Note: At this point, you should still be able to carry everything without needing a backpack. This is still considered a "combat" load.
What we have here is a follow-up publication to our earlier Level One book. While we believe that passing the Level One qualifications is sufficient to be considered "able-bodied and capable of bearing arms," we understand that by pursuing further skills and acquiring additional equipment, one's ability to fight and survive any situation will be greatly enhanced. As always, feel free to add or delete items or skills as you see fit.
Level 2 Equipment:
1. Poncho with liner or other blanket-like item. Your poncho must be waterproof. Many military surplus ponchos are available, and they are not expensive. In a pinch, you could even use a commercially available civilian poncho, which costs even less. Many militia members carry a second poncho, to use as either ground cover, or an overhead shelter.
Military surplus poncho liners are available for you to use. They fasten to the grommets on US military surplus ponchos for use as a field expedient sleeping bag. This works well, and has been field tested by this author down to twenty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. You may also obtain a military surplus wool blanket. Wool is an excellent insulator, and will even keep you warm if it is wet. Any type of blanket will work in a bind.
You may also carry a sleeping bag instead of a blanket. Lightweight sleeping bags will work in all but the coldest of environments. You may wish to look for a sleeping bag with a waterproof-lined bottom. A sleeping pad is also a good idea. You should still always have something, like a poncho or a small tarp, to use for overhead cover.
2. Compass, non-electric, with degree markings. The cost on these will vary widely.
3. Camouflage face paint or mask/veil/gloves. A Ghillie suit is acceptable here, also. Face paint is good, but messy (in actual combat, we don't care about how messy it is, we will CAKE that stuff on properly). There are many face coverings available especially in the hunting department of any store. Make sure that your paint is appropriate for the area you will be operating in (light and dark green should just about work everywhere), and appropriate for the season. Make sure that you can see through your facial covering. Always wear gloves or paint your hands. Faces and hands are among the most visible and easily spotted features of any person. In winter, any white cloth is good camo, but be sure to not put any white camo paint on your face or hands; you will not be able to spot frostbitten areas.
4. Knife or bayonet with at least a four inch blade. This is pretty self explanatory. Many militia members carry a small work knife, and a separate combat knife. One even suggests carrying a katana, which is not a bad idea if you are willing to learn how to use it. Knives are tools first, and weapons second. Make sure you have a knife that you are willing to use. Knife fighting is an entirely separate issue, but it is something you should consider looking into. If you have a bayonet that actually fits on your weapon, good. Again, this is something that you should at least get some minimal training with. Contact your local militia people for bayonet training.
5. Flashlight with red or blue lens cover. Cellophane works as such a lens cover. The smaller and lighter the flashlight, the better. Blue or red lens covers are harder to spot from a distance, and they don't compromise your night-vision. You may also wish to carry a small penlight as a back-up. Always check your flashlight's batteries BEFORE going out to the field, and it is good to keep extra batteries in your vehicle. There are also some battery-free, hand crank, dynamo powered flashlights out there. These may be good for home use, but may prove to be too cumbersome and noisy to use in the field.
6. 50 feet of 550 cord (paracord). 550 cord or paracord is one the greatest multi-function items to carry in the field. This can be used to fashion a shelter from your poncho, secure loose gear, secure prisoners, fashion booby-traps (theoretically speaking, that is), and anything else you can think of. The 50 feet is a minimum. Many militia members carry two fifty-feet long sections. You can carry heavier rope, and indeed, someone in your team or squad should have a 120' rope with them. For personal use, nothing beats 550 cord. Period. It is available at army surplus stores or through mail order catalogs. Your friendly local militia people may have some as well. Get some.
7. Michigan road map. We will give you one, if we have any on hand. You may wish to insure that your maps are current, by picking one up in a store or at a gas station. Roads are always being worked on and maps always change. There is no reason to not have a road map. You may also order a free Michigan State map by clicking here, or visiting www.michigan.gov and clicking on the "Travel and Recreation" section.
8. FRS radio. We all have them, and you should too. The cost of these radios is coming down all the time, and should not be considered prohibitive. The amount you spend on these, depending upon features and options, is up to you. Check or replace your batteries before coming to the field.
Level 2 Abilities:
A. Apply field dressing to an extremity. Must be applied to an arm or leg and secured. Medical personnel will demonstrate and grade this. Consider this as a simple, one-sided wound, and treat accordingly. You may also wish to treat for shock, although this will not be graded. You will first apply pressure to the wound, then wrap and tie the bandage over the wound, but not so tight as to cut off all circulation. Your volunteer patient, medical person, and/or brigade commander will grade this event for you.
B. Camouflage self and equipment. Considering your environment, use whatever camouflage material you have on hand, and also using local foliage, with the property owner's permission, you must camouflage yourself and equipment. You must attempt to break up the natural outlines of the human shape, and hide your face and hands, while blending in with your environment. pay attention to any shiny or brightly colored gear that you may be wearing. Hide or cover this gear. Shiny metal surfaces should be painted or taped over. Your fellow militia persons will judge this. In combat, if you are visible, then your whole unit should be considered to be visible as well. Take this skill seriously.
C. Construct a field-expedient shelter or lean-to. You can stretch your poncho out between some trees, or use branches to construct a lean to. You must be willing to sleep in or under this shelter in even inclement weather. By simply coming to the field with local militia people, especially in any season except summer, when most militia persons bring tents to keep the bugs away, you can see a variety of field expedient shelters. The more you do this, the better and faster you will become.
D. Execute a series (no less than four) of 3-5 second rushes, using cover and concealment, over a distance of not less than 50 yards. At the end of each rush, you will take cover in a prone position. You will then get up in a quick manner, at combat speed, and conduct your subsequent rushes, until you have covered no less than 50 yards. The terrain and other factors will determine the actual length of your rushes, as will your ability to move quickly. If, after 5 seconds of rushing, you are unable to find cover and/or concealment, then simply hit the ground, execute a combat roll to either side, and get up and proceed with another rush. (This would be as if you were rushing across an open area).
Not only will this tire you (especially when told to "do it again"), but here you will find out if any of your gear is secured poorly. You will be judged by someone who is watching your approach. When you hit the dirt, ideally, you should no longer be visible. Your rushes should be no longer than five seconds, because by that time, someone can obtain a good sight picture of you and squeeze off a shot. This is something that you should practice, getting up and down. Come to some training to practice this, and you will get some free critique on this, whether asked for or not.
E. Complete a THREE mile walk with all Level One and Two gear in less than 1hr 15min. More time and a slower pace than the Level One walk, but another mile longer, with more stuff. This will test your endurance and willpower more than it will test your speed.
F. Hit 8 out of 10 shots on a 6 1/2 inch target from 100 yards using a field expedient position, within 4 minutes. You may use anything you have carried on your Level 2 walk. There will be no coaching allowed during your shot string, but you may be coached between attempts.
The URL for this page is: http://www.MichiganMilitia.com/literature/Level2.htm