by C.J.B., Survival Blog:
Prior to an “end of the world” scenario… one can add or enhance your group’s abilities, skill-sets, technical knowledge, and tactical prowess by adding veterans, reserve military members, and law enforcement personnel (LEOs) to your team roster.
So what do veterans/military members and law enforcement professionals bring to the table?
Intangibles/Tangibles: There are several unique and service-focused skills, mindsets, technical and tactical knowledge and experiences that military and LEOs can field to the benefit of your organization/group. Moreover, most have their own individual gear, and will or can be sympathetic to the prepper’s causes. Additionally, they may have access to body armor, helmets, assorted gear, and firearms more readily than a common person.
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Teamwork Focused: For starters the above-mentioned class of individuals tend to know how to work as an effective team member, follow instructions, and be a positive force multiplier for most groups. Especially, those members who served or are currently serving in combat-arms MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) fields, and police officers or sheriff’s deputies. At times, being a “team player” is a life-and-death matter for this group of people, and this is an important core value that is imparted to them from day one of their training.
Communication-Centered: Additionally, these service members tend to know how to affectively use advanced radio communications skills or less- than- common communication techniques (arm and hand signals, Morse Code, smoke and flare signals, 10-codes, phonetic alphabets, and encrypted messaging).
Tactical Training: Tactical training is embedded in most of this group’s individual DNA. Army soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and law enforcement officers tend to have advanced firearms/ tactical training, bought and paid for by the government in a “ready to serve your group” package. I served almost 18-years in the U.S. Army and am currently a peace officer, and I can’t count how many thousands of rounds I’ve fired downrange, or how many buildings and rooms I’ve had to clear throughout my career- not only in training, but in real world situations and scenarios. You can safely bet that most if not all service members and LEO personnel have a solid, basic, tactical/firearms foundation, if not advanced.
Less-than-Lethal abilities/Gear: Most LEOs and some military/veterans will have their own gear which they bring to the table such as: PR-24 batons, ASP batons, handcuffs, pepper spray, and Taser equipment. Additionally, military members are known to be “equipment junkies and gear hoarders.” From my own time in the service have an ALICE Pack (All Purpose Light-Weight, Individual, Carrying Equipment) some MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), Advanced First-Aid kit, Shelter half, compass, E-tool, and a host of other equipment I’ve acquired during my time on active duty. The equipment and training vets and LEOs bring to the table are sure to be a real boon for your group. Also, active duty police/sheriff deputies or troopers, while in uniform will also bring a positive, level of credibility to your group, along with intimate knowledge of local SOPs and possible access to some high-dollar value equipment or surplus gear and equipment.
Loyalty: This is one of the core values almost all service-oriented individuals have instilled in them from the early phases of their training. From boot camp, basic training, or law enforcement academy grads- loyalty is a fundamental core value for all…a common, bonding value that, is a uniting force which feeds into Esprit De Corps.
Leadership: Depending on rank obtained or job position almost all military members have been in charge of other service members at one time or another. Moreover, LEOs by their very nature, are “take charge” type of individuals. From commanding a crime scene to chasing a “bad guy”, police, sheriff, troopers, or agents must take charge of situations in order to fulfill their lawful duties.
Endurance and Resiliency: Most veterans and military members have lived a life of hardship and sacrifice. From deployments to combat zones, to seeing friends killed or maimed by IEDs (Improvised Exploding Devises). This latest generation of military members have learned to “Stay the Course”. Additionally, LEOs work in high-stressor environments that can be fast-paced, which at times can require split-second decision making- that can end a life or a career of the individual service member or officer, and or leave someone permanently injured or disfigured. By the very nature of these individuals – returning to their post, work or patrol duty, day-after-day and year-after-year… shows the mettle of their character and strength of their resolve When other run away from the sounds of war, battle, or a gunfight, these service members and LEOs run to it. Resiliency is in their blood. It is instilled in them and nurtured throughout one’s career, and refined in the fires of battles, deployments, responses for calls for service or 9-11 dispatches.
Discipline: Any branch, and I mean any branch, of the armed forces has an initial focus on discipline. LEOs who attend the police academy also have this instilled in them. LEOs come from an only quasi-military orientation, however, they understand rank, how to follow orders and how to act and think independently. Most of the aforementioned group understand the value of being mission-critical, playing their role with an assigned team and have an unbelievable worth ethic. Most, also have a “can do attitude” and focus on task-oriented work styles which produces results. Real tangible and quantifiable results. These uniformed individuals know how to analyze, detect and work through or around complex problem with little or no guidance from superiors.
Suggested places to recruit for your group: VFWs (Veterans of Foreign Wars) AL(American Legions), posts, Gyms such as your local YMCA, a for-profit facility. Also, your local gun ranges, gun stores or firearms dealer could yield you some positive results. Another cool place to search for officers or military aligned could be your local JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training College) or college Police Academies. Veterans, can be pretty easy to find, just go to your local parade on or near the 4th of July and count how many USMC veterans hats, Army/Navy, T-shirts, and Air Force or Coast Guard bumper stickers you see during your holiday.
Another place to possibly check would be your local military recruiter. A lot of times these recruiters will have access to a list of individual service members who’ve recently completed their required time in service. Also, on the world-wide-web, and on sites such as this. Just scroll through Facebook or Instagram and count how many “friends” you know that are veterans or cops. Moreover, the VA (Veterans Administration) is almost a one-stop shop for potential members.