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Militia Tips and Tricks
to help keep you alive and functioning in the field

These are tricks I've learned from experience and collected from different sources.Use what works for you.If you have some ideas of value please drop me a line.

  • Use sterno to cook with instead of an open fire.If you need to cook at all. The aroma from cooked food (and fire) travels incredibly far compared with cold food.When people are hungry their sense of smell increases too.
  • If you are using MREs,eliminate the extra crap. All the cardboard,extra wrappers,spoons (you only need one) heaters (your not at the Ritz) and stuff. That will cut a lot of bulk and extra pounds.
  • Replace you 2 one quart canteens on your LBV with 1 two quart canteen.Lighter (10 ounces I think) and when the air is crushed out it is 1000% quieter.If you feel you need a canteen cup throw it in your pack.If you don't have your pack you probably won't be cooking either.Trust me.Your not gonna dig a fighting position in hard soil with a canteen cup.
  • Drink the water from on your pack first.That way if you have to ditch your pack you still have water with you.It also lightens the load on your back.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes.Tight fitting clothes tear more easily.
  • Tape the muzzle of your rifle to keep crud and water out.Or use condoms or colored (tactical) water balloons.
  • Last three rounds in your magazine should be tracers to alert you to a mag change.
  • Replace the cartridge in your the chamber of your weapon each morning "quietly".Codensation may casue a malfunction.
  • Oil the selector switch on your weapon daily and work the switch back and forth.This will prevent a stuck switch.
  • Always carry a small vial/tube of oil for your weapon
  • Always carry your weapon on "safe".
  • Conduct a jump test before moving out.Jump in the air with your full combat load and tape (carry black electrical tape in your buttpack) what rattles or clangs.There is nothing metal in the woods!
  • Never assume your weapon is clean enough.Clean your weapon daily!Never have more then two weapons broken down at a time.Less if you number less then 10 people.
  • Place magazines upside down to keep out water and crud with bullets pointing OUT to prevent a "lucky" shot from discharging your rounds.
  • Be sure all snaps and buckles are taped
  • Tie a string or a laynard to everthing you don't want to loose or if taken under fire while using.ie compass,flashlight.
  • Place you battle dressing carrier upside down on your shoulder straps so you don't smack yourself in the face opening it.
  • When treating someone else use THEIR first aid equipment and not yours first.If they are evacuated off the field they are taking their bandages too.If you use yours and then your hit...
  • Always carry a knife of some sort (other then a "Rambo" knife).
  • Always carry a survival kit on YOU.Not in your pack or gear.I use my right BDU pocket and carry an M258A-1 decon container for crushproofness.Outside it is a "space blanket" secured with a length of 550 cord.
  • Carry smoke grenades (if at all) on your pack and not your web gear.You don't fight with smoke grenades and 99 out of a 100 times if you need one you'll have your pack too.
  • Camoflage your rifle and gear.Your enemy is smart enough to know that black M-16 isn't walking through the woods alone.
  • Use natural foilage to break up your outline.Do not take from your ambush sight but use the same foilage found in your ambush sight.Replace as it dies.
  • Use a poncho liner (or two) for sleepong instead of a heavy bulky sleeping bag.
  • Carry 550 cord to replace broken web gear/pack straps and for 1000 other things.
  • Use ziplocks or water proof bags inside your pack to keep things dry and help make you and your pack more bouyant.
  • Don't carry passes,I.D cards,licenses,dog tags,name tapes,personalized lighters and rings etc.If the items are lost or your caught or killed they won't be going to you house to say hello.
  • Carry cough drops or medicine especially during rainy weather
  • Carry maps,notebooks etc in the same pockets for hasty removal if you become a casualty.
  • Always carry a cleaning kit.
  • Never take pictures of team members on patrol.If the enemy captures the camera they will have gained invaluable intelligence.
  • On patrol move and LISTEN.Move and LISTEN.
  • Be alert 100% of the time.You are not safe till you are back home.
  • Never break branches on trees or bushes.Don't kick rocks.You'll leave an easy trail for the enemy to follow.
  • Put insect repellent around the tops of your boots,on pants fly,belt,and cuffs to keep out insects and leeches.
  • Continually check your compass man to ensure he is on the right azimuth.Do not run a compass course on patrol.Change your direction regularly.
  • If followed by trackers,change direction of movement often and attempt to evade or ambush them.They make good POW's.
  • Change your socks and use foot powder!Never more then two people at a time and never take both boots off at once.If your feet go so will you!
  • Avoid overconfidence,it leads to carlessness.Just because you have seen no sign of the enemy for 2 or 3 days does not mean he isn't there or hasn't seen you.
  • A large percentage of patrols have been compromised due to poor noise discipline.
  • If you have to talk to someone about the mission (leave the football game at home) cup your hands and whisper into his ear.
  • Camoflage facees,necks and hands in the morning,at noon and at the remain overnight or ambush position.
  • Never cook or build fires on patrol.No more then two people should eat chow at a time.The rest should be on security.
  • When a team stops,always check out 40-60 meters from the perimeter.
  • Carry a compass and learn how to use it.
  • Each man should observe the man in front of him and behind him and watch for hand signals.


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