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I would like to bring to your attention a small pet peeve of mine. The ranks people claim in the militia. To understand my perspective on this, I will give you a little bit of my background. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army. I served 6 years and did three combat tours in Iraq as a forward observer (13F). Both active duty and in the National Guard, but enough about that. Now the rank structure of the militias seems to follow the same basic structure of the Army. Makes sense, however this is being absurdly taking advantage of by a few. And those few are making a laughing stock of the rest of us. I have certainly spent much time shaking my head wondering “WTF?” For those of you who have never spent time in the Army, let me help you understand where I am coming from. In the Army’s Infantry (which is the closest unit from which the militia bases itself) a Captain is basically the lowest commanding rank in a position of command and will take charge of a company. He will have a few lieutenants to run his platoons, but the guy in charge is a captain. He will have roughly a 160 or so men under his command. Usually three platoons of 40 men each and then a Headquarters Platoon filled with support personnel. Rank of Major is usually not a rank of command, they are the lowest “field grade” officer and usually just support their Lieutenant Colonel (LTC). The Lieutenant Colonel is in charge of a battalion, upwards of seven companies and total of somewhere between 1200 to 1500 combat-ready men and women. The next rank up is a ‘full bird’ Colonel, he is in charge of the brigade consisting of 4 to 7 battalions and is in charge of upward to 5000 to 8000 men and women. Next comes the Generals and the amount of men under their command is ridiculously high. Now back to the militia. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen some wannabe claim the rank of LTC and have 30 or so personnel show up to training. Are you kidding me? You don’t even have a platoon and most of those 30 are not even close to be physically fit enough to survive a standard PT test, let alone pass one. I am not ragging on the members, everyone who wants to train, should. But the self-glorifying rank system some of these people give themselves borders on delusional. I once went to a Summer FTX with several local militias a few years back. Good turnout. Around a 130 participants including women and children. The guy in charge called himself a Brigade Commander and claimed the rank LTC. I would guess there were about 30 to 35 people there actually in good enough physical condition and had enough basic knowledge to actually go out on a real mission. Yet, the leader was a “Lieutenant Colonel”. Even more hilarious is my time on Facebook. I have no idea how many “State Commanders” I have met online. They are often Colonels or Generals. They just randomly claim to be in charge of all the militia in their state, but invariably I can usually find several militias in their states that don’t recognize him. Yet, they call themselves state commanders and colonels. This is nothing short of lunacy. The worst offender of this I ever came across was a guy that claimed to be the Commander of the Militia of the Several States. Yes, according to him and few of his friends he was the ultimate guy in charge of all the militias. Apparently, there was a group that called themselves the Third Continental Congress filled with self-appointed delegates. They decided they were in charge of their new defacto government and appointed this “General” to take charge of all militias. This Third Continental Congress fell apart and no longer exists, but this guy still claims this rank and position, all while trying to rebuild his glory by forming a Forth Continental Congress. At the time of meeting this guy online, I was still pretty new to the militia and I am looking at this guy like “WTF?” This “General” is literally homeless asking people if he can park his trailer on their property, because he got kicked of the land of last guy he was got into a fight with. He had no control over his own life and now I am told this guy is in control of all militias. What a joke. And don’t even get me started on the Ranger beret he wore. Here is my point. Just be real. Don’t be a freaking wannabe. If you are in charge of a small company of patriots, 8 to 20 or so, the rank of captain is cool. It’s the lowest commanding rank, so the unit number is not that important. But if you are running around with a rank of LTC, stop it. You are not. Unless you actually have a 1,000 men showing up to your training. I mean real people showing up to do real training, not a 1000 friends in your Facebook group. People who have never spent time in the military probably don’t care. But to many veterans it does, because those ranks mean something to us. It’s a big turnoff. And if you are a veteran doing this, slap yourself. I would even go as far as saying if you are in a unit with someone claiming some ridiculously high rank that claims to be a veteran. Then check him out, he may possibly be a Stolen Valor asshat.