I believe it is important to build a mutual assistance group (MAG) based upon sound principles and shared values.  Using history as a guide, it was bands of people who gathered that ensured survival.  Quite frankly, hiding in a bunker by yourself is one of the quickest ways to get rolled up, all your stuff taken, and ultimately killed.  Humans are tribal by nature and require community to function optimally.  We were not made to exist within a digital world, and it is human-to-human interaction that brings out the best in us.   I commonly say, “practice analog leadership in a digital world.” For a great (and fun) book to read that illustrates the need for community defense check out Warwolf by Hermann Lons.

Building a MAG takes a lot of work, but in the end will be worth every minute you spend building it.  Whether you are creating a new one or trying to gain purpose with your existing group there are key steps to take.  For the purpose of this article, I will talk about the initial steps of building a charter and why this is important.

A charter is nothing more than the guidelines on how your group is structured and expectations of each member.  It really is not rocket science; it just takes a lot of thinking to get it right.  If building a new group, I would recommend you start with only a couple founding members that share your values and basic expectations.  When trying to do anything with numbers greater than that it quickly devolves into ‘group think’ and bickering over minor details.  Remember…this is your group, and the end results will be influenced by these first steps.  The ultimate goal is to build professionalism which spurs deliberate actions.  Professionalism is also how you will recruit worthwhile members as they will see you are not a bunch of old fat men who only shoot guns and talk about the impending apocalypse.  Instead, they will see you as squared away and thinking about the bigger picture.

When starting to write your charter I recommend you buy a big white board and brainstorm your purpose.  If you have read any of my other articles you will know I am a proponent of defining requirements before doing anything. Ask the questions: Why are we building this MAG?  What is our overall purpose?  What does the end result look like? and What do we value?  From this mental exercise the next steps are to build mission and vision statements.  This is important because it will define what it is you are trying to accomplish.

A mission statement is a short statement on why your mutual assistance group exists, what the goals are, and what you value.

A vision statement defines what you are aiming to achieve.  From these two statements you can now set out to systematically work on those tasks you have written down.

These are ours:

Mission Statement (Who we are)

We are a Mutual Assistance Group (MAG) that believes in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights as written by our founding fathers. We also believe and govern ourselves by Christian principles. Additionally, we are well versed in tactics and modern-day survivalism; dedicated to our families, communities, and our team.

Vision (Where we are going)

We are well trained in tactics, communications, and civil defense response. An asset and force multiplier to our neighbors We add real time expertise to our community to survive, resist, and thrive. We are always mindful that we serve a higher purpose.

Both are very broad statements and that is by design.  An item of note: it both statements the concept of community is highlighted.  The overall goal is to provide that initial direction to get you off the bench and moving forward.  Start with these initial tasks and you will see a notable positive change as you move forward.

Tomorrow, we will talk about defining values for your MAG so that everyone is operating under the same framework of beliefs.


Crusoe is retired from the Air Force after 30-years of service as a flight crew member.  He spends most of his time thinking about the apocalypse and how to mitigate its effects.  When not immersed in academic pursuits, he is often on a trail hiking in the mountains of North Georgia or reading with a glass of Irish whiskey and a German Shepherd by his side.   Global travel enthusiast, history nerd, Appalachian Trail thru hiker, and recovering ultra-endurance athlete.  He can be reached at [email protected]