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How big of a disadvantage do civilians have versus ex-military in a SHTF scenario?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Joe Link, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    You don't get off this easy, what specific survival skills are you speaking of? As mentioned elsewhere, we all get overdoses of advanced first aid and Chemical, Biological, and Radiological reaction training. Do we get Primitive Firemaking 101? No, but then neither do the SEALs, Force Recon, or Delta. I'd bet everything I own that if dropped into the ocean 50 miles offshore, you'd tap out way before I would.

    This is frankly ridiculous. If we are still in the context of a stressful and life threatening circumstance, it's doubly so. I will frame it like this: I was not an officer, rather the naval equivalent of a Sargent. My "battle station" during General Quarters, was as a member of the bridge crew. Say that I am up there in a real shooting match with missiles and the whole nine yards. The Captain, and the Officer of the Watch are up there to. Say they get shredded by an attack. Hey, suddenly I am in charge as the next most senior person on the bridge until executive officer makes his way there—if he can.

    Am I going to sit there and mope because my brass wearing overlords were just greased? No. Am I going to get the Navy Cross for formulating and leading America's next great naval battle from my shattered bridge? No. Am I going to alter course and speed if necessary? Yes. Am I going to get my survivors on the comms and assess the larger damage to the ship? Yes. Am I going to attempt to locate the next most senior surviving line officer to take command? Yes.

    If you have anything at all going on upstairs the military will train you to remain calm under extreme pressure and to step in and take over the entire freaking command if necessary. I know this because the scenario above was war gamed to me totally by surprise by the squadron commander, who pointed at the Skipper and his senior LT and said "you've both been killed," turns to me and says "now what? Suddenly, I was temporarily in charge (for about half an hour) of a warship valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. How many 20 year olds ever get to do that?

    This is a narrow view of things. Most veterans are not careerists. They've been on both sides of the line, writing a blank check with their lives while in the service, and making ends meet as civilians.

    I too saw my share of "lifers" who at best were marking time. Those are the folks who won't thrive anywhere, and if they make it that far, are "non-promoted" out at or around 20 years in.

    That was by no means the majority of the Navy in my experience. The people who took their jobs seriously were the greater majority by far, and took their training seriously, particularly when aboard ship, where there was no police, fire department or mechanics to call. Everyone who sought cross training in other shipboard systems and job classifications took that seriously as well.

    The military is like any other organized experience one encounters—what you get out of it is directly proportional to what you put into it.
     
  2. Mohawk13

    Mohawk13 Home on The Range Active Member

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    One Thing to ask, "Are You JV or Varsity". You either have what it takes to make it, or You are just another squirrel in the tree, with the rest of the nuts! I'm not sure about others in the Service, but the SEAR training and Survival scenarios I was put through, gave me a great foundation to build upon. Realizing that I was the master of My own fate, In Combat Situations, Made Me a true believer in learning more. Yes, There were those who sat back and shammed their way up the ladder, but they did not survive the RIF boards, or if they did, they never went any higher..
    So ask Your self, "Am I JV? Or Varsity" when it comes to SHTF. Otherwise, might as well stay in the tree with the rest of the nuts...
     
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    :thumbup:

    Don't forget feminism. That nonsense has been holding both sexes back from finding their inner warrior for decades.
     
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  4. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising 3%er Silver Supporter

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    The way I see it during a SHTF situation, the real key to survival is keeping what you have. I have seen plenty of soldiers who weren't worth a tinkers, and plenty of citizens with no militry background who could eat their lunch. It really boils down to your mentality; not all soldiers are warriors, and not all civilians/citizens are sheep.

    Yes, as a veteran (with scars) I have had tactical training that would serve me well in SHTF. Yes, I learned how to improvise and repair things. Yes, I've been through other "events" that galvanized my character beyond typical mental/physical endurance, but that's because I decided I was going to walk through to the other side.

    I am not so unique that any other human being couldn't do the same if they set their course, and steeled themselves to do what needed doing. Eveyone is afraid of dying when the bullets start flying, its based more on not knowing "when". One key (for me) to surviving what I did was accept the premise that, "I'm already dead". Strangely (for me) it keeps your knees from buckling, your hands from shaking, your heart from exploding your ears, and hyper-ventilating at that moment of engagement. You focus on completing the mission, and not failing your buddies, rather than the distraction of "surviving".

    All the training in the world being force-fed on an individual cannot put steel in their backbone. Give me just two able bodied "warriors" who lack training, over a platoon of trained "empty uniforms", and I'll pile 'em up like sandbags.

    I will trumpet ONE THING I have over non-veterans in general... I can eat/drink ANYTHING cold or luke-warm when it makes it "less than appealing". ;)


    BTW- LMAO @ the Tankers calling Infantry, "crunchies"! :thumbup:
     
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  5. juandelaselva

    juandelaselva Boring Sandy Gresham Member

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    "I know how to both give and follow orders and how to be a team player in extremely pressurized situations—even with people I despise." - Boats

    Learning these skills, is paramount to success in times of plenty and times of want (booming economy/SHTF scenario).

    Thanks Boats for a succinct summary, and new addition to the favorites quotes list.

    - John
     
  6. Keys1971

    Keys1971 Oregon City Active Member

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    Just my .02 cents, but the biggest advantage I recieved was learning self reliance, and what I could actually go through both physically and most importantly mentally. After going through Jump School, Ranger School, and three tours overseas I was tested far beyond most. Granted I may be in a small percentage, but I would not trade that experience for anything. However, I do not know how to grow food in a garden or can food. So.... I guess its who I team up with that will be the true test. Keys.
     
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  7. whiskeybill

    whiskeybill Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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  8. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    I knew about guns and how to shoot before the military, survival skills I learned in the boy scouts. Many who excel in the military had skills before entering. There is no rear echelon supply and support in a shtf scenario. Most ex-military guys would blow off most of their ammo in one or two encounters.
     
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  9. greydog111

    greydog111 peoples repubilik of Oregon Active Member

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    Mental toughness is something that has to be brought out of a person. MCRD (Marine Boot Camp) taught me that I could surpass obsticals I previously thought were insurmountable. Survival skills can be learned. Toughness must be lived and taught. Semper Fi.
     
  10. Mohawk13

    Mohawk13 Home on The Range Active Member

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    Coop44,
    Beg to differ with You on ex-military blowing off all their ammo. Maybe some REMF types will. Those of us who have "Seen The Elephant" up close and personal, have learned about fire discipline.

    Keys, a trip to the good will will find You books on food preservation and storage. You have skills that would benefit a MAG. Don't sweat the small change on food storage. You can eat from My larder.

    Mohawk13
     
  11. whiskeybill

    whiskeybill Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    Right now I live in an urban setting and have a small garden for fresh produce through the summer months. Canning, I just go the the local Farmers Market and buy alot of fresh produce for canning. It's not a big task. It's less expensive than the stores. Moving to the Battle Ground area next month and we'll have a bigger plot of land to grow goodies. A good quality pressure cooker can be expensive, but that's a one time investment.
     
  12. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    The problem is that nobody is defining "military veteran" in any useful way. There are a relatively few vets who were involved in fire fights. Only some vets actually used their survival training in the field. I think there's no clear advantage. As a civilian, I was proficient with all kinds of firearms (except full auto) by the time I was 14. At that point I had also already had the experience of sitting on a deer stand motionless for 3 or 4 hours many times. That experience served we well when on watch in the military. I knew what to do with my mind and how to stay focused. I went camping with the family as a toddler before the days of high tech food and equipment. I learned to hike and navigate as a boy scout.

    Later on, I played on a paintball team that eventually went professional. It may sound like silly child's play, but how else can a civilian train intensively in stealth, tactics, movement, fields of fire, teamwork, planning assaults and defenses, ambush, and concealment. And don't discount learning to function when the adrenaline rush hits. It's there, even if it's just a game.

    After that I joined a medieval combat guild, fighting hand to hand in armor with real swords, daggers, and axes. The blunted edges didn't make them weigh any less, nor were the impacts any less painful.

    [video]http://www.tournamentproductions.org/photos/video/clip6.mpg[/video]

    These days I have a small farm and raise much of my own meat and produce. I am tight with my neighbors, and we cooperate and trade food and equipment back and forth. I have no doubt we'd be watching each other's backs in a tight situation. My wife is a first aid expert, and grew up in a cabin without running water or electricity. The kids are familiar, if not proficient with firearms.

    Over the years I've acquired skills as an electrician, plumber, electronics tech, mechanic, blacksmith, meat cutter, and machinist.

    I think we would do as well as anyone, given the same luck of the draw in a tight situation, and very little of that would depend on my military training.
     
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  13. EMP9596

    EMP9596 Two Trees West of Camas, WA. Active Member

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    Stomper covers a few very good points above.. A lot of soldiers only get the basics and never get to apply them as their MOS does not require it. Some of the ones who do get the advanced training seem to be unable to apply it under stress. Myself I was blessed to be sent to name a few: US Army NCO Academy, jungle warfare training, extensive small weapons training, crew fired weapons, demo school, tactics and technics, advanced escape and evasion (which really checks your stress breaking point). What I am saying here is, if you cannot control your mind and body under extreme stress you are at the disadvantage thus decreasing your chances in survival. When you get in the real poop and what you learned by training kicks in, that is when it is going to count.

    Buy the way... Tabasco can make anything edible.. (<:}-
     
  14. LimaCharlie

    LimaCharlie Oregon Member

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    All of the training in the world will not affect your survival potential. All of the physical fitness will not affect your survival potential. The two things that affect your survival are mind-set and situational awareness. Without those, nothing else matters. With those, the training and physical fitness will help you survive. No one knows what they will do until the problem is in their face.

    I was Navy, but I went through Marine Advanced Infantry Training and weapons training at Camp Pendleton. I went through very basic EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) training. I also went through SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, & Escape) school at Camp Pendleton. I went through Vietnamese language training. I spent tours in Viet Nam inserting and extracting Marines, Army, and Special Ops people up rivers while manning a M2 50 caliber. I also spent a year as an advisor on Swift Boats.

    When I was going through all of this training, we had a Lt-jg (O-2) that made life hell for us. We got up at 5:00am. He got up at 4:00am and did hundreds of set-ups and push-ups. When we were running up and down the Silver Strand Beach in full combat gear at Coronado, he would run backwards and laugh at us. He was the poster boy for physical fitness. He climbed the rope without using his legs or feet. We hated him. He excelled in all of the other training.

    When we got to SERE school, he was one of the first to be captured. They slapped him twice and he told them everything he knew including the location of the safe-house. After they captured all of us, he refused to step out front as the leader. He just kept collapsing and crying. He ended up at a desk job in Saigon. The guy was completely broken and he ended up getting out of the Navy later on a medical discharge. His image of himself, his training, and his physical fitness did him no good when the SHTF.
     
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  15. MisterD

    MisterD Puget Sound area Member

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    More like will make everything inedible. I can't tolerate the vinegar taste of it. Would rather crush/grind/blend some jalapeño and habanero peppers with a little carrot and lemon juice to make my own Hot Sauce. Is the best mix I have found yet.. burns ya twice.
    :laugh:
     
  16. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising 3%er Silver Supporter

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    Sniff, sniff... You smell that? Smells like man-fish! ;) (just kidding)

    Tabasco RULES!! I just ate a 1/4 bottle (coated with a layer of black pepper) on my sausage, eggs (over medium), hashbrowns, and sour dough toast today, washed down with ice water .... Should've seen the waitresses face, LOL!
     
  17. Keys1971

    Keys1971 Oregon City Active Member

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    Mohawk 13 and Whiskeybill, thanks for the comments. Those are skills that I need to learn. No excuse not too. Take care. Keys
     
  18. tardylemon

    tardylemon Salem Member

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    so is it safe to assume im not the only tanker in the area lol.? i was a 19K R4
     
  19. viehmann7680

    viehmann7680 Centralia Active Member

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    I wasnt a Tanker, but was Armor. 19D D3 R4. I Liked tankers.... they keep you warm in winter! haha and there is nothing better than knowing there is a tank covering you!

    This reminds me of a good point. In the military almost everything you do involves overwatch. A good thing to know that some might overlook. In the military we had "Hunter, Killer" teams, Support by fire, all things that would serve people well. If things got bad, would you just blindly walk around? Even if you have a couple of people you can provide cover. Not to mention IMT. There is a lot of basic stuff that gets drilled into a soldier, that would work well. Especially if you can develop a group. I don't need a group of all military guys. I just need a group thats willing to learn, and listen. I was a scout in the army. My job was Reconnaissance. If I was going somewhere I would want to recon it. I can scout it out from a distance, use a map, talk to people that might no the area, etc. Not just blindly go. As much as I'd hate to say it TLP's... Troop leading procedures. I hated them but it only makes sense. Just a couple of examples on how it would pay off for me. Not to say that civilians can't think about these things themselves. But they've been drilled into me.
     
  20. EMP9596

    EMP9596 Two Trees West of Camas, WA. Active Member

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    Notice some of the items in the OP's post such as going out and about in small elements.
    You need to know how to move safely and cover yourself while doing so. In a hostile area movement from point A to B can be extremly slow, time consuming and stressfull. I have been in the bush where it took hours to move one klick (1 kilometer) on fairly even terrain, and urban settings can take just as long or longer.

    Not talk'n about training here, but the real deal.