Monthly Archives: February, 2014

Women in the Militia-Revolutionary War

Women in the Militia-Revolutionary War

rev-war-molly-pitcher-l

Photo Credit:

Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth. June 1778. Copy of engraving by J. C. Armytage after Alonzo Chappel.

ARC Identifier: 532935; The George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 1931 – 1932; Records of Commissions of the Legislative Branch, 1928 – 2006; Record Group 148; National Archives and Records Administration.

I have been looking into a women’s role in the militia in the past up through modern day. I was happily surprised to come across this article published in the National Archives regarding camp women who played an active role in combat during the Revolutionary War. Women in the Militia, is by no means a new or unheard of concept. Our roles can vary from actual combat to recon, to medic to supplies, to camp upkeep, cooking, and so on. It can be whatever we choose to do or however much we are willing to give. Stories like this one make me proud to be of the female persuasion.

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The Militia: It’s a Family Affair

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Do you even train bro? 

A family that trains together,  will handle their business when the time comes. My husband, my son and myself are all training to be able to help protect one another and to serve our friends, family and neighbors when the need arises. Serving in the militia is a great way for my family to spend time together learning and growing as a unit. We are a team in every sense of the word.

The Significance of Muscle Memory

I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently participated in live fire drills with my militia company. One of the things our CO kept talking about was developing ‘muscle memory’. My husband and I had discussed this concept before, so I was familiar with the term. Muscle memory refers to the training of your brain to remember actions or a series of actions, performed the same way time after time. It’s much like forming a habit of accomplishing the same goal, the same way every time you set out to do it. Utilizing this natural ability will allow us to make less errors in execution and perform our tasks efficiently and as quickly as possible.
So how do we develop ‘muscle memory’? It’s simple-we practice. One of the drills we worked on this past weekend was swapping magazines. We repeatedly ran through the motions of firing two shots, dropping our empty magazine, replacing the magazine and resumed firing another two shots. Our CO timed us for the first round, then we ran it through five times, then he timed us again. Everyone on the team showed marked time improvement. Because we were repeating the same motions over and over again, the next time we did it, our brain was working more efficiently and quickly because it remembered the lessons from the times before. That, my friends is muscle memory.
Our CO showed us several other drills with slight variations and most of the team found that initially when we changed the sequence slightly, our automatic method, aka muscle memory wanted to revert back to the original method. We had to consciously make a decision to perform the task in a different way. Our CO reiterated that we needed to practice the drills repeatedly until our brains recognized without second thought or hesitation, which method we were using and performed the task needed for the desired result.
It was a fun day at the range and we learned so much that we could take away and put into action at home. I plan on practicing the drills, as my CO suggested, until my range of motions are automatic and running like a well oiled machine.
Pew. Pew.

Entry and Exit Wounds

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I just returned from an excellent training this morning involving live fire drills with my militia company at an area outdoor range. Afterwards the group gathered in the parking lot to socialize a little before heading home. One of the members gave us a demo on a tourniquet bandage that had two sterile pads- one for an entry wound and one for the exit wound. One of the guys mentioned that exit wounds were typically larger than entry wounds as the picture above depicts.

*Picture Disclaimer*: I took this pic from a public post on facebook. I have no idea what grain the calibers used were, the distance shot,  whether they were full metal jacket or whatever. It is intended to be considered as a generality.

One of our members is a former US Marine. He has only been home a little over a year from Afganistan. He mentioned that the majority of deaths from gun shot are because the person is bleeding out not because of a vital organ hit. This absolutely proves that some of the most important items a militia member, or any soldier for that matter, should possess or have at hand is their individual first aid kit (IFAK).

You can buy IFAK’s at area gun shows or online fully stocked or build one yourself. Army surplus stores often have sterile bandages and other IFAK supplies available for purchase at very reasonable prices. If your just getting started in the militia this should be your second purchase next to your weapon, of course.

Some items in my IFAK are bandages, gauze, alcohol pads, scissors, a suture kit,  an ace bandage, butterfly strips and latex gloves. There are lots of ideas and suggested lists out there in internet land so my advice is to do some research, including talking to some members of your group before deciding how to stock your own IFAK or buying one already assembled.

Bang, bang.

Conflicts Within the Militia

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Let me start by saying I am not writing about any particular militia or group today, not even my own. But rather I am talking about the idea that a group of people all with different skills and experiences, different personalities and ideas about how to arrive at their destination, can, with commitment, respect and compromise, can achieve their common goal. The idea of militia…what it is meant to be and achieve, what it has the potential to accomplish. A brotherhood you can depend on.

In a perfect world everyone who joins a militia wants the same things and has the same goals and methods to get there. The funny thing is we aren’t in a perfect world and anytime you have a group of people,  who by their very act of getting involved in a militia could be perceived as committed, strong willed and somewhat aggressive in their pursuits-who come from different walks in life with different personalities, you are bound to have some conflicts and disagreements.

My hope and advice when those conflicts arrive is that as a group we remind ourselves of our common goals, we speak honestly and forthrightly to one another and about one another, we come to the table willing to listen and compromise, and to maintain our respect and integrity. Not just as a group but as individuals as well.

We all know there are forces out there set to kill and destroy that which is good. We must take a stand, together. United in mind and effort in order to accomplish our goal of protecting our families and our country, by serving our communities and upholding our constitution. This means we must be able to trust our brothers in arms.

Trust is a hard thing to earn and incredibly easy to loose. My mantra’s when it comes to recognizing who and what you can trust are as follows:  ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS and BELIEVE WHAT YOU KNOW-WHAT YOU SEE AND HEAR WITH YOUR OWN EYES. If you allow yourself to be fooled or led astray, you deserve whatever befalls you.

As committed militia with a pure intent to protect our families, communities and our country- we are honor bound to do so.  If we find ourselves in the company of a person or group who do not hold the same standards or values, then we have to make a choice. Don’t settle for less than your family or country deserve.

So be aware, stay vigilant and don’t forget to take out the trash if it needs it.

It’s Not All About Running and Gunning in the Militia

My personal militia experience has consisted of some target practice and tactical skills training. But that is not all the militia entails. Our unit has also had barbeques where families were welcomed and I have taken part in administrative planning meetings and weekly conference calls. We have spent some time programming and learning how to use ham radios as well.

Next month we have an overnight hiking trip planned that families and children are welcome to attend. My husband, my son and I all plan on attending. Once, we all met at a gun show and walked around and shopped together. At our next gathering we are going to discuss and plan a community service project.

My point is, being in the militia is not all about running and gunning. It’s not about playing soldier. We teach and learn by sharing skills and experiences. We develop a kinship and camaraderie that grows everytime we get together. We are building a team and strengthening a family. It is a lot of hard work but can be fun and rewarding as well.

Pew. Pew.

That is all.

Why I Joined the Militia

Photo Credit: T.S.M.

Photo Credit: T.S.M.

Lots of different people join the Militia for many different reasons. The people that make up Militia’s across the country are as varied as the citizens of this great country. They are good ole boys to soccer dads, college students to retired military, housewives to Harvard lawyers. That is what many people just don’t understand when they ask ‘who are the militia?’. The answer: I am the militia, you are the militia, we are all the militia. We are different in many ways, but the ways we are the same include a love of country, a caring attitude for people, not just family and a sense of responsibility that comes from pride and hard work.

Who am I? I am a married mother of four. I was raised in south Florida and have lived in Texas since 1993. I have my GED and have had some college. I work full time in accounting. I have two grandchildren and two dogs. When my kids were little I volunteered as a Girl Scout leader, a Pop Warner Cheer Coach and served as Den Mother for a Cub Scout Pack. I also taught Sunday School at my church for many years. I have voted Democrat, Republican and Independent. I am a conservative and a patriot.

I decided to join the Militia for several reasons. The first was a growing sense of alarm at the direction this country seems to be heading, that both my husband and I shared. I have seen our rights being stripped away as if they mean nothing and this concerns me to the point that I felt I needed to get involved and do something about it. I am an active pro 2nd amendment supporter. I encourage my friends and family to pay attention to politics and research candidates and to get out and vote. I write my Congressmen and Senators and voice my opinion by attending rally’s and signing petitions, but that isn’t enough.

That alone will not protect me or my family if the US dollar crashes and Marshall law is declared. So last year I purchased my first gun and learned to use it. I took a CHL class and am applying for my concealed carry permit. The Militia is training me in tactics and skills that may be needed in a defense situation. I am gaining confidence in my ability to protect myself and my family in any situation- may it be a home invasion or robbery, or an all out civil war.

The second reason is after watching peoples reactions and struggles due to them being unprepared after events like Katrina, and other natural disasters, my husband and I felt a desire and an urgency to get prepared and once we began that process, we realized we needed to have a support network of like minded people that were getting prepared as well to learn from and to be able to depend on if and when the time came. We found those people in the Militia.

The third reason was a profound sense of responsibility toward community service. It has been ingrained in me from early childhood to serve others and I have done it all my life. From scouting as a child, to being involved in many different volunteer projects for the Humane Society, Relay for Life, food drives, etc in high school, to teaching Sunday school, volunteering as a troop leader or coach, serving on various boards for youth sports, collecting Christmas donations for the children’s home, etc. I love my community, I love people and as a Christian and as an American, I have a responsibility to help where I can and when I can. The Militia is a perfect avenue to allow me to serve my community in so many different ways.

I joined the Militia because it was the right thing to do and because it is necessary, as our 2nd Amendment states, to the security of a free state.

A Word Study on the 2nd Amendment

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A well regulated militia, in my opinion based on numerous articles that I have read and various scholars interpretations of the 2nd Amendment based on the context and language it was written in, simply means a good and organized group of citizens that are willing to defend their homes, families, neighborhoods, states and country against a threat of any measure to their safety or freedom.

being necessary to the security- In my opinion, the word ‘being’ can be taken as an absolute, as in ‘is’. A well regulated militia, is necessary to the security of a free state. I take ‘necessary’ to mean needed, required or obligated. ‘Security’ to me, means secure or safe.

of a free state- ‘free’ indicates unbound by oppression or tyranny. ‘State’, based on the context of the Constitution refers to the individual states as represented by the citizen’s militia. 

the right of the people- The word ‘right’ to me indicates that the forthcoming statement is a freedom belonging to me as one of the ‘people’, and the ‘people’ are simply the citizen’s of the state and country. 

to keep and bear arms- to me, this statement means I can ‘keep’, hold and have in my possession, buy and own, ‘arms’, which are weapons, namely firearms, with which to defend myself, my family and my rights. 

shall not be infringed- ‘shall not be’ I also take as an absolute- as in ‘will not’ or ‘can not’ and ‘infringed’ means imposed upon, changed or taken away. Inalienable. 

 

The 2nd Amendment, written by the United States of America’s founding fathers, tells me that as a citizen, I am the militia, and that my role in the militia is necessary to ensure my own freedom and the freedoms afforded my state and country as well. That I have the right to own a firearm, that I have the right to bear it, or carry it and that that right shall not be taken away. Period.