Posted on July 30 2018
Add Seasoned Operators to your Preparedness Community
(It's not as hard as you might think.)
One of the criticisms we hear most about Black Autumn is: "You can't throw a stick in your damn novel without hitting an American Operator. Where do all these Bad Asses come from??"
Simple Answer: "It only takes one American Operator veteran and then you'll be crawling with them. They hang together like Tupperware ladies."
Unfortunately, most preppers work alone. There should be more preparedness communities in America, but for whatever reason (unsocial tendencies?) prepper groups are few and far between. But most armageddon experts agree: a community would be a survivor's greatest weapon.
Operators 101: Who should I seek?
Question: Tier 1 Operators, Tier 2 Operators, Marines, Navy SEALs?? What does it all mean and who are the REAL bad asses?
Answer: Anyone who has received serious training beyond boot camp and anyone who has lived with their gun every day and been in gunfights will know volumes more than even the most trained American gun owner.
The "gap" between knowing how to operate a firearm and knowing how to fight with a firearm, with a team against armed opposition, should be called a "chasm." It's the difference between knowing how to wash a car and how to drive a car in the Baja 1000.
You should seek men who have experience taking and receiving fire and who were trained, extensively, in combat. Your group will value someone who can teach you how to run a team and how to respond to threats. For example:
Green Berets: specially trained to teach "indigenous" groups, i.e. you and your friends. Green Berets are ideal.
Navy SEALs: specially trained to conduct direct action missions, which means most SEALs will have engaged in many gunfights. More importantly, all SEALs will have received years of combat training.
Para Rescue: Air Force special operations soldiers trained in direct action but particularly trained in rescue and field medicine. Very skilled and multi-functional for your group.
Delta, Team Six (DEVGRU): Highest level of operator. Definitely capable and trained at peak levels, but might be overkill for your preparedness group. Don't hold out for "Tier One" as it's not really necessary--and they're rare.
MARSOC (Marine Raiders), Army Rangers, Combat Controllers, TACP: all trained operators and all perfectly situated to help your group, having seen combat and received extensive training.
United States Marines: whether or not a Marine is sufficiently experienced to train your group would depend on his combat experience and his MOS (job) in the Marine Corps. It could go either way depending on if he was an admin guy or if he fought in Fallujah. It's all legit service, but he may or may not have enough experience to teach.
Police Officer/SWAT: anyone with firearms experience would be a boon to your group, but most police officers receive nominal firearms training and no combat training. Few police have engaged in gunfights, thankfully. SWAT-trained officers would normally have greater training than regular officers, but it might not apply broadly to most post-collapse scenarios such as moving to contact, react to ambush, direct action missions, mission planning, etc..
How do I Attract an Operator?
Question: How can I get an operator to join our group?
Answer: Create value for him.
Like a medical doctor, dentist or solar power expert, an operator has invested years of his life in his trade. He deserves compensation for his training from your group. There's nothing wrong with a preparedness group "paying" for trained people, usually with food storage, water and supplies.
Somebody in your preparedness group knows somebody who knows an operator. There are tens of thousands of veteran operators in the United States, especially when you include combat-experienced Marines. Once you meet an operator in your area, and if you become friends, you will eventually be introduced to other veteran operators.
Of course, this requires talking to operators-- introducing yourself and eventually explaining that you belong to a preparedness group. Few operators will jump at the chance to work with civilians for zero compensation. To them, guns aren't usually as much fun as they are for gun enthusiasts. This is their trade; their work. It's not a game.
At the same time, most operators are preppers. They care about their families' survival and they understand the frailty of our system, having seen chaos firsthand. Most have a survival plan, usually including local buddies. You will be offering an alternative plan:
The operator brings the bullets. Your group brings the beans and band aids.
More accurately, your group should offer to house, feed, provide power, water and share a community with the operator and his family. Even more importantly, your group must provide people the operator can train, preferably armed people.
This deal may require inviting other operators and their families. A skillset like this will not come cheap. Your group will have to pitch in to cover their families' needs. Don't expect to get something this valuable (serious training and experience) for nothing.
How do I Start a Preparedness Group?
Question: How do I form a group an operator will want to join?
Answer: Make it fun. Don't take yourself too seriously.
Like it or not, it's geeky to talk about the Apocalypse, SHTF, Collapse, Black Autumn, etc.. You might as well make fun of yourself, because others certainly will. Humility is good for the soul, after all.
When you form a preparedness group, there's no need to pump it full of politics, religion or doomsday prophecies. A high percentage of Americans consider preparing for unforeseen disasters good, common sense. You don't need to "make it weird" even if (like Jeff and I) your head is full of dire warnings. Keep them to yourself. It won't hurt your group to "play" at preparedness. Playing beats doing nothing. And, a group that "plays" is more attractive than a group that drones on and on about politics.
Primitive skills and preparations, like gardening, shooting, camping and hunting are FUN. If you let it be fun, more people will accept your invitation to join a preparedness group. Heck, don't even call it a "preparedness group." Call it an "outdoor club" or a "gardening group." Whatever it takes to put people at-ease will serve your goal: building a community of friends--one that a veteran operator and his wife will enjoy.
(For an easy way to contact preparedness folks in your area, join the ReadyMan membership and get access to the Plan2Survive. It has an easy networking tool built-in to the app which allows you to contact other ReadyMan members in your area!)
It would be nice if the operator agreed to go shooting with your crew of buddies. Offer to buy his lunch and his ammo. Ask him what each person should bring in terms of equipment. If possible, don't go to a commercial shooting range. Go to the woods. It'll give the operator more room to teach the way he was taught (which will include shooting and moving, not just punching holes in paper.)
Even if you, your buddies and the operator never get around to shooting together, it would be worth it for him to know that he and his family are welcome with your group should a catastrophe occur. Even without training on this side of a collapse event, an operator would provide ultra-valuable training even after a collapse. With just a few days of daily training, he could have your group working 500% better than you were before. No matter how much you train now, you will have a lot more training to do after a collapse. Nobody takes training as seriously as they would if they knew a collapse were imminent.
Remember: all this takes time. Building your group. Befriending a veteran operator. Gaining training. Progress will be measured in years, not weeks. Be patient and make it fun.
In the military, your operator friend had a group of buddies and they had a lot of fun in between missions. If you can give a little of that camaraderie back, and serve men who served our country, everyone wins.
Truth be told: no veteran operator should have to buy his food storage (or his drinks at the bar.) In a perfect world, those of us who didn't serve should be picking up the tab. If you can pick up the tab, and vastly improve the survivability of your group, so much the better.