UPDATE 3: Still waiting to hear about reprint of AFOC.
Reposted because of the timeliness of the subject matter. Legitimacy is the foundation upon which your NPT will succeed or fail. No legitimacy, no NPT support from the NPAO. Take that into consideration when choosing what, where, and who you’ll select to provide your training, because how you come across to your community will be directly influenced by where you pick up your skills. What you do to or for someone hurt or someone who’s helpless before the SHTF may mean ALL the difference in the world.
There’s a tendency with preparation minded folks to focus like a laser on the tools and skills of the NPT fighting off feral hordes rather than the medium in which it will operate during a WROL/SHTF scenario. The medium, if you will, is the people in the NPAO. Having all the skills and tools in the world is no guarantee that your NPT will be able to do anything much at all in your NPAO without the support of your neighbors. Making an assumption that when things go bad, you and your NPT will be accepted with open arms by the people on the next block or a couple blocks away walking around with your AR’s may not be the most realistic thought process to bet on. Especially if you haven’t been seen helping people or being involved in your NPAO prior to ‘adverse conditions.’
Instead, consider balancing your skills training by starting to build (if you’re not already doing so) legitimacy now. It can be done, especially if you follow the example set in “A Failure of Civility” by Jack Lawson and Mike Garand, in Chapter 5. They’ve even provided some very good templates to use in gaining the cooperation (which will lead to legitimacy) of your neighbors. DTG and Mason Dixon Tactical (among others) heartily endorse and recommend the use of this superb book as a training standard whether you’re urban, suburban, or rural in location. So much so that we are using it as one of our primary references when conducting classes.
Think abou it: A WROL/SHTF event has occurred. You know you need to help in your NPAO. Are you and your NPT viewed as having a legitimate purpose? If so, you’re good to go, because being viewed as legitmate brings with it hte support of the people around you. You can only gain legitimacy by achieving the following:
Building Rapport with the People in the NPAO
- Don’t come across as a ‘nutbag’
- Don’t conduct meetings in camo, full kit, with weapons. Dress like everyone else.
- Smile; be welcoming. Don’t talk doom and gloom, and don’t scare the women and children.
- Provide help (things like demonstrating how to increase food stores by canning, first aid classes for babysitters or new mothers, or even clothing drives for good local causes)
- Always focus on what the people need instead of trying to convince them of your own capabilities.
- Be genuinely sincere and receptive when asked questions that seem simple or naive (an old instructor taught me something many years ago about questions: “Son, you may have heard that question 5,000 times, but it’s the first time that student has asked it. Give him a good answer.” It applies when building rapport with your neighbors, too.)
- Exercise patience with the new folks; especially those who seem anxious.
- During a disagreement, don’t insult the participants. It’s not about winning an argument; it’s about persuading them to buy in and help.
- As much as possible, integrate your local customs into your meetings while still keeping things moving and on schedule.
- Share privation with the people in the NPAO post incident.
- Demonstrate commitment to the people in the NPAO by taking risks to keep them safe post WROL/SHTF event. Pre-event demonstrate commitment by supporting, when possible, local drives/interests such as the local little league team or other youth organization.
- Carefully consider, both pre and post WROL/SHTF event, how your actions will affect the your neighbors positively as well as negatively.
As you get to know the folks in your NPAO and work towards gaining legitimacy by building rapport, one small step at a time, chances are very, very good that should you ever be called upon to protect your neighborhood in a WROL/SHTF event, your neighbors will be standing there helping you.