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Dietrich Bonhoeffer




  "Action springs not from thought, but
   from a readiness for responsibility."

EQUIPMENT


Weapons

Members must use a rifle chambered for the same ammunition used in the service rifles or sniper rifles commonly used by their nation's soldiers; ideally the same type of service rifle or sniper rifle. It is also highly desirable to obtain a 9mm handgun and other individual small arms commonly used by these soldiers like hand grenades, a 40mm grenade launcher, and an anti-armor weapon like the M72 LAW or RPG-7. The Weapons page has information sheets about individual small arms commonly used by soldiers and militia.

Hanna Bohman

YPJ fighter: Hanna Bohman pictured in Syria. She is one of many people who travelled to the Middle East to help the Kurds in their fight against ISIS. The 2017 documentary Fear Us Women about the YPJ (female brigade of the Kurdish People's Protection Units) is told through her experiences with them. Bohman (then 48) said she first made contact with YPJ recruiters online and has spent the previous three years in Iraq and Syria with the YPJ, some of which included combat on the front lines. She had no prior military experience and only received weapons training after being smuggled into Syria.

Communications

Mobile phones are extremely useful communication aids but are not a substitute for handheld transceivers in many situations due to their reliance on the mobile phone network and associated connection issues. We recommend the proven Apple iPhone SE which is more robust than larger iPhones with weaker housings (best fitted with a Gorilla Glass display). If the conference call feature and Internet access are not needed then we recommend ruggedized dumbphones like the RugGear RG150 Traveller with long talk/standby times.

The best readily available transceiver for militia use is the multi-band Yaesu VX-6R/E. This heavy duty waterproof handheld transceiver transmits on two amateur bands, has a superb scanner and is renowned for its reliability, robustness and affordability. This dual-band [European] model transmits on the 144 MHz and 430 MHz bands at a maximum of 5W, while the tri-band US version (VX-6R) also transmits on the 222 MHz band at a maximum of 1.5W. They can operate in duplex mode (using repeater stations) as they are CTCSS enabled, or simplex mode (without repeater stations). They also have DCS which alerts users to incoming calls while ignoring transmissions without a tone code at the beginning of the transmission. They also have the EAI (Emergency Automatic ID) feature that allows other people with CTCSS/EAI enabled transceivers to locate an injured person who cannot operate their radio.

For tactical use we recommend the TACK 1 and the Patrol II Single or Dual Comm Headset System headsets and the Tactical PTT switch from Tactical Command Industries (TCI). These headsets leave the ear canals free to use mechanical earplug type hearing protection (like the SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders) or electronic earplug type hearing protection (like the rechargeable 3M Peltor TEP-100 Tactical Earplug) that protect the ears while allowing near normal or enhanced hearing. Electronic earmuff style headsets are bulky, heavy, tend not to give a reliable seal during rigorous activity and trap heat, so are not recommended.

Yaesu VX-6R

Yaesu VX-6R/E: The VX-6R/E out of the box with the FNB-80LI Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery Pack (7.4 v, 1,400 mAh), PA-48C/U 5-Hour Battery Charger (European User, 230-240 VAC), YHA-67 Antenna, Belt Clip (best carried in a pouch), Operating Manual and Warranty Card. It is best to obtain at least one spare FNB-80LI battery, a FB-23 2 x "AA" Cell Battery Case (for emergency backup use at reduced power - use long life Lithium batteries when possible as they store more energy than Alkaline batteries and have a much longer shelf life), and a CMP460A Waterproof Speaker/Microphone. The VC-27 Ear piece/Microphone is desirable for covert use of this transceiver.

Load Carrying Equipment

Members must possess a chest rig for carrying the essential equipment needed for combat use; notably ammunition, handheld transceiver, IFAK, knife, water bottle, and small items like a flashlight, waterproof notebook and pens, multitool and earplugs. A low profile chest rig like those from Condor and Strike Hard Gear (made of Nylon) are ideal for vehicle use and can be readily concealed under a jacket, while some may prefer Chinese military surplus chest rigs made of cotton canvas like those used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

Some people like plate carriers which can be worn under chest rigs and assault vests but are often fitted with pouches via MOLLE webbing and used as chest rigs for the sake of simplicity (at the cost of versatility). They are heavy with level IV ballistic plates and trap heat, thus not suited to the hit-and-run tactics that militia operating as guerillas commonly use. Concealable vests with level IIIA soft body armor provide some protection without the bulk and weight of plate carriers (may stop rifle bullets that have tumbled/fragmented after hitting intermediate objects) but trap a lot of heat. Militia are best suited to hit-and-run guerilla tactics so must prioritize mobility over protection in most cases, though a plate carrier with soft or hard body armor would be desirable in some instances and are cooler to wear than concealable soft body armor that is wrapped around the torso, and can be worn over the top of webbing.

If you want to carry more gear than a chest rig allows without having to use a back pack a large assault vest like the Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops is ideal and well suited to use in vehicles and back packs as they have don't have rear storage pouches, though their bulk makes them less suited to moving through small spaces than low profile chest rigs. That said, webbing is more comfortable for walking long distances with heavy loads than chest rigs or assault vests as the weight is distributed between the shoulders and hips, and are cooler as they leave the upper chest free of pouches, though are not well suited to vehicle use due to the positioning of pouches around the hips or moving through small spaces. Pattern 58 Webbing is best as it is made of rugged cotton canvas that will not melt/drip when subject to a flame like Nylon equipment does, and can (unlike Nylon) be dyed black. As you cannot use a load bearing back pack waist belt with webbing a back pack was designed for the Pattern 58 Webbing that is attached to the shoulder straps, but as the load therein is carried on the shoulders it is not suited to heavy loads (a conventional back pack is best for heavy loads).

Chest Rigs

Chest Rigs: The Condor Rapid Assault Chest Rig (for 30 round AR mags) on the left and the Strike Hard Gear AK 47 Chest Rig (for 30 round AK mags) store a single row of mags which facilitates discreet use. Both of these Nylon chest rigs are available in black. More pouches can be added via MOLLE straps but it would be best to only attach small pockets (pistol mags, flashlight, etc.) to prevent them becoming too heavy and harder to conceal. More kit can be stored in the central compartment behind the pouches like maps and a notebook. The Strike Hard Gear chest rig is more versatile as it can also be used to carry the smaller AR mags (the Condor mag pouches are too small to accept AK mags), and has two storage pockets that can be used for more mags, IFAKs, water bottles, stick grenades, or rigged up as holsters (the rifle mag pouches be rigged up to carry a pistol).


Chinese Military Surplus AK47 Chest Pouch

Chinese AK47 Chest Pouch: This inexpensive Chinese military surplus chest rig from Loklode has three double magazine pouches for AK magazines and four small pockets for a variety of gear including hand grenades. They are made of olive drab cotton canvas. The toggle pouch flap retention system is simple and effective, though some replace the toggles with Fastex buckles on adjustable length straps. One can attach a storage pocket to the rear which is very useful for thin items like maps and a smoke hood. If you find the shoulder straps dig in uncomfortably when it's fully loaded you can add some shoulder strap pads which can be sewn on to prevent movement. It is not as concealable as the canvas Type 63 Chest Pouch or the low profile Nylon chest rigs from Condor and Strike Hard gear


Chinese Type Chest Pouch

Chinese Type 63 Chest Pouch: This inexpensive Chinese military surplus chest rig has five ammo pouches designed to accept two 10 round stripper clips for an SKS rifle, but will accept one 30 round AR mag or 20 round AK mag. They have two shorter pouches that can be used for other gear like grenades and will accept one 20 round AR mag or 15 round AK mag. They are made of cotton canvas and use toggles to secure the pouch lids. You can place 30 round AK mags in the pockets, but you will need to attach elastic restraining straps to hold them in place like those used in the Condor and Strike Hard Gear chest rigs (available from various manufacturers).


Plate carriers

Plate Carriers: Their weight, bulk and heat trapping nature make plate carriers less than ideal for hit-and-run tactics. One can significantly reduce their weight by only using soft body armor panels or not using any armor at all, though plate carriers without armor are (at best) just hot chest rigs which have not been optimized for load carrying. Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plates are best despite their bulk as they trap bullets (which tend to ricochet off hard steel or ceramic plates despite the application of bullet fragment trapping coatings) and are lighter than water by volume so will help you float rather than drag you under if you end up in deep water. We favor the inexpensive US Palm AK Defender (with a MOLLE rear panel) on the left and the Ronin Assaulter Lite Plate Carrier.


Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops

Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops: This assault vest been used by the British military for many years and is still made by the original contractor. The two mag pouches are optimized for 30 round AR mags (three per pouch with two dividers) but can be easily user modified to accept two 20 round AK mags. It has two huge zipped storage areas under the front pouches (left one has a pistol holster). It can be modified to accept mag pouches that accept wider/longer mags. The clean rear makes them suited to troops travelling in vehicles and facilitates the use of back packs, though smaller chest rigs work better with back packs with weight bearing hip belts and are (unlike this bulky vest) readily concealable under a loose jacket or pullover. In addition to the original DPM camouflage model pictured are green and black variants (green vests look great with most temperate camouflage clothing).


58 Pattern webbing

58 Pattern Webbing: The British 1958 Pattern Webbing is simple, strong and durable. It is made of olive drab dyed cotton canvas so needs to be waterproofed in wet climates to prevent it becoming saturated (adding weight) and prevent rot. Pictured is the belt, yoke, two conjoined kidney pouches and two mag pouches (will accept 20 and 30 round AR, AK, G3, FAL or SCAR rifle mags). The left mag pouch has provision for strapping on a bayonet, while the right mag pouch has a side pouch for an ENERGA rifle grenade adapter. One might add a 58 Pattern pistol holster and compass pouch to the belt or a couple of water bottle pouches, and strap a poncho to the rear yoke. The 58 Pattern back pack can be attached to the suspender straps, so there is no doubling up of shoulder straps. It would benefit from the addition of a hippo pad which markedly improves comfort when walking long distances.

Uniforms

Branches are urged to adopt a uniform as they provide a sense of shared identity, purpose, dignity and status. It should be unlike those commonly used by soldiers for the sake of differentiation, such as black BDUs which are not used as general issue uniforms by any nation's armed forces and are in keeping with the symbolism of the MZG emblem. Members should not use Islamic style black clothing commonly worn by Jihadist terrorists as MZG is a secular public militia. If camouflage pattern clothing is desired it is best to use something readily available in both woodland and desert variants (new and military surplus), and should look good for morale and recruitment purposes. The two recommended uniforms are pictured on the Members page with explanatory notes.

Cotton ripstop and cotton with Lycra or Spandex (not more than 5% synthetic) are best as they are much cooler in hot weather than synthetics or synthetic/cotton blends with a high synthetic content like polycotton (typically 40 to 65% polyester). Synthetics and blends like polycotton are popular for dress uniforms as they don't absorb as much water and are quick drying (thus hotter), and are resistant to shrinking, wrinkles and fading; but hotter to wear and readily melt/drip when exposed to a flame bar those made of expensive material like Kevlar or Nomex (which are hot to wear like other synthetics). Thick synthetics and blends with a high synthetic content get very hot when engaged in rigorous activity so are not practical, whereas thick cotton is much cooler due to the absorption and the slow evaporation of water from it (from sweat, a canteen, stream, etc.) and provides far more mechanical protection to skin from sharp objects than thin synthetic or synthetic/cotton blends.

A waterproof poncho is also highly desirable as it is better suited to protecting users and their equipment than a waterproof jacket (and much cheaper), while some are designed as shelter halves so as to do away with the need to carry a tent when in the field with your comrades.

Milicianas (1936)

Improvised BDU: A BDU does not have to be one designed specifically for military use, with militia groups and guerillas having often used improvised uniforms like the black overalls (used in many mines, factories and vehicle repair shops) worn by many militia members fighting for the Republican government and democracy during the Spanish Civil War, including the milicianas pictured who are being taught to use rifles. Black uniforms have been used by many guerilla movements, including the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, while black clothing is used by Antifa militants.


Alberto and Marina Ginestà (1936)

Spain: Alberto and Marina Ginestà (brother and sister) and their comrades (1936). They are wearing black clothes, as did many other members of pro-government militias during the Spanish Civil War.


NVA and VC soldiers

Vietnam War: During the Vietnam War the ground forces opposing the US backed South Vietnamese dictatorship were the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC) guerillas in South Vietnam. The NVA soldier has an AKM and a Chinese AK47 chest rig, while the VC guerilla has an M1 Carbine with two double mag pouches for 15 round mags and a knife attached to her belt. The VC used readily available black clothing worn by many civilians as work clothes rather than waste time and resources obtaining military uniforms which could not be worn as ordinary civilian clothes when they were not engaged in military operations. As the VC guerillas primarily engaged in hit-and-run operations they would typically be lightly armed to faciliate rapidity of movement.


YPJ fighters

YPJ fighters: Note how the use of the same style BDUs, vests, rifles and stance by these Kurdish YPJ fighters projects unity and strength. This would increase if they wore the same type of footwear and headwear like berets or field caps made of the same fabric as their BDUs (digital woodland).

Helmets

Heavy unvented ballistic helmets cause fatigue due to their weight and heat retention and provide no protection against direct rifle fire at normal engagement ranges (within 300m), which is why some believe they are more trouble than they are worth, especially guerillas who use hit-and-run tactics so must travel light. Lightweight non-ballistic bump helmets with venting like those made by Ops-Core cause much less fatigue, protect the skull from impacts (with the ground, walls, etc.), and are ideal for mounting a NVD (like the AN/PVS-14) which allows users to see and target enemies in low light with rifles fitted with IR lasers (like the AN/PEQ-15). A counterweight should be added to the back of a helmet with a NVD so it is balanced, increasing efficiency and comfort (Ops-Core make one for their helmets).

Ballistic helmets are so much heavier and more expensive than comparable non-ballistic bump helmets that we cannot recommend them. If you must have them it would make sense to get something inexpensive so all branch members can be equipped with them, in which case we recommend military surplus MICH and ACH helmets and (when you can afford to do so) fit an NVD shroud to them if they do not already have them and an upgraded Ops-Core ACH Head-Loc Chinstrap System (X-Nape for lighter NVDs like the AN/PVS-14 monocular). If you won't be attaching NVDs to ballistic helmets (already too heavy without adding any more weight) then unmodified MICH and ACH type helmets will suffice (available new from companies like Gentex and HHV), though you might prefer a military surplus Schuberth 826 (essentially an upgraded PASGT) which are inexpensive and have a very comfortable mesh suspension system.


Ops-Core FAST Bump High Cut Helmet with Agilite Mohawk Air Helmet Cover (ranger green)
Helmet chinstrap comparison

Ops-Core: The non-ballistic vented Ops-Core FAST Bump High Cut Helmet has a NVD shroud (base) molded into the polymer shell and is pictured with an Agilite Mohawk Air Helmet Cover (ranger green). A more expensive variant uses a lighter carbon fiber shell and a metal NVD shroud bolted to the shell. Both these helmets and the helmet cover are available in black. The lower image shows the superiority of Ops-Core helmet chinstraps to those fitted to the ACH/LWH helmets used by the US military for mounting NVDs like the AN/PVS-14 monocular.

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"...and if you do not have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."  – Jesus Christ




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