So, here’s my suggestions for publicizing your preparedness group/militia in the public eye.
1) Be friendly. I guarantee you, as my buddy Doc (he’s a retired 18D) noted this weekend, NO ONE walked by his table without me engaging them in conversation. I mean, EVERY SINGLE MOTHER FUCKER was greeted with “Hello! How are you today, young man/lady?” (Regardless of age. Wanna see a woman or a man in their 60s smile like they did when they were teenagers? Call them young!)
Even if they weren’t looking at Doc’s table, I fucking MADE them look at it, by engaging them in conversation. Now, granted, I’m a LOUD son-of-a-bitch, but that’s not the point. The point is, it’s customer service 101. Find some junior member of your militia unit that’s been a waitress and made a lot of money in tips, and put her in charge of training your PAO people in talking to people. Seriously.
Guys, it’s about building rapport, and it’s not hard. Go out to your local used bookstore, find a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and memorize that fucker, then put it into practice. Give up, for one month, on making your people read obsolete fucking field manuals, like the 1984 edition of FM21-75 Individual Combat Skills of the Soldier and Patrolling (Yeah, the 65th had it on their table….Sorry guys, you made it WAY too easy….), and make them read Carnegie’s book. Be friendly.
2) Quit wearing fucking camouflage in public. Seriously. It’s called camouflage, because it helps you HIDE. Unfortunately, in a built-up area, in public, it makes you stand out. It makes you fit the stereotype that lots of Americans have, of fat, redneck hillbillies, in woodland BDUS, sitting around the campfire, chugging Jack Daniel’s finest, and cheap PBR, talking about how you’re gonna pull a Red Dawn on the Commie-Pinko-Towelhead-Jihadi motherfuckers.
3) Get involved in your community. Have your organization put on fund-raisers for shit unrelated to the militia. Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, fucking the Animal Shelter….ANYTHING that makes Joe and Jane Public (especially Jane Public!) feel good about donating money or time too, and be professional. Let people know it’s the militia doing the project, but don’t shove recruiting efforts in their face. If they’re a good fit for the militia, they’ll come looking. If they’re not, at least they’ll start having some positive images to associate with all the media/regime bullshit they’ve been spoon-fed.
6) Talk to people. This goes back to being friendly, which really, I can’t emphasize enough. Fucking engage people in conversations. Ask them how they’re doing. Don’t automatically bring it back to the militia/group/TEOTWAWKI/”Let’s Kill ‘Em All!” But talk to them. No one, and I do mean NO ONE, least of all the prospective female volunteers, and the wives of prospective male volunteers, and even less those of us who have actually killed bad people in gunfights, is impressed with the quiet, steely-eyed dealer of death act. It comes across as a scared shitless, shy, aluminum-eyed poseur image that turns the women off, and makes the rest of us laugh at you. Fucking talk to people.
7) On the female note….Don’t let the men in your organization talk down to females, member or not. Don’t let them make demeaning remarks about women, even if they “think” the female in question can’t hear it. She can…and if it was my wife, you’d be choking out your apology around broken jaw, missing teeth, and the muzzle of my fucking Glock (in their defense, I did NOT hear of this from any of the 65th people, but I’ve seen it and heard it about other men’s female companions at other gun shows, with other organizations….). If you’re there to conduct information operations and civil affairs, don’t fuck with the women. It’s not a chance to get laid, or meet your next ex-wife. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.” If she thinks you’re a bunch of fucking assholes, she ain’t gonna let daddy have fuck-all to do with you.
And please, for the love of God, BE IN SHAPE. There is no juicier target for ridicule than a fat slob in multicams who looks like he’d go into V-TACH by running 100 yards trying to sell you on his movement to contact skills. Oh yeah, and if you say “ZOG” at any time, you’ve outed yourself as a total clown.
Thank you for your time. Patricia Mitchell St. Charles, MO
Sent from my LG phone
Thank God for this article. (and thank you too JM). One of our first CO’s was a former SF NCO, he served with an ODA in some ugly stuff in South America. One thing he drilled into us was that if you are not part of the local community, you are toast. Be courteous, act professionally (even tho you are Militia, not professional soldiers). Locals know when you are bullshitting them, and WATCH the kids. If the people keep their kids away from you, you are in for a world of hurt. I think egos are the downfall of many Militia outfits. Folks get big heads and call themselves Generals or Colonels, and wonder why they can’t get 5 guys together for an FTX.
One of the things I have learned is that if you don’t know you suck, you can’t get better. My folks are not high-speed, but they are dedicated and willing to learn. Many times I wonder why they elected me as CO. I am not a soldier, but I do have analytical and people skills, so I guess that helps. I also did some videos, stressing many of the points of your article. We belong to our local community, we need to be a resource they can count on and trust. This is one of the reasons we recruit Families, rather than wannabe rambos. I often tell my guys (much to their chagrin) that their WIVES have the most important function in our unit. Without them we are just another testosterone gun club. They keep us grounded and focused on the real mission. Protecting our community and families.
If we had the money I would hire folks like JM to come down monthly. Thanks for the boot in the ass JM, the Militia community needs it. Me included.
rest here: http://mountainguerrilla.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/building-rapport-with-the-local-civilian-populace-a-primer-for-militia-groups/#comment-1579