The following is written by the founder of OathKeepers, Stewart Rhodes. See their national website: http://oathkeepers.org Also, go to YouTube and watch Stewart on dozens of national interviews and speaking at events.
Oath Keepers is instructing its 30,000 members nation-wide to form up special Community Preparedness Teams and sub-teams in each Oath Keepers chapter, at the town and county level, modeled loosely on the Special Forces “A Team” (Operational Detachment A ) model, and for a similar purpose: to be both a potential operational unit for community security and support during crisis, but also, as mission #1, to serve as training and leadership cadre, to assist in organizing neighborhood watches, organizing mutual aid teams inside of churches, organizing veterans halls to provide community civil defense, forming County Sheriff Posses, strengthening existing CERT, volunteer fire, search-and-rescue, reserve deputy systems, etc., and eventually to assist in forming and training town and county militias (established by official act of town and county elected representatives). We want our chapters to organize themselves as a working model that we can then take to other veterans organizations, such as the VFW, American Legion, Marine Corps League, etc. in each town and help them establish such teams within their already existing veterans halls. And likewise, to serve as a model and training cadre to help churches, neighborhood watches, and any other civic organization organize themselves.
We are basing this on the Special Forces model, which has a twelve man “A team” of specially trained soldiers who are inserted into a community to train and lead that community in resistance to oppressive regimes (hence their motto: “De Oppresso Liber). SF’s primary mission is to teach, organize, and lead, rather than to directly fight. They can fight, of course, but they are most dangerous as a force-multiplier by helping an entire community to fight. We will do the same – be force multipliers to help prepare communities so they can preserve life, liberty, and property (and preserve civility and civilization) by providing their own security, disaster relief, infrastructure preservation, emergency power and clean water, emergency communications, emergency medical care, and strategic food reserves.
In an SF team, there are:
Two communications experts.
Two Combat Engineers (who can do more than demolitions. They can also build bridges, dig wells, install water-treatment, electrical power, irrigation systems, etc. ).
Two weapons experts.
An Operations NCO.
An Assistant Operations NCO who also does intelligence.
A commanding officer, and his assistant commanding officer.
Each SF soldier is first trained to be light infantry. They all go through Army Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training (AIT)(usually at the Infantry School at Ft. Benning), Airborne School, and then the SF Selection course, where they learn land navigation (including a difficult timed night land-nav course), wilderness survival (including a graded field “survival” exercise), and patrolling (including reconnaissance, ambushes, raids, reacting to ambush, movement to contact, etc), along with a timed ruck march, obstacle course, rappelling out of helicopters, and hand-to-hand. And then they learn their specialty of one of the above – medic, commo, engineer, weapons, etc. Then they put it all together in a field training final phase where they are dropped into the fictitious country of “Pineland” (in the mountains and forests of North Carolina) and have to teach and lead the indigenous people (played by other recruits waiting to enter the training) in irregular warfare against the enemy.
Then, once they graduate and make it to Group, they all cross train, each specialized team of two training the others so they are all pretty good at all tasks, but experts within their chosen specialty. They bring each-other up to a high standard of capability. And by having two of each specialty, they have redundancy (two is one, and one is none) and the ability to split their specialists among sub-teams if needed. They can function as a very capable fighting squad if they need to, but their primary mission is to train and lead others in irregular warfare.
Oath Keepers is using that successful model and adapting it to our mission, to form Oath Keepers “Community Preparedness Teams” (we have already received critical input from some of our Special Forces members, and are actively seeking more input from others within the Special Forces community).
The following is a preliminary draft of what we intend to do, to be further modified and improved with our members’ continued input. This is not written in stone – it is just a start. All who read this, please help us make it better by leaving in the comments your suggestions for improvement. What are we missing? What needs to be changed? How can we make it better?
So far,we plan to have the following in each Operational “Field” Team:
OATH KEEPERS FIELD TEAM STRUCTURE
Two Emergency Communication Experts (one Lead, the other Assistant/Secondary).
This will consist of a lead Emergency Communications expert, and an assistant and secondary. Whoever is more advanced in ability is in the lead. For example, a General class HAM in the lead, and a Technician class HAM as secondary.
Two Emergency Medical experts (one Lead, the other Assistant). with a special focus on grid-down emergency medical and wilderness medicine, where there is the possibility of extended time without rapid transport to more advanced care).
Whoever is most trained/experienced will be the lead Emergency Medical expert, with the other acting as assistant and secondary. For example, if we have a paramedic or military trained medic and also a person who is dedicated to the emergency medical track, but is only an EMT, the medic is in the lead, and the EMT is the assistant.
Two Engineers (One lead, the other assistant). To assist with providing emergency power, clean water, sewage, etc. emergency shelter, fuel distribution, building and repairing bridges, clearing roads, construction, facilitate field distribution of supply and logistics, such as food and clean water, Fire and HAZMAT protection and mitigation, assist search and rescue in structures, etc.
The engineer positions are critical, needing the ability to assist in many areas. Some of our people are formally trained as Combat Engineers or SEABEEs, as well as Fire-fighters with considerable HAZMAT and search and rescue training, while others are extensively experienced in construction/electrical/engineering/mechanics on the civilian side. Both tend to be jack of all trades who can do nearly anything on the fly when it comes to this area, and that is what we are aiming for – flexible skillsets that can improvise as needed to provide those critical needs, with scene safety and mitigation of HAZMAT threats a priority, followed by providing clean water, shelter, and power/heat.
The Engineers will also be responsible for coordinating the delivery and distribution of supplies, both to the team and to the people the team is assisting (such as food reserves, fuel reserves, additional medical supplies, etc. which are delivered by the Support Team).
Four to Six “Scouts.” (Security Experts)
All Scout/Security Experts will train extensively in team close protection, (both while traveling and on-site), land navigation, search and rescue, combat life-saver and first aid medical skills, tracking, reconnaissance and observation, precision rifle shooting, wilderness survival and other “bush” and “field” skills, camouflage, small unit tactics, and patrolling (and then will serve as a teaching cadre to cross-train all other Field Team members in the basics of all of those skills, bringing everyone up to light infantry standards). The focus will be on providing security for the team, for other first responders, and for the community they are assisting (all too often during disasters, criminal elements will shoot at first responders and take advantage of the situation to rob, rape, and loot). Among the Security Experts will be, ideally:
a. Two tracking experts
b. two precision shooting experts (or one designated marksman per each four-man sub-team)
c. Two close combat and small unit tactics experts. Again, all members of the field teams are expected to learn basic light infantry skills, with a focus on small unit tactics for defense of the team and defense of people thy are assisting, but within that field team we will have people who will make these skills their specialty, either because they are already extensively trained or because they choose that skill and training track.
The above are the operational specialties and skill sub-teams within each field team at this time. Each specialty will train in-depth and become true experts in those sub-category skills and then cross-train so all are competent in at least the basics of each skill. For example, each and every member of the 12 or 13 person field team must know combat life-saver type first aid skills, such as how to stop bleeding, keep an airway open, CPR, treating shock, etc.
As noted above, this structure of the Field Teams will be refined further as we train and organize, drawing on the incredible training and talent pool of our members, and from the community.
As of now, our basic organization in the field teams will be three sub-teams of four, with an Assistant Team Leader (ATL) leading each four man sub-team, with an overall Team Leader (TL) as t he 13th man.
We decided to do it that way after input from Max Velocity, of http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com, together with further discussions with some of our Ranger, Special Forces, and Marine infantry veterans within Oath Keepers. The over-all field team Team Leader needs to be able to keep focused on the big-picture and coordinate the movement and activities of the field team as a whole. He needs to concentrate on leading (including intelligence functions and liaison with any military, police, emergency medical and fire, local government, state, other groups, etc. and communicating and coordinating with the Support Team)
Within each chapter will also be a Support Team (Logistic Supply/Support Group (LSG).
This will be an auxiliary to assist the Field team with supplies and transport. The people within that support team will also train extensively with the field team. Picture older veterans with extensive knowledge, but who no longer feel fit enough to go out into the field. They can serve as trainers, and then as support for operations, and as part of a field HQ to give direction and advice over the radio to the field units. They can also drive vehicles, prepare shelter and rear -recovery area for the teams, etc. For example, imagine an old Marine Scout Sniper vet with bad knees, or an old Special Forces vet with a bad back. Neither of them will likely be interested in humping a ruck up and down mountains, but they can sure train the hell out of the younger guys. Ditto for retired medics and communications/radio men. Their knowledge is priceless, and can and will save lives and could save our country, if properly applied and then amplified and spread. They can train the Field Teams, and make sure they really know what they are doing, with no bull allowed, and then they can be there as part of the Support Team, and as part of the HQ element that is likely going to be with the Support Team.
Within that support team, will be critical supply and logistics personnel, such as strategic food reserve, who get the food ready to go and help deliver it to the field SFR personnel, and same for back-up and support for the other Field Team specialists. And also within that team will be general supply and logistics, motorpool, and base station and portable HQ communications experts, an intel team, and a base station medical team which may even be able to set up a mobile field hospital (presuming the expertise is available, and the supplies). Along side the support team will be a chapter headquarters unit, consisting of the local chapter leader and assistant chapter leader. We will flesh this out with more formal structure shortly.
So far, that is it for the field team(s) an the support team. What are we missing? Anything need to be added, or changed?
Within each chapter should also be the following sub-teams for use both during “normal” times and also during emergencies:
Peace Officer Liaison and Sheriff /posse Team. Focused on making sure the local Sheriff is a “constitutional Sheriff” who understands the Constitution and the duty to defend it, and making sure there is a posse to back the sheriff up, but also reaching out to city police and deputies. This team would preferably be led by a retired peace officer, who will get to know all local police. That team will also serve as the HQ liaison between the chapter HQ and local, state, and federal law enforcement (with a focus on the locals).
Military and National Guard Liaison. To communicate with and build relationships with local military and national guard units, and serve as liaisons during operations.
Neighborhood Watch Team. To help form neighborhood watches throughout the local community and liaison with them.
Local Government Team. To get to know the local town council, county government, judges, county attorney, etc, and observe each town and county government meeting. This is the team that will draft and introduce militia bills, posse bills, and nullification bills, among other items to support liberty at the local level, and will help liaison with them all during emergencies.
Intelligence Team. To gather, analyze, and disseminate intelligence on who is doing what, where, when, and why.
Chapters can form additional teams as needed in their own area and circumstances, but those are the basics.
Like SF, all Oath Keepers will be expected to learn light infantry skills. They will all be encouraged to attend an Appleseed Rifle Program and shoot to “Rifleman” standards. Just as the Marines say that every Marine is a Rifleman (even the cooks) so will every Oath Keeper be a rifleman. After learning solid rifle marksmanship, they will learn individual movement and tactics, then buddy team, fire-team, and squad movement and tactics (shoot, move, communicate). All of you infantry veterans need to step up and teach these skills to everyone else. So, it is not just the Scouts who will learn those skills – everyone on a field team will learn them, and even the support team members should at least train in the basics so they can defend themselves.
All will learn land navigation, basic wilderness survival, basic first aid and combat lifesaver skills, and basic patrolling and small unit tactics.
as in SF, each will pick one (or two, if they have the time) specialty sub-categories to train in-depth in, and then each will cross train in other specialties. Ideally, all would at least be exposed to training in tracking and precision shooting. With other team members training to a high state of capability, and available to cross-train other members, the only real limitation is time to train. Each has a focus, but is encouraged to cross-train extensively.
Within a chapter, when you get enough people to form more field teams, you do it. Replicate and multiply them like cells dividing and multiplying.
All who are interested in each specialty will train together for two months, and then form the field teams and train as a whole team. For example, if ya chapter had four or five people interested in the medical specialty, they would all train together, to set training goals, standards, gear selection, SOPs, etc (with bonafide medics, corpsmen, and EMTs taking the lead, but anyone would be welcome to train for the team who commits to that track). They train together for two months before you set up any Field Teams, but even after they are sent into field teams, those medical track personnel still get together for ongoing training among themselves. Within each two man sub-team, the one with the most knowledge is the lead between the two. For example, a prior service medic or corpsman would be paired up with a newbie who would serve as his apprentice while the newbie gets trained up. All would be encouraged to seek formal training, such as local college EMT classes, Wilderness Medicine classes, and tactical medicine classes (which are rare, but do exist for civilians). But no one would be turned away just because they are new to the field. All who are committed to that specialty track will be welcome, but expected to train their butts off, and they will be under the direct supervision of those with more training (by the way, this is how volunteer fire departments do it. The older and wiser guys train the newbs).
And the same for all the other specialties. What will be of utmost importance is that those with real-deal experience and professional training in any of the above need to step up and help train up these specialties and sub-teams within their local chapter and community. Duplicate yourself, replicate yourself! Teach others what you know, and help them form up into working teams. Even if you are too old, injured, or whatever to go out into a field situation humping a ruck, you can still teach, and help them get squared away.
And remember, the primary mission is to build up a competent training cadre, as force multipliers, with a working model, to then get the local veterans groups to form up similar teams within their local veteran hall, and then to go out and help the community form similar teams in neighborhood watches, mutual aid associations, within churches, and then within the broader town and county. Therefore, all the medics, even the older guys who are not able to go into some field conditions, will be on the teaching team when they go out to teach others during “normal” times. Ditto for all the other specialties.
And so, you should not just be forming these teams within your local Oath Keepers chapter and helping local veterans halls do the same, but also within your own family and circle of friends, and within your own neighborhood (who’s on your buddy team, who’s on your fire team, who’s on your squad?). Start a neighborhood watch and then build a solid field team and a support team within your own neighborhood.
When the crap hits the fan, you need well-trained people around you, with complementary skills, who can help you get through. Like Kevin Reeve of Onpoint Tactical says: “training trumps gear. And community trumps both training and gear.” You can’t know it all, or do it all, and you have to sleep sometime. So build a team, build community, and prepare your community.It starts with you, your family, your small circle of most trusted friends, then your neighborhood, your church, your veterans halls in your town, the Sheriff’s posse, the local search and rescue, volunteer fire, etc., and then out to your county and state.
WHY WE ARE DOING THIS:
In addition to this being part of our mission anyway, we feel like we are flat running out of time and we need to get as prepared as possible as fast as possible. The Oath Keepers national Board of Directors war-gamed what we think is the most likely move by our enemies to scrap the Constitution. On the BOD at the time were a Special Forces Major, an Army Ranger, and a Marine Scout-sniper veteran, as well as a retired Navy Commander and several Vietnam combat vets, and several other combat arms veterans. Playing devil’s advocate, and putting themselves in the enemy’s shoes, we estimated that the most effective course for “them” to follow would be to:
1. Intentionally trigger a catastrophic economic collapse as an economic “neutron bomb” (kills the people, but leaves the land intact). With the current intentional lack of a Strategic Grain Reserve, our population is in a strategic “checkmate” position where an economic collapse could be a near-extinction event for our population. During the Cold War, the U.S. government maintained three years worth of grain in a Strategic Grain Reserve for the entire US population because they knew that in the wake of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union, it could take three years to recover and grow crops again. Without that reserve, those who survived the exchange would starve to death before they could possibly restart growing enough food. We now have no such Strategic food reserve, which means that any catastrophic interruption in food delivery could kill millions of Americans. Such a disruption could occur because of even a limited nuclear exchange, an EMP strike (either man-made, or natural, as a result of solar activity), or, an economic collapse.
Currently, our economy is in such a weak state that an economic collapse could be intentionally triggered at any time. Because of the lack of a food reserve, and because few Americans store food on their own, such a collapse would lead to mass starvation, just like in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange.
The US government is spending billions of dollars on ammunition, armored vehicles, and weapons for DHS and local police. It is spending nothing on food for the people. They are preparing to control and contain us, and to shoot us, but not preparing to feed us. Why is that? You know the answer.
2. Let the country descend into chaos. A national economic collapse would be like a “national Katrina” but lasting far longer, and because it is nation-wide, it would be far more intense. The cities would implode. All the government would have to do is contain them and let them implode. in the midst of that chaos, they could also do a decapitation strike on the leaders of the liberty movement, but other than that, “They” could just sit back and wait a month, two months, or three to be really sure the people are at a maximum level of starvation, weakness, and chaos, and then:
3. Ride in like the cavalry, to “save” us by means of martial law and scrapping our constitution once-and-for all. They could blame the collapse on the so-called “free market” and on not having enough government power, and they could blame delays in relief on the “extremists” in the patriot movement (i.e. “we would have gotten the food trucks in sooner, but the extremists were ambushing our safety check-points and resisting the necessary relocation to relief camps”). Their ready to go solution would be a world-wide version of the Fed, and scrapping what’s left of the Constitution. People would be told to “just turn in your guns, and you’ll get food” and “just turn in the extremists, and you’ll get food.”
ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS: To the above, we now add Brandon Smith’s insight that with a war in Syria, the elites can trigger an economic collapse with a war – with Russia and China using economics as a weapon in retaliation. All China would have to do is dump US treasuries and refuse to trade with US dollars. That would begin the final death-spiral of the dollar.
The Chinese would be blamed for the collapse, rather than the banksters. “They” would tell the American people that the evil Chinese are to blame for the death of the dollar, and anyone who resists the “emergency measures” by the US government would be accused of aiding the enemy. They would say “domestic extremists took advantage of the Chinese economic attack on us to push their own racist and extremist anti-government agenda, making the collapse worse by attacking peace-keepers and international relief volunteers, and by attacking and resisting US officials who were trying to restore law and order.”
It is because of the systemic weakness of the American people, and our strategic checkmate position of having no strategic food storage and no effective local security, that we feel the need to take Oath Keepers operational and put our focus on each chapter being a training cadre to get their communities as prepared and organized as possible in whatever time we have left.
We urge you to presume the worst in the short term, and to work in three or four month sprints – assume that a collapse will be triggered this fall/winter and do all you can to get yourselves and your communities ready.
If it doesn’t happen in the next four months, then do another sprint, of three or four more months of preparation. And keep going until it happens – which it will eventually, no matter what anyone does. The dollar is doomed.
We encourage each individual to build a food reserve, to set aside food for their neighbors (10% of their food is for others), and to have basic communications (at least a hand-held dual band radio), basic medical, and water purification, shelter, and weapons and ammo. We will post more details on our recommendations for preparedness in a follow-up post.
Everyone is encouraged to use the above team building model and template to build a team within their family, extended family, and friends, and to then do the same in their neighborhoods, and in their civic organizations. From the individual, to the family, neighborhood, civic org, town, county, and state. Bottom up.
OK. Let us know how to improve the above.
For the Republic,
Founder and President of Oath Keepers
PS – As a reminder and clarification, from the beginning of Oath Keepers we have had two prongs to our mission:1. Reinforce the oath-keeping of the current serving.
2. Reinforce the oath-keeping of the veterans (and any citizens who want to join us in our efforts).
From the start, we have been about more than just RTI to the current serving, and well over a year ago we launched our Operation Sleeping Giant, to help put more focus on waking up veterans groups and on the critical need for people to implement preparedness, security, economic independence, and local sovereignty, in their local communities as part of our effort to restore the Republic from the ground up.
However, that aspect of our mission has still not gotten the attention it deserves among our members. All too often I see and hear members describing their mission as just “RTI” to the current serving and not fully implementing the other half of our strategy.
So, to bring that second prong of our mission back where it belongs – with equal attention paid to it along with RTI to the current serving – we will be including the Operation Sleeping Giant mission on our main website, rather than having it on some sister-site (which is not getting it done).
And, most importantly, we will be instructing our members, and our local and state chapters, to form up into operational mutual-aid and community-aid teams, just like we are asking the veterans groups to do. Some of our local chapters are already doing this, but we need to make it a nation-wide effort, and a main part of our mission.
We have been asking VFW halls, Marine Corps League halls, etc. to see themselves as a unit, as a source of stability and aid to their communities, as the pool of manpower that can serve as a civil defense unit for their town and county, as the Sheriff’s Posse, and as a pool of manpower that can serve as the militia for their community (preferably established by formal act of their city or county government). Likewise for churches, neighborhood watches, etc.
If we are going to ask veterans groups, and neighborhood watches, to see themselves as such a unit, then we need to do the same within our own org, and especially within our local chapters at the town and county level. That way, when we talk to veterans groups, we won’t be asking them to do anything that we are not doing ourselves, and we can also work out the bugs and have a working model for what we want them to do.
The ultimate goal is not to have all the veterans join Oath Keepers and have a bunch of Oath Keepers teams doing all the work in each town and county. Instead, the ultimate goal is for us to help them get their already existing veterans orgs organized into well trained (and training), well equipped, and organized teams. And, even broader than that, the goal is to enlist their help in then establishing strong neighborhood watches throughout their community, and then strong town and county level civil-defense units, posse, and ultimately, strong town and county militia, on the way to fully restoring the state militia.
As I said above, think of this as a Special Forces type mission. SF can do direct action, but their primary job, and what makes them a serious force multiplier, is to train and then lead others.
An SF A team is first and foremost a cadre of teachers, who help organize and train others to take care of themselves.
That is how we should see ourselves. Our primary job is not to have Oath Keepers try to be the security force in our towns and counties, but to help the entire community, and key parts of it, get their crap wired tight so they can take care of themselves. That way, we are a force multiplier, much like SF. Trust me, our enemies will not be happy about us doing this! They would much rather we try to form ourselves into some exclusive, members-only “militia” that will only get so big. They don’t want us going into already existing veterans orgs and reactivating those veterans and helping them turn their local VFW into a working unit. Nor do they want us to help folks establish effective neighborhood watches (with teeth) and effective mutual aid associations in churches, Tea Party groups, and at the town and county level. Nor do they want us to help form up a posse to back a good sheriff.
So, let’s do what they don’t want us to do.
And let’s lead by example for the following reasons:
1. So we walk our talk. We can say with a straight face that we are not asking anyone else to do anything we are not doing ourselves.
2. So we have a working model of what we want other groups to do, where we work out the bugs on what works, and what doesn’t, and which they can adopt as an easy, “turn-key” solution, with our recommended structure, SOPs, recommended training priorities, and equipment lists. Of course, they can adapt and modify what we do to their particular needs, but at least we can offer them a good start by our own example.
3. So we have a solid training cadre of specialists in key skills who can then work to replicate themselves both within our org and also within the broader community. And a big part of that replication will be to get other veterans orgs to realize they already have members of their halls who have unique knowledge who can serve as their own version of an operational team as well as a cadre of trainers who then go out and train others in the community.