We all govern ourselves and live our lives based upon a set of basic standards.  Everything from our daily hygiene habits to the clothes we wear are a standardized methodology that has been fine-tuned over the years.  This also holds true for group standards.  I am a proponent of professionalizing your mutual assistance group and one way to do this is to create and work towards a set of standards.  Each group has its own mission and values, and your group standards will reflect those.

With our group we have fitness standards as a baseline, and it is up to the individual to work towards them.  Nothing crazy, just the ability to do push-ups, sit-ups, run a short distance and hike with a ruck.  There are no fitness tests as it is up to the individual on the honor system.

We also have minimum requirement for food storage, gear, firearms/caliber, and training.  It is an expectation that each group member attends a basic pistol and carbine course before they are allowed to do any other tactical style of training.  This ensures that they are at least familiar with gun safety and have a rudimentary knowledge of how to use their firearms.  We take the approach of crawl, walk, and run.  Additionally, every member is expected to maintain currency for Red Cross CPR/First Aid, and we have just added TCCC after attending the Partisan Lifesaver Course.

For food storage it is a minimum requirement to work towards 1 years’ worth of long-term food storage for their immediate family.  It is always best to exceed this requirement as you are never 100% sure who is going to end up at your door.  This storage can be whatever food goods that get you there.  If a year’s worth of rice and beans is what you are planning, then that is good for the group.

When talking about gear it often becomes an emotional subject as everyone has their opinions on it.  To save money, it is important to try and get this one right the first time.  After listening to Radio Contra Episode 113 I am leaning heavily towards a standardized and specific gear loadout, but for our group we have basically the same stuff with only minor differences here and there.  There is no better gear shakedown than low crawling in a full tactical load out, you will quickly realize what works and what does not.  Always keep an eye on keeping it simple and minimal.

Below are a some of our standards via our charter.

Baseline Standards (Required prior to training)

– Basic Red Cross approved First Aid/CPR/TCCC – NRA Certifications for Pistol & Rifle
– Fitness

— Healthy weight relative to height

— 20 Push-ups
— 20 Situps
— 1 Pull Up

— Run 1 mile under 15 Minutes
— Ruck 5 Miles with gear weight under 2 Hours

– Stored Food Standards: Minimum of 1-year stored food within your domicile. This is required by the 1-year anniversary of your membership

– HAM Technician Certification: Required by the 1-year anniversary of your membership

– HAM General Certification: Required by the 2-year anniversary of your membership

– Equipment Standards- Required by the 1-year anniversary of your membership. Your gear is open to inspection for suitability by the Lead tactics and weapons instructors. Any gear that is deemed unusable, unsafe, or not meeting the intent must be discarded and replaced.

Required Equipment/Gear List

(The list below are minimum requirements for an ARC operator,

You may add anything you are willing to carry to this list, but remember, ounces equal pounds and pounds equals pain). All items must be acquired by the 1-year anniversary of their membership. All items will be inspected by the Lead tactics and weapons instructors for suitability, safety and

function. You will also be required to demonstrate familiarity with each item.

Camouflage Patterns:

Multicam- Three Season

Mossy Oak Obsession- Summer

Must acquire 4 useable sets and appropriate mission gear for both patterns.

  1. Rifle (5.56) must use AR style mags /sling
  2. Pistol (Glock 9mm) at least 2 mags
  3. 12 Gauge Shotgun (Preferably Mossberg 500 or Remington 870)
  4. Mission bag (list below)
  5. Comfortable and durable Boots/ WOOL HIKING SOCKS
  6. Comfortable and durable clothing / NOT 100% COTTON
  7. Chest rig (list below)
  8. Battle belt (list below)
  9. Shooting earmuffs
  10. Headwear
  11. Resupply box (list below)
  12. Protective glasses
  13. Gloves

Mission bag

  1. Meal bars / freeze dried food
  2. Water container/purification of 550 cord and spool of bank line
  3. First aid kit *North American Rescue preferred
  4. Fire starter
  5. Headlamp/flashlight/batteries
  6. Cleaning kit pistol/rifle
  7. Maps of Area
  8. Compass/gps
  9. Spare radio/batteries
  10. Spare mag rifle/ pistol
  11. Socks (WOOL HIKING SOCKS)
  12. Multi tool
  13. Metal cup/camp spork
  14. Gloves
  15. Med kit (Blow out or IFAK)
  16. Gortex jacket or poncho
  17. Small knife sharpener
  18. Small set binoculars

Chest rig

  1. At least 4 AR mags (preferably Magpul PMAGS)
  2. Armor 3+
  3. Radio /spare battery (ability to communicate via VHF/UHF/MURS/FRS)
  4. Notepad pen/sharpie/pencil
  5. Compass/GPS
  6. Tourniquet(s)
  7. Small bright flashlight

Battle belt

  1. IFAK (individual first aid kit) with multiple tourniquets
  2. Pistol holster
  3. Sheath knife / multi tool
  4. Dump pouch
  5. AR and pistol mags
  6. Canteen with cup and purification tablets
  7. Lighter
  8. 50’ of 550 cord

Re-supply box

(Primarily in vehicle)

  1. Change of clothing
  2. 3 gallons of water
  3. Large metal pot with lid
  4. One burner camp stove with 2 fuel canisters
  5. 9 freeze dried food meals or MRE
  6. Toilet paper
  7. Mess kit
  8. At least 300 rnds of 5.56
  9. Pistol ammo 68 rnds of 9mm
  10. At least 4 AR mags
  11. Spare pistol mags

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]