I recently received an email from an older Patriot concerned about his role in the III% movement. His email along with my response is posted below.
I am 59 years old. I am a Vietnam Era Air Force veteran who has never seen combat or fired a weapon at a human being. I am an Oath Keeper, in my own mind at least. In my younger days I was an above-average athlete. I was given my first firearm by my WWII combat veteran father at age 12.
In the past few years I have been lurking the internet for III-per information and contacts. I fancy myself a III-per but the embarrassing fact is that I have no combat experience, and as I age I begin to think I would be more of a hindrance to an active III-per unit than a asset. I am still fairly healthy and strong. All my parts work. I can do about a 12 minute mile.
I have made substantial investments in AR platforms in 7.62 and 5.56 with ACOG optics. I also have built a Remington 700 (.308) long-range rifle with HorusVision optics and I am very accurate at up to 300 yards. I am sure I can add to that effective range. I have better-than-avaerage woodcraft skills. No plate carriers or LBE.
I have acquired basic handgun training and I am proficient but certainly no expert.
I have not been trained in the tactics of any kind.
Am I kidding myself to think that I could actually serve in an active III-per unit if TSHTF?
Would you have someone like me in a unit you were leading, or tell me to beat it?
I am not asking to be coddled. I am asking what it would be like to be you, if you had to choose between allowing an old man into a unit simply because he had gear and could shoot fairly well, but would surely slow down a unit of 20-year olds.
Thank you for your honest comments if you have the time.
– Aging Patriot
I understand your concern that you aren’t combat experienced but neither were most of the original III%. And neither are most of the III% community today. As a very unscientific estimate of the US population, it’s something like 1% in the military; of which maybe 50% have been deployed to an actual combat zone (I don’t know the exact percentage); and perhaps 10% of that fraction have trigger time. Very, very few people. There are active militias out there that have no combat experience among their ranks. There are plenty of Americans like you; but combat experience isn’t a prerequisite to defend the Liberty and security of the Republic.
So the solution to lack of experience comes down to training: getting the fundamentals right, 100% of the time under duress. Good training is a huge factor that determines the outcome of engagements and mitigates the risk of lack of experiential knowledge. That’s the first step. I’m sure there are plenty of retired Rangers who have decided to call the Blue Ridge their home and would be willing to train Patriots. I don’t know anyone in that area but if you’re willing to drive down to Savannah, Man Alone Tactical is top notch. They will hook you up with everything you need to know.
Honestly, from a gear standpoint, it sounds like you’re ahead of the game. Plates are optional and maybe even discouraged, especially when considering your terrain. Plates are great for urban conflict and CQB; not so much if you’re running up and down mountains all day. Guerrillas are light fighters.
We need to differentiate between the militia and the guerrilla unit. The militia’s job is to provide security, aid the populace, and deter encroachment. The guerrilla unit’s job is to operate in the rear of the enemy; to harass, sabotage, and generally wreak havoc with the intent to decimate the morale of the enemy. A goal of the guerrilla is to produce fear before the invading army even steps outside the wire.But to answer your question, no; I don’t think you’re kidding yourself. There are probably millions of Americans just like you and I’m not going to turn away anyone willing to help. It may be the case that you’re not as fast as those twenty year olds who run circles around people twice their age, but there are plenty of areas where people like yourself can make critical contributions.
If you’re dead set on being a gunslinger, sign up for a Tactical Carbine or team movement course. Go train, do some running and shooting, and if you can keep up, you’re probably in the money. From the sounds of it, you’re in great shape for someone your age; and perhaps more importantly, it sounds that you’re committed to the cause. It’s up to you whether you want to operate as a guerrilla or as the militia; but I wouldn’t hesitate putting you to good use, Jeff.