One has to be living under a rock to not have heard about the tragic events that have unfolded in Oregon, vis a’ vis the Hammond Ranch court case, the Bundy led occupation of a Wild Life Refuge ‘headquarters’ building, subsequent death of one of the leaders during a police stop, and continued ‘hold out’ by four people, who are currently either under arrest or about to be, depending on what the responding FBI, Oregon State, and Malheur County teams on site determine as the way to end the ‘occupation’. The only hope concerned folks have is that the situation ends without any more fatalities.
An astute person may learn some of the many things ‘not‘ to do by examining the actions of the people who chose to protest in a way that has now cost them plenty with no return on that investment. The internet and blogosphere is replete with actions taken and subsequent critique. Our purpose here is not to ‘damn’ the people involved, but to try to learn from their situation.
No matter what your feelings are on the situation, the situation is a superb opportunity to see how various actions have worked for or against a small group of people when applied to the NPT operating scenario.
Here’s a list of just a few things you may want to consider for your NPT planning and training from a ‘lessons learned’ perspective from the Oregon situation against the day that SHTF when you’re suddenly faced with defending your NPA from lawless entities trying to take it from you.
- Failing to plan is planning to fail: Old axiom, but true nevertheless. Acting out of emotion with no ‘cold eye’ approach to contemplated actions or activity only plays into the hands of your opposing force. End State Objective, Strategy, Planning, Execution, and Post Execution Actions all need to be logically dealt with and have all associated questions addressed. If it doesn’t occur, prepare to have whatever was not addressed jump up and bite you in your ass.
- Perception is reality: If you allow yourself and your NPT to be perceived as ‘arm chair warriors’ who are known to repeat various meme’s while dressed as imitation soldiers (especially in situations where field gear isn’t necessary, like, say, when helping dig out your NPA after a serious storm) when a concealed pistol (with license) is appropriate for the defense of self and others, chances are than you won’t be well received and will be avoided by the people you’re trying to help.
- Organization is imperative: In any group from the local chapter of the Boy Scouts to our best ‘elite’ units in the US military and Tier 1 corporations, organizational structure is crucial. Committees will fail. Whomever draws the short straw and is designated as the ‘leader’ has an awfully difficult task ahead of them, and at many times, it’s ‘lonely at the top time,’ because the leader has to make hard decisions and then get the group to do what has been decided. Leaders aren’t necessarily indispensable, either. If your NPT leader goes ‘rogue’ or ‘high and right’, you can certainly, for cause, replace that leader with someone else. Be judicious in how that occurs; ’cause’ is not defined as, ‘crass presentation or not liking the decisions’, rather, ’cause’ is something that can be quantified as being dangerous to the group or using his/her position for their own personal benefit.
- Followers must follow with 100% dedication: Not everyone can be ‘the man/woman.’ Some have to be subordinate leaders (if your NPT is large enough) and some have to be the workers. If you have people on board your NPT who aren’t happy with where they are, and they’re performing where they need to be at, skill level wise, so long as they don’t cause problems, they should stick around. If he, she, or they start causing issues by demonstrating dissension without cause, they need to be dealt with by either censure or expulsion.
- Training is the cornerstone upon which actions will succeed or fail: Whether it’s moving to a water source for resupply, communications checks, applying first aid, keeping a log of NPT actions during a SHTF situation, determining child care for NPT members in a training session, or gathering for a planned meeting, training (read that as being taught the most effective way to do a thing and then practicing it until it becomes muscle memory) trumps all else. Training also may (and should) include constant study of topics relevant to the NPT vision/mission statement. NPT leaders and members must become ‘professional students’ and constantly strive to increase their knowledge of all things NPT related, which, by the way, could include things such as food preservation, local community emergency response participation, neighborhood outreach programs, etc).