Episode-1122- Examining the Future Role of the Militia in Modern Society

Today I am joined by Ryan Rocquin of The Gun Runner Podcast.  I invite you to join us with a unique discussion on the traditional role of the militia in our past and the potential to reconstitute it in modern form with local control.

You will hear more of a debate today then a typical discussion.  I generally don’t debate with guests but I think Ryan and I were on two different sheets of music here.  While I like his initiative and would support it I would not call it a militia, I would call it more an attempt to increase the number of reserve law enforcement officers in the nation.

That is indeed an honorable goal and one I would support and I want to make clear in spite of debate that I think Ryan does a great job with his show and on matters as a whole we agree far more then we disagree.  Perhaps this discussion can serve as an example of how people with the same goals can disagree and still debate in a respectful way on how to accomplish it.  I am also of course open to the concept that I might be wrong here.

Additionally Ryan published an episode specifically to supplement his views on this one.  In the interest of making sure Ryan’s view is fully heard, I am providing a link to it here.   Note – Ryan has his podcast player and download links at the bottom of his supporting material posts so scroll down below the videos to play it, the videos are only to support the show he did.

Hopefully I can sync up with Stewart Rhodes soon and get him on for another angle into this issue.

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

39 Responses to Episode-1122- Examining the Future Role of the Militia in Modern Society

  1. Militia members are soldiers not members of a posse. Soldiers are nnot part of civilian law enforcement. The Militia is the guardian of the rights and liberties of the citizens. When the Government troops marched on Lexington and Concord, we were all British at that time, who do you think called up the Militia, the Royal Governor? I think not. Jack is correct.

    • Modern Survival

      Good points, I thought of this and more after the interview. But the military should not be used for law enforcement in this nation, that is unconstitutional.

  2. I have to agree with Jack on this one.

  3. Jack,
    I did not see anything you said to day as “confrontational” but rather a spirited debate between two men who respected each other.

    I personally think the “militia” falls somewhere in between the militia as Richard sees it and the posse. Originally many of the militia that fought in the War for Independence where veterans of earlier conflicts but many of them where also just hunters and farmers. So for me, and likely others, “militia” isn’t just military but also the whole body of able fighters willing to do what is needed. Whether they be tinker, taylor, or soldier.

  4. Ryan’s plan seems like another layer of law enforcement disguised as a militia. I’m not sure it’s true to the original spirit of the militia.

  5. I think Ryan’s stuck in a “top-down” paradigm. i.e. that the proper way to solve a problem is to write plans which create boards of highly qualified individuals to delegate authority based on specific criteria to teams of screened and vetted individuals who are thoroughly trained in dealing with a wide assortment of scenarios based on past events.

    Coming from his background this is understandable, but I think it’s wrong. The way to deal with the kind of problems that the government is failing to handle well is not to emulate the government’s techniques and structures. A bottom-up approach of individuals and small groups doing whatever their experience and circumstances permit them to do best and assisting others when possible and staying out of the way when not will generally be FAR more effective than a small bureaucratic machine reporting to an enormous bureaucratic machine. If anyone needs an example of this just look at the efforts by so many groups and individuals to come to the aid of Katrina victims and how most of those efforts were prevented by FEMA, who was more concerned about following procedure and controlling every person and supply on scene than helping anyone.

  6. As a retired LEO I understand that Ryan would want to expand the reserve leo program for sheriffs and police. It is a good and valuable program. It is NOT the militia, or even a posse.

    I agree with Jack that the approach is too “top down”. That approach is needed in a law enforcement agency – to comply with laws and contend with law suits. But it is contrary to the militia.

    Historical militia have things in common:
    1- ALL of the people (males 18-45, able bodied in America)
    2- Self regulated
    3- Officers and non-coms elected by the militia, from the militia.

    To restore the militia I would recommend that bottom up approach:
    1- Start by finding like minded people in your area and simply start training together. The best shot could train the others in shooting. The most fit could train the others in fitness. Ex-military could train in small unit tactics. Shoot together, hike together, etc. As you grow expand your training.
    2- When you have 5 people committed, elect a corporal.
    3- When you have 2 teams of 5 with coporals, elect a sergeant.
    4- When you have 3 or 4 squads of 10, elect a platoon sergeant and lieutenant.
    5- etc…

    At some point, I would recommend that you contact your County Sheriff. I would use a member of the militia who is retired or current LEO for that contact, it is likely to be a more successful contact. Let the Sheriff know that you are law abiding citizens that would appreciate his assistance. Ask him if he could run background checks on prospective members for felonies, assaults, or violent mental conditions (Or you could probably get a gun dealer to run them). Tell the Sheriff that you would be able to assist with search and rescue, weather emergencies, and such. Build a working relationship with the sheriff so that a mutual trust is formed. such a relationship would be mutually beneficial. The Sheriff is elected to command his SO. He would not be in command of the militia. The militia commander would be elected by and from the militia, and not subject to commands of the Sheriff…

    • Marine1371

      Fire Ant, I had a question IRT the term LEO. Pardon my ignorance, but can you help me out on the term “LEO”? I tried doing a Google search and pretty much came up with Law Enforcement Online. Is this similar to what you are talking about when you say LEO. It appears the FBI has a LEO program.
      Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

      Marine1371, MSB member

      • FoolishCop

        Marine1371,

        LEO is “law enforcement officer.” The FBI program is one that probably is for new agents.

        Cheers,
        Rich

  7. Jack, For a debate, well done and extremely thoughtful and well thought out. As the Search and Rescue angle, back in the 1970’s later ,70’s Lane county in Eugene Oregon, did infact use Explorer Scouts fo basic search and rescue, The “manual ” was in fact written by the search and rescue teams from Seattle , Washington. I can remember, being one of smaller sized team members of the “honor” to check out each and every Blackberry bush within the acre to ensure no little kids or even older folks were “stuck” in there. and with all “good” training, the first guy on the ‘Stokes’Litter over any hill , dale, vale, mossy slope with the biggest guy available to “haul out”. As the the debate, some parts were very sound, the objections and as to why , equally well done.

    I know you can, at times , get your “German/Dutch/Irish aka Well reasoned Euro Mutt, Heck no on, and I appreciate that, along with your comments as to the whys, wherefores and just plain “Hell No and here is the why of.” Personally, I think from all of the above, without disrespect or rancor, one of your better shows. BTW I am a retired solider and National Guardsmen. Nicely Done, Nicely done for sure. Keep up the Great Work, and thank you so very much for what you, personaly and your family members as well

  8. trucker nate

    Call me paranoid, but I see this plan easily turning into a help when we tell you to, but don’t attempt to keep us in check situation. I have no doubt that his intentions are honorable, I just see this as overly complex and restrictive..

  9. Jack – I know you say you got bogged down, and maybe you did, but it still might be one of your best shows. Where I live currently, stuck deep behind enemy lines (Maryland), we’ve had a setback with SB281 being passed – we’re wrestling with the definition of what it is we want to build to defend ourselves, because the lamestream media has so vilified the term “Militita”. In Maryland, one of our elected leaders, is forming a Constitutional Defense Force (CDF). Those of us from the …”proactive” community are pushing back with cautions about it NOT becoming another government entity, a military force, or a force run by a (publicly) elected leader. Thanks for the excellent program; ideas I heard, plus fire ant’s excellent comments above, will be passed on to the CDF.

  10. Bob Allgood

    Jack, I believe that Jake said it very well yesterday. Ryan is a very military indocrtrinated individual. (I used to listen to his podcast and quit because I thought he over idolized the military and the militarized law enforcement) and he sees the world through the eyes of a military unit member not the bottom up structure of the original militias. You were very correct in your synopsis of the bottom up structure of the militia during the revolution and civil wars. I think this was a very good episode, and I think the discussion was great, but I personally don’t support Ryan’s version of a militia. I think he has made a great stab at it, but it is NOT the workable solution yet.

  11. A great historical study/layout of a historical militia is presented by Edwin Viera, in his book “Sword & Sovereignty”. If I can ever find his podcast again, I’ll post it, but his book can be found:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Sword-Sovereignty-Constitutional-Principles/dp/0967175941/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367595286&sr=8-1&keywords=Sword+%26+Sovereignty

    If I can get in touch with him, I’ll ask him to fill out a guest application, he would be a great person to interview on this subject. He has a rather detailed plan on how to reinstate a constitutional militia.

  12. I want to compliment you, Jack, on the way you handled this. You were both very respectful to each other even though you had very different opinions. Thank you for demonstrating to us how to disagree in a polite and respectful way.

  13. The guest’s mention of “authority” multiple times was indicative of his view and vision of his program. I would envision a much more voluntary association for the common or community good. This country needs more people interacting freely not more agents of state power.

  14. clayfarmer

    I agree with Jack on this one. Ryan’s goal is honorable, but what he’s describing already exists.

  15. I had trouble listening to this guy once he said there are no generals in the Guard.

    • Major Gen Daughtry and Sayler are can have orders overridden when troops become “Federalized” . In there possition they have over sit in state matters but once D.C. Says go they are out of the picture, hence Louisiana deploying the bulk of their Gaurd forces in the middle of Hurricane season.
      Being Major Generals allows for them, to cut thought ambiguity of chains of command since these can be distributed through several states and would turn the entire thing into a big mess.
      Again there are general officers but with respect to who has the overriding authority it’s the Feds because there, as far as I can find is not state level means to block federlization even by the Ajutant General.

      • Modern Survival

        Thing is Ryan you said and I quote, “there are no General Officers in the National Guard”, not to be a jerk but man that was flat wrong.

  16. Regarding “no generals” in a militia:
    (I would have to go back and read several books to be certain of this, but going from memory…)

    The ranking member of a militia regiment was the Colonel. Regiments varied in size from a few companies to many – perhaps 200 or 300 men to 1000 or more. The Colonel was the commander that the members of the Regiment had chosen as their leader.

    When called to a duty requiring more than one regiment, a regiment would be “brigaded” with other regiments and one of the Colonels would be chosen as the “Brigadier” who would be in command of the overall effort. (The Brigadier General). I think that the “brigadier” title was therefore more temporary in nature.

  17. Do let me clarify, I said there are General officers in the Guard, however they are at the division level and responsible for regions not states. Most of these are one star or Brigadier, the regimental level or state level is run by Colonels (Full Bird O-6). So within the state chain of command it is State of (Blank) Executive then the regiment.
    As to the historic militia there were those who served as generals on what were know as brevit commissions.

    • @Ryan, thanks for the reply. Do you have a show where you explain this in more detail? I’m still confused how people like Major General Bret Daugherty, Washington’s Adjutant General, or Major General Gary Sayler, Idaho’s Adjutant General, fit into your layout. Thanks for the info.

    • The States do have Generals. The state of Kansas has a two star in charge of all its military elements. He is known as The Adjutant General (TAG) (not the Attorney General). All states have a TAG. There are also a pair of one stars. One commands the Army National Guard in the state and the other the Air National Guard. It is also important to point out that states which bother to have a State Guard or State Militia, those forces also work for the TAG and statutorily those forces CANNOT be federalized. The Department of War tried during the World Wars. The best they could do was draft many of the members, which is not acutely useful in stopping the Governor from using the State Guard to resist the feds if it were ever to come to that.

  18. FoolishCop

    It seemed to me what Ryan is trying to accomplish is to establish a workable militia in today’s world taking it out of the realm of the theoretical and what could be practically accomplished with the realities today. The fact is, other than amongst survivalists, a “militia” is regarded with distrust amongst the public at large because of how they’ve been portrayed by the media. Jack’s plan seems to want to imbue them with a sense of “authority” that would allow them to be more trusted.

    We can dream about the misty militia of days gone by, but it seems unrealistic to think that it would be allowed by the power elites. Ryan’s plan seems more of a nose under the tent solution to me, establish a militia that could be accepted by the public at large and use that as a platform for future changes (not that he said that, by the way). But his plan seemed aimed at something that could work today, not a wistful remembrance of days gone by.

    With that said, it also seemed that what he was describing was anything but a militia. As you noted, it is very much an auxiliary police force as opposed to a body of the people defending kith and kin.

    I’d also like to say I immensely enjoyed the interview. I got the sense from your statement at the beginning that had you vetted him a little more beforehand you might not have had him on because of your differing views. If so, I think we’d lose out. We all might not agree with Ryan’s vision, but it’s definitely worthwhile having such guests on as it gets us to really think about an issue. You might not want to have a guest from MSNBC on, but someone from “the movement” who may hold differing views is something I’d enjoy listening to, and did so this time. It was really a good interview precisely because you two differed.

    Great job, and I wish Ryan luck with his project.

    Rich

    • I know I am late to the discussion, but these are precisely the points I was going to make. Every single one. Well said, Rich.

      What I will add is that I think Ryan is trying to develop something that will be held with more legitimacy than the connotation that is associated with the current “militia” people think about… whether the reality of it is distorted by media or not. Unfortunately, in our current society, many times a militia is only seen as either a group of right-wing zealots who usually have one bad apple bring down the whole group with a “terror plot” or, at best, crazy nut jobs who might simply get in the way during an emergency. What he seems to be trying to do is change the mentality of the people being helped by the “militia” and protect the people doing the helping in the process, which to some degree, is a necessary evil this day in age, compared to the previous eras of militias where honor and integrity still existed in the masses. Now, many people are looking for someone to blame after a bad situation… and who better than an “untrained and inexperienced” volunteer who could also be part of some crazy militia?

      For an interesting contrast to the approach, Appleseed comes to my mind as an example of a well-defined bottom up organization. They teach rifle marksmanship and make sure to convey the message of responsibility that every individual has to our nation, all the while making sure to stay away from the “militia” tag. What they are doing is teaching people the values that the militiamen of our nations history had and creating riflemen of today… which is more than just a score on an Army Qualification Test, it’s a way of life.

      As far as the show… I love the idea of two knowledgeable people respectfully debating a topic. I almost felt sorry for Ryan while listening to the intro before the interview, because I thought Jack would be too harsh. Ryan even called Jack the Godfather of Podcasting… I thought… oh no, poor guy. But listening to it, I found myself agreeing with points on both sides and thinking… which is not something I always do when simply listening to one person talk about a subject. I always listen and learn, but I doesn’t always make me think about my stance on something… which is nice to do every now and then. Ryan held his own too.

      An interesting idea I had after listening is what something Jack would refer to as a business opportunity for Ryan. Just a little bit of a twist on what he is already doing.

      Imagine, Ryan, if you were to use your knowledge of the history of militias and how they are organized and the organizational skills that you have developed for them to create a go-to, one stop place for information, ideas, experiences, state-by-state guidelines and local contacts, as well as even training for people who are interested in the idea of creating an organized and accepted militia in their community.
      You could theoretically organize an entire nation of small militias that have similar training, contacts, and structures that could be called on in any part of the country when needed; all while remaining volunteer, abiding by their local sheriffs, training at their leisure (but also having the ability to document and legitimize the groups, which would also work in favor of being accepted locally by LEO’s and citizens alike), and being connected to a network that reaches everyone involved.

      This would take out some of the “reserve” mentality of mandatory training and ranks and add more personal responsibility to the members of the local chapters. If they want to be called upon for more responsibility by their local sheriff or fellow militiamen, then they should strive for more training and completion of goals. Then, any time something is needed from a local area, there is a legitimate and documented list of accomplishments to go to in order to find the most trained and experienced individuals in that specific area to lead and/or organize a squad.

      Just a thought…

      Thanks to both of you for the show!

  19. Freddie Lee*

    While I was listening to this podcast today, I kept thinking about Faith. Besides God, what do you have Faith in?

    Both Ryan and Jack have Faith something. It appears that Ryan has more faith in the United States as a governing entity (he mentioned the “L” word a couple of times, and the significant financial danger they pose to people… ‘Lawyers’ {shudder}).

    Jack has faith in the Great People of this country, rather than the governing entity itself.

    As others have stated, Ryan’s approach is ‘top down’ (centralized control) – while Jack’s is ‘bottom up’ (decentralized control) – I think there’s room for both entities, and that both can work together.

    Having seen where a large, unfettered bureaucracy leads us (hot and cold running social programs, national endowment of something, etc) – I’m more interested in seeing Jack’s idea get a more solid footing. After all, it was the Everyman who fought in the Revolutionary war as well as defended against the unconstitutional war that destroyed states’ rights (and their ability to control the direction of the US).

    Who will be members of each? Well, that depends on what you have faith in, and what you believe is right. If you have faith in your neighbors, but realize that they do not have much power, will also determine where you put your membership (one or both).

    Do you know and love your neighbor? Do you (in spite of lack of time) make an effort to get to know your neighbors?

    Do you even know who your neighbor is? (are you too busy to get to know them?)

    The first will probably be more interested in a local militia; the second will probably be more interested in some kind of bureaucracy controlling and authorizing actions and activities (of people they don’t know and don’t have any faith in).

    Post 9/11 2001, Ted Koppel asked members of an audience “Why shouldn’t we have a national ID card?” – One audience member said “If you have nothing to hide…”
    Three Felonies A Day (look it up on Amazon).
    We ALL have something to hide, we just don’t know it.

    In South Carolina, it’s A FELONY to put a gun under the seat of your car. In North Carolina, the gun should be stored out of sight (so it’s OK to put it under the seat).

    Thanks to GRNC.org (a non-government entity), NC’s concealed carry is recognized in almost every state. Thanks to SC bureaucrats, SC’s concealed carry is hardly recognized anywhere.

    So… do you trust government/bureaucrats, or do you trust your neighbors? Who you trust will probably determine your definition of militia.

    The one that Big Government (and it’s lapdog, the lamestream media) will endorse, will be the one that they have more control over.

  20. As a teacher and a Marine I have maybe a naïve amount of faith in the nature of human beings (More in kids than adults). To that end I do trust my neighbors a quite a bit… though the makeup of my community and the political leanings of it are bit strange at times and can make one wonder. As for me believing in big government, I have no faith in our current federal government and I’m not sure where anyone got a different impression. I happen believed in a bottom up approach (though I see it as more flexible and scalable than centralized) of reforming the systems that are in place. It is in our communities and states that we have the most possibility in making a difference. This is why I state that the screenings be done by volunteers, members of the community so that the community has a say (It is not the government that is important it is ultimately the public and their perceptions and opinions). There is very strong language in the draft initiative about any funding having to come from only the communities and not the feds. One of the strongest objections I’ve had to respond to is the potential for federal government could retaliate by cutting title I and title V funding to schools or other funding to state infrastructure. Personal I want my state off of the federal dole for everything including education.
    As one can imagine here in Washington State talking about an armed body ready to stand against an out of control federal force is frowned upon but it is one of the many roles that I can see this group playing. As a force of habit I try to avoid that as a point and I’m sorry if it seems like I’m not opposed strongly to the feds. Additionally I have to hide my real feeling when it comes to issues such as school security because I like my job and it has been jeopardized in the past because I am a firearms instructor. There was very little emphasis on this in the interview but I do see the group as a pseudo-infantry force and the other abilities or vestments are there to encourage endorsement by not just “authorities” but also by the public. Thanks to the efforts of groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center the word militia is associated with extremist behavior and the model I have is one that is more transitional towards a more traditional model. I do see this as some pandering to the authorities but also an appeal to the public for confidence that their interests are being looked after. Within the survivalist/prepper community the word militia is associated with the revolution and the noble pursuit of liberty and there is no one’s permission needed to constitute one because it is a protected right. But what would your boss or your neighbor think if you told them you were in a militia? That bad taste take a while to get out I’m just trying to offer the public some mouth wash.

  21. Roscoe Ghering

    Jack,
    You were 100% right on this! What he was talking about is some sort of backup for the reserve police. Even though they can be there to offer a hand to them, a militia is not under command of any form of government, Sheriff, Governor or President.
    Our last governor in Washington State would not only never call on them but she would be for completely getting rid of them. I’m not very confident in our new one either. I think he wants to be part of something similar to the Marine Corps again.

  22. @Ryan,
    I agree about the AG not having the power to block federalization of the Guard, but I thought the governor could. Now that I’m looking to back up this idea, I can’t find any references to support that notion. I’m going to have to do some digging. Great discussion.

    Josh

  23. Jack,

    Just listened to this, and it’s an apples and oranges situation, but Ryan made the separation near the beginning when he mentioned organized militia (what he’s talking about) vs unorganized milita (what you talk about).

    ~Kenzal

    • Modern Survival

      Ryan is also dead wrong about citizens not being able to “organize” as in structure, rank and uniform in a citizen’s militia. I think he is a good guy but I also think.

      1. He has no idea what the militia is or should be at all. Militia should not be engaged in law enforcement with civilians. The militia is a military unit and military law enforcement in this nation isn’t constitutional except under martial law in time of emergency. Even then it is to be very limited, specifically to control of riots and protection of life and property or running quarantines.

      2. He is trying to create something that already exists, a reserve LEO force. The concept of adding another layer here make no sense financially or logistically when this program already exists. If you want to do what Ryan is suggesting. You find a local LEO to sponsor you in, you complete the academy requirements, you gain commission as a reserve LEO with a law enforcement agency and done. Creating a second process to accomplish the same thing and then adding the existing stigma of “militia” to it makes zero sense.

      Yep apples and oranges, but more like citizen militia and state run reserve law enforcement.

      I can’t stress enough though how the militia as a military unit has ZERO place in day to day law enforcement.

      Unorganized means “not organized by the state” it doesn’t forbid us from organizing. I don’t know where he came up with that view.

  24. Very simply folks, I wasted Jacks time. It was not my intention to do this. I’m apologized to him privately and I’m doing so publicly to him and the TSP audience.

    • Modern Survival

      No you did not, it is a great discussion we are having DO NOT apologize simply because we disagree. You now have more to work with and my mind is stirring with my own ideas. This was quite productive and I thank you for your efforts.

      • Jack, Ryan,

        I think it’s somewhere in the middle. Like a previous commenter mentioned, it was really apples and oranges you were discussing, which is fine, but I just think it was a matter of semantics.

        A question that I would have for Ryan, which Jack, you did not ask, is if you think there is a place for a militia in the way that Jack (and the constitutions) defines it. If the answer is yes, then why, Ryan, are you trying to replace that with your system, by calling it a “Militia” when by definition, it is not. (Conversely, if you think there is no place for a traditional militia, I understand your motifs for attempting to re-brand the militia, although I would disagree with and oppose such actions).

      • Not at all Jack. I felt that during the interview and the next day. The reason is that we didn’t get into the other issues that surround this topic. I failed to address your points and move the conversation along. Yes, we disagree on this but I still respect you, value your opinion and see you as an invaluable resource.

        • @Ryan

          Your concept is valid, in CA it is called the State Military Reserve. We also have very robust LEO reserve programs. For example, I am a Sergeant with my county sheriffs office. My Lt is both an Lt with the sheriffs office and a Major with the State Military Reserve. Both organizations are primarily made up of volunteers.

          Our LEO reserve division is 200+ sworn and 600+ volunteers. They all fall under a reserve command structure and have their own reserve peace officer association to handle Legal Defense and Injury/Disability. Other reserve departments even include retirement benefits and retire LEO credentials for 50 state ccw. Our reserves are on S&R, Harbor, Patrol, SWAT, HRW, K9, etc. and they must meet the same qualifications of the regulars.

          Point is these organizations exist and are capable of helping their communities in all the ways you envision. However, they are not the “militia”.

    • FoolishCop

      I didn’t view it as a waste of time, at least not mine. I found the discussion very interesting and stimulating precisely because you two disagreed. As I commented previously, I think it would be a loss for the community if we didn’t have such discussions.

      Although my thoughts are probably closer to Jack’s than to yours on what would constitute the proper framework for a militia, I think he’s been a bit ham-handed in his critique of your position after the fact and that might be fueling your belief you’ve wasted his and our time.

      Again, I thought it was a great discussion and think it’s good to have guests on from time to time where there isn’t always common ground instead of those who would simply preach to the choir.

      Rich