Recon

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Paperwork Shuffle

So I used to make fun of how all modern militaries are giant bureacracies, employing more paper shufflers than anything else. I based it off what is essentially the idealized military in Starship Troopers (the book, for fuck's sake not the movie) in which even the cook took a place in the front line infantry. After all, I thought, wasn't the primary job of the military to fight, with everything else able to be automated or farmed out to civillian contractors?

Turns out I knew jack shit.

I've learned this in trying to organize our group. In theory, it is a simple task-take 20 or so potheads, arm them and make it so that they can function as an effective unit in the post apocalypse. Simple. Yeah. I had a number of advantages that would make the folks over on Zombie Squad who are lamenting having to go solo weep with envy. I know 20+ people (most of them for over 10 years, and many with an actual blood tie to me) that I would trust with my life, my children's life and all my property. You may write this off as me being overly trusting if it makes you happy, but the fact of the matter is that we have an already tightly knit group already in place that has existed for some time. Even the new people we assimilate soon conform to our twisted social mores. For all intents and purposes, we are a modern bohemian tribe of degenerate troglodytes.

Arming them? Shit, that was the easy part. Sure, maybe 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R are not the best calibres in terms of ballistic performance, but everybody can afford an SKS or at least a Mosin Nagant, with room to upgrade later if necessary. I just encouraged everybody, organized a few discounted group buys, and subtly goaded the group to viciously make fun of anyone that didn't have a gun. In less than 8 months I had 20+ armed men, who more or less listened to what I say. So the rest should have been easy.

Let me start by saying that this little entry has nothing to do with the larger plan of buying a farm and living in our weird hippie co op so I can keep my two lovers and various kids in a castle made of rusty shipping containers. That is a whole nother, complicated kettle of fish of a different color. This is just organizing those who are up for it, into something resembling a cohesive fighting unit, so that nobody takes my crops or my girlfriends.

It is fucking complicated.
Just keeping track of all the qualifications I need everybody to have, just coming up with benchmarks for the various levels of skill I want to train everybody in...is insane. There is nothing I can delegate-nobody else is motivated enough to do the research, and (let's admit it) I'm too much of a control freak to really do that anyway. I've managed to draw up a few documents for the first few broad skillsets, and just that is 7 pages of dense 10 point text. I haven't even started on the highly specialized stuff yet. Shit, developing a signals and communications protocol-the absolute first thing I need to do to function effectively-is going to take me weeks, to say nothing of teaching it to everyone else and practicing it until it internalizes for the group. And yet somehow we are supposed to all learn and master these things, in our own time, with no money and no free time, on two bugouts a year and a few informal social gatherings.

I'm not getting discouraged yet-I'm still excited perhaps because the real work hasn't even begun yet. But I have no idea how I'm going to finish the manual, develop the SIGCOM protocols, keep on everyone's backs about doing it without losing any of my friends, and still manage to do the stuff to prepare myself for the whole ordeal. To say nothing of somehow training people in skills that I have not myself mastered (I don't think one tactical rifle class is going to cut it) and getting together the cash for the equipment and training we all need.

I am blessed in some ways. I have one guy about to start an EMT class. I have another guy that is good at graphic design and can design some cool, punk rock looking patches to use as rewards for my qualifications. Hell, I have a bunch of motherfuckers willing to fight under my banner (note to self: acquire banner) which I really should feel great about. But man...I look at the road ahead sometimes, and I wonder if I have the strength to make it work.

And the goddamn clock just won't stop ticking.

2 comments:

  1. Keep me posted.

    If nothing else, I'm gonna try to learn to fly small aircraft if I can find the time out in the boonies.

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