I’m Not A “War Fighter” And You Probably Are Not One Either

In my mind’s eye, I’m Rambo. Hard, built like a tank, can hold out an M60 like it’s a pistol… just give me a bandanna and a big knife, and I can kill every bad guy in sight.

Yeah, baby… that’s Salty right there…

In truth? I’m an mid-50’s old guy who needs to drop quite a few pounds, with iffy knees who’s always been slow and kind of clumsy.

I would have ZERO chance against trained, organized forces. Nada. None.

Here’s the thing, though.

I know it. I recognize it. So… I don’t waste my time, effort or money trying to pretend I am something that I am not nor will I ever be. 

I was inspired to write this by this excellent article (CLICK ME) on the (also excellent) Ask A Prepper website about 5 prepper myths that they bust. I encourage you to read it, the author makes a lot of great points. 

In the article, author James Watson states “You are no match for a gang of armed thugs. You may be a veteran, you may be highly trained, but you have a weakness that is never discussed on tactical forums. You have a family.”

He goes on to talk about “acceptable losses”, something that is a part of the military mind set. “Who is an acceptable casualty? Your wife? Little Timmy? I mean, you don’t even want to lose your brother in law.”

That’s a heck of a good question, and one I think everybody who wants to pretend they are Rambo needs to think about.

I also have a friend who’s a Marine officer, a man who’s dress uniform has more than one medal for valor earned in his three tours to the sandbox. I know this man, the quality of his character, and I understand that I am not in any way even remotely close to being competent to even have a tactical discussion with him, let alone think about facing somebody like that in a combat situation.

So… am I opposed to tactical training? Absolutely not. I’m all in favor of it, for many reasons. I do believe that we all have the right to self defense, and I think tactical training can help to improve what little skill and ability we may have. 

I’m all about firearms training, not only for improved shooting performance but also safety and efficiency. 

Where I differ from a lot of people in the prepper/survivalist community is in the fact that I have no illusions about how I would hold up if I tried to live the “paramilitary” life.

I could stand behind a barricade with my neighbors and help defend my town. I could do my best to keep a low profile and not be noticed. Other than that? Dead meat.

Having said that, I can’t realistically imagine where I would be trying to do that. If we have any kind of major collapse, people running around in the woods playing soldier are going to be living a very exciting, and very short, life. 

Even for the ex-military types, unless they are single and don’t have people that depend on them, they are not “war fighters” in a post-collapse world, because they are no stronger than the weakest member of their family. 

Spice and I will stand together if it ever comes to that, but we will stand, in defense, behind cover, in our own town… with our neighbors around us… 

We will protect our home from intruders.

Other than that? We will let others be Rambo.

PrepperPsych 101: Preppers Are A Bit Strange, But How Big of a Nut is Too Much?



  1. Absolutely true! I was discussing how far I could hike, with a friend of mine, he was talking 15-20 miles a day. I said I might make 15, the size of pack I was carrying would change this, but then I told him that 6-8 would be much more reasonable, because that’s about the upper limit for my wife. He gave me a strange look…..I said “You’re not leaving your wife behind are you?” This is the best reason in the world to bug in or make a move via vehicle! Regardless of how far and fast we can walk or run, we are limited by how far the wife can walk! And while I’m not Rambo, that doesn’t mean I would be ineffective in an armed conflict if it comes to that!Being sot by a 70 year old man is still being shot. Having to divert resources and man power to clear out a group of old timers is still time consuming and short of blasting or burning them out, casualties are a certainty! Armor and air power can take an area, troops are required to hold it! Don’t count the post war generation out!

  2. The Rambo self-image is hard for a lot of guys to give up. Fortunately, the more likely threat to a homeowner won’t be Seal Team Six.

    Part of the Rambo Myth is that only Rambos can fight: that average folks are toast.

    The Minute Men were just average citizens. The French Resistance and ‘Partisans’ in WWII were just average citizens. They fought.

    Don’t buy into the Rambo Myth.

    • This!

      I have zero intention to wander around in the woods being Rambo if the SHTF, I’ll be with people I’ve known for years and we would porcupine up… hunker down, quills out…

  3. I would suggest that we take a look at the Taliban. None of these people are professional soldiers. What little training they have is limited to basic tactics yet they’ve held our forces at bay for over a decade. To the contrary, the most important ability is to be willing to die for what you believe in. Do that and you become fearless, a real soldier.

    • With all due respect, I personally will never, ever advise anybody to use the life of a Taliban warrior as a model to be emulated…

      Having said that, they can run around doing what it is they do, not having to worry about grandma or their children being attacked and killed by others for food. They don’t have gardens and livestock to protect. Their GOAL is to live in the stone age.

      I think a better example of what lives might be like if people go running around playing guerrilla in our own country. Look at the US Civil War and the “irregulars” here in Missouri.

      The southern forces irregulars were causing all kinds of problems for the north, so what did the north do? Cracked down on the irregulars families.

      http://www.casscountyorderno11.com/the-burnt-district.html “Prosperity to Devastation to Oblivion”

      Throughout the South, entire areas of the country were obliterated by the US government, not just during Sherman’s march to the sea, but in other places as well.

      Really, really bad idea.

      • First let me ask you to find the word “emulated” in my post. The Taliban are but a modern example of “guerrilla warfare”, a tactic also used by our forefathers against the British. As much as I disagree with their tactics and politics they hardly “run around doing what it is they do”. The fact they survive indicates they are finding nutrition somewhere and I’ve seen no reports of cannibalism. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find “their goal” is to be self governed. AGAIN, I don’t agree with their tactics or politics but we don’t prevail by denying the truth. My original point in my post was and is you don’t have to be a professional soldier to successfully defend your territory, you just have to be committed to it and believe in yourself. Part of that commitment is the willingness to die for your belief. Don’t mistake my resolve, my plan is to make the other guy die first but we don’t get that done hiding in the shadows.

  4. I’m glad to see there are voices of reason out there to try to curb the fantasies that some “preppers” have. I couldn’t agree more that we should all have guns and lots of ammo and train be proficient shooters. However, our PLAN should not be to become a military force. Our plan should be to find a way to escape and get our family OUT of danger.

  5. All very good advice and comments! I commend you all.
    I am in the camp of holding my plot and helping my neighbors (especially the more elderly than I..) in any way I can.
    Although I’m no Rambo, I am personally in excellent shape..(for my age). However, most of those around me are not so fortunate. Together we can make a decent go at surviving and pity the fool who attempts to upset that. Like salty said:
    Hunker down, quills out!

  6. Given some of the old guys I have seen fighting in the middle east, Afghanistan and elsewhere who are winning with little training, i think you are not understanding the power if determination.

  7. thank you, couldn’t agree more…
    I feel like so many comment sections are filled w/ “blue helmets make good targets.” or “I will give em hell & a lot of lead”, etc… etc.
    People act like actions happen in a vacume independent of any further cause & effect. Like their lives just magically fade to the next scene in a movie.
    The reality is just 1 round fired is the start of a chain reaction w/ no end for several hours best case & several months most likely.
    Fired upon people tend to fire back. Even if you are able to survive the return volley & retreat to a safe place; organized forces tend to report back & note conctact, which then brings on further activity in the area searching for the “perpetrators”. An investigation of the scene will happen. Sign will be found, and a net will be cast out in search of the offender. It will continue & even if halted will not be forgoten. If deemed a significant threat to occupation, or if the area has any strategic value, the “cause & effect” reaction to just 1 shot fired could last years.
    Survival should be the insurgents goal, not martyrdom. Be evasive & elusive while menacing like the coyote… not snorting, pawing the ground & calling out like the bull.

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