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Growing You’re Ranks

wquon

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You chose ranks, and now have an idea of how they differ from the military. Time for the next considerations.

 

In my experience some groups do it backwards when starting out. They’re the general, they get some friends and they’re colonels, and then the lower ranks trickle in. please don’t do this.

 

Start with the small ranks and move up (refer to the pic above). Battle Buddy Teams are important (thanks to General Marshal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRjvBhiJwj8However; I have a caveat to this. 3 people form 1 CPL and 2 PVTs, the next rank comes in at 7 people; 1 SGT, 2 CPLs, 4 PVTs. So what do you do between 3 and 7people? simple answer, go heavy in the lower rank.

 

 

Example;

4 ppl = 1 CPL, 3 PVTs

5 ppl = 2 CPLs, 3 PVTs

6 ppl = 2 CPLs, 4 PVTs

and so on. (I’ll leave a pic below)

 

These numbers will depend on your groups activity which can vary wildly. If a group takes a loss in numbers, shift down in rank.

 

When you get multiple areas or a state wide group (weather its zones, districts, area codes, however you want to break it down) you will need a higher rank, and there will most likely be a rank gap between the state and local level.

 

This is okay and I will explain why next time. For now, this is a good stopping point. Take care folks.

rank growth.png



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A fine example of critical thinking. This example has worked VERY well not just in militaries and militias but the online gaming community has taught me a thing or two about management; strange as it may seem. I hereby nominate you to win the lottery sir. Or ma'am. I don't judge. 

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This is a tricky area.  Militias are of necessity much more 'democratic' and 'flat' than professional militaries. And it seems to me that when you try to go from a local unit to a statewide organization, you open yourself up to new problems, which would suggest that higher-than-local organization should be as loose as possible at this stage, more a vehicle for sharing experience and taking advantage of the division of labor/specialization, co ordinating extended training exercises and perhaps educational summer camps ... but not an organization which, at this point, seeks to speak authoritatively for the whole militia movement in a state.  (And this goes triple for national organization.) 

 

In other words: the militia movement is still in its infancy, and needs to grow from the bottom up.

 

If you have a militia unit made up a two or three dozen people, most of them vets or serving military (including National Guard) or LEO or Fire Service or other quasi-military groups  .... and if there is a range of experience/former ranks ... then probably having a formal rank system will come naturally: former rank will be one consideration, but actual experience will be another. And there is also personality type. Some people are natural leaders, others not so much. (And some people are obnoxious narcissists who will want to dominate, but should be politely shown the door, or maybe sent on a long-term mission to become 'sleepers' in a Far Left group.)

 

However, if there are a lot of people who don't fit into the above categories, then it might be better to hold off on assigning ranks until people get to know each other, and have perhaps heard

some talks by people with relevant experience.  Americans are individualists, and most of them will balk at 'following orders' until they understand the necessity for some sort of command structure.

 

In a professional military, there is usually a pyramid based mainly on years-of-service/natural leadership qualities. You've got the privates and PFCs who have only been in a few months or a year or two, led by NCOs with more time in, and above them, the career guys with a long time in.  (The officer/NCO distinction means that there is a kind of parallel structure, in theory, although every second lieutenant who is put in charge of his first platoon is usually told that he had better listen to his old NCOs before he makes any serious decisions.)   But a militia is not like this.

 

In any event, in a platoon-sized unit, or smaller, there are really only two, or at most three, 'command' positions -- fire team leader, squad leader, platoon leader, assuming you are following the standard infantry organization, and assuming no distinction between officers and NCO's. And it's positions, not rank, that are critical.

 

What needs to be avoided, it seems to me, are elaborate structures without any reality behind them, which will give newcomers the impression of a group of people acting out fantasies.  In any group of more than  a half dozen, undertaking a common task -- whether it be going on a patrol, or building a garage, or designing an order-processing system -- there has to be someone in charge, to co ordinate everyone else.  Usually, it's obvious who that person is, namely, the person with the most experience and/or knowledge about the task.  (And where you get two or more people who have identical credentials qualifying them for leadership, or who think they do, you've got the potential for the kind of acrimonious split that is all too common in the militia movement. Probably, where this situation prevails, one person should be chosen by lot, with the other(s) as deputies, and with the expectation that as the unit grows, they will take leadership of hived-off units.)

 

It's also relevant here to make the point that  in any professional military, if you have relevant specialized knowledge, you should always be training your replacement. This should be doubly true in a militia because it should always be looking and trying to grow in numbers, which will mean splitting in two at some point.

 

These are just my personal observations. Grey is all theory, and ever-green the tree of life. It would be very useful for people who are actually active in a militia unit to give their observations here.

 

 

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militias arent new. this is for folks that want to put a structure together, not for teams/groups that arent looking to grow.

 

i see many militias who are trying to do this, but fail. theyre options are usually 1) stick with an failed rank structure, 2) start all over.

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Rank is necessary for any organized fighting force. Every militia I have ever seen fail does the "if you were X rank in the military you can be that rank" because then you end up with a ton of NCOs, no lower enlisted and exceptionally few officers.

 

 

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Here's a question: suppose your militia group had 'roles' but no 'ranks'.

 

That is, there were riflemen, team leaders, squad leaders, platoon leaders, etc.   but no rank.

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1 hour ago, Doug1943 said:

Here's a question: suppose your militia group had 'roles' but no 'ranks'.

 

That is, there were riflemen, team leaders, squad leaders, platoon leaders, etc.   but no rank.

Roles and ranks in this context would be the exact same thing. One is placing another above the other person. A platoon leader gives orders to a squad leader and so on. So... same system.

 

The bigger problem with militia that I've seen is most of them want to pretend to be one and hand out high ranks like candy. 

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1 hour ago, Doug1943 said:

Here's a question: suppose your militia group had 'roles' but no 'ranks'.

 

That is, there were riflemen, team leaders, squad leaders, platoon leaders, etc.   but no rank.

when i used the term "role" i meant things like, HAM trainer, social media manager, treasurer, and so on.

 

not distinguishing leadership roles could work in a small team, but get confusing in a larger group. no rank designations would get confusing when working with other organizations as well.

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I think the problem of going from a small group -- a couple of dozen or less -- to larger groups is one of the main problems that the militia movement faces and will face. 

 

Here are some arguments about rank -- they're neither for nor against the idea, but are things that have to be thought about.

 

1. Play-acting.  It's not wrong to enjoy your work, or to enjoy carrying out your duty.  Almost every normal man gets pleasure from weapons, and from being part of a trained team that can use them. BUT ... when I read something by a militia leader who calls himself "Lieutenant Colonel So--and-So ..." or "Brigade Commander Such-and-Such"   I just smile.  Really?  I would like to ask the people with these exalted titles, Who was on your promotion board?  What lessons can we draw from Col. Willoughby's intelligence  reports on the likelihood of Chinese intervention in Korea in the autumn of 1950?  How many tons of food will a batallion in a static position consume over three months?   

 

Glendower:"I can call spirits from the vasty deep!"  Hotspur: "Aye, and so can I, and so can any man ... but will they come when you do call for them?" (from Shakespeare's King Henry IV.)

 

2.  Jealosy. If I had ten dollars for every time a milita group has had an acrimonious split, as giant inflated egos clash, I could take my whole family  and al my to dinner in the most expensive restaurant in town... well, someday.   I believe we all need to be humble, build the militia, train, and learn ... and if we become large enough, natural leaders will emerge from amidst us, or will be attracted to us. I would expect retired military men to make up the bulk of the leadership of a serious militia movement in the US -- and by "serious" I mean one numbering in the hundreds of thousands. For the moment, I believe it's tactically wise to concentrate on building local, platoon-sized units. There is a major need for national connections -- for one thing, we ought to make it easy for a local unit in Arizona to take advantage of, say, the legal expertise of a pro-militia lawyer in Maine -- but forming a national group like the Oathkeepers or the Three Percenters brings problems with it, which many people may wish to avoid at the moment.  So if the reality of the militia movement is lots of small units, for the moment,  then 'rank' problems don't arise.

 

3.  The reality of power.  Commanders of a voluntary  group like the militia have no power other than   persuasion and force of social opinion.  In a professional military, this is not the case. And on the other hand, in a professional military, a commander is part of a matrix of equals and superiors.  Your batallion commander in a real army may be a dick, but he is limited in just how bad he can be, because there are people superior to him, and equal to him, and in a professonal military concern for unit effectiveness will put restraints on a crappy commander.  In a voluntary militia, an egomaniacal commander, if he is the kind of narcissist who knows how to build up clique of obsequious loyalists around him,  will succeed in destroying, or at least deeply degrading the effectiveness, of his unit.

 

4.  Officers vs Enlisted Men.  Several hundred years ago, only the rich could read and write.  Their wealth and their education literally put them into a different class from the peasants or urban craftsmen who made up the ranks. And so we have inherited this feudal distinction.  And, it's still not a bad fit to society today -- basically, between those with a university education or its equivalent at a military school, and those without.  But the militia is not actually a reflection of society today.  It has no 18 year olds for whom it's a way to avoid getting on the path to prison, no young people for whom it's a way to get that first job, with benefits.  My impression of the militia today is that it is drawn solidly from the middle layers of society: people who are mature, have years of experience in the real world, are often skilled, many of them veterans, including combat veterans.   So I don't see the  "officers vs enlisted men" cleavage  as actually having much bearing in the militia movement.  How to take this into account is another matter.

 

I just raise these issues for discussion. Whatever rank structure emerges eventually, if one does, it's best if it's the result of a lot of thought and argument and discussion.

 

 

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10 hours ago, wquon said:

when i used the term "role" i meant things like, HAM trainer, social media manager, treasurer, and so on.

 

not distinguishing leadership roles could work in a small team, but get confusing in a larger group. no rank designations would get confusing when working with other organizations as well.

I agree with you.

 

It's really the distinction between "line" officers -- in command of combat forces -- and "staff" officers: the planners, the intelligence interpreters, etc.

 

I can't think of a word or phrase to distinguish between the roles of  fire-team leader, squad leader, platoon leader ... on the one hand -- and the various important technical roles you have mentioned.

"Line" vs "staff" really applied to officers only, not NCOs.   I think the relatively recent  (within the last few decades) adoption of "Specialist" rank in the US Army was in response to this problem, and at one point you could go up to 'Specialist 9' -- but that was all done away with 35 years ago and now the highest Specialist rank is E4.  Other militaries have grappled with this problem as well -- how to designate highly-skilled personnel who are not officers, and not commanders (like sergeants) are either.

 

However, I don't think this is really a big problem at the moment. 

 

There is another very important consideration here, which really comes under a different topic category altogether, and which strongly urges against developing a military rank system above that of platoon leader. However, it's not the sort of thing we should talk about publically, so I'll restrict my discussion of it to PMs.

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