I don't know what to think.…
Anyone else catch this? Interesting stuff.
By RYAN OWENS and ELY BROWN
March 30, 2010
They are not police officers. They are not active-duty soldiers. But what a group of weekend warriors is doing with guns in the woods not far from the Canadian border is perfectly legal.
"Nightline" visited a recent Saturday training session of the 21st Battalion of North Idaho's Lightfoot Militia -- a heavily armed force that, we're told, numbers more than 100. Just about a dozen showed up on the Saturday we did.
Along with an awful lot of shooting, they learn survival skills and take first-aid lessons from one of their members, who's also a firefighter.
Their leader is "Major" Jeff Stankiewicz, an unemployed welder with zero military experience.
"The government should be afraid of its people so that it doesn't do stuff it's not supposed to do," Stankiewicz told "Nightline." "It would make them think twice."
Read the rest at the above link...to long to post the entire article.
Edited to add this link to the video on same story.
I don't know what to think.…
Personally I think what these guys are doing is alright. I do wish they'd stop giving themselves unearned ranks though..."Major"? Ya right. If your gonna go play in the woods, at least get a pro to teach you proper soldiering.
I really like the fact that they're trying to get involved in their community though, like working as crossing guards.
Well, they are being somewhat historically accurate.
Original militias often looked around thelocal areaand selected "officers" based upon their role in the community resulting in bankers, teachers and such stepping directly into the roles of officers and NCO's with little or no military training. Military experience was considered and probably sought in many instances but politics, wealth, popularity and social status often counted for more in obtaining political appointments or winning elections.
The most famous example would probably be the story ofhow Theodore Roosevelt (formerly Undersecretary of the Navy, no military experience) came to become a Lt. Colonel (2nd-in-command), then Colonel commanding the Rough Riders (1st Volunteer Cavalry), William "Buckey" O'Neill (ArizonaSheriff, no military experience) was a Troop Commander with the rank of "Captain" in the same unit.
Well known to those who studied history, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (eventually Brevet Major General and winner of one of the most deserved MOH for leadership under desperate circumstances for his actions at Little Round Top, Gettysburg),experienced an identical scenario as Roosevelt's service history some 40 years earlier. Initially appointed second-in-command of the 20th Maine, he rose to command on promotion of his CO and became one of the most decorated officers of the Civil War. Prior to his enlistment and appointment to Lt. Colonel, he was a professor at Bowdoin College again we seeno prior military experience. Afterward, he was 4 times elected as Governor of the state of Maine and THEN became Commander of the Maine Militia where he was tasked at one point to occupy the state house/legislature which had been seized by an armed group disputing the election (not one he was involved in).
Finally, consider the Alamo, where two of theleaders, Bowie andTravis were individuals who started their careers as direct appointees/commissions in state militias based upon political, businessand social connections. The third leader, Davy Crockett, had only a couple of months enlisted militia experience during an Indian War in his past before also becoming a Colonel in the Tennessee militia several years later.
These are butfive examples of citizens who rose to the occasion to become successful senior commandersand heroes when the times required them to do so. There are thousands throughout the history of our country and, possiblyit is one of the most important parts of our history and culture that simple citizens are willing to step up to this task when necessity requires it.
I find it disturbing that the militias are reportedly beginning to actively plan and implement acts of violence and/or insurrection but really cannot fault their pattern of organization and engaging in paramilitary training. I have one close friend who has attended a couple of Blackwater tactical courses, including sniper training, simply because he wished to be better trained. He's never been in the military, LE, security officeror worked as a bodyguard just had a desire to learn.Probably a dozen others I know (myself included among them)have taken tactical courses covering situational awareness, clearing rooms, movement while firing, multiple weapons, suppression fire techniques, etc. from former police officers and military personnel.
With regard to the situation in Michigan and other, home-grown militia units, I remain open-minded and consider that there are possibilities (remote, but possible) that undercover officers could have promoted these actions and that intel is not always either accurate or correctly interpreted (ref. Pearl Harbor, WTC, WMD, Taliban, etc.).
Looks like fun.