Building a mutual assistance group is a challenging task and will take time to get it right. The next challenge will be how to keep your group together and build a team.  That is where thoughtful team building comes into play.  When following the lifecycle of a typical MAG most start out only wanting to do “tacticool” stuff and building bug out bags.  There is so much more to preparedness, and it is important to quickly move through this phase so you can work on building camaraderie and teamwork.

Using my military experience as my personal guide I know there is also life outside the mission and fun stuff other than doing patrols.  If we must activate our MAGs the world has gone to hell, and we are going to be spending a lot of time together doing stuff other than just manning LP/OPs.  Right now, is the time to work together to build mutual bonds that will carry the team through whatever is coming our way.

Our group has tackled this by creating events that are family friendly and just plain fun.  These events can be between a couple group members that live close by, ‘get togethers’ with the families, or activities outside of training.  We do all three. Over the last couple of months, we had an incredible Christmas party for the families, practiced long range shooting in preparation for the February Scout class, and went camping. Additionally, two of our members have an open morning trail hike three times a week that anyone can join in on.  Make it fun!

There is also something to be said about getting the group together to do hard things.  My most memorable deployments were the ones that “sucked” the worst.  This is when you truly get to know your teammates.  Schedule hard tasks and do hard things.  After our upcoming training evolution, we are scheduling an FTX to practice everything we learned, rain or shine.

Look for opportunities to build your team, you will not regret it.


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]