The Minuteman

The Newsletter of the Patriot Movement

Editor: Irish Jaeger

June 2004

"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
Mark Twain


Well folks sorry this is a little late, better late than never as the saying goes. I have been extremely busy the last month but things are slowing down and issues will start being on time again. Next month there will also be a Regional Tactics Article. Even with its failings I hope ya'll enjoy this issue.

If you would like to submit material, for use in the newsletter, email the article ('s) to either: or Make sure in the subject line it says "Patriot Newsletter". Here are the rules for submitting material: 1. No cussing. 2. Its gotta be clean, everything must be readable by ladies and kids. 3. Nothing Illegal. Websites that ya'll think should be added to our website list, had better not have any pornography. Thems the rules.


The 'Patriot' Search
Buying a home? Prepare to pay to have your name checked against a government list of suspected terrorists

By Brian Braiker
Updated: 5:30 p.m. ET June 03, 2004

June 3 - Buying a home can be stressful, expensive and bewildering. "Essentially," humorist Dave Barry wrote in his 1988 book "Homes and Other Black Holes," "what you must do, in the Ritual Closing Ceremony, is go into a small room and write large checks to total strangers. According to tradition, anybody may ask you for a check, for any amount, and you may not refuse." He may have been joking, but the number of checks homebuyers are being asked to write has recently increased by one. With the passage of the USA Patriot Act of 2001, which required that financial institutions create anti-money-laundering compliance programs, anyone purchasing property must be checked against a list of names of known and suspected terrorists. The list has been around since before the September 11 attacks, but increasingly the ritual closing ceremony has involved writing yet another check to the title company that runs the homebuyer's name against that list.

What's behind it? The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains the "specifically designated nationals" (SDN) list of people blocked from participating in "any transaction or dealing ? in property or interests" within the United States. These people have been identified "to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism," according to White House Executive Order 13224, which was issued Sept. 24, 2001. Although the blocked-persons list has been around in some form for about a decade, under the order private individuals (be they jewelers, pawnbrokers or suburban families) buying or selling property are now considered "financial institutions" by the government. And the responsibility has fallen to the title companies to check all parties involved in a transaction against the list. "The SDN list has been around for years. Obviously, since 9/11 the use of charities and banks and different organizations for terrorists to move money have brought it more to light in recent days," says Molly Millerwise, a Treasury spokesperson, explaining why homebuyers in the heartland are considered financial institutions under the jurisdiction of the Office of Foreign Asset Control. Terrorists, she says, use property to launder money.

But some lawyers and civil libertarians question that assertion. "It's not a very liquid investment," says Ann von Eigen of the American Land Title Association. "You would have to, if you planned on laundering money through real estate, make sure your appreciation is better than the cost of the transaction." Others charge that the search is a redundancy. "Your money is already going to have been checked. You're going to have had the background checks at the banks," says Charlie Mitchell of the ACLU. "It's sort of emblematic of a lot of the Patriot Act. Some of the intentions are good, but there's just a casting too wide a net to be particularly effective and there's a lot of unintended consequences when you do that." He complained that by compelling title companies to check out each party of a transaction, the government is passing the cost of its "war on terror" on to the consumer, even providing some companies with an opportunity to make a little more money off their clients.

Because the SDN list is a public document, many title companies charge nothing for the search, according to ALTA's von Eigen. But increasingly, firms like California-based First American Corp. are charging the buyer up to $30 for each person involved in the transaction. (So, for example, if one couple buys a condo from another couple, the buyers are charged a total of $120 for the searches, which can be done for free at the ALTA Web site.) "Since performing the search is something that can be conducted for free in mere seconds on the Internet, we're concerned that title companies may be padding their bills with excessive charges and profiteering from fears regarding homeland security," says Jordana Beebe at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. But Larry Moringiello of Heights Abstract in Brooklyn, N.Y., says he charges $25 a search because of the paperwork, time and man-hours required of the searches his office does on the ALTA Web page throughout the week. New Jersey-based Charles Jones, LLC, charges $3 a name for each of the 100,000 "Patriot Name Searches" they conduct with their own software every week, according to Patrick Roe, director of marketing.

But does it work? That depends on the search software. Typing "Osama bin Laden" into the ALTA search engine yields zero matches, but that's because the U.S. government spells his name "Usama bin Laden" (which gets two hits). Roe says that even though Charles Jones uses a more sophisticated search tool than ALTA (a tool that registers hits for alternative and approximate spellings), less than 1 percent of the searches they conduct yield a match. In the event of a match, the transaction must be immediately halted and a report filed with the Treasury Department. Failure of a title company to comply could result in fines of up to $65,000 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, according to Treasury's Millerwise. And although banks must thoroughly vet loan applicants earlier in the home-buying process and there is therefore "always potential for redundancy, it's better to be safe than sorry," she says. "Names do come up. Let's put it like that. The list has worked." She declined to give any specific examples, though, citing privacy and legal concerns. But what if a name happens to match one on the list, through coincidence or identity theft? "We do the investigation, and once they were cleared, that individual or group is able to go forward at that point," says Millerwise. The length of that process varies, she says, but usually lasts no more than a day or two.

Still, is someone like Osama bin Laden, who knows he is a wanted man, about to conduct business on U.S. soil without using an alias or establishing a dummy corporation? "It's rare that somebody of this type is going to do business as a name on the list," says attorney Carl A. Valenstein, a partner at Thelen Reid & Priest in Washington, D.C. "They're very well aware. There are so many ways with offshore companies, with aliases, with all sorts of things to disguise this. I'm very skeptical that it works." The ACLU's Charlie Mitchell characterizes it as "the 'everyone's a suspect concept'." Still when it boils down to smoking out national-security threats, Valenstein wonders, "on the other hand, what alternatives do we have?" If you're a homebuyer, you may not have any. Just make sure your pen has enough ink in it before going to your own ritual closing ceremony.

©2004 Newsweek, Inc.



by "Old Crow"

First off, it takes a lot of soul searching for some of us to realize we can't "run and gun" any more. But the knowledge is still in there, so is the experience and that is VITAL.

There is not much discussion on Support and the fact that it must be planned for as well. Along those lines are the women and kids - don't see much talk on what the "militiamen" are gonna do about them. Most guys won't leave the wife and kiddos to be taken to concentration camps or whatnot. So what is the plan? Do the wives know this plan? Have they rehearsed it?

Historically it takes many, many more support types than fighters. Gotta have a plan for that too. Running around the woods with your buddies on weekends may be fun but if you don't incorporate the families into it there will be chaos the first time they all come together under "stressful" conditions.

On base camps: Having a retreat/base camp/etc is all well and good - depending on your envisioned foe. You better have back ups and caches. Better have a (rehearsed) plan to move the base camp. Might be a good idea to have friends/alliances far away to run to. Might be a good idea not to discuss them on the net...

What is your base camp security like? Do all your people know the plan? Have they rehearsed it? Some folks found out recently they had holes in their "plan". Good thing to find out earlier rather than later...

Medical knowledge and supplies are critical. Ask a nurse/surgeon/emt/paramedic how much supplies they use up on ONE car crash victim. Picture a couple of your guys shot up - you will need LOTS of stuff. Your first aid kit on your LCE or in your rucksack won't cut it for long. You won't be able to tell the hospital staff you had a "hunting accident". Ever consider nursing supplies and skills? Changing a bed pan is not "sexy" and we don't see folks posting pics of their newest "high speed tactical bed pan" but you may NEED some.

If you are a serious militia you need to identify, train and equip these folks NOW. You can't picture yourself running and gunning and not sustaining any casualties can you?

How are you gonna feed your people? Do you know when counter guerrilla offensives take place? Winter. Because if the forces can get the guerrillas running in winter time, bust them out of their camps and stashes of food they have a huge advantage. Think about it.

I could be wrong, but I think many militiamen have unrealistic expectations of life post-tshtf. If you have not yet done so - read Duncan Long's "Backpack Survival".

So you have your arsksakfal battle rifle and 3 backups; you have a bazillion rounds of ammo; you have all this high speed load carrying equipment, some cool radios and a first aid kit. That's good. What happens when your house is taken down while you are at work? What happens if you get 5 minutes advance warning that the Mongolian Hordes are coming up your street? IF you get away you won't be carrying much.

You need to spread it around a little bit. You need to learn all about caching. Do it now while there is time and freedom of movement.

You've practiced your movement formations through the woods with your buds. Have you also practiced them with John's wife Mary and Bill's three little girls tagging along? You should.

Back to Mary and the girls: Do they know how to do basic things like self defense, first aid, communication, cooking over fires, keeping quiet, keeping secrets, being observant, communicating effectively, passing messages, serving as lookouts?

The base camp idea has some merit. Have y'all practiced living in one for any kind of extended period of time? How do you prepare food for all the people? What about sanitation? How do you secure it and do anything else? How fast can you move it? You may have to perform a fighting retreat - that will suck. It will be worse if you have never rehearsed it.

You don't have enough people to consider building underground base camps ala Al Qaida or the NVA. No, you don't.

You need to acquire group supplies. Medical gear and food are two biggies. So is foot gear. Read your history books. You need to identify folks who, although they may not join you actively, will support you. Mechanics, Doctors, Vets, Grocers. You need to do this now. After the show starts is no time to try and get your support net into place. And these things take time.

Read books on counter-guerrilla warfare. What are the techniques? Population control, resource control - separate the fish from the sea. (Add to that "information control" - your militia band WILL be a group of pedophile, drug manufacturing rapists bent on total anarchy - believe it.) Establish control of the physical area. Then go hunt the fish. Cold, hungry fish don't swim fast or fight well... Keep the fish running and he gets tired, he makes mistakes. It helps if some of his buddy fish can be convinced to work for the hunters... You can mitigate a lot of this now - but you must have more than a closet full of nice looking toys. You must have SUPPORT.

If you are going to be (for example) "the Tailor", then you need to have all necessary equipment. You need to be able to work your craft under the conditions you envision living in. I met the "commo guy" at one event who wanted to rig this great antenna high up in the trees. Only he needed to find someone with a sling shot or bow to get it up there. If you are doing the job - have the tools. Cached.

Back to the Tailor. Maybe he has agreed to support you by sewing up clothes on his treadle sewing machine. He plans on staying in town and riding it out - he will work under the enemy's steady gaze. Ok. How will he pass the new clothes to your militia unit? What about security measures? How will he let you know your package is ready to pick up and all is clear? Your militia unit won't come traipsing into town ala "Red Dawn". You have to work this stuff out now.

A little while after 911 was a great time to start generating public support for the militia - have a barbeque, tell the community how you could help them, etc. This would also allow you start meeting folks to help in the support role. You could assign folks to key committees. The Mormon church has some great ideas on organizing auxiliaries and such. They do it for many of the same reasons you want to....

But doing all this is hard. It takes time and effort. It makes what many of us do no longer a fun "hobby" but a way of life. And this is why most folks won't even consider doing it.

It's all fun and games 'til someone gets an eye poked out.

"Got Support?"


Cooks out to lunch.


Part 2: Survival Pack

Priority 2 Items:


The choice and preference for weapons is as varied and individualized as the people that will use them. If you do not yet own a weapon, ask the persons you meet at the meetings what their personal preferences are and why. Make your own decision as to what to purchase, and if at all possible, try to purchase one that someone at a meeting may have to sell. It will probably save you considerable money by purchasing someone's extra weapon, and has the added advantage that there will be no yellow ATF form showing a trace of the weapon to you. (THIS IS LEGAL! In this state Florida) it's totally legal for any citizen to sell or dispose of a any weapon to anyone he/she chooses. It is not necessary in this state to register ANY firearm with law enforcement, nor is it recommended for you to do so.) It is also strongly suggested that you consider purchasing a lightweight 22 caliber rifle and/or a 22 caliber target pistol in addition to your main firepower. Don't sell this small caliber short! It makes far more sense in hunting (to supplement your MRE diet) to shoot at a squirrel or rabbit with an inexpensive .22 caliber bullet than to blaze away with a Colt AR-15 .223 caliber round! A properly handled .22 caliber rifle or pistol can be deadly against a human as well, ... and the accuracy can be phenomenal. With practice, you should easily be able to put a 22 bullet into a two inch circle at 25 yards (75 feet) which is equivalent to placing the round in a squirrel's head in the top of a tree. Another strong advantage of the 22 caliber rifle or pistol is that it's quiet, (harder for those you are trying to elude to determine where a shot is coming from), and that the ammunition is cheap and very light to carry. Even a 12 year old child can handle the weapon to bring in much needed food, and many women that may be more timid with the heavier rifles and pistols become dangerous and deadly shots with a .22.


Self explanatory. Carry the ammo that you will need for the weapon(s) that you have chosen. At least 100 to 200 rounds is recommended, but be careful of the weight! Ammo is VERY heavy, and most common rounds can be appropriated in the field as needed. It's also recommended that you carry LOADED extra magazines for your semi automatic rifles or pistols. It's the easiest way to carry the extra rounds, and makes re-loading an empty weapon very fast. If you are carrying a 22 caliber weapon as a primary or supplemental weapon, you can pack literally hundreds of rounds at very low weight. Even a pre-teen child can carry hundreds of 22 rounds with no strain.


You will need a good sleeping bag or a blanket for sleeping in order to be fully rested and healthy each day. There is no need to spend a great deal of money on the "best of the best" in sleeping bags. Most light weight (3 to 5 pound sleeping bags) are more than adequate for the area and elevation that we live in and can be purchased in the sporting goods/camping department of most department stores from $14.00 to $20.00 or so. Be sure that each member of the family has their own sleeping bag, and make sure that it's attached securely to the pack to stay in balance. These bags roll up nicely and once packed into a separate small duffle bag or stuff sack, it can be attached to the pack simply and is then very compact and easy to carry. If you don't have a sleeping bag or need to wait to purchase one, a good quality blanket can be used instead.


As any smoker that has ever tried to light a cigarette with a wet Bic lighter can tell you, there's nothing more frustrating than trying to get fire and not being able to when you need it. Certainly you should include several Bic type lighters in your pack, but keep in mind these things will NOT work when they are wet! Old fashioned kitchen matches ("strike anywhere", ...not the "safety matches") with the striker head dipped in hot candle wax and then allowed to cool will last for months even if they become submerged in water. You can also purchase "fire sticks" at the Walmart sporting goods section or other camping supply outlets. A "fire stick" is a wax impregnated sawdust bundle that will burn strongly for a half hour or so once ignited. These can be used to coax wet wood to burn in starting a campfire or even used alone to cook one quick meal on the trail. You can make your own "fire sticks" by soaking tightly wound paper in candle wax and letting it cool, although they won't burn as long or as cleanly as the commercially prepared ones. Fine steel wool will also burn brightly and quickly when ignited with a match or lighter, and is also very useful in starting a camp fire with damp wood. For around $5.00, you can also purchase a small magnesium block at the camping supply section of Walmart and other department stores. These little blocks have a built in flint striker that is used to ignite the shaved magnesium from the block. You take your camp knife, shave off a little pile of magnesium, and then holding the striker next to the pile you scrape the knife edge along the striker producing hundreds of bright long burning sparks. With practice, you can start a fire just as fast with this as you can with a match, and it has the added advantage that it doesn't matter if it's wet or not.


Again, self explanatory. It will be dangerous and frustrating stumbling around if your eye-glasses become broken or lost. I personally keep a spare set of regular and prescription sunglasses in my pack at all times. It's better to be safe than sorry!


Rope is an often overlooked and extremely necessary piece of equipment to keep in your pack. It can be used to support tent poles, secure a lean-to, hang meat and food from a tree to keep animals from stealing your precious supplies, as a tourniquet, to tie extra equipment to a pack, to repair broken pack straps, used as a belt and literally hundreds of other uses. Medium weight cotton rope is the most preferred because of ease of handling and tying, but nylon rope is strongest.


Much to the back yard "Barbecue King's" surprise, the woods and fields are swarming with far more insects than they could have ever imagined. If you have not camped out in the woods before, heed the warning! A small and inexpensive bottle of liquid insect repellent will save you many hours of miserable scratching and perhaps even infection from insect bites! This is an often overlooked and much needed item for your pack. Every member of the family should have at least one bottle.


The key to this category is multi-use tools and light weight! It becomes very easy to go overboard with all the different tools and gadgets that you "think" you will need. Remember, every thing you pack is going to be that much more weight on your back, and that many more calories that you have to burn to carry them. Basic tools that you should have are; a strong and very sharp knife, a hatchet (the flat end of which can be used to pound in tent stakes) or small collapsible wood saw, and a multi purpose pocket knife such as a "Swiss Army Knife" that has a blade, tweezers, pliers, scissors, awl, file, etc., and finally a small sharpening stone for your bladed tools.


Each adult and teenager in the family should have at the very least a map of the state where you live and a good reliable compass. If you are part of a group of people that intend to rendezvous at a location, each teenager and adult in your family should have a clear understanding of where that meeting place will be and when, with the approximate route to the location marked out on the map. A good quality working compass is vital, for it becomes very easy to be turned around in the woods and fields where there's no roads or street signs to guide the way. It's obvious that the map with the rendezvous location should be well guarded or even committed to memory. At no times should the map be left lying around in the open or be allowed to be viewed by prying eyes of your neighbors or co-workers.


This is another area where weight can be a tremendous factor. It's not necessary at all to have a complete set of cookware in your pack complete with pots and pans and skillets and coffee pots. A very simple field kit (available in Army/Navy Surplus stores) or a back pack cook kit (available in department store camping sections) is adequate. One kit can easily prepare two MRE's in a short period of time. If you rub bar soap on the bottom of your cook ware before placing it on a fire, it makes clean up as simple as wiping it down with leaves or a cloth. I personally keep one set of metal eating utensils (fork and spoon) in my pack to be used with my camp knife to stir and help prepare food. In addition to the MRE's, I also carry a small plastic spice container that's divided into compartments and holds different herbs and spices that will help make wild foods more palatable and tasty.


There are many commercial small and inexpensive first aid kits available in department stores and drug stores. A very simple first aid kit can be made by using a water tight small Tupper-ware box and placing first aid products in it, thus avoiding the cost of buying a commercial kit that may not be as complete. Be sure to provide plenty of Band-Aids, anti-biotic creams, small scissors and tweezers, (if you don't have a Swiss Army type knife with them included), larger bandages, adhesive tape, perhaps an Ace bandage for sprains, a magnifying glass to help with splinters, etc. Most of the items one would put in a first aid kit are very light and small, so you can really cram them in there. Don't forget the aspirin or other pain killers! Included with your kit should be a good quality snake bite kit! This is another item that's often overlooked, but is vital should the need arise for one! They are very inexpensive and are available almost everywhere.


There's an old soldier's saying that goes, "I'll share my rifle, and most of my ammo if you need it. If I only have one biscuit, half of it is yours, ... but don't you touch my toilet paper!" Nuff' said.


Undoubtedly a lot of travel will be done at night. Even if it's not, there will be times when you may need to travel at night and will want a light source to guide your way. Do NOT buy the large multi cell "Mag Lights", as they're too heavy and too powerful for what you need! A small pencil Mag-Light or equivalent will do fine, ... illuminating a few steps in front of you and yet very light to carry. (Be sure to carry a couple sets of fresh batteries.) Another good source is the little "snap lights", ... the liquid filled tubes that glow with a soft green light when you snap them. Be sure to purchase green ones and not red ones, and keep in mind that though light in weight, they can only be used once, so a large supply will be needed if you intend to depend on them exclusively.


This is another item that's often left behind, ...and sorely missed in the field. Unscented bar soap is good, but there's commercially available unscented tubes of soap used by hunters that's better because it uses very little water to rinse off. Remember, it's not only more pleasant to have clean hands and a clean body, but it's healthier too! Fungus infections on your skin and scalp will make you miserable, and left unattended could actually be life threatening. Do yourself and your companions a favor and bring soap! The same goes for the toothbrush. Clean teeth and a clean mouth not only feel better to you and smell better to your companions, it's healthier for you as well. Women and teenaged girls should bring their choice of tampons or sanitary napkins. A sanitary napkin also makes a superb bandage for large cuts or wounds.

Priority 3 Items:


If there's room in your pack, or if the weight is not too oppressive, the items in the priority 3 category are "nice to have" but are not necessary for your actual survival. First on the list is a small AM / FM Transistor radio. "Knowledge is power" is an old saying, ... and although news and information may be sketchy at best and full of false information at worst, it's still a good idea to have a general idea what's going on if possible.


This is a matter of personal preference. In my personal opinion however, a life without God is not a life at all, ... and the guidance, encouragement and hope that a Bible provides for me is indispensable. The Bible goes with me.


If you're a novice in camping or back-packing, one of these small and inexpensive books is a jewel box full of hints and tricks in surviving in the woods and fields. They can teach you everything from how to build a pit fire to roast your food to how to build a lean-to out of tree branches. If you're inexperienced, and if you have no one that "knows what to do" along with you to help and guide you, these little books can be life savers.


If you travel around a lot during the day in this sub-tropical area, you will be very grateful that you remembered to bring along some "shades". They help with eyestrain and can prevent headaches.


For a fair skinned person, this is almost a must! It will be unpleasant enough to try to survive in a new environment, ... so there's no sense in doing it while miserable with blistered skin. If you've never had it, let me assure you that sun poisoning from a sever sun burn is not fun!


In preparing this for you, I've tried to be as thorough as possible, ... especially with the understanding that this MAY be the first time many of you have tried to put together any kind of survival pack. If you follow the basic guidelines that I've put down, you will have a pack that should be comfortable to carry and will give you several days worth of food and supplies to carry you through the woods and fields. Your needs may vary slightly, so by all means add to or delete from the list provided as needed! There are many items that I didn't include in this basic pack, ... small binoculars, a metal foil based survival blanket, (good for draping over yourself when a helicopter or plane is nearby to block off your infrared heat print from their scanners,) a two way radio for communicating with others in your party, etc. As time, money and weight permit, you may find many other items that you personally choose to carry in your pack. The key here is to survive, ... and only you know what is most needed in your personal situation. Good luck...and may God Bless you and America!

JOKE of the MONTH:

Most pet owners can relate to this:

Seen in a dog's diary:

8am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!
10am - Oh Boy! A walk! My favorite!
11am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!
Noon - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!
1pm - Oh Boy! The yard! My favorite!
3pm - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!
4pm - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
5pm - Oh Boy! Mom! My favorite!
7pm - Oh Boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
9pm - Oh Boy! Sleeping in master's bed! My favorite!

As seen in a cat's diary:

Day 183 of my captivity...
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going, is the hope of escape, and... the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another house plant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded - must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair - must try this on their bed. Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to strike fear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan. There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to my power of "allergies". Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage. I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...


Logistics, part 2: Food, at the right time and the right place. By airforce Used with permission.

Sgt. C. R. Fear, the leader of a 16-man squad, was planning for a 15-day deployment of his unit. He was still recovering from the shock of realizing he would need 480 gallons of water during the operation.

"At least food is no problem," he said to himself. "MRE's are a whole lot easier to handle than water."

He knew the men would be working hard, and would need a lot of calories. Three meals a day, except for Sundays, which would be a rest day, with a late brunch and early supper. Doing the math, that would be 43 meals per man. Multiplying that by 16 men, he would need 688 MRE's.

"Boy, that seems like a lot," he thought. He rechecked his math. It was right. "This could get expensive."

He knew that MRE's were running about $60 for a case of twelve, or $5 each. Multiplying 688 by $5, he came up with $3,440.

"Jumpin' Jehosaphat!" cried C. R. Fear. "Even if we could afford that, I can think of a lot of other things we could do with that money!"

C. R. Fear put his hands up to his head and groaned. "This logistics stuff is too much of a headache!"


C. R. Fear was right about that, of course. Not only must you plan for having that much food, but you must also plan to have it in the right place, and at the right time.

Depending on the tactical environment and your own particular situation, this could be relatively easy or very difficult. It is not unusual to adjust operational plans--or cancel them altogether--due to logistical problems.

With that being said, let's explore a few possible options to consider. This is not meant to be all-inclusive--that would take volumes to complete--but this should be enough to stimulate your thinking. Advance planning and coordination may salvage an operation that, at first glance, seems impossible.

1. MRE's

As C. R. Fear knows all too well, they are expensive. This may not be a problem for a government but, for a militia unit with limited resources, those resources must be carefully allocated. Money is a very important logistical consideration.

With that being said, there is a place for them. In my opinion, a case or two of MRE's should go along with any long-term arms cache. You have no idea what the situation will be when you finally recover it, and those MRE's are relatively cheap insurance.

If you anticipate doing some serious evading, they're also your best bet. If you have to move quickly or lay low for a few days, MRE's may be your only option.

Generally, however, MRE's are cost prohibitive for everyday use. Besides, who wants to eat those tasteless things if they don't have to?

2. Canned Goods

Some of us old farts remember C-Rations, or even the K-Rations from a generation before me. They're heavy and bulky, but we won WWII with them. Spam may be the subject of a lot of jokes but, in reality, it's not any worse than that tasteless crap in MRE's.

Some canned goods, such as stew, are a convenient one or two-man meal in themselves. In addition, fruits are often canned in one or two-man portions. When you factor in that MRE's need extra water for reconstitution and digestion, the additional weight is negligible.

Buying canned foods in case lots, you could easily cut the food bill for the 16-man squad by 2/3 over the cost of MRE's.

If you want to save even more--for your family food bill as well--you could can your foods yourself. The start-up cost is considerable; a good pressure canner can cost around $300, and the jars represent a considerable one-time investment as well. The empty jars can be cached and recovered, but this adds another logistical problem to consider.

3. Buying Food As Needed

If your situation permits, this may be an easy way to alleviate some of your logistical problems. If there happens to be a McDonald's or a supermarket nearby, and there is no barrier to your using them, your problem is solved.

These are not your only source for bought or bartered food. A friendly farmer or gardener may be willing to part with some of his crop or livestock for a price, often small. Again, coordination beforehand is necessary. Don't suddenly show up on someone's doorstep with a rifle and full tactical gear. Farmer's are often well-armed as well.

4. Scrounging

The alleged bomber, Eric Rudolph, drew a lot of derision by getting himself arrested while dumpster diving for food behind a supermarket. In reality, this isn't a bad way to supplement your rations--provided you can find a market that doesn't use those compactors, and you hit the dumpster on the right day. I know several of the local homeless persons who do this and, overall, they seem to be healthier than the alcoholic derelicts I normally see at the jail.

Unfortunately for Mr. Rudolph, this isn't a particularly stealthy way to get food. Feeding a squad is theoretically possible, I suppose--but even if you could count on this, you still must consider the value of time and labor, and the risk involved.

A few years ago the Tulsa City Council passed an ordinance against "salvaging," an euphemism for dumpster diving. I know of no one who has actually been arrested or cited under this ordinance--cops have more important things to do with their time--but this is something else to consider.

5. Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping

I get a kick out of all those guys who make a few copper-wire snares, and think this is all they will need to feed themselves. You can catch a meal with them, but it won't be the first, second, third, or fourth time you try it. It takes quite a while to learn this art and, if you intend to supplement your rations with this, the time to start practicing is now.

(What really worries me are all the "survival kits"--including military ones--that include a single wire snare. Even if you are able to catch something with it, it will only catch one critter; wire snares are not reusable.)

Even if you know how to use them, you will once again have to factor in the time and labor involved. Keep in mind also that if you must remain stealthy, this is probably not a good idea. Trackers are often trappers themselves, and will quickly locate your snares.

The same with steel traps. All the enemy has to do is find one, and a sniper will be placed a couple hundred yards away, waiting for someone to check the trap. And, you're not going to carry steel traps in a soft backpack.

Fish, turtle, and pigeon traps can catch a considerable amount of food, if you know what you're doing. They're hardly portable though, and you may as well erect a neon sign announcing your presence. Trackers and game wardens look for lines leading into the water, and this is a natural place for snipers as well.

Unless your quarry is a herd of cattle, hunting is not particularly feasible in terms of time and labor. Edible wild plants are abundant at certain times of the year. I never pass on the opportunity to include wild onions or wild asparagus in the stewpot, but you probably won't have the time or manpower to do anything but supplement the rations you already have.

At the Right Time, In the Right Place

The good Lord knew what he was doing when he made the earth. Since Old Testament times, there has never been a famine that wasn't manmade. Food has always been abundant.

It is not always easily available, however, at the time and place where you need it. This is where prior planning and coordination is vital, and some very important decisions must be made. As we have seen, canned foods are probably our most viable alternative to the expensive and tasteless MRE's.

We have also seen that food caches will not be placed in five-foot-deep holes. Too much time and labor would be used. Food caches will be hidden, rather than buried.

This, however, brings up another set of problems. The longer a food cache is in place, the greater the chance of it being discovered. At best, the food would be lost; at worst, a dozen snipers will be waiting for you to claim it.

At the same time, short-term caches have their own problems. Increased activity by advance teams in your AO could be noticed by the enemy.

This last can be alleviated somewhat by the use of a good action cover. If, for example, a group of birdwatchers always visit an area on weekends, curiosity will eventually fade. When, in six months, they happen to be carrying heavier-than usual cameras and beer coolers, no one will notice.

Some innovative solutions have been used in the past. In Vietnam, it wasn't unusual for children to bury jars of a vile-smelling fermented fish stew along the NVA's route of march.

A fellow American Legion member who still occasionally comes out to the Post--though he is nearly ninety and in poor health--was specially trained in the Army as a mule handler. He served in Burma with Merrill's Marauders.

How will you get food to your men at the right place, and at the right time? Hopefully, this post will stimulate a little thinking on this subject.

Onward and upward,


"Sharon, where are my burritos?!?!"
Ozzy Osborne


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