Just like you, you probably aren’t young anymore, and you probably don’t have the required fitness levels anyway (even if you are still young, but not in an operational infantry unit, where it is part of your job). The last thing we want is guys rolling around gasping for breath because of too much gear.
Yet, having said that, why would I advocate for the wearing of plate carriers? Don’t those weigh a lot and prevent cooling? I do sell lightweight but effective ShotStop plates that allow me to wear front, back and side plates for the same weight penalty of a single ESAPI issue plate. But even that isn’t the point – the point is that your life, and that of your family, is precious. You don’t have an acceptable level of casualties that you can continue with and sustain operations. You are a small, probably family based, unit. Plates will not stop you getting killed or wounded, but they will significantly reduce the chance of penetrating trauma to the thoracic cavity (chest area: heart, great vessels, lungs etc.), which isn’t survivable.
To me, a plate carrier is vitally important. But this ties in with fitness (oh dear!). I wear my plate carrier (my whole setup) for PT, even in the summer. I also carry a 70lb sandbag on top of my tactical gear. I have posted about this. It’s also PT that works if you are older and injured, because there is no need to run on a ‘heavy carry’ (which will destroy your knees on the downhill – ask me how I know!). You get the PT benefit on the hills. Do hill reps. I can assure you that with this load, you will be breathing it in from Timbuktu even at the walk. If you live in a non-permissive environment, sadly you won’t be able to wear your gear, but you can get a weight vest, popularized by crossfit, that will achieve the same effect. You will find that even in the heat of summer (of course you will sweat – that’s not a reason to visit the doctor!) staying under the canopy helps a great deal, without spending time under direct sunlight. Also, for conducting operations, you do have night vision and will be conducting them at night, right?
There are several reasons for wearing your actual gear, if you can, for fitness training. It allows you to get used to your gear and work on any issues that you find through sustained activity in that same gear. Any chafing or areas where the gear rubs or catches on any other part of it, and such like. Fitness training in itself is vital, and should have some aspect of cardio to it. Even if you like the strength training, rather than cardio, I would advocate (and do) sandbag training, which adds strength plus cardio to the activity. So I don’t just have my sandbag that I carry on the ‘walkaround’ training sessions that I do. I also have several weights of sandbags that I will use for static strength training. You have to consider that a light infantryman’s life (insert irregular fighter or whatever here) involves a lot of physical activity. When was the last time you dug a battle trench? Ever? I’m talking pick and shovel work. The ability to dig in itself is an important task, getting yourself below ground to protect from direct and indirect fire – and now we are seeing, with the special operation in Ukraine (full-on conventional war), the importance of being able to dig in as protection from artillery fire. Let’s not even raise the need for a fallout shelter, but if you do that ahead of time, you may be able to use machinery!
The main reason (putting aside specials tasks such as reconnaissance) where I would advocate not wearing a plate carrier if there is any chance that you may get into a kinetic fight, is simply if you don’t have the fitness for it. That’s a bit of a double whammy, really. But if you simply can’t move in plates (or you buy the wrong steel heavy plates) then you are best simply not wearing them. Understand that as a result of not doing the fitness, and thus not wearing the plates because you can’t, your survival chances just dipped. In modern combat you can be killed by a 12 year old – as much as you can reduce the chance by good training, there are just thousands of rounds flying about and if you can reduce your non-survivable / catastrophic injury potential it makes a lot of sense. In the community there is much romanticism and self-denial about irregular combat, much of it rooted in the desire to deny the need to get effectively trained for combat situations – because that will be hard, and there is fear of failure to deal with, after all. It all comes down to denial and normalcy bias that allows the justification to not get properly trained, and thus failure to invest in yourself, impacting your survivability and that of your family.
Tactical operations = cardio. To think otherwise, you are kidding yourself. If you have all the gear, but do a sedentary job and don’t do the fitness, you are kidding yourself. If you train, particularly in your gear, and stick to the lite fight concept, you will be better – I was going to say fine, but lets not be over-optimistic!
I haven’t mentioned helmets. Another unpopular topic. Who wants to wear a helmet when you can look and be cool in a ball cap? We know that helmets are rated 3A and thus are not supposed to stop rifle fire. But we all know many people, or have heard anecdotes, where the helmet has deflected incoming fire. Not to mention the general protection of your vulnerable skull from damage. Helmets are also the best way to wear NODs, and thus essential at night. I would recommend having a good ballistic helmet, that is comfortable (good padding). You may not wear it day to day, depending on activity, but for combat operations I would recommend it.
One aspect that is often overlooked about real tactical training such as experienced at Max Velocity Tactical, is the benefit to situational awareness. You may hear me railing on about the horrors of flat range training, without understanding that the flat range is included as part of our training – the point being that training does not simply stop on the flat range, but is part of the progression onto the tactical ranges. Thus the flat range is essential, but not as the goal. The goal is real tactical training that increases situational awareness. We partly do that by focusing, on the flat range, on the basics and good weapon manipulation so that you can ‘get your head out of the gun’ on the tactical ranges. Much of what we focus on is not being ‘stuck in Ivan’ (the pop-up targets that we use on the tactical ranges) but being situationally aware, and thus able to assess and make decisions about what is happening, by routinely developing the habit of taking your head out of your rifle, looking about, looking at your buddy and at the general situation, and not being locked in tunnel vision on the target. Scanning, real scanning, all the time, is vital! Brilliance in the basics, that is all there is, because if it was too complicated, you would not be able to conduct it when under enemy fire. Not to to say it is easy to learn the basics, when under pressure, but the point being that if it were any harder, it would be unobtanium. Many people talk about the need to ‘shoot, move and communicate’ – shooting is easy, moving gets a little harder, but the real challenge is effective communication. Unless you have attended an actual real tactical training class, you won’t understand the issue. Yeah, just a little bit of fire and maneuver, I read about that, seems like an easy concept…….
However, this leads me on to another topic: talk of ‘civil war.’ This isn’t going to happen. If, as a nation, we had any balls at all, we would already be in active conflict with tyranny. But we are cowards and eternally selfish. We might be outraged by the latest thing, but our outrage is expressed on social media, and then we forget about it. The only chance we have of getting any organization going is when people really feel the pain. And that is likely to happen as the hyperinflation and famine start to bite, which it will either later this year or next year. The problem being, we don’t have any organization or effective training. So it’s going to be a disaster – you will have to forgive my cynicism. The best we can hope for is small tactical groups, buddy pairs and fire-teams, of friends and family.
Through our compliance and cowardice, we have emboldened the tyrants and the mentally unstable left. I am sure there will be violence, perhaps increasing violence, but there won’t be an organized civil war, at least not in the near future. The ‘patriots’ are running scared from any organization or training as a result of 1) fear of infiltration by government agents and paranoia of same and 2) cowardice and laziness. People will not be motivated until the pain really starts, at which point it will be too late. What may happen is the traditional American is demonized, including (as the famine strikes) anyone who is a prepper, who will be termed a hoarder and we may (likely) even see government raids on homes to redistribute your stored food to the unprepared. Didn’t you steal it from them after all? It is rightfully theirs, they are allowed to eat too, right? Isn’t it your Christian duty? The narrative is all important!
So rather than a civil war on a grand scale, we will see local violence – I’m not saying that violence won’t be serious, because it may very will be serious for whoever it affects (all of us at some point). When the famine starts, your biggest threat is your neighbor. Followed by government goon-squads bent on redistributing your supplies. We have had many conversations about that unprepared relative or friend who says they are coming to your place after SHTF. Have you considered that neighbor who suddenly finds he cannot feed his kids, and comes round begging for food? However good your OPSEC may be, he will be able to tell that you are at least eating at a basic level. What do you say to him? Do you have food to spare? Would you want to spare it? He doesn’t just need a couple of meals, he needs to feed his family indefinitely. What about when other neighbors find out? What about if you have livestock in your fields? Something to definitely ponder – the world isn’t suddenly going to go apocalyptic on us (we hope) and there is much danger in the slide into famine. What if you turn him away? But he’s a hunter – what’s to stop him sitting off your homestead in the woods, waiting for you to emerge? Well, there are correct actions that will stop that, but it involves tactical training and an understanding of how to properly conduct a key point defense (your home).
Sadly, what I therefore see across the community is a lack of effective training, fitness and organization. This will result in isolated bands / families of patriots who will be responsible for defending homes with not enough people to effectively do so. Welcome to Rhodesia with a smattering of Bosnia – once the Band-Aid of civilization is ripped off it will be time for the crazies and the starving to act. Hence also my take on what gear you need and I don’t see many people effectively bugging out (and surviving) with their family. The lite fight concept allows for an infantry load to be carried with first line scales for short term operations, such as ones that you may carry out around your homestead in defense of it. In contact, ammunition = time: you must effectively suppress the enemy in order to conduct whatever maneuver is appropriate for the situation. Once you burn through your ammo, there is no longer effective suppression. Hence staying off the gas pedal (your trigger finger) as much as you can. This all requires training. Did you know that the rapid rate of fire is 30 rounds per minute (1 every 2 seconds) and the sustained rate of fire is 10 round per minute (1 every 6 seconds). Of course, that’s for an infantryman in a squad, where others can take up the slack, and you may well be on your own or in a small team and may need to shoot faster – but ammunition is still time. And accuracy is final. Consider the sustained rate of fire: bang…one thousand…..two thousand……three thousand,……four thousand……five thousand…..bang! Most of you have never shot that slow!
Guys, it’s all a Psyop. People moved on from the COVID Psyop to the Ukraine Psyop, as our idiots try to push us into WW3 following their stoking of the Ukraine flames, while the same idiots talk about Nuclear War being a realistic option. Now we are being distracted by the Roe vs Wade leak. People think that will result in Civil War. Nah. Perhaps a bit of rioting? Summer of 2020 all over again? The Republic is dead, we do not live in a free country. Welcome to being a Kulak in the USSA. We even now have a Ministry of Truth run by a crazy chick? Wow. It’s all about the narrative! But keep believing in that American Dream or whatever. We are living in an occupied country. You will own nothing and be happy! Don’t be a useful idiot and believe the Psyop, the propaganda. One thing that gives me comfort, when I am railing at the stupidity and tyranny of the situation, is to remind myself how most people are just really stupid. It’s not much, but it’s an explanation.
We have failed to organize or get off our butts, having been lulled by our easy lifestyle. We are too afraid to organize or train, because NSA /
Stasi sorry FBI etc. We will suffer for that. And it may be terminal.
I suppose I could have ended it there, on a downer, but there are things you can do. You can train to be an effective tactical force, even (or especially) as a small group. Equip yourself with items that will enhance your survivability. Prepare yourself to be a leader. Prep and put food away to keep your family alive in the coming famine or nuclear war, or both, or whatever it turns out to be. I wouldn’t worry about others for now, because they won’t wake up until they feel the pain, despite my sarcasm over paranoia of the Feds. Doesn’t every prepper group always fall apart in the end? Why? Because people are not truly and fully motivated to make it work, because they don’t feel the pain and danger. People right now are prepping in a time of plenty, so it’s a hobby. It isn’t life. Yet. They are still full of normalcy bias, even if they see a possible need to prep for potential disasters. People know what they know, and don’t know what they don’t know – and people know a life of comfort, and a standard of living that is propped up by the petrodollar, which will soon come to an end. Then we have to get used to being like the rest of the world, poor and starving. This state of mind is going to put everyone on the back foot come game day. My only solution for you is to hold the line, and get yourself and your family and friends prepared, as best you can.
Consider this: ‘back in the day,’ even in pre-revolutionary colonial times, there wasn’t really any talk of ‘gun rights.’ (After all, a right isn’t really a right unless it can be defended and fought for). Rather, it was seen as DUTY. It was a duty to be armed, to bring your rifle to church, to attend drill. but of course those were the times when there was a real threat, from perhaps the French, the Indians etc. Thus there was no dreamlike normalcy bias or denial, and at the same time people understood the need for community to be able to come together for the common defense. That was before another clever Psyop, that of the ‘rugged individualist’ tied in with the fragmentation and isolation of modern society to make people unable to work effectively together. And thus we are where we are.
A tool to enhance your survivability: