01 May DDD: Fundamentals, Body Armor and the Survival Team Myth by John Meyers
Preface: I generally try to ignore the daily deeds of politicians and the incessant bickering between voting blocs and identity groups but it seems to have gotten to me lately, as you’ll witness. While I prefer proactive apathy toward the system, the following needs to be said. I’d urge conservatives to seek the ‘safe spaces’ they mock as their sacred cows are going be butchered into extremely tasty burgers. -JM
“At least it ain’t Hillary!” they bleat. Has Team Freedom bowed to Leviathan? This is usually the case when a person with an “R” behind their name is elected to the Offal Office.
During the Obama years, Doomsday Prepper’s became a wildly popular TV show. Oathkeeper’s marched on Lexington Green. Open Carry rallies sprang up across the country. Three Percent groups exploded to the point of making the original ideology inconsequential and even meaningless. The Tea Party movement, an offshoot of the late Ron Paul movement, became co-opted and institutionalized by the mainstream GOP. Every other truck had a Gadsden flag on it, including ones found in DHS’s parking lots. People were ready to go to war if a single damned democrat uttered “gun control” one more time.
Enter the Age of Trump. Their guy got elected on a platform of populist nationalism. An outsider took the helm to Make America Great Again. He said the days of worrying about Second Amendment erosion are over. He inspired the racialist movements of old to reemerge and openly decry everything from the Social Justice Warrior down at the corner coffee shop to ZOG control of banking and everything in between. Former libertarians united with the white nationalist Traditionalist Workers Party despite them being literal communists on economic issues and fascists on everything else. Cultural conservatives and even some Identitarians now love the music of rapper Kayne West all due to a tweet. The entire spectacle has become the biggest laugh fest of political theater I’ve ever seen.
It has become entirely clear the Resistance has just been mostly playing Patriot for years. Their guy got into office and America supposedly has been saved from the Cultural Marxists. Some factions went entirely to sleep and stopped showing up on range days or down at the monthly Prepper Meet ‘n Greet. Others stopped preparing all together.
In the last several months, the Orange Fuhrer has unilaterally directed the Department of Justice to classify owners of certain firearms accessories as felons, without a grandfather clause, which is more gun control in one executive directive than Obama instituted in his entire 8-year reign. The Right still cheers Dear Ruler while making 10 million excuses (Muh 4-chess!) or at minimum they remain silent.
He has signed the largest budget in history into law, called for the death penalty for dealers of illegal plant vegetation and chemical compounds, (muh war on drugs!) is fighting the “Deep State” by appointing its cronies to different positions, hoisted oppressive tariffs on steel and aluminum and sparked a trade war whose losers are the American people. People trade, not nations. The “Resistance” still stands by their man because he challenged Biden to a cage match… or something.
Individualist and economic think tanks used to host entire conferences called “Down with the Presidency” when George Bush was in office, attacking the institution of the Imperial Presidency from all directions. Now free market academics that used to speak at those conferences, host debates about Trump’s tariffs and actually consider the pro-tax side to actually have a legitimate position.
Meanwhile, the base is whistling past the graveyard as Trump threw them a bone with some trivial tax cuts. But in typical Supply Side style he didn’t accompany them with spending cuts. In effect he prefers to pay for his extravagant spending by borrowing or printing the money. It’s as if he told the taxpayers he was taking them out for dinner and then sent them the bill.
The same Proud Boys, who wrote, “taxation is theft” in the tip line on their restaurant credit card slips, now demand high tariffs on everything imported into the US while Trump gives his support for national Internet sales tax collection. Apparently the calls to double the federal gas tax are just to Make America Great Again.
John Bolton was appointed National Security Adviser. Trump previously stated the Iraq War was the biggest blunder in American history. So lets appoint its biggest cheerleader. That will drain the swamp!
The Alt Right’s Dear Ruler that they ‘Roman Salute’ has championed Extreme Risk Orders which amount to ‘taking the guns first, due process second.’ He has issued statements to the Supreme Court demanding they never restore non-violent felons gun rights. Ironically one of the cases in question involved a simple charge of carrying a gun without a permit, something any Freedomista should be against the existence of in the first place.
Cheeto Benito argues for raising the purchase age of guns, eliminating all private sales, and has hinted at support of another Assault Weapons Ban. He champions turning the youth propaganda camps that are public schools into literal prison states. He now vows to fight Amazon and make them cough up more money to fill the federal coffers. If Hillary attacked a private company in this fashion, calls of “SOCIALIST!” would rule the day.
Internet Trumpansies have called for Lincolnian actions like sending in federal troops into American cities because they have defied federal law on immigration.
This is the freedom Orwell wrote about. People see in Trump what their hopes are. They see him as the comic book Based Stick Man on Pennsylvania Avenue taking out those damned commies one at a time. But really he is just more proof of “Woods’ Law.” No matter whom you elect, you always get John McCain. That is, horrific centrism, log rolling and continual diminishment of liberty that characterizes every administration since Lincoln. The next is always worse than the last. At this point we are just on Bush’s 5th term.
I’ve said for years that when full frontal tyranny manifests, the Patriot movement would be waving flags on parade lines at the tanks rolling through their thoroughfares. If you want to see how it will be just look at how Trump supporters act right now. He can do no wrong in their eyes. It’s a literal manifestation of team sports in the ruling class’s psychology of power.
This is the state of the Resistance. Do us all a favor and take a knee.
For those left standing I offer the following DDD (Defeating Doomsday Derp) essay for your perusal. While they carry Tyranny’s water, we train.
Tactics before Fundamentals?
I attended my first survival oriented ‘tactical’ class approximately 7 years ago. I had some formal training before hand from the non-prepper world. I could shoot a little bit, I was decent at mechanics and I was physically fit. This was not the case for 75% of the rest of the class. After some perimeter security lectures, working angles and doorways and going over some light infantry techniques to defend said property, a brief over view of team tactics was ran with dry weapons. Ambushes, patrol formations, Break Contact, and basic reacting to contact were taught. I left the class thinking I knew all I needed to know to survive the coming collapse.
I began getting really immersed in training and realized they were putting the cart before the horse. The class was taught by an 11B that did know his stuff and had the resume to back it up. What he didn’t understand was the disservice that was being done to the students who were learning to break contact as a small team, but didn’t have knowledge of muzzle discipline and ready positions or efficiency of execution in weapons handling and marksmanship. Stated differently they couldn’t keep their guns running or hit what they were aiming at. They could not index their weapons in a proper manner to avoid fratricide.
There are people several states away that I’ve conversed with that are talking about starting a survival school and plan to teach team tactics. When asked if they were going to have a rifle program to ensure fundamental knowledge of weapons handling, marksmanship and mechanics before moving to more advanced things, they said that flat range live fire was too dangerous. I was, and still am perplexed.
So let me get this straight, you are going to teach people to operate as a small unit, in an open enrollment class, which involves things like shooting at the enemy while your buddy is forward of your position, in front of the “180,” and you aren’t going to make sure they can handle a weapon first? Talk about a complete disservice. And this completely avoids the topic of overall relevancy and where things like Small Unit Tactics (SUT) should fall in a priority of work in your training regimen. To put that simply, if you are an average American and are learning patrol tactics before you can run a home defense weapon, your carry pistol, or have basic medical skills, I’d say you probably have your priorities misaligned. Others mileage may vary.
“The MVT experience is that since we began to run civilian training over four years ago, we have been expanding ‘backwards” into weapon manipulation and flat range training. We overestimated the skill with their weapons that students from the prepper milieu would bring to the game. To be totally frank, they mostly have no skill at all, and are a liability to themselves; certainly not skill under pressure in a simulated combat environment where it counts. Tie that in with a refusal to do any meaningful, PT, and you have a recipe for disaster. People are kidding themselves.”
There are people that others look up to for one reason or another, whether its because they are the resident firearms guy in their family or they are known as the guy who has his stuff handled in their group of friends. It is imperative that people in these positions point out the truth to those looking for it. We must realize most of the folks asking are at the Unconscious Incompetence level although some are classic “Ask Holes.” Usually they don’t know what they don’t know and often the first “Subject Matter Expert” (SME) to give them advice; it is taken as Gospel, good, bad or indifferent. People attempting to teach others, especially newbies in the survival community, please assure they know the fundamentals before going into the Hondo Rolls, Cheetah Flips and Helo Insertions. After all once the shooting starts it still all boils down to sights and triggers.
From the same blog post referenced above, Max says, “tactical training is a progression.” Indeed. I’ve heard it explained as, skills, techniques and procedures. Skills are the individual shooting skills and mechanics you learn on the flat range. If you look at what the high-level guys train, they spend most of their time working this stuff. While all the rest needs to be drilled relentlessly, it generally seems to fall in place much easier if you are personally squared away to the best of your ability when entering that team context later on.
Techniques are the beginning of tactics and how to employ those skills in a tactically appropriate manner and the 3-D environment enters the equation. Procedures are all encompassing and tie everything together. Procedures are how you and your buddy would search and clear a structure or how your team would conduct a patrol. Many want to start at the procedures level without having any sort of foundation to work with. If someone is peddling this type of thing, stay far, far away. Do yourself a favor and define your actual mission first, starting with daily life. Once this is done, you can identify what capabilities you’ll need to possess, and you can start a training regimen. And to be perfectly blunt physical fitness should probably be #1 on everyone’s list.
(Authors note: Real time training logs can be found here)
Body Armor, Green Tip and Steel Targets
“If you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet.” – Bill Buppert, Zerogov.com
I do not intend to go into a deep discussion about body armor. But I do want to point out a few things. Cheap body armor (usually steel) is bandied about by Threeper’s as the greatest thing since sliced bread. The reality is just a casual search of YouTube will show is that high velocity 5.56 rounds such as the XM193 55gr cartridge will zip through AR500 steel (rated to stop .308), at 50 yards if it is shot through guns that get the round above 3100 FPS. Would you trust your life to that? Often legitimate body armor can be had for not that much more than a set of AR500 plates.
There is also a spalling issue with steel. The bullet fragments on impact and sprays the wearer down with spall. The possibility of severe damage is there, even though the plate may have saved your life. They have come up with some coatings to attempt to mitigate some this, but I just don’t see. You can often find new surplus stock liquidations of new SAPI’s or eSAPI’s for example from places like Tyr Tactical where you can get a set for 175$. No, it’s not the latest greatest lightweight wiz bang plate, but it will actually work when the time comes.
I’ve shot more steel in the past year than any other previous year of my shooting life. I’ve seen 3/8 AR500 targets have XM193 rounds through 20” Colt HBAR’s zip right through it. I’ve also heard that M855 Green tip penetrator ammo will zip through all armor. I personally shot M855 through 18”, 16” and 14.5” guns at 10 yards at AR500 steel and just a small pockmark.
Guys, please settle down about your ‘Armor Piercing” ammo you’ll use on the Jack Boots when they kick down the front door at O’ Dark Thirty. Research your body armor, evaluate its role in your life and don’t just look at cheap prices. Cheap shit is cheap for a reason.
The Survival Team Myth
I first read “Patriots” by Rawles before it was in print form and was still floating around on various forums on the web in PDF. When it was published in book form, I read that version and then immediately read it again to digest what I read. I saw another explosion of this survival group stuff when One Second After hit and people went collectively survival nuts. (I might have a slightly skewed view since I’m located within 100 miles of where the book is set.)
I began to mingle in these circles. If you didn’t have a group or a team you were going to die a slow, horrible, painful death when the biker gangs drove through your front door. The groups in these stories are usually composed of idealistic men who have trained every skill and stocked up on every supply known to man. They possess all the needed skills and equipment to do everything from full on trauma surgery to conducting a complex tactical mission. There is just a small problem with all of this. It’s a myth of Tactical Fantasy Band Camp. This sort of survival team is a Unicorn, but perhaps a tactical one.
The reality is people do not have a team of 12 pipe hitter, former SOF guys, that ran 6 hits a day for the duration of the GWOT. They usually have a group of families with a few male heads of house that generally are in less than stellar physical shape and a bad case of the Dunning-Kruger’s. Elderly folks are also present in their groups. This is not to demean people in any way; it’s a simple recognition of reality.
Great, you have 6 years of rice and beans squirrelled away in a barn somewhere. You have 80 junky guns to arm your conscripts in AMREV2, but can you efficiently use a rifle to begin with? Stuff does not equal skill. Seeds in a bucket do not mean you can grow your survival garden on your first try in a post-industrial societal breakdown.
Whether it’s called a team or mutual assistance group, (MAG!) one that lives up to its charge, is as rare as hen’s teeth. Let’s conduct a sober experiment. Let’s look at a cross section of our family, friends and acquaintances. Take a look at everyone in your life. Now compare those people to the idealistic survival team found in the average survival fiction book. I’m talking about the book that has each member being part of an organized group, monthly dues, with bylaws and a form of private governance with pre-positioned 5 years worth of food for each member and better (and more) kit than the average CAG shooter as well as everything in between. Each member is highly trained in everything from off grid water systems to fast roping and 200-mile bug outs. This type of group is pure fantasy for 99% of people.
Everything in the survival world centers around a team. And I can definitely see the appeal. I am urging folks to conduct real world assessment of those teams and understanding the actual capabilities instead of artificially enhancing those capabilities. Let’s flip back to the first section of this article where I discussed tactics being focused on before fundamentals. It is generally seen in some circles that the Ranger Handbook and Light Infantry Dismounted Patrolling techniques are studied religiously before fundamental skills are even built. How does that team benefit you when you come home from work tomorrow, your door is kicked in and you hear screaming from inside where your 14-year-old daughter is supposed to be after school? Did it really pay off to put off those pistol classes and range days while out on militia call out to do greenside patrolling practice? Does speed dial work that fast to assemble your teammates living in neighboring counties and states to respond to the situation? Or are you going to have to handle business with your mouse gun (because that 1911 was just too doggone big to wear IWB everyday, eh?) in your pocket at that very instant?
This is a perfect example of why the most applicable skills should be your priority before pursuing other things that you should definitely know but are that are fairly unlikely to be needed. But always balance the stakes with the odds.
Networking and forming groups on line is common. Meet ups, forums and the like are popular. I’ve seen the rise of these groups and methods of organizing. I’ve seen people meet up once or twice, they form a group and they think they have a kinship blood bond because they have the same brand of AR15 rifle. Lets just look at this objectively. Meeting someone one time, do you really think they are going to take a bullet for you?
“This guy is so condescending and negative all the time!”
So what can you do in this area? You need to look at who your “tribe” (to use the cliché du jour) is objectively and work with what you have. If you identify that your survival group is realistically, your wife, your 3 toddlers, 2 dogs and yourself, why on earth are you spending 8 weekends a year at the local militia camp out learning Mark Koernke-esque patrol tactics or how to operate as a platoon of paramilitaries at the detriment of overcoming “Low Left Charlie” with your carry gun? Why not mastering single man structure flows? 3rd party defense? How to operate around a vehicle that you drive everyday? How to employ your every day carry handgun and operate it with toddlers present? What about learning how to plug a hole in the event that your wife takes a round in that mass shooting incident?
I suggest we take Matt Graham’s advice:
“Tom: “I’m a member of a club that gets together and trains in tactics and shooting and stuff…we learn military tactics and practice clearing houses and stuff.”
Matt Graham: “Why?” I said. Baffled. “Do you have a wife, Tom?” I ask, “and kids?” He answers quickly with a “yep” to both as I get to the point. “Are they Rangers, Tom?” and as I say it I can hear the keystrokes stop in the background, as he repeats my question in his mind – are they rangers? “Because if your wife isn’t a Ranger, Tom, or your little kids aren’t Rangers, then why the fuck are you using Ranger tactics?”
Graham further elaborates:
“I am alone. I am a fighting element of 1. Like most, I don’t need to learn how Rangers tackle a tactical situation, I need to learn, and then refine, how I – a man with a wife and a family – tackle tactical situations. It becomes a different template when there is just one gun in the fight. I am breacher. I am medic. I am sniper. I am driver. I am both point and rear. I am security. It is only me. Accepting this helps me acknowledge one of the most important principles I know: no one is coming to save you.
It is my responsibility and my responsibility alone to fix and finish threats to me and mine. So I have learned and refined one-man clears. I have learned comprehensive medical skills for combat trauma. I have learned combatives that finish fights quickly. I have learned weapons skills that help me address problems from near and far, and big to small. I have learned offensive vehicle skills. I have learned how to maximize myself in the darkness. And learning these skills reinforces one of the most important principles I practice: I am the master of my own destiny.
You set yourself up for success. Do the things that put you in a position to control your fate. Awareness and mindset are practices, they are habits. Act. Do. Actions. Doing. Jung said, “…you are what you do, not what you say you will do”.
“The own will of me is the State’s destroyer.” – Max Stirner
About the author: John Meyers traces his Appalachian ancestry back nine generations to the 1750’s. He lives with his family on the high ridges of the Smoky Mountains.