Frequently asked questions ....
The answers to many of your questions may be found in "In Defense of Liberty II". Read this first, and then e-mail us with your questions.
Updated Jan 13th, 2007
Some militia members seem to not drink coffee. Are they communists?
This is entirely possible. Perhaps they merely haven't found the right additive for their coffee, such as Kahlua or Bailey's. However, you should avoid caffeine before shooting, and you should always avoid mixing alcohol and training. Serious shooters will avoid these things, so perhaps they are not communists, but merely interested in getting a tighter shot group.
Some militia members wear knee or elbow pads. Is this a requirement of some sort?
Not at all. However, as we get older, we feel the need to protect our knees and such when we drop into a kneeling or prone position. Sometimes, we wear them so we can take a photograph from a better angle. We are dedicated like that. Seriously, you should get a pair of them to try. Make sure they are tactically colored.
Rifle snobbery, as in "my XXX rifle is better than your YYY rifle", is not practiced in the SMVM, is it?
Never. Nobody will criticize you for the rifle you have. Skill snobbery, however, is encouraged. The rifle you have is better, by infinite degrees, than the one you are merely dreaming about.
Who serves as Opfor when you train?
Opfor, short for opposing forces, is usually played by support people or other volunteers. Sometimes, we set up video cameras as opfor, so we can see how our training went.
My leather boots freeze. This sucks. What can I do?
Rub them with mink oil before going to the field. This will help keep them soft and flexible enough to put on your feet. You may try keeping them in your sleeping bag with you. At least cover them with something at night, so more moisture does not get in them.
What's up with the name change from "Wayne County Militia" to "Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia"?
Back in the days before Interstate Freeways and large multi-county metropolitan urban areas, the county was a perfectly logical basis for local militia operations and other things. Now, a large metropolitan area such as the one in Southeast Michigan can be considered "local", even if it covers more than one county. We can anticipate a relatively short travel time within this five-county area, and it can fall entirely within the range of certain communications methods.
Besides, changing the name only really reflects the current truth of our membership. There are many members, involved at varied levels of participation, that live outside of Wayne County. It makes sense to recognize this.
Is this intended to replace or take over any other militia organization or structure already in place?
No, it is not. We continue to work with any other militia outfit, either within or outside of this area. We encourage people to participate with whatever training or group in which they feel comfortable. This is not being done to replace or take over anything. You are all welcome to participate with us, or any other outfit that you can find.
What about some of the other changes? What's that all about?
In addition to a name change, we have added a provision for "Field Support" personnel, which provides an opportunity for the small handful of ultra-dedicated folks who show up at just about every training, meeting, and planning session to actively participate and actually vote in SMVM affairs. This is NOT a change in Level One requirements, rather, it creates some very rigid standards by which active support personnel can earn the right to vote. It removes the Level One mobility requirement (the two-mile walk), and adds a few more requirements instead. One is that the support member must attend at least 9 training sessions a year. They are also required to qualify with a handgun (in addition to the Level One rifle qualification), own and operate an FRS radio and keep and maintain a larger first-aid kit. This new Field Support requirement is not easy, and requires a high degree of commitment. Again, Level One requirements remain the same for everyone else.
Will you be doing another "Militia Babes" Calendar for 2008?
I'm a (insert intolerant belief system here), and I really do not approve of these calendars. Why do you do them?
While we certainly respect your right to be a (insert intolerant belief system here), and would go to great lengths to protect your right to believe in (insert major theme of your belief system here), we also ask that you respect our right to make calendars of things we believe in, as pictured above. Nobody will make you look at them or buy them. We need to pay for things like web hosting and postage and stuff, and this is a pretty effective way to do it. It's a good marketing and recruiting tool, and it shows that not all of us "militia-types" are grim faced prophets of doom. Please avoid attacking us about this on theological, philosophical, ethical, or moral grounds, as we would hate to have to actually look those words up.
I live in (insert County or City here), is there a unit or contact available for my area?
If there is not a listing on the index page, then we at Michiganmilitia.com don't really have exact contact information for your area. You may want to try sending a message to Rick Haynes' Freedom of Information e-mail list, or to Rick himself. If this doesn't help, then maybe you would like to start a group yourself, even if it only means providing an e-mail address for others in your area to get in touch with.
How do I join?
Assuming you live in Wayne, Monroe, Washtenaw, Oakland, Livingston, St. Clair, or Macomb Counties, then you show up at a training session, you pass Level One, and then you come to the next public meeting to give us some kind of contact info, and receive your SMVM ID card.
Do you guys all have side arms?
Most infantry forces around the world do not provide side arms for their line troops, so we have not made it any kind of requirement, except in the limited case of "Field Support" personnel. A lot of us bring them to the field to get in some more valuable handgun practice. You are not required to do so.
What's up with this "White Rose" emblem?
It's done as a tribute to the courage of several young Germans who dared to urge their fellow citizens to resist the Nazi government. While our current government is not as bad as Nazi Germany's (despite many ominous and disturbing parallels), we would like to remind people that resistance is possible, even in the face of a tyrannical government. Read more about this group of brave young people here.
Were The Militia, We DO Stuff
By: Lee Miracle
You do not "belong" to a militia; you "participate" in one. Holding a membership in something, and doing nothing in furtherance of the causes that you purport to embrace is, well, kind of weak.
"Militia" is something that you DO. Whether preparing or shooting or training or even writing, militia participation is that of "action".
So, having re-re-re-iterated this point, lets move on.
Throughout the last several years, we have been out in the woods, in the snow, in the mud, the rain, and in the sweltering heat, DOING STUFF. Even if that stuff was as simple as setting up an overnight winter campsite, or just doing some target practice, we still did it.
So while many of our fellow citizens are nestled warmly around a mug of hot cocoa, or sitting on the couch watching the game, we were nestled not-so-warmly in sub-freezing snow; out in the field DOING stuff.
Because we DO STUFF.
Were the militia, and we do stuff. Its that simple.
While it is true you can learn a lot by asking, you
can learn more by DOING
By: Kristin Stoner
People who e-mail us generally ask the same questions. I have answered the most common here, hopefully to save us all a little time. In addition to what is answered below, we have had many questions asked of us through the years; they can be found in our pamphlet, In Defense of Liberty II.
1. How do I join? How do I become a member?
You are already a member of the militia. Federal law 10 USC 311 states that you are in the militia; State law Military Act 150 of 1967 states that you are in the militia; history and American tradition place YOU, the citizen, in the militia.
Now that you understand you are already in the militia, you need to take responsibility and DO something about it, and acquire some level of training.
2. What do I have to do to get involved?
The answer lies in the question itself; you actually have to DO something. Again, it is your responsibility to act. We train every month regardless of weather, holidays, or what's on TV. All you need to DO is show up at the next training; meet people, learn more about the militia, and thus, you are involved.
3. What is "Level 1"?
Level 1 is what we consider the minimum equipment and abilities for a citizen to be considered "active" in the militia. It is the first, most basic step to accomplish for a citizen to be considered capable of bearing arms. Completing Level 1 shows that you, the citizen, know basic firearms safety and handling, basic marksmanship, and that you have the minimal amount of gear.
4. Do I need special gear to train?
No. You actually don't need any gear to get started. The first step is to show up; lack of gear is not an excuse not to train. Many of us started with nothing. There are many ways to train that do not require gear; but for an idea of what gear to start looking for, the basic equipment listed in our Level 1 guide covers this topic quite well.
As you continue to train, you will naturally acquire more equipment; everyone's gear is very personalized to their type of rifle, their weight, age, and/or monetary status. There is no "right" or "wrong" type of gear, although through field testing, we have found that some gear works better than other gear. The more you train, and the more you do in the field, the more you will learn on this subject.
5. What do you do at training?
We do a 2-mile hike, target practice, some simple field maneuvers, many of us camp overnight, and we have a good time. To get a good idea of what we do at training, read our Field Reports; written by people who attended the training, along with several pictures. Training is a lot like camping with some target practice. The key word, here again, is "DO"; we DO stuff.
6. Are there women or families involved?
Well, I'm a woman. I'm a wife and a mother of three; I train in the field all the time with my kids (ages 8, 7, and 2). There are no excuses, ladies. There are accommodations for the ladies and kids in the field, to include an outhouse, a permanent military tent with a wood-burning stove, tire swing for the kids, and lots of woods for the kids to explore. Training is a family event we all look forward to.
I am confident in my abilities to protect and care for my children, whether I am at home or in the field. The best way to learn how to shoot your husband's firearms, or your own, is to come out and learn and practice. My children also have learned firearms safety and basic marksmanship, and I am more confident in their handling of firearms than many adults I have met in my life
7. Is your training like the military?
No. We do not require standing at attention, saluting, or addressing people as "sir" in the military fashion; militia training is not "boot camp". We are citizens; our training is designed around the fact that we are everyday people. Our training program is basic physical fitness (a 2-mile hike), marksmanship (shoot at a 9" target from 100 yards), and learning field survival (stay in the field overnight). Training is set in a relaxed atmosphere with light-hearted friendship at the core; we train to learn from each other, and share our knowledge with anyone with a desire to learn.
8. What is the age of the people involved?
In Michigan, the law states that the minimum age to be active in the militia is 17. In our group, the age range is approximately 19 to 50 years old, and there are people of all ages involved, from "2 to 102", as the saying goes. We feel that everyone has something to offer, regardless of your age. Come to the field; meet like-minded people of all ages. We learn from the previous generations, and teach the next.
The answer to just about any question asked of us is as
simple as --
Yes; you actually have to DO something to get involved. You need to take the responsibility upon yourself and you have to decide it is important enough to sacrifice your time, energy, and money.
If you are willing to take the responsibility to defend your family with the best means possible, it follows that you are also willing to defend your community, and country. That requires a sacrifice on your part; that requires responsibility; that requires knowing how to do so.
We are the Militia; we are citizens who have taken the responsibility upon ourselves, without threat of punishment or promise of reward, to protect and defend our country, our Constitution, our freedom. For EVERYONE. That includes you.
The question I pose to you: What are YOU going to DO about it?
The next training can be found in the Field Reports section. See you there