In an earlier thread, I discussed beginning a community-based defense or Co-op. After reading a question from a member of another forum about whether to allow his ex-wife to stay with him and the kids, I had another idea that I think should be discussed and planned for. He expressed doubts (to put it mildly) about his ex-wife's usefulness as a team member.
This concern is a valid one for many who live in an area where they may have no choice but to have contact with other people, whether it be part of a community organization or simply stragglers willing to share in the workload.
Leadership in austere environments is something that must be looked at. I can tell you from personal experience that when things go downhill, people don't care about rank or appointed authority, people look for a leader.
When I talk about being a leader, I'm not talking about becoming some sort of chieftain or warlord. Perhaps organizer would be a better term, but leader is the term I've known since joining the army.
To be a leader in this type of environment, you have to be able to understand the dynamics of human interaction under stress. You have to be able to mediate disputes and even negotiate with people to get them to do what they need to do. Man's return to the cave may not be far away at all despite how far removed we think we are from the tooth and fang mentality of wild animals.
One of the biggest responsibilities of a leader is to train his people. If you look at a special forces "A-Team", you see a group of people who are each trained in a special area, but over time, they crosstrain and the lines of specialties becomes blurred. You end up with a group of people, each of whom is well-versed in all aspects of small-unit combat. This is the ultimate goal of a small-group society, with the added requirements of hunting, gardening, and other non-combat skills that will be needed on a daily basis.
If you wish to be part of a successful group, you must determine what skill each members initially brings. You may have general contractors, doctors, police officers, hell, even a lawyer has two eyes that can be used to pull security and two hands that can use a hoe or shovel. A leader determines what special ability each of his people brings to the group and exploits it for the good of the whole. Having each person prepare training in his or her area of expertise can ensure the group does not lose that skillset should the original expert die or become otherwise incapacitated.
There are lots of books available teaching various skills, but how many of you can truly teach these skills to someone with no experience at all and teach it in a way that ensures their comprehension and retention?
Excluding someone from your group because they don't have a vital skill immediately has its benefits and drawbacks, but if you have the resources to cover them until they a) learn or b) prove they're worthless, it might not be a bad idea to have an extra set of hands to share the workload and pull security.
"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
6 years 10 weeks ago, 10:29 AM