Field Manual of the Free Militia: Section II

Introduction to the Free Militia

By the Free Militia
See also: Foreward, Section I

2.1 Who and what is the Free Militia?
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vise and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is not virtue." -- Barry Goldwater, 1964 Republican nominee for president

"I promise to defend and observe the Constitutional liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights for all American citizens by example, persuasion, and force of arms if necessary." -- From the oath of office for the Free Militia

2.1.1 Who, what, when, where, why, and how?

Who is the Free Militia?

The Free Militia is composed of private citizens who carry on normal civilian lives. While some members may have former police or military experience, they are presently civilians simply exercising their right to keep and bear arms and form militias.

What is the Free Militia?

The Free Militia is a locally organized body of armed American citizens committed to defending their Constitutional liberties. We call it "free" for two reasons. First, it is free or independent from the control of any local, state, or federal government. Second, our whole purpose is to defend our freedoms. So, the Free Militia acts freely to defend freedom.

We also call it a "militia" for two reasons. First, we are a military organization. Our purpose is, if necessary, to defend our liberties by force of arms. Second, we are a militia in the sense that we are composed of private citizens instead of professional soldiers. Hence, the Free Militia is a combat team of private citizens.

The name Free Militia was selected partly to describe what we are. But the terms were also carefully chosen to conform to the language of the Second Amendment to indicate our intentions are Constitutionally legal. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The Free Militia is an independent, organized group of private citizens who are armed and ready to fight for their Constitutional rights and liberties.

When will the Free Militia fight?

The Free Militia's "agenda" is the Bill of Rights. Our purpose is solely to defend these rights for ourselves and our neighbors. We will mobilize and fight as a militia only when these rights are seriously and intentionally threatened or denied. As a result, there are several things we are not:

  • We are not aggressors. It is not our purpose to "make something happen" or to start bloodshed. We will not venture outside the region of our community to strike first, nor will we fight over material possessions. We will fight only for principles.

  • We are not vigilantes. It is not our purpose to replace the police or judicial system. We will not obstruct justice, nor will we take it into our own hands by forming "lynch mobs." Indeed, as defenders of the right to a fair trial we will strongly oppose such injustices. However, members may, at their discretion, make citizen's arrests and turn criminals over to the police.

  • We are not criminals. Anyone hoping to use the Free Militia to perpetrate a violent crime or to extort the citizens of our community will be sorely disappointed. Free Militia commanders will cooperate with any police investigations of such corruption and will turn members over to the police for arrest and trial.

Where is the Free Militia?

The Free Militia's operations are confined in and around the local community where its members reside. Training may occur in the countryside, but the Free Militia's membership and organization is tied to the locality.

Why does the Free Militia exist?

The Free Militia exists because our Constitutional liberties are systematically under attack by state and federal authorities. While these threats to our rights have not yet justified armed conflict, it is apparent that we must act now to organize and train ourselves for the possible day when a genuine tyranny is established in the United States by a coup within our government or invasion from without.

How does the Free Militia hope to succeed?

For the time being, the Free Militia cannot possibly be capable of fielding a significant fighting force. We are too small and too isolated to stand up to a professional armed force. However, we can be an effective and significant fighting force in the future with the right foresight and preparation now.

For now, our purpose is not to raise a full-scale army but to put things in motion and prepare to readily do so if and when circumstances require it.

We can prepare now to develop the framework that can incorporate large numbers of law-abiding, liberty-loving citizens if and when a crisis in our government obviously calls for resistance by the people.

  • We can spread the word and encourage the forming of independent Free Militias in other communities.

  • We can develop a working command structure using our current members so that a large number of men could be quickly recruited, trained, and organized for combat. For example, an existing command structure of 100-200 men could readily integrate and lead 600-1200 men later on.

  • We can develop, perfect, and implement effective training methods, contingency plans, and communications systems for defending our community and liberties in a time of crisis.

  • We can develop and disseminate political and ideological arguments for freedom to prepare the way for cultivating favorable attitudes among our neighbors and fellow citizens.

  • We can stockpile the equipment necessary to outfit a militia that the masses of recruits will not likely have available to them when we face a "crunch." (For instance, they may have guns but not radios.)

  • We can identify potential minutemen by looking for sympathetic citizens armed with weapons, or with military experience, or with special skills and equipment.

  • If worse comes to worse, and we cannot actively recruit after a crisis has developed, we can at least act as an effective underground or guerilla movement to harass the efforts of a tyrannical enemy.

2.1.2 Your duties in the Free Militia

If and when you decide to commit yourself to the Free Militia, you will be required to take an oath. No certificates will be signed. No centralized list will be maintained with your name on it. However, you must take the oath in the presence of those men who will be in your immediate combat unit (called a cell). They are the ones that need to know you mean business since they are the ones who will be depending on you.

The oath you will have to take embodies your main duties to the Militia and is worded as follows:

"I, __________________, promise to defend and observe the Constitutional liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights for all American citizens by example, persuasion, and force of arms if necessary. To that end, I intend to arm myself, I voluntarily join the Free Militia, and I agree to obey its commanders -- to the extent that my conscience allows -- for the duration of my service in the Militia and I pledge never to willfully betray the Militia's principles, members, or tactics."

It is important that you know explicitly what this means so let me comment on each clause.

  • "I, ____________________, promise to defend and observe." You are not only committing to militarily defend the Constitution, but to observe it as well. Thus you are pledging not to violate the personal liberties of other citizens (whether civilians or enemies) in order to defend the Constitution. The ends do not justify the means. We must conduct ourselves by the same principles we seek to uphold.

  • "The Constitutional liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights." While we are interested in the entirety of the Constitution, it is the Bill of Rights and the liberties therein that you are pledging to defend. You will not be expected to fight for peripheral issues or causes.

  • "For all American citizens." Again, you are not motivated by personal gain or selfishness. You are committing to defend an idea, not to defend your own rights, per se. Hence you must be willing to recognize the rights of all American citizens. This means that you will not ignore violations of others' rights and will be willing to defend them as well as your own. It also means you will not violate their rights by acting as a vigilante (contrary to their legal rights) or by looting (contrary to their property rights). The only "looting" that will be permitted is the confiscation of weapons and munitions from prisoners and casualties in actual combat.

  • "By example, persuasion, and force of arms if necessary." You must be an example by observing the rights of others and leading an upright life as a law-abiding citizen. You must be persuasive by recruiting people to our cause (if not the Militia itself) within the guidelines of our recruiting procedures. And, of course, you may someday be called upon to stand up and fight for what you believe in.

  • "To that end, I intend to arm myself." The Free Militia has no tax base or authority to impose taxes. We must therefore fund ourselves. The most equitable and practical method of doing so is for each man to purchase the necessary equipment for outfitting himself. Details of what is involved in this self-arming are included in Section 2.2.

  • "I voluntarily join the Free Militia." It is assumed that you are joining of your own volition and not out of coercion. You must also realize that as a volunteer organization there is no compensation or salary for your work other than the satisfaction of standing up for what is right.

  • "And I agree to obey its commanders." No military organization or operation can survive or succeed without discipline and obedience. The Free Militia is no exception. So you are pledging to obey your superiors in all matters pertaining to organization, training, secrecy, and actual tactical combat. Particularly, you will be expected to adhere to the Free Militia's rules of engagement which ensure decent behavior towards your comrades, civilians, and the potential enemy. Section 2.3.4 has more on the lines and limits of authority in the Free Militia.

  • "To the extent that my conscience allows." We expect that you will conduct yourself according to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. We also expect you to be guided by the Constitution above your superiors. The commanders of the Free Militia are no more above Constitutional principles than our elected officials. Accordingly, you are not pledging to blindly obey your leaders no matter what. You are permitted and even expected to disobey any orders that are biblically immoral or Constitutionally illegal. Again, refer to Section 2.3.4 on lines and limits of authority in the Free Militia.

  • "For the duration of my service in the Militia." We also realize that you cannot and should not commit yourself to the Militia indefinitely. If you happen to move, become disabled, or simply lose the will to resist, you are free to make your exit at any time. (After all, we cannot enslave people to fight for liberty!) However, you are expected to give reasonable notice of any departure so as to give time for you to be debriefed and for your cell to reorganize. Under normal circumstances, a two-week notice is sufficient. During an "alert" a month may be needed depending on the judgment of your superiors. Under times of mobilization we will simply have to take departures on a case-by- case basis, but it is hoped that you will not leave under such circumstances since doing so may endanger both you and those you serve with.

  • "And I pledge never to willfully betray." Your obligation does not end with resignation. Your commitment to actively serving in the Free Militia is limited and contingent on your continued desire to do so. Your loyalty to the Free Militia must be unreserved and unending.

  • "The Militia's principles, members, or tactics." Particularly, there are three things you must never betray, even after you decide to leave the Militia. In your heart you must always remain committed to the Constitutional liberties that we seek to defend. In your actions, you must never inform on the identities of those in the Militia nor on the plans and tactics of the Militia by adhering to the rules of secrecy and security in the Free Militia (see Section 2.4).

Hopefully you understand both what is expected of you and why it is important. I believe that everything we are asking you to pledge yourself to is biblically moral, Constitutionally proper, and tactically necessary. Hopefully you are also willing to take this oath and join the Free Militia. But take time to think about it and be sure of your commitment before you join. The decision is a heavy one and should not be taken lightly.

2.1.3 Alert and mobilization of the Free Militia

Precisely when will the Free Militia commit itself to fight? This question can be answered best by stating the conditions that will result in the Militia being alerted or mobilized. Under usual conditions, minutemen in the Free Militia lead normal, private lives interrupted only by occasional cell meetings for training and other preparations. However,

An alert is a level of readiness that is not convenient in everyday life. Mobilization is a level of readiness totally incompatible with daily life.

While the details of our procedures for alerts and mobilizations must remain confidential for now (you are not yet a member of the Militia), we can give you some examples of what would transpire under these conditions. For an alert, a prearranged system of notification is used to contact all minutemen. They continue to lead their lives by going to work, attending church, shopping, and keeping appointments. However, the frequency of contact among cell members is stepped up and certain preparations are taken individually. For instance, rifle magazines that are normally left empty are loaded and then packed in their pouches. Uniforms and gear are made readily accessible by hanging them in convenient order in your closet.

For a mobilization, developments are serious enough that normal life is interrupted. You do not simply keep gear and weapons handy, you actually wear them. You do not simply keep in contact with your cell, you gather together with them. Under mobilization you take all the steps possible to prepare yourself and brace yourself for actual combat with an emerging enemy.

Now the Free Militia may go on alert or mobilize under any number of unforeseen scenarios. However, alerts and mobilizations will be called for automatically under the four following conditions.

  • An alert will be sounded whenever any member of the Free Militia is arrested or killed under circumstances suggesting that his fate was related to his involvement in the Free Militia. The alert will be upgraded to mobilization if it is confirmed that portions or the rest of the Free Militia is at risk.

  • An alert will also go out whenever we discover that there has been an infusion in our community by state or federal law enforcement officers who are working independently of the local police. This alert will be upgraded to mobilization if it is confirmed that the infusion is a precursor to operations against the Free Militia or its allies (i.e., house-to-house searches, gun confiscation, widespread arrests, etc.).

  • We will mobilize whenever any constitutional right to keep and bear arms, privacy, or fair trial is being infringed by laws that are actively and widely enforced in our area. For instance, house-to-house searches or waiving of all trials by jury in other communities will cause us to prepare for similar measures in our community.

  • We will mobilize if and when there is an invasion of the United States by a foreign power or an attempted overthrow of our constitutional government.

Please be assured that mobilization does not necessarily mean we will fight. It only means that we are ready to fight if we are forced to do so.

2.1.4 Can we win an armed conflict?

Suppose you join us. Suppose we mobilize. Can we win? The enemy police and military forces under the control of a growing autocratic government will have and wield great might. So how can we stand against such a powerful foe? To some extent, whether we win or not is immaterial. If we are right, our duty is to resist whether or not success is likely. But we can win! Initially, the potential enemy will be greater in numbers, have superior firepower, better training, more equipment, and closer coordination. But we have three things in our favor that they do not have: the people, our own advantages, and a cause.

The people

Notice I said initially they will be greater in numbers. This is because most Americans are dull to the things happening around them and don't have a clue to their Constitutional rights and liberties. But there will come a time when the Leviathan State will show its true colors and cross a line that even the average citizen will recognize as threatening. At that time, men willing to fight will come out of the woodwork.

And remember, there are between 100 and 200 million firearms in the hands of private citizens of this country. These are in the hands of people who, almost by definition, would side with the Constitution rather than the government in a struggle. (The possession of firearms tends to either result from or result in a person favoring gun rights as well as a healthy distrust of the federal government when it seeks to take them away.) Moreover, all of the armed forces and local law enforcement agencies are sworn to defend the Constitution and many soldiers and officers love their personal liberties. So it would not be long until we are the ones with superior numbers and perhaps even superior firepower.

The very acts by the government that will cause the Free Militia to rise up will also arouse the general public to resist and seek skilled leadership.

In the meantime, our inferior numbers do not have to spell defeat. It is said that just prior to World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany visited Switzerland and reviewed some of its troops. Of course, Germany's army was much larger than little Switzerland's. So while the proud Kaiser was reviewing the troops, he stopped to talk to one of the enlisted men: "I am impressed. You are well disciplined and well trained. But what could you possibly do if Germany attacked you with forces twice yours in number?" The enlisted man boldly replied, "I suppose, sir, that we would have to shoot twice!" Switzerland was never attacked due to its neutrality, mountainous terrain, preparedness, and the confidence to resist exemplified by this one soldier. The fact is that superior numbers can be defeated!

Corresponding advantages

This leads us to the next issue. It is true that the potential enemy will have serious advantages. But they do not have all the advantages. For just about any strength that they have, the Free Militia will have a corresponding strength. These balancing factors should be sufficient to tide the Free Militia over until the tables are turned and we have the advantage of numbers. Some of these advantages which will counteract the advantages of the potential enemy are as follows.

  • Superior numbers. Initially the enemy will probably have greater numbers of troops since they can commit whole military units and police forces to the field. But many such men have had exposure to liberties and cannot all be counted on to obey and fight. This will cause division, uncertainty, and poor morale within enemy ranks.

    Superior dependability. Consisting of patriotic volunteers, the Free Militia should be able to count on every one of its men. Few men in our ranks will refuse to fight on conscientious grounds, nor are they likely to desert or betray their leaders, comrades, or tactics since they are committed to the cause.

  • Superior training. Clearly potential enemy forces will be better prepared technically and have more perfected skills in combat since they are, for the most part, professionals. But, again, it is uncertain how prepared they will be psychologically to turn their weapons on American citizens.

    Superior motivation. Consisting of volunteers, the Free Militia must expect to have inferior training since its member also lead private lives. But since the Free Militia consists of patriots we should be able to expect higher motivation to fight and win an armed conflict.

  • Superior firepower. Being equipped by the government, any potential enemy will have tremendous firepower at their disposal. But much of this firepower is useless unless they are willing to inflict great casualties and material destruction on innocent bystanders and their property.

    Superior concealment. We may not be armed with automatic weapons, aircraft, or armored vehicles. But we will have the advantage of being well concealed and fortified within the friendly and familiar territory. They enemy will have to expose themselves to use their firepower.

  • Superior mobility. No doubt an enemy will not only have the capability of moving quickly on the ground in motor vehicles, but they will have and use airplanes and helicopters to quickly insert troops, strike, and leave prior to an effective counterattack by us.

    Superior knowledge of terrain. We may not be able to move quickly, but we will know where we are and where we're going. The Free Militia will be intimately familiar with terrain in and out of our town because we will be fighting in our element.

  • Superior surveillance. The capability of the enemy to spy on our positions will be enhanced by their technology. They may have night vision equipment, wire-tapping capabilities, infrared scanning viewers, and other means of eavesdropping or looking in on us.

    Superior intelligence. While those of us in the Free Militia may not have access to or be able to afford expensive technology, we will have the people on our side. Virtually every liberty-loving civilian is a potential spotter, observer, or spy.

  • Superior supplies. A potential enemy will probably have unlimited supplies of ammunition, food, water, and fuel. But they will have to depend on these supplies being transported over long distances since local supplies will be unreliable.

    Superior logistics. While we may have to live with limited supplies, our supplies and quarters will be close by since we will be fighting close to home. We will also be able to depend on friendly neighbors to supply us with food and water.

  • Superior communication. The potential enemy will be well outfitted with effective radio equipment and will be able to coordinate most or all of their forces simultaneously. But they will have to have definite targets to coordinate themselves against.

    Superior improvisation. The Free Militia can thwart the enemy by providing an elusive target that is difficult to trap or systematically attack. Moreover, our units will be organized and trained to improvise and act independently.

We have a cause!

Many people think that "might makes right." In other words, it is presumed that whoever wins a war is justified in dictating the terms of peace. In fact, RIGHT MAKES MIGHT! Being in the right and knowing it energizes resistance and gives a strength of resolve largely absent among those who fight for the selfish motives of mere survival or personal gain.

The drafted soldier is motivated to survive until his tour of duty is up. The career soldier is motivated by promotions in rank and higher salaries. The patriotic volunteer is motivated to win for the sake of a higher cause.

All three types of motivation will cause a man to fight tooth and nail when he has to fight. But one motivated by survival only "has" to fight when he is convinced that fighting is less hazardous than disobeying his superiors. He will hold back to avoid risks. He will not go beyond the call of duty. The career of soldier only "has" to fight to the extent needed to gain recognition. His boldness will be tempered by the desire to live and enjoy the promotions and benefits he seeks. But while the patriot will not desire to risk or sacrifice his life in vain, he "has" to fight to win. He will be willing to go beyond the call of duty because he is energized by an idea, not by self-preservation or selfish ambition.

So the most critical thing on our side is principle. We are right, we are justified, we have a cause. Never underestimate the power of ideology.

Patrick Henry said: "...millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.... The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone: it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."

Major H. von Dach of the Swiss Army wrote: "The military expert who undervalues or even disregards guerrilla warfare makes a mistake since he does not take into consideration the strength of the heart" (Total Resistance, Paladin Press, 1965, p. 173).

The U.S. Army field manual on suppressing guerrillas states: "All troops committed to operations against irregular forces must be trained to appreciate the effectiveness of irregular forces.... Troops must be indoctrinated never to underrate guerrillas. To look down on guerrilla forces as inferior, poorly equipped opponents breeds carelessness which can result in severe losses" (FM 31-15, Irregular Forces, 1961, p. 46).

Are you vigilant, active, and brave? Do you have a strong heart? If you do, then join us! Take the oath of office and arm yourself. You will be enlisting with a small but determined group that is resolved to make a difference in protecting our precious liberties. Barry Goldwater was the 1964 Republican nominee for president. As he aptly said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vise and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

2.1.5 Discussion questions

Do you have any questions about what the Free Militia is or what it stands for? What are they?

Do you have any questions about our strategy of not raising an army but building the structure or framework to organize, train, and lead one?

The Free Militia oath of office reads as follows: "I, ___________________, promise to defend and observe the Constitutional liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights for all American citizens by example, persuasion, and force of arms if necessary. To that end, I intend to arm myself, I voluntarily join the Free Militia, and I agree to obey its commanders -- to the extent that my conscience allows -- for the duration of my service in the Militia and I pledge never to willfully betray the Militia's principles, members, or tactics." Do you have any questions about what this oath means or what might be expected of you if you join the Free Militia? If so, what are they?

Do you have any reservations about making the commitments outlined in the oath of office? If so, what are they?

In your own words, describe the difference between an alert and a mobilization of the Free Militia.

Take a look at the four reasons given for alert and mobilization in this section. Why do you think it is important to take unusual measures to ready and prepare ourselves under these conditions?

What are your feelings about the "risks" of participating in the Free Militia either under peaceful circumstances or times of combat?

Do you believe that the Free Militia will be capable of holding its own during (or even being victorious in) potential armed conflict? Why or why not? What conditions would have to change to make victory possible or probable? How would or could your own participation in the Free Militia contribute to those favorable conditions and ultimate victory?

One of the rules of warfare is that "anything you do can get you shot, including nothing." If a genuine tyranny was imposed in the United States, you could remain a civilian, minding his own business, or become an armed combatant. Which way would you be more threatened? More of a threat?

Personal questions

Note: Answers to the following questions will help determine your fitness for service in the Militia in terms of loyalty and dependability. No space is given to write answers down because no records should or will be kept on your responses. They are strictly for discussion between you and your sponsor. Any notes he may take are only for discussion with his immediate superior and will be destroyed after said discussion.

How physically fit are you in terms of strength, stamina, and health?

Do you have any disabilities which might hinder your physical ability to serve in the Militia such as epilepsy, asthma, poor eyesight, etc.?

Have you ever been an alcoholic, a heavy drinker, a drug users, or a drug addict? If so, how long have you been free of substance abuse?

Have you ever attempted suicide, battled severe depression, or suffered any other mental illness? Describe the times and circumstances.

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime other than traffic violations? Again, describe the times and the circumstances.

How nosey, talkative, and trustworthy is your wife? Can she keep a secret?

Can you name one or two references, besides your sponsor and known by your sponsor, who can vouch for your integrity, dependability, and stability?

What are your reasons for desiring to enlist in the Free Militia?

Main ideas of this section

The Free Militia is an independent, organized group of private citizens who are armed and ready to fight for their Constitutional rights and liberties.

For now, our purpose is not to raise a full-scale army but to put things in motion and prepare to readily do so if and when circumstances require it.

An alert is a level of readiness that is not convenient in everyday life. Mobilization is a level of readiness totally incompatible with daily life.

The very acts by the government that will cause the Free Militia to rise up will also arouse the general public to resist and seek skilled leadership.

The drafted soldier is motivated to survive until his tour of duty is up. The career soldier is motivated by promotions in rank and higher salaries. The patriotic volunteer is motivated to win for the sake of a higher cause.

2.2 Equipping yourself for the Free Militia
".... millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.... The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone: it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"To that end, I intend to arm myself." -- From the oath of office for the Free Militia

2.2.1 Choose your weapon!

As a minuteman in the Free Militia, you are responsible for arming and equipping yourself. Your first priority, of course, is to effectively arm yourself. All firearms have their place. Some are good for hunting, some for plinking and target shooting, some for self-defense. But only a few are really effective combat weapons.

When selecting a firearm, remember that you are a member of a team, not a loner. It is therefore to your advantage to select a weapon that is more or less standard in your unit. This will facilitate exchanging ammunition, magazines, and even spare parts when supplies are limited. You are also preparing for combat, not hunting or personal defense. Thus, hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns are generally (but not always; see below) undesirable weapons. Ideally your weapon should be a medium- to high-power semi-automatic (automatic only if licensed) rifle with a detachable magazine. The following are suggested firearms with their pros and cons.

The weapon of choice

The Ruger Mini-14 is the ideal rifle for service in the Free Militia.

  • It uses the .223 caliber cartridge which packs a high muzzle velocity of over 3000 feet per second and is therefore capable of penetrating most Kevlar body armor. This .223 ammunition will also be most readily available in a crisis since it is the same that is used in M-16s/AR-15s which are standard weapons of the U.S. military and police.

  • The Mini-14 is semi-automatic and has a detachable magazine. Although Sturm, Ruger only sells 5-round magazines to the public; larger capacity magazines (10, 20, 30, and 40-round) are made for the Mini-14 and sold by other companies. You can pick these up at gun shows.

  • At about $400 to $500, the Mini-14 costs about half or a third as much as an AR-15. And this savings is in spite of the fact that the Mini-14 surpasses the AR-15 in many specifications! The cost is held down because Sturm, Ruger makes maximal use of investment casting instead of machining of parts, not because of any inherent lack of quality.

  • In fact, the Mini-14 is one of the most dependable firearms ever made. Several gunsmithing book authors have never encountered a Mini-14 that has had a part fail or break! Magazines feed the chamber well with infrequent jamming, and the Mini-14 is one of the easiest rifles to clear when it does jam.

  • The Mini-14 is one of the most popular and manufactured firearms on the market. It is therefore more easily found on the used gun market than some other so-called assault rifles. It also has more military accessories made for it than any other rifle including synthetic and folding stocks, scopes, bipods, bayonet lugs, flash suppressors, etc.

For a standard, inexpensive, effective, dependable, and versatile combat rifle, you will be hard-pressed to do much better than the Ruger Mini-14!

Of course, not everyone in the Militia will be able to find a Mini-14. Some diversification is both inevitable (since many recruits will already be armed) and useful. So, there are several alternatives to the Mini-14.

All-around combat rifles (in the order of my preference)

  • The Springfield M-1 Carbine is common, inexpensive at [illegible] semi-automatic, uses detachable 15 or 30-round magazines, and a [illegible] with a medium punch. It can, however, be unreliable. Magazines tend to jam in the cold and sometimes a full 30-round magazine puts too much pressure on the bolt to seat and lock for semi-automatic firing. Be sure to avoid Universal- manufactured copies since these do not have fully interchangeable with G.I. carbines.

  • The Colt AR-15 is the semi-automatic civilian version of the military M-16. Parts and ammo would be easily obtained in combat since a potential enemy will likely be armed with this weapon. While the army's use of the M-16 shows the usefulness of this weapon, it is expensive at $1000-$1500 each. The Galil 223 AR and Berretta AR-70 are suitable substitutes.

  • The Springfield M-14 and M-1A are very dependable semi- automatic weapons and their .308 caliber packs a punch that is well-suited for long-range sniping. Their drawbacks are high price (around $1000) and the fact that their ammunition would not be quite as common as the .223 cartridge.

  • The Russian SKS, AKM, and AK-47 are somewhat common, reasonable priced, reliable, semi-automatic, and use detachable magazines. But it is unclear how easily the 7.62mm Russian ammunition could be obtained in a crisis.

  • The Heckler and Koch rifles in the 9mm, .223, and .308 calibers are top of the line, dependable, effective, and very expensive firearms.

Specialized combat weapons (generally not recommended)

  • Submachine guns like the TEC-9, MAC-10, Colt 9mm, and UZI are not especially well-suited for the typical minuteman. While the semi-auto versions do provide rapid fire, they are not particularly accurate on a battlefield and their calibers are generally lack the punch of assault rifles since they use pistol ammunition (9mm or .45 ACP). They are, however, excellent commando and policing weapons, especially in close quarters.

  • The Barrett Model 82A1 is a semi-automatic assault rifle with a 10-round magazine that uses .50 caliber machine gun ammunition. You would not want to carry this on a patrol, nor can many people afford its $2500+ price tag. But as a static defense weapon it packs a punch that is unmatched.

  • High-power hunting rifles with suitable scopes make excellent sniper weapons. (The .308 caliber M-21 is especially useful but expensive as a standard NATO sniping weapon.) Unfortunately, most hunting rifles are bolt-action and are therefore undesirable as standard weapons for a minuteman.

  • Shotguns are generally ill-suited for the battlefield since they do not have the precision, range, or velocity needed for typical combat. One exception is the "street sweeper." These are semi-automatic and have a 9- to 12-round magazine capacity. Such shotguns are useful for self-defense in close quarters or for certain types of raids as was proven in Vietnam.

Remember, the potential enemy will be well-trained, heavily armed, and probably protected by Kevlar body armor. Single shot, bolt and lever action, and light caliber rifles are virtually useless against such a foe as is virtually any kind of handgun. Of course, being armed with a less-than-ideal firearm is many times better than being totally unarmed.

2.2.2 Outfitting yourself for combat

While your gun is important, it is useless without magazines and ammunition and virtually useless without other equipment. Consequently the minimum necessary equipment for a Free Militia minuteman is as follows.

1semi-automatic Mini-14 rifle (alternatives include the M-1 carbine, AR-15, or M-14 in that order).$500
430-round magazines (this is a minimum, 8 or 10 magazines would be better). Smaller capacity magazines need to be reloaded too often. Larger capacity magazines are more prone to jamming. You must be able to carry at least 100 to 120 rounds of ammunition ready to fire.$100
1000rounds of full metal jacket ammunition compatible with your rifle. The more ammunition the better. It will probably be the hardest thing to supply or replace in a pinch. Avoid hollow point and soft point cartridges since these are not permitted by the Geneva Accords.$250
1-2magazine pouches to carry your magazines conveniently. Be sure your pouches are compatible with your magazines and are green or camouflaged so they are inconspicuous.$10
1pistol belt for carrying your gear like magazines and a canteen.$7
1pair of combat suspenders (either the "Y"-load or "H"- load design). Without suspenders, the weight of all your gear loaded on your pistol belt will pull down your belt, especially when running and jumping.$8
1water canteen. Even if you stay close to home and never have to "rough it" in the woods, you will need to spend long periods of away from running water. A full canteen will keep you from thirsting while you work or fight.$10
1rifle cleaning kit with supplies for your rifle. Ideally, you should have a universal cleaning kit stored in a camouflaged field pouch.$20
1woodland camo M-65 field jacket. You need to be uniformed since we will need to identify each other and since clear identification and open carrying of weapons are two of the requirements for combatants recognized by the Geneva Accords. It is unlikely that the U.S. Army will be the primary enemy. Moreover, army uniforms are readily available and inexpensive at military surplus outlets. Thus an army field jacket is our choice. The woodland camouflage pattern is preferred since in buildings, no camouflage is needed while outside, there will be many trees, bushes, and grassy areas (even within our community) which will afford concealment.$55
1woodland camo trousers. Obviously the bottom half of the body needs to be uniformed and camouflaged as much as the top. The rationale for the woodland pattern is the same as that for the field jacket.$25
1pair of army boots or equivalent will protect your feet from the elements, mud, and sharp objects while providing a good footing.$50
Total approximate cost of necessary equipment as of 1994$1035

I know this may seem like a lot of money. But it is a small price to pay for your liberties and for your life!

The previous list is the bare minimum for outfitting yourself. With this equipment you can basically shoot, hide, move, and take care of your gun. Many desirable items are neglected. No provision is made for survival in the wilderness. Consequently, if you can afford it, the following items are desirable to have. They are listed in their rough order of importance considering the probable enemy and circumstances.

1set of spare parts for your rifle. A few dollars invested in the parts that are most likely to fail will extend the life of your gun almost forever! Parts for M-1s, M-14s, M-16s, and AR-15s are readily available at gun shows. For the typical rifle a spare firing pin, extractor, extractor plunger, extractor spring, ejector, ejector spring, recoil spring, and hammer spring are sufficient.$25
1G.I. kevlar flak jacket. The current issue military kevlar body armor will stop most knife and bayonet thrusts, all shotgun blasts, and most pistol and some submachinegun bullets (velocities under 1300 feet per second). They will also protect you from mortar and hand grenade fragments. In Vietnam, U.S. soldiers would have sustained 40% fewer casualties if they all wore their body armor and helmets (and this was before the advent of the kevlar helmet). Of course, blunt trauma from bullets will leave welts, bruises, and perhaps cracked bones, but this is better than a loss of blood or life! This body armor can even be upgraded to Type III, stopping even .308 rounds with improvised titanium or steel inserts.Small:



1G.I. kevlar "Fritz" helmet. The old "steel pot" helmets are better than nothing, but will not stop anything with significant velocity. The newer "Fritz" helmets look like the WWII German helmets in form and, accordingly, give better protection of the ears and neck. Best of all, they are fabricated with kevlar and are capable of stopping shell fragments and most pistol and submachine gun and even some long-range rifle rounds (velocities under 2000 feet per second). Concussion from some bullets might leave you a bit dazed and do some internal damage. But, again, this is better than having your brains blown out. And of course, neither kevlar body armor nor helmets can protect you from high-velocity (.223/.308) bullets from assault rifles.$75
1bayonet or knife for hand-to-hand combat. While bayonets are rarely used in modern combat, you will need some type of knife for hand-to-hand combat and utility. You might as well get a bayonet since these make good fighting knives anyway plus give you the option of fixing them on the end of your rifle for special situations that arise.$40
1ballistic goggles to protect your eyes from wind, dust, and dirt flying in poor weather or in the heat of combat.$12
1gas mask and extra filter. While chemical warfare is unlikely, tear gas is a real threat from various law enforcement agencies. Israeli gas masks are not too difficult to get a hold of.$25
1winter camo field jacket and trousers. Since you may need to operate in the snow of winter, this would afford good concealment.$85
1various light camping gear like backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, mess kits, flashlights, batteries, and so on would be useful if you must live in the country.$140
Total approximate cost for desirable equipment as of 1994$500

For $1000 to $1500 you can outfit yourself for combat fairly well. However, there are some things that your cell will need as a unit even if every cell member does not possess them. To outfit men accordingly, each cell will need the following equipment. The equipment can either be bought by the man assigned to use it or the cell can pool funds to buy cell it.

1hand-held CB radio for communication with other nearby cells.$65
1pair of binoculars (7x to 10x) for observation and spotting.$40
1rifle scope. Note: Scopes are undesirable and too costly for the average minuteman. They are cumbersome in brush and slow the acquisition of targets in quick combat. Contrary to popular belief, they do not make a rifle more accurate! But they are useful for clearly seeing distant targets while sniping.$200
1practice rifle. Ammunition is expensive, so the cell should have either a .22 rifle or an air rifle with iron sights (no scope) to use for inexpensive target practice.$100
1general first aid kit along with other selected medical supplies.$40
1set of gunsmithing tools. This would include a set of pin punches, hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, files, rasps, hacksaw, etc.$100
2-4tri-folding shovels for trenching and field fortifications.$40

Don't go out and buy these yourself. Coordinate purchases with your cell so you avoid unnecessary redundancy and expense.

Of course, there are also some kinds of equipment needed at the platoon, company, and battalion levels. Some examples include:

  • Electric generators to run equipment during power outages/failures.
  • Ham/short-wave radios to communicate over longer distances than CBs.
  • CB radios to communicate over short distances with neighboring cells.
  • Batteries to power flashlights, radios, other electric equipment.
  • Portable lights/flares to give light for combat during darkness.
  • Laptop computers/printers to prepare plans and training materials.
  • Photocopiers/printing presses for training materials and persuasion.
  • Shovels/picks/spades for digging and preparing field fortifications.
  • Chain saws for clearing fields of fire in heavily wooded areas.
  • Gasoline for powering chain saws, vehicles, and electric generators.
  • Vehicles (trucks and vans) for transportation in and around our town.
  • Fire extinguishers for fighting fires that break out during combat.
  • Office supplies for supplying computers, photocopiers, and so on.
Again, don't go out and buy any of these things on your own. But if you already have any of them, let your cell leader know so they can be put to good use if and when they are ever needed during an actual mobilization.

What you must do is be sure that you are adequately equipped for combat and contribute (time, money, or things) to the equipment needs of your cell.

It is admittedly expensive to adequately equip an individual or team for effective combat. But your Constitutional liberties and life are worth it!

2.2.3 Be careful how you buy

It is just as important how you go about buying the things you need to equip yourself as it is what you equip yourself with for future combat.

The last thing you want to do is to draw attention to yourself when you buy or leave a "trail" after buying. Gun registration records will no doubt be used to track down and confiscate weapons. Even though those yellow forms you fill out for a gun dealer stay with him, they are subject to BATF inspection and also will compromise your guns. The mailing lists and invoices of suppliers for paramilitary books and gear might also be used to hunt down gun owners. And don't forget about your checking account: it is an open book to the government revealing what, when, and where you buy. Consequently, there are several guiding rules you should follow when you begin to outfit yourself for the Free Militia.

  • Never sign anything. Don't buy guns through dealers since they require you to fill out paperwork.

  • Never give your name and address. Don't order through the mail since invoices will record your name, address, and what you ordered.

  • Always pay with cash. Don't use your checking account or credit cards since these types of transactions leave a record.

  • Be inconspicuous. Don't go to gun shows or dealers decked out in your camouflaged battle dress uniform and body armor.

You might wonder how you can possibly be outfitted given these four constraints. Actually, it is not that difficult. It just takes some time and patience. You may not have the money to buy everything all at once anyway! Here are some tips on outfitting yourself in a confidential way.

  • Slowly build up a supply of cash. Large withdrawals of cash from the bank can trigger (and $10,000 transactions automatically trigger) a report to the federal government.

  • Buy what you can at area gun shows. Your cell leader should have a list of places and dates. Other cell members will be glad to go with you. Virtually everything you need will eventually be found at gun shows, even guns without paperwork! Sometimes private individuals or dealers selling their own personal guns will sell without papers. Look for private individuals carrying around weapons at gun shows and ask if they are selling.

  • It is alright to buy ammunition and supplies from gun dealers, just be sure you pay in cash and don't give your name.

  • There are also other good sources of the types of things you will need like sporting goods stores and military surplus stores. Pay cash!

  • Watch the classified ads in the paper, especially for firearms for sale. Private sales are exempt from paperwork and are confidential.

  • Check with members of your cell. Perhaps they have extra or redundant guns and ammo that they have stashed just for people like you to buy!

2.2.4 Sources of equipment and supplies

In addition to area gun shows and classified ads in the newspaper, there are several sources of firearms, ammunition, and gear in the area.

Look up "gunsmiths and gun dealers," "sporting goods," "military surplus," etc. in the yellow pages of the phone book. Write down the addresses and phone numbers for each listing in the space provided on the next page. As time permits, check them out to get an idea of what they have available. Shop around since prices can vary quite a bit from store to store. Even if you can't afford something now, this shopping will pay off in the future when you can afford to buy.

In any event, buy the priorities first. Don't spend a lot of money on body armor and high-tech "toys" before you own a rifle and ammunition!

Area sources of equipment


Address:________________________________________ Phone:____________________

Notes on supplies they stock:_________________________________________________



Address:________________________________________ Phone:____________________

Notes on supplies they stock:_________________________________________________



Address:________________________________________ Phone:____________________

Notes on supplies they stock:_________________________________________________


2.2.5 Discussion questions

What, if any, experience have you had in gun safety, cleaning, or shooting (i.e., hunting, target shooting, etc.)? What type(s) of firearm(s) have you used in the past? What type(s) of firearms would you say that you are proficient in? How accurate are you?

What firearms do you own? Are any of them formally registered with a government agency? Informally registered using the yellow forms retained by gun dealers? (You may opt not to write down the answers.)

How familiar are you with the firearms discussed in this section? Are you planning to buy any of the firearms recommended in this section? If so, which one(s)? How do you plan to acquire it (them) without leaving a record of you as the buyer? (You may opt not to write the answers.)

Among the firearms that you currently own or intend to buy, which one is your "weapon of choice"? Why? (You may opt not to write the answers.)

How much of the necessary equipment, if any, do you already own?

Do you intend to buy the remaining necessary equipment in the future? If so, how quickly do you plan to do so? (List in the order of priority.)

How much of the desired equipment, if any, do you already own?

Do you intend to buy any of the remaining desired equipment in the future? Which items (list by priority)? How fast do you plan to get them?

Why is it very important that you be careful not to leave any records of sensitive purchases you make like guns, ammunition, and military gear?

Please list the four principles of outfitting yourself confidentially.

Do you agree to follow these principles in the future?

Personal inventory

Note: The following is intended to assist the Free Militia commanders in planning. If you have any of the following items, your sponsor will make a note of it and pass it through to his superiors without your name. Thus, the commanders will have an idea of what might be available in a crisis without having any central records of who has what. We trust that you will freely make these items available when the need arises.

Do you possess any binoculars, field glasses, hand-held CB radios, first aid kits, or gunsmithing tools that you would be willing to let your cell use?

Which of the following items do you both own and volunteer to loan to any Free Militia "war effort" in the event that we must mobilize?

Electric generators  
Ham/short-wave radios  
Laptop computers/printers  
Printing presses  
Chain saws  
Vehicles (trucks and vans)  
Fire extinguishers  
Medical supplies  

Main ideas of this section

For a standard, inexpensive, effective, dependable, and versatile rifle, you will be hard-pressed to do much better than the Ruger Mini-14!

It is admittedly expensive to adequately equip an individual or team for effective combat. But your Constitutional liberties and life are worth it!

It is just as important how you go about buying the things you need to equip yourself as it is what you equipment yourself with for future combat.

2.3 General organization of the Free Militia
"For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes." -- A Roman Centurion talking to Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:9)

"I voluntarily join the Free Militia, and I agree to obey its commanders -- to the extent that my conscience allows -- for the duration of my service in the Militia." -- From the Oath of Office for the Free Militia

2.3.1 The cell structure

In any military organization, there needs to be a clear chain of command to insure effective coordination of smaller units. At the same time, units must be capable of responding to the immediate circumstances without having to ask higher authorities for permission to "go to the bathroom." A good example of a sound balance between these ideas was demonstrated by the U.S. Marines during World War II. The discipline and obedience to authority in the Marine Corps is well known. Yet the Marines retained a degree of initiative and individuality not found in many foreign counterparts, due to their American heritage. An isolated Japanese soldier was not a great threat in the Pacific Theater because he was incapable of functioning without orders. Yet isolated Marines could still be quite effective, cunning, and ingenious in harassing the enemy, by improvising.

Obviously, this kind of loyalty to authority but capability to respond individually is essential to the Free Militia. However, the necessity for personal and small-group freedom and initiative is compounded by several factors. First, the potential enemy may be superior in numbers, meaning that Militia units could be cut off and isolated from other units. Second, the potential enemy will probably be technologically superior, either eavesdropping on or jamming our communications, leading to a different kind of isolation. Third, Free Militia commanders of necessity will have some public exposure as a result of living their private lives.

Even with wise precautions, this endangers command elements by exposing them to possible arrest or attack leading to "decapitation" of combat elements. In any of these situations, combat units of the Free Militia must be capable of carrying on the fight without support from above or beside.

The fundamental rule guiding the organization of the Free Militia is centralized principles and planning but decentralized tactics and action.

What is meant by this key statement is that the whole Militia must be committed to the same cause and coordinated in their joint defense of the community. Thus, there must be allegiance to a higher command. But specific tactics should be left up to the individual elements so that the compromise of a part does not compromise the whole. Furthermore, all training and combat actions should be up to the smaller elements, again so that isolation or decapitation does not render the smaller units inept.

The way a balance between these competing concerns is achieved in the Free Militia is to organize all elements into "cells."

A cell is a group of eight men who train and work together to accomplish a particular goal or task important to the broader purposes of the Militia.

We use the term "cell," because a cell is the basic building block in any living organism. Just as all life, growth and reproduction is based on living cells, all Militia "life" is centered around its cells. The identities of cell members are known only within the cell and by their immediate superior. All basic training is done within a cell. all codes, passwords and telephone networks are determined by and held in confidence within the cell. All fortified positions are determined, prepared and concealed by the cell. All combat orders are executed by the cell as the cell sees fit within its own context. So the Free Militia is its cells.

Why the cell structure?

Military operations must depend on teamwork. But the teams that comprise the larger organization must be small for several reasons:

  • The small size facilitates camaraderie. For the most part, the men who train, work and fight together in a cell will stick together and the cell will remain intact, even though the cell as a whole may be transferred from unit to unit. This will develop personal closeness, trust and loyalty among its members that is critical to effectiveness.

  • The small size allows for personalized training. By knowing and having frequent personal contact with each member, a cell leader can train each man at his level and pace simultaneously with developing a strong cohesiveness among the team.

  • The small size is conducive to secrecy. Since each man knows and trusts everyone else in his group, they can communicate freely and openly while shrouding the particulars of their tactics, positions and signals to everyone outside the group.

  • The small size means manageable communication and coordination. The cell leader easily conveys clear orders to a small group of men. The higher command elements can give orders to the whole Militia

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