The U.S. Constitution calls for the militia to “execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;” The reality is, at the moment, there is low likelihood of needing to repel an invasion. I also don’t expect many state or local governments to call up unorganized militias to “execute the laws of the Union” due to public perception and municipal liability.
That leaves “suppress insurrections”, and oppose tyranny when it comes in the form of government. Indeed, we have seen militias do just that.
Bundy ranch: Militia members stood up to federal overreach trying to seize the Bundys cattle.
Battle of Athens Tennessee: locals took up arms to stop the local government from predatory policing, police brutality, political corruption, and voter intimidation.
George Floyd riots: Small groups assisted local business owners in protecting their private property when the local police were overwhelmed
Gettysburg threats: Hundreds showed up to protect the park against antifa attacks
Military recruiter attacks: After several army recruiter offices were attacked, militia groups stood guard outside, showing support.
In spite of this, it seems most militia groups I have seen, seem to be focused on survival/prepping or preparing to repel a foreign invasion. I think this lack of focus and mission very much is to the detriment of the movement as a whole. When a new member joins a group, wanting to contribute, and the group has a class on fishing fly tying, and jungle booby traps, they start to loose interest… And I don’t think it is the intent of those group leaders, just the fact that their is lack of focus and mission.
When asked, most will say the mission of their unit is “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;…” But that is still pretty vague.
Take the U.S. Army: Their mission is ” To deploy, fight, and win our Nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt, and sustained land dominance by Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict as part of the Joint Force.”, but each unit has it’s own mission within the big picture. For instance, the air defense artillery mission is: “to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance.” That is pretty specific… it allows a unit to develop its Mission Essential Task List (METL) and come up with a training program that supports that specific mission.
So should the unit mission of a militia be “to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver to destroy, capture, or repel an assault by fire, close combat, and counterattack.”? How will that fit in the framework of suppressing insurrection? Defending a store or monument or cattle ranch? I do think the fundamentals of infantry are essential for modern militias. It takes a lot of training evolutions to get proficient at it. Given that most groups meet once a month, for a full Saturday and a few hours on Sunday, leaves about 18 days of training. (12 full days and 12 half days). Eighteen days to get proficient at manipulating weapons, react to contact, communicate, casevac, TCCC, land nav, assault, patrol, post contact actions, etc… Plus if you are defending property during civil unrest, you’ll need some legal guidance on use of force, and options, citizens arrest (if aplicable in your state) etc, so your group doesn’t get jammed up after the fact. That’s a lot to get proficient in, in just 18 days.
That is the focus I see missing. No group is going to be proficient at basic infantry if they are also training in foraging, food preservation, etc, they will be jacks of all trades and masters of none.
And that brings us to the crux of the issue. Leadership. Not necessarily that leaders are bad, but many don’t have good direction (or focus)… because supporting and defending the constitution against all enemies is noble, it is just too general of a mission, and the local leaders don’t have the guidance to focus on more unit oriented missions and training. Additionally, because a lot of the volunteers mainly want to “play army in the woods” there is a lack of support leadership…Intel, comms, public relations, and logistics. That requires a time commitment beyond the monthly FTX, and recruiting for it is a long pole in the tent, because it is not as “fun” or “glamorous” as playing army in the woods.
Ideas for solutions?
Do we start a militia “officers corps” (even though most are not commissioned)?
Maybe a dual organizational structure like the Sinn Féin and the IRA?
Is political and social activism going to be part of the militia, or just something on members do on their own?
What are your ideas?