Who Is the Militia? The Matter is Clear

We have ceded, in our minds and in the minds of the government, militias to extremists of the left and right. But this is false propaganda! Militias were never intended primarily as enemies of the government and people (both in and out of militias,) who view them that way are missing the point. Militias exist to respond to emergencies to protect their communities and with the number of veterans in our society today this would be the easiest time to bring back militias to support our local communities.

Every citizen must be a soldier. That is was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and it must be the case with every free state. –

Thomas Jefferson, primary writer of the Declaration of Independence and President of the US

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From Extra-Ordinary Circumstances

The founding fathers viewed militias as one more safeguard of our freedoms and as the primary defense of the territorial integrity of the United States. Militias are primarily a defensive military measure and historically not very effective as an imperialist, colonizing force. As such, anyone who believes a military should only be used in the self-defense of a nation should support a return to an organized militia network. Anyone who understands the law and what the founders wrote about a militia knows that the National Guard is not what they were talking about. The President can call out the National Guard but he can only ask for militias. Since militias exist to defend communities it would be up to each unit whether they answered a general call or not. In addition, they place “the sword” firmly in the hands of the people helping to prevent governments from becoming tyrannical. The founding fathers, having recently experienced British soldiers breaking into colonial homes and conducting privacy destroying searches, seizures, and arrests were very negative about the Federal Government maintaining a large standing army and for 150 years the United States Army was the smallest per capita army in the world. Our army existed primarily to protect our frontiers and when Thomas Jefferson created a standing navy it only authorized half a dozen frigates. Many of the ideas of the founders were drawn from the Republic of Rome and the Democracies of ancient Greece or which they favored the checks and balances of the conservative government of Sparta.

…to support the Constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people as equally incorporated with and essential to the success of the general system;… to keep within the requisite limits a standing military force, always remembering that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics – that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe;… –

President James Madison, First Inaugural address, Saturday, March 4, 1809. [Here Madison makes it clear that the purpose of an armed citizenry is to preserve their own rights and to ensure that the States and central government respect those rights and treats the citizenry as an equal player in government. That is something that our government has forgotten. -Daniel Saber]


Referring to the Transition in the 1860s from a decentralized Jeffersonian Republic to one whose power was consolidated in the Federal Government and overly influenced by industrialists and bankers.

But that was a different age…I hear you say. You are absolutely correct. Back then the United States didn’t have an economic and global military empire to maintain. A Jeffersonian Republic was not about empires it was about maintaining freedom and as such, it needed a strong defense force and a modest standing army that did not drain the treasury. And that’s what a militia is, a defense force. Anyone who hates war should support a militia system because it is only good for defense. In World War II the Japanese never invaded the US NOT because we had an army but because they believed the armed citizenry would rise against them and there would “be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.

Patrick Henry

Militias from the first settlements in America were about keeping communities safe and every able-bodied man in the community was expected to be part of it, meanwhile, the able-bodied women were the commissaries of the militia ensuring it was fed, clothed, and in combat, they often stood behind their man reloading his muskets for him. I would be surprised if there weren’t a few women on the frontier – who knew how to hunt – that didn’t take a few shots on their own to defend their home and family. Somehow our concept of militias changed from a community force to protect the community to groups of radicals running around with guns. Such a transition can only be accomplished by concerted propaganda and conditioning of the populace. How else did we change the whole concept of what a militia has been for thousands of years to the point where in less than 60 years it’s now a tool of radicals?

Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. –

Elbridge Gerry, Rep. Of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress, August 17, 1789.


We are living at a time when our infrastructure is failing. And our police and government have failed to protect our communities repeatedly in the past several years. I was watching Doc Rich’s YouTube Channel: [ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMJD9wZVMP8X-9pa1JxbGTw ] and he referred to the blacks living under the gun in Chicago as being forced to live in Chi-raq because the government was not protecting the black communities from gangs and children were being shot riding or walking to school or playing in their yard or the park. It is a war zone. Years ago, an organization formed to protect black neighborhoods called the Red Berets and they patrolled in groups without guns to protect their community. Their public service was broken when an accident occurred, and government prosecutors broke up the organization and plunged the streets back into the chaos that the government couldn’t control but that the black citizens were controlling. Some of this chaos and lack of food is from neglect and incompetence but some of it appears to be intentional as the government is destroying cattle, chickens, and natural foods and closing down farms during a time when they are simultaneously told to expect food shortages.

In the coming chaos the police will not be enough. They already are not enough. And denying the people firearms is proven to make matters worse regarding crime.

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. –

Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria from his work on Crimes and Punishment.

There are humorous memes that mention “Hangry.” In other words, people who are angry and impatient because they are hungry. So what is going to happen when the entire population is “Hangry” at the same time and there is no food?

So where is the food? The cities are already experiencing shortages and empty shelves from shortages from last year. Yet in the next two years, shortages will continue to accelerate because there is at least a year’s delay from shortages in fields and ranches to production shortages in the supermarkets. We are currently experiencing food and other shortages that are the results of problems over a year ago. It is much worse today and in addition, the artificially increased fuel prices will affect EVERY resource from food to clothes, to water, and electricity. This is because every level of production uses fossil fuels that cannot be replaced by electricity. Even so, our power grid is already stretched to the max and we have rolling blackouts. How is it going to support everyone having an electric car? And anyone who thinks electric cars are environmentally superior is completely ignorant of their production and disposal.

Either our government is incompetent or it is malignant and neither situation is one where we can continue to trust the central government to protect us. And They prosecute people who dare to defend themselves. This is tyranny. There is no other name for it. When Texas seceded in 1861 one of the reasons, they gave was the US Government failed to protect them from “Indian” raids and failed to protect their border from criminal organizations in Mexico. Any of this sound familiar?

Everything is going to get worse than most people imagine – even those who imagine it bad. Only those who have been deployed into war-torn areas have a clue of what I am talking about.

What happens when the massive populations of our cities are starving? Mobs will move outward looking for food. A couple of years ago cities all over America were burning due to riots…pardon me…peaceful demonstrations that resulted in over a billion dollars of damage and over a thousand deaths…but the media insists they were peaceful.

From “A Princess Bride”

We need to return to the days of community militias supported by local businesses. This is the way it has been in America for most of its history. By law everyone of military age is a member of their state’s General Militia and, in most states, they were required to show up at the designated area with their own rifle and ammunition or give proof as to their physical disability. Most people have no clue they are legally members of their state’s General Militia and that the Governor can call them to arms in an emergency. But General Militia is pretty useless. Only an organized militia has any use whatsoever because training and cooperation as a unit are absolutely necessary. Militia companies used to be formed in towns or counties (in rural areas) and they cooperated with the sheriff.


…that standing army can never be formidable (threatening) to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in the use of arms. –

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper #29

These companies were not political in nature they defended their area from danger and in normal times they assisted the sheriff’s in posse’s and aided fire departments, performed ceremonies at sports events and public gatherings, marched in local parades, and put on picnics to help bring the community together. For most of America’s history, this is what militias were for. They fell out to restore order if attacked by mobs, suppressed riots, stopped criminal gangs, etc. I have read stories of cartels killing police and judges in Texas, Arizona, and other border states. I think it would go differently if two truck-fulls of gang members showed up and the street was blocked by 1000 militia men (and women.)

Richard Henry Lee 12th President of the Continental Congress was from Virginia, his cousin Henry Lee III “Light-Horse Harry” was Washington’s Cavalry Commander and father to General Robert E. Lee. Both from Virginia. Pictured above is the Virginia Militia at the Battle of 1st Bull Run defending the state.

Militias were part of and supported by the community. Their signs advertised for local businesses (things like “Militia field equipment provided by Mason’s Hardware,” “Uniform Jackets provided by Jefferson’s Clothiers,” “Weapons by Adams Arms,” “Tents Provided by Washington General Mercantile,” etc).

Picnics were organized to gain support and recruit in the community and build confidence and trust in the community militia and ensure the organized militia company had good connections in the community. These, parades, ceremonies, and charity events all helped recruit and familiarized people with their presence. Today they could augment as reserve police and firefighters in a militia uniform, and perform whatever functions help the communities. Non-partisan voting drives and helping distribute food would be good community building activities to be seen and active in the community because real militias are about helping the community and they always have been.


Everyone must be trained to be all they can be and learn to give 110% in a crisis. Militias could seek training on one Saturday a month from local police, firefighters, veterans, and medical first responders to help the militia get training. Like military units, they need to qualify with their weapons at least once a year and ensure everyone is trained in handling weapons safely and anyone who loads their weapon without orders should be dismissed from the unit. Trained firearms instructors or former Drill Sergeants should be used to organize weapons training. (I have been working on a militia manual. It is unlikely it will ever be published; if I had the money I would publish it myself.

Training is essential as are uniforms and performing as a unit. Soldiers with combat experience too often ignore the psychological necessity of uniforms and drill to build unit cohesion and cooperation. Granted the Afghans and Iraqis did OK without them but they could easily tell who was on their side and who was not. As a Drill Sergeant, I know that one of the quickest ways to build unity, unit cohesion, and team spirit is Drill and Ceremonies. It builds teamwork and groups are able to move as one. Individuals learn to mark their place in relation to the person in front of them and behind them while keeping abreast of those on either side. They begin to think as part of a unit and this ability to keep track of their comrades in their peripheral vision transfers to tactical movement when militia troopers are more dispersed. It may not seem like it but it is teaching them to have situational awareness of where their comrades are all around them and reminds them they are no longer an individual on their own but an organization moving and acting together. Even though drill and ceremonies no longer serve any purpose on the battlefield, they are still the most effective way to move groups of men and women from place to place and they look impressive to civilians which build their confidence in the unit as well. Professional rifle demonstrations of the manual of arms are a good way to build curiosity and attract bystanders.

Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. –

– Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb 20, 1788

Militias should be active in teaching firearm safety and should have qualified instructors in their unit. One of the easiest weapons for women and smaller men to use, or for people who don’t have a lot of training is the AR-15. It has practically no kick and is easy to use. I remember a woman who testified to congress about how she tried to teach her mother to use a pistol for her own protection after her father died leaving her mother alone in the house. The mother couldn’t even hit the target. Then she gave her an AR-15 and the mother was able to hit the target with most of the shots. It is an easy weapon to use. It is an automatic rifle, which anyone who knows weapons knows means if you pull the trigger one time you send one round down range. Machine guns have been illegal in the US for general ownership for almost a hundred years. Biden once recommended a 12 gauge shotgun which not only has a nasty kick for a small person but the shot spreads out and scatters hitting more than its target or, if it misses, spraying a bystander with shot.

To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…

Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters From a Federal Farmer to the Republic.


An efficient militia is authorized and contemplated by the constitution and required by the spirit and safety of a free government. –

– James Madison

An actual militia company or regiment for a community needs to be organized and disciplined. This is always a challenge in a volunteer unit but anyone who doesn’t take it seriously shouldn’t be allowed to remain. At the same time, these are not regular army units and to it be truly a community unit it must have room for everyone. A militia company could have a squad or a couple special squads that consist of highly trained veterans and a possible drill team for public relations but in general the discipline and organization will not be as “stract” as a regular army combat unit. The militia has more functions than just combat. Security and helping in the community is important too.

Besides officers and enlisted personnel, there should be sections. If your unit has 12 people in it you may have to double up but one person should not try to organize everything. Say in a platoon of four squads each of 6-12 militia troopers you should either add staff or assign existing NCOs to each of the staff functions while a company might have an actual mini-headquarters. Because of its nature, it needs an M-1 Admin Section – Officer/NCO; an M-2 Intelligence & Security Section Officer/NCO (keeping USGS maps would be part of their function too); an M-3 Training and Operations Section Officer/NCO (keeping the militia regulations and publish a training schedule; assigning people to teach classes); an M-4 Supply and Quartermaster Section Officer/NCO (which would also organize rations for meetings); and an M-5 Public Relations Section Officer/NCO (given the public ignorance regarding militias the advertising, education, recruiting, and public relations officer/NCO is one of the most important jobs to ensure the unit is recognized, supported, and accepted by the community. Because people would need to be educated on the purpose of a militia. Today, the public relations officer and advertising/education program would probably be one of the most important parts (initially,) to prove the militia’s added value and security in the community and to have a likable personality for manning recruiting tables at events (without weapons – just as army/air force recruiters don’t wander around with guns.)

Besides training, and recruiting militias need food and ammo so the M-4 Supply and Quartermaster Section would also be busy. While you can require everyone bring their own equipment and lunch the M-4 needs to be alert and practice meeting the needs of the unit and they, at least, should check troopers to ensure they have their required supply and ammunition. I would think a minimal supply would be for everyone to bring 3 meals (MRE’s or some other field ration), their weapon, uniform, blanket, sleeping bag, poncho, and at least 1000 rounds of ammunition.

I didn’t come up with that number out of nowhere. The basic ammo load for an infantryman or cavalryman is 350 rounds of ammo for their rifle. That is in an active military that has trucks and bunkers ready for resupply. Unless the militia has a resupply system for all the myriad of weapons that people will show up with they need, at a minimum to show up with two resupply loads of ammo. So that would be 350 for the basic load and another 700 for two more supply loads. 1050 rounds but 1000 is a nice round number to operate with. If you are in a militia and people are shooting at you having a thirty-round magazine will get empty far too soon.

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. –

James Madison

You can scale this for the weapon involved. An AR-15 has a thirty-round magazine so the basic load is about 11-12 magazines of ammo. If you have a weapon with a six-round magazine you could require its basic load to be a similar 11-12 magazines worth of ammo; then an additional two or three resupplies.

Most current militias I have seen are just scattered fire teams or at most a platoon and not actual community-supported organizations. This may be in part because they tend to focus on tactics and field training and are not actually a service to the community. It is important to train for the worst but, in the best of cases, they will never have to deploy for combat and will be able to serve their community in other ways. The difference between a militia and other public service organizations is that the militia can deploy to support the county sheriff and his/her deputies if necessary, man barricades to isolate areas in the event of a gas leak or chemical spill or however they can be of assistance. Naturally, this requires the Section officers to work together to liaison with the sheriff’s office to be ready to assist when called upon. Communities are more likely to need full organizations that are capable to patrol neighborhoods where homes have been temporarily evacuated and help secure people’s property but also be there to help areas destroyed by storm or fire, help fill sandbags, and/or bring supplies into stricken areas to meet whatever trouble comes. Militias must become full organizations that are community-based, productive, supportive, representative of their community, and able to deploy if the community faces an emergency.

Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands? –

Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Convention 1788.


That may seem like a silly question. Of course a militia needs weapons. But in todays society many people have the wrong idea about weapons. Instead of viewing them as any other tool (cars, knives, and blunt objects kill many more people each year in this country than guns do,) but people have been propagandized to fear guns. And you must take into account this irrational fear when building a community presence. In some cases, being out among the community, carrying weapons is ill-advised for safety reasons and because to so many Americans today weapons are strange make them uncomfortable. There is probably no reason to be armed if helping in a soup kitchen, for example but wearing the uniform increases the units presence as a help to the community. People who are only part of a militia because they want to carry a gun should be discouraged from joining as that attitude does not make me, at least, feel comfortable with their attitude toward gun safety.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. –

Proposal for a Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334 (C.J. Boyd, Ed. 1950)


While field maneuvers and training make camouflage advisable when moving about the community for activities and special events, some type of simple dress uniform is essential so that people don’t feel they are under an army of occupation. Putting everyone in a Navy Blue, long-sleeved shirt with a red tie and jeans or cadet grey/blue pants would work fine. Traditionally, American Militias wore grey, and police and regular army units wore blue but there have been all sorts of fancy militia dress uniforms that looked more like today’s marching bands. In my opinion, a uniform should look like a uniform with patches and rank but anything too fancy makes me think “martinet” rather than professional. You also have to keep in mind what your people can afford. In the 1800s there were “high class” militia units and more “common” militia with a lower budget.


Imagine in the next year or two a mob coming to loot your food and raid your town because there is no longer enough food or gas in the city. When the cities are starving and have looted themselves the mobs will move outward to surrounding communities. Do you say that didn’t happen in the depression? No, it didn’t, because we were primarily a Christian nation then and the majority of the population believed Jesus when he said “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Does everyone still believe that or do they believe “you need to look out for number one because no one else will?” That is not a philosophy that encourages people to pull together and help one another.

Roving gangs could roam for food or supplies if our supply system continues to be disrupted or even collapse. Do you honestly think a dozen police officers can stop them? What would a town do if they found out several car and truck loads of thugs were coming to loot their town? It would be easy to respond if we had organized militias with an automatic notification system set up. Even if things don’t get that bad they would be there to help whatever the need was. Again, with all the trained and experienced veterans in our society today, we not only have a ready-trained militia force we have people capable of training others who have never served.

Little more can be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped… [responding to a claim that the militia itself could threaten the liberty of the people] There is something so far-fetched, and so extravagant in the idea of danger of liberty from the militia that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or raillery [mockery]. –

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper #29

We need to return to militias for local defense and emergency response units and we need them before we are hit with an emergency. For now, we get by with police and firefighters pouring in from neighboring communities to help. But that won’t work if all communities are in crisis. We had this happen in Hurricane Katrina. In this crisis the Mayor ordered the military and police units to go door to door and seize weapons “to maintain order.” There are reports of robbers following after these teams and robbing the houses once they were sure they had been disarmed. There is a hostility to the citizen by the rulers of this nation that is an anathema to American principles and dignity.

Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, and enslaved press, and a disarmed populace. –

James Madison.

Our FEMA system relies on sending help from surrounding states or counties to augment the one that is in trouble. In a nationwide crisis, each community will be on its own and when trouble hits it is too late to play catch up.

If nothing happens you have created a new community institution that can help in earthquakes, floods, or tornados. If people are hungry militia can help pass out supplies and maintain order while police concentrate on crimes. We need militias for community defense, free of politics and dedicated to preserving our homes as they were intended to be.

Things are going to get worse. That is not a conspiracy theory it is what our government has said. Our president has announced it from the podium but I don’t see many people or communities preparing. This is one thing we can do. We saw the chaos that descended upon our communities a couple of years ago and we cannot afford any more “peaceful” demonstrations where the police are either unable or unwilling to protect our communities. There are many cases of riotous mobs that were planning to go into an area and they were met by truckloads of armed citizens and veterans who blocked the road and faced with a deterrent chose to go elsewhere. But this is not an issue we can easily deal with once the crisis is already upon us. Semper Preparo! Always be prepared! You need to establish the organization, first aid training, and chain of command before the crisis is upon you. We should have been doing this for the last 400 years consistently, instead, the system has ebbed and flowed and then completely fell apart sometime after World War II.

And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms… The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants,

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith, 1787, in S. Padover (Ed.), Jefferson, On Democracy (1939), p. 20.

The militia is probably a term that can no longer be used effectively because government propaganda and leftist and right wing extremists have used it and together they have poisoned this honorable organization and term with an idea that it is a refuge of extremists. Like all anti-American propaganda from the government, media, and universities, it has been very effective in changing the minds of a mass of people in this country. As such we should use the terms:

LIBERTY CORPS / Liberty Companies / Security Committees / Minutemen / Security Volunteers / or Troopers