I had the “privilege” of being invited, friended, or whatever you call it, to join the Pennsylvania Militia FB page a couple weeks ago. My reasons for going along with it were simple, networking. I feel networking is one of the biggest advantages of social media, and if you are involved in training preparedness minded folks, then a militia FB page is probably a good place to be. The Page Moderator/Dictator/Starter , is an individual by the name of Christopher Hershman. Mr’ Hershman fancies himself to be a “Colonel” in the militia of PA (my Girlfriend reminded me of the Metallica lyric “Where’s your crown, king nothing?) , and at the time I started there, I could care less what he called himself. This past Sunday evening (Ironically after getting home from a meeting where I was trying to help a militia in PA reorganize their structure) I was lookin’ through FB, and I see an email that Hershman posted, of what he sent out to a Militia Commander from Texas, stating this “My name is Christopher Hershman and am the statewide commander of the Pennsylvania Militia.” The email went on to drop the name of a fellow associate in the militia (an actual militia commander) that they both knew, and then Hershman asks what ways the Pennsylvania Militia can assist the Texas State Militia. Signed Col. Christopher Hershman, Pennsylvania Militia. Great, right? Coordinating of different states militia commanders, right? WRONG!
Mr. Hershman it appears is not only a legend in his own mind, but also likes to go around town, dressed in his bdu’s getting the 50% Mil/LEO/Firefighter/EMT discounts at Denny’s and the like, What makes it bad, is that Hershman doesn’t even have “A Militia Unit” (no group, no training with anyone, nothing) he only has a FB page (but by God, he has over a thousand friends). He appointed himself “Colonel” because he feels that since he has this “FB group/unit”, and goes around talking with militia units, he “deserves” the rank. After he posted the email on FB, I immediately asked him 1) What statewide militia are you a commander of? 2) Who gave you the rank of colonel and the authority? and 3) Who do you command, except for a group on FB? Unfortunately, I already knew the answers to these questions (was already briefed by a few people “in the know”), so the reason for them was to see if there was any honesty in him whatsoever. His responses were less than informative, concerning the questions I posed ( I have the whole conversation saved from screenshots before he banned me). Hershman starts by telling me he’s added 1200 new people to that page in the last 18 months, and then says “Who gives you the authority to question what we have developed in Pennsylvania?” Well, “Kernel” Hershman, I wasn’t questioning what y’all have built, I just had questions about you. Your rank, Your duty position, and Your authority. Needless to say I’ve been booted off of that site, along with a number of others who also have questioned the “Kernel”. On a side note, I was told that he called a buddy sayin’ “Who the F**k is this Dodge guy?” he also asked what my rank was in the militia, and in the US military. The individual said “He holds no rank in the militia, he’s a trainer, but I believe he was an E-6 SSG, or E-7 SFC in the military.” The Kernel’s response was, “Oh, he was an entry level manager.” LOL
Group photo of “Kernel” Hershman’s FB troops training
What’s the point of this post you ask? Is it just a reaming of an individual Asshat with some bdu’s an colonel’s pin on rank, and delusions of grandeur? Not at all. This post is about the mindset of the “Wanna be’s”. The “Kernel of Corn”, as he will now be referred to, is not unusual in the militia community (we’ve all heard of, or personally seen it). Being part of “The Militia”, is not the same as being part of “A Militia”. All of us, according to historical documentation are part of “The Militia”, but you’re not part of “A Militia”, unless you have a group who has some organization, and trains together. it’s that simple.
Your “Rank” is generally based off of your “Duty Position”. For example, a Team Leader, is generally a Corporal or a Sergeant, and a Company Commander is usually a Lieutenant or a Captain. Unless you’re going for “Legendary” status, you cannot be a General if you’ve only got a squad, platoon, or company’s worth of men (8-130 usually), Your rank (Most use the military rank structure, why reinvent the wheel, right?) is dictated by the number of personnel under your command/Duty Position. Your “Authority”, generally speaking, in a militia, is derived from how many personnel you can speak for as their leader, or what authority other units have given you, to speak on their behalf. For example, if you are a Battalion Commander, and the rank for that position is a Colonel, it doesn’t matter if your organizational table says that part of your state is a Brigade. If the group size of that area happens to be a battalion’s worth of personnel, you might be the de facto Brigade Commander, but you are not a general, you are a Colonel in rank, due to the number of personnel under your command.
Why am I harping on this, it’s just the militia, right? I’m harping on this, because if you’ve had any affiliation with, or are a member of a militia unit, you will see this. Point it out, Question those who are carrying rank, Where did they get the authority for it. What is their duty position, and what actual authority do they have? They might not have a clue (You don’t know, what you don’t know, right?) and need it explained, or they might be like ‘Kernel” Hershman, and they’re doing it for perks, and they’re legends in their own minds. If you want Militia to get a good rep with people, you have to make it stick to certain standards, and not embellishing rank of the individual is one way to do that. If you’re wondering, the reason this post became reality, it was due to numerous requests from a number of people to explain it, and I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone. 1) How can you organize a unit, if you don’t understand the relationship between rank, duty position, and authority, and 2) The “Kernel” Hershman’s out there need to know that the kind of deceit they’re peddling will eventually be found out. Think about this question. What if that commander from Texas asked for help from Kernel Hershman? He has nothing to offer, except a need to be empowered by those that know no better. You might think this a mean spirited post, and you are entitled to your opinion, but if you think that’s what it’s about, you’ve missed the point. Combat IS SERIOUS! training for combat, IS SERIOUS! Organizing IS SERIOUS! The “Kernel” Hershman’s will get people killed, because they think they can lead, when all they’re good for is getting you a discount at Denny’s.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE
4 thoughts on “Rank, Duty Position, And Authority, Or Not Being A “Colonel of Corn””
The type of borderline psycopathic, self-centered individual you describe is not only an annoyance and embarassment but poses a high risk for informant/provocatuer. Obviously where there is no integrity and only the self matters flipping that person is childs play.
My ranks papa smurf.
We had (have) a similar group start up here in West Virginia, that I had hopes would be a good thing to be involved with, if for nothing else, networking of like-minded individualists.
The first warning sign was in essence, the copying of another organization’s vow (purposely unmentioned), which includes an allegiance to The President. No can do. However, the big red flag can be summed up with, “my way or the highway”.
This scenario has been written about in some survival forums, “to steer clear”, and it’s to be expected in fragmenting societies, “the faux alpha”, but it’s not leadership – it’s bully behavior.
Kudos to the writer of this article for outing him.
my rank is ‘rogue ghost’.
Points out why I dont follow very often.
Aint many worth following.