The following post is directly aimed at those who are new to the militia-verse, maybe driven by concern over the events over the past few months.
If you are an old hack like me, please feel free to also peruse my ramblings as I delve into the world of.... the Militia.
There are two types of people who succeed in a well run militia:
A. Those who know things but realize there is always more to learn - (Humble)
B. Those who know very little but have the will and capability to learn - (Open Minded)
In fact, if you live the militia life long enough, Tyrion Lannister's quote of "I drink and I know things" can take on a whole new meaning.
Seriously though, note the key phrases "succeed" and "well run militia".
There are obviously as many different kinds of personalities as there are grains of sand on the earth, and you will find all of them in any large group of people, but good militiamen almost exclusively come from A or B above. (Or a combination of both)
Examples of those that think they know about militias:
I've seen ex-Army and Jarhead folks come into the unit with minds full of tactical goodness who think that they are going to dominate the militia world only to find out that joining the militia involves learning something called asymmetrical warfare (aka: the militia way \ Miyagi-Do \ They did WHAT?) and that YOU are the QRF.
Field Hospital and a never ending logistics train? Nope.
There's the guy who buys the $3000 rifle \ $2000 optic and then never realizes that if things ever went south you would be picking that stuff up off of the ground.
It's usually the same guy who doesn't quite get that a black rifle stands out in the grass and that a Recon mission is usually not the time to wear your level IV body armor.
Here's the key.... the examples above are PERFECTLY fine if you are Humble and Open minded.
Hard lessons like the above are the best teachers if you are open to accepting that you are not Rambo 2020.
As much as I love to see a good recruiting month, I keep in the back of my head the 10% rule.
What is the 10% rule?
That is the average percentage of applicants that:
B. Fill out the paperwork
C. Pass a basic background check
D. Attend more than 2 FTXs before disappearing
It's very HARD to become a full member of TSM, and it is that way for a reason.
Manning a listening post at 2 AM when its 92 degrees in high humidity.
Mosquitoes that eat bug repellents as appetizers.
Popping a smoke for cover just to realize that it helped the OPFOR that jumped you more than it did you.
Running in full stride in the night to cover just to fall into a drainage ditch. (Cover Achieved!)
Basically being uncomfortable constantly and having your ass handed to you in exercises over and over.... that is the militia.
And that is how you grow.
Whenever I talk to new applicants I tell them that going prone and shooting a steel target at 100 yards is literally one of the the LEAST important things in our training qualifications.
As new folks looking into militias, think hard about what exactly you are looking for and what you wish to get from membership.
Also, think very hard about what you bring to the table for the unit as well.
This is a two way street and you get back EXACTLY what you put into it.
Overall, a good militiaman understands that this is work and commitment, just like a good marriage.
With the patch comes responsibility.
So after all of this craziness, if your Patriotic fire still burns.... feel free to fill up your camelbak, pack up your rain gear, and let's do this thing.