In the last year, we’ve noticed a common thread in more than a few training requests along the lines of, “I need you to train us to A, B, C, 1, 2, 3…oh yeah…and X, Y, and Z….[comprising about 3 months worth of solid instruction], and the time frame should be no more than a Friday evening and most of Saturday….we’ve got lives, ya know.”
Besides the unrealistic expectations of what one may actually absorb over a day and a half or even 2 or 3 days, this pattern demonstrates a level of anxiety that is apparently gaining momentum as people are realizing ‘something’ (nobody knows or can articulate exactly what) is coming down the pike pretty quickly and all the time procrastinating on getting training is starting to catch up like a dog wanting to bite someone in the ass. And, as such, many folks seem to believe that compression of training will equate to compensation for procrastination.
That dog will not, no matter how many doggie treats you give it, hunt.
It also demonstrates that the skill of focusing on what can be done in the time available with the resources available is not where it should be in order to make any real progress toward the goal of being able to protect our ‘precious cargo’ when civility fails.
If the above describes you, gentle reader, or your NPT members, take a step back, breathe, and then start to do an internal, objective assessment. From that, you can prioritize what’s most important (meaning, what do you lack the most) and take it from the top. Most important is trained on, learned, acquired, first, before anything else. Here’s a list that a NPT might make (completely made up) to demonstrate what you might list as priorities:
1. Personal Defense Carbines & 7 mags & 1,000 rds ammo (minimum).
2. Ham license and hand held, base station, or mobile 2 way radio.
3. TC3 (Combat Casualty Care) training.
4. Land navigation training.
5. 6 months expenses cash on hand.
6. 2 years food stored.
7. Water purification equipment.
8. “Get Home/GOOD” bags/equipment set up.
9. Family Emergency Rendezvous Plan
10. Family/Group/NPT ‘Fall Back’ Location, Multiple pre-planned routes to get there, pre-positioned supplies from all parties.
11. Personal clothing/equipment (High quality boots, socks, & rucks, LBE, Wiggy’s bags, etc)
12. Disaster mitigation tools (chain saw with bar chain oil, fuel, new or freshly sharpened chain, hand tools, generator & fuel, pry bar, rope, etc)
13. NPT small unit tactics skill training.
14. Basic and advanced marksmanship training for rifle and pistol.
15. Physical combatives training.
16. Purchase, “A Failure of Civility,” and subscribe to DTG’s On-Line Classroom.
17. Purchase a subscription to Forward Observer magazine and save for some of the classes offered.
18. Attend DTG’s “Essential Skills” series of training/discuss with NPT options of going to them or having them come to us.
Again, these examples are from a fictional NPT; more specifically, just ‘off the top of my head’ that our fictional NPT may or may not have accomplished yet, but might need to before feeling ‘adequately prepared’ to mitigate, “A Failure of Civility.” Of course, there are many more things to do and acquire, but you get the idea. And depending on where you are, find good trainers and attend their classes. PA and WV has JC Dodge from Mason Dixon Tactical. Various parts of the country have John Mosby. NC/SC/GA/TN have a great resource in the folks who put out, “The Appalachian Messenger.” There are many more good resources available; our concern is that you get quality training and progress down the road toward skill mastery. Be picky. It might mean the difference between getting quality instruction or being simply walked through a skill set with little regard for skill mastery. And that includes your evaluation of DTG. If you don’t think we can supply what you need, by all means, go somewhere else that you believe does. But get good training.
Now that we’ve got the priority list, we start from number 1 and keep working as time and resources allow. Time equates to exactly that: Time available that’s not occupied with putting food on the table, paying bills, or otherwise acquiring what is necessary. This means that the 2 hours spent in front of the boob tube each night have to be used for something else. This means spending the $500 or more going to a sporting event every other week needs to be redirected on what is essential to protect your precious cargo. This also means you have to set aside time to study and increase your fitness level. Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, it’s a pain. Yeah, it’s also necessary if you’re going to do what you’ve set out to do for your ‘precious cargo’.
It might also mean having a serious discussion with the spouse/significant other on what needs doing and why. Not easy, to be sure, especially if the ‘other half’ doesn’t see what you see. But that goes with the territory of being the protector. Remember, you need to do what will make your wife/SO happy 25 years from now…not necessarily tomorrow or next week. That might possibly equate to some arctic nights. But again, you drew the short straw, so accept that and get busy.
While working on the priority list, don’t hyperventilate over things out there designed to get you in a panic. There’s always an imminent disaster being trumpeted. The design behind it all, in our very humble opinion, is to paralyze us with fear so that we are more susceptible to give up our birth right: God given freedom and rights. This is where the ability to let things roll off your back and stay focused comes in.
Don’t fall prey to the desire to worry yourself into anemia (to quote Auntie Em from, ‘The Wizard of Oz”). Watch what is happening; don’t listen to what is being said, and take appropriate action. Get done what you can while you can with what you have.
Stay focused. You’ll get there.