In a previous article I talked about recruiting and vetting new members and why it is important to do so.  Now I want to briefly chat about why and how to off-ramp members that are just not working out.  When most people join a new group, they are excited and really motivated to try and fit in.  There is definitely such a thing as prepper burnout, and this is why we have a 6-month trial membership prior to be voted in as a full-time member.  Even after a solid vetting process invariably some people are just not going to work out.

Our group has a list of no-go items that will result in removal.  These include active criminal activity, violation of training/weapons safety, fighting, theft, violating security of the group, and non-participation.  These items for us are extremely important and are character issues.  It is to be noted that we have a layered protocol on who gets access to what information, but the first rule of Fight Club is…you don’t talk about Fight Club.

In order to streamline the removal process, we have built a system that allows us to look at every incident at face value to remove personality conflicts.  There is a voting and potential probation system in the charter that guides the entire process.

One of the key items for us is the availability to train.  We have a published training agenda that starts promptly at 0900 on training days.  Life gets in the way, and we all understand that, and the expectation is to call someone and let them know you cannot make it.  Just not showing up is not an option.  Below is our process as stated in our charter.

–  Ejection/Off Ramp of Members: The individual members of the group govern their day-to-day lives by the Mission, Vision, Values, and Oath of this charter. A special session of the group’s initial committee will be convened and a 3/4’s vote is required for immediate termination. All violations that that do not meet the 3/4’s vote will result in an initial discussion with the member and/or a 6-month probationary period. Any further violation will be grounds for immediate termination without the required vote.

Immediate expulsion:

  1. Active criminal activity
  2. Violation of training/weapons safety
  3. Fighting with other group members
  4. Violating the security of the group
  5. Theft
  6. Non-participation in training events

When a member is expelled or chooses to leave all comm cards and SOPs will be updated immediately. The member will be given his/her’s stored items and gear immediately. Any financial contributions to the group are forfeited by the leaving member.

Training/Meetings: It is an expectation that all members attend group training events/meetings each month. If a member cannot attend, then it is their responsibility to coordinate with the other members of the group. Excess inability to attend could be grounds for removal. You will be placed on training probation if you have two unexcused absences and will be removed if you have three unexcused absences out of six training events.

At no time are other people allowed to attend training and/or meetings without the explicit permission of the property owner.

Training/Meeting Format (example)

– 0900 Start
– 0900 -1100 Classroom skills development

– 1100 – 1200 Lunch
– 1200 – 1630 Practical skills development
– 1630 – 1800 Meeting discussion
– 1800 – 1930 Dinner (optional)
– 1930 Training/Meeting Concludes


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]