The minuteman concept has been a staple of the American way of life since it's development and even prior to that. The concept is that a man can be ready to defend his home, his town, and his freedom at any time by taking up arms and fighting alongside his neighbors. This effectively is the concept behind a militia, with the militia being a more organized unit with a certain task and readiness level. In this segment, I want to discuss the differences in the philosophy and between a militia and the minuteman. I personally think that the differences are important enough.
A minuteman is defined as a militiaman that is pledged to fight at a moments notice. Their tactics are unconventional and they are only emergency forces for immediate areas, as best I can tell from history and the popular concept. It is not really commonly accepted that a Minuteman is going to be a participant of an armed resistance outside of the town or immediate region or neighborhood that they reside in. In my view, the role of the minuteman is to offer pockets of resistance in the town that they reside. Ideally, this would be nationwide, causing stress and resistance to any occupation forces.
Being a local and short range resistance cell, the minutemen could realistically organize themselves into small elements for a coordinated and broad range of resistance. When banded and working together as a unit, it is reasonable to consider them as being an irregular militia. Basically an on-the-fly group of Minutemen coordinating their local resistance force. This is separate from state militias, but it would be wise and reasonable for these small irregular militias to have contact with the state militia in order to trade intel and provide support if the state militia conducts operations in their immediate jurisdiction. Minutemen are not individuals being called on to augment the military, but rather individuals that operate outside of the military authority. However, it is important to note that these individuals can still expect to be held accountable for any crimes they commit while resisting an occupying force.
When discussing the purpose of a regulated and organized militia, this type of force is not really made up of Minutemen, but rather individuals who spend lots of time working on their capabilities to fight conventionally and unconventionally against and occupying force. The range of these larger conventional militias would ideally be as broad as being able to cover the entire state. There would ideally be several units throughout the state that are all coordinated by a headquarters element where all the militias are bound under the authority and standards of the state militia.
An organized militia in some states have actually found themselves being activated by some states to provide extra manpower in certain humanitarian relief efforts within the borders of that state. Though the roles of the militias never ventured into the realm of armed security, they did coordinate transport and give physical assistance with the movement of individuals. This is a realistic mission for a militia if all they are needed for is extra hands, but many people have this dream that whenever they are activated, it is because they are gonna get to play Army and fight and win glory for themselves. I wouldn't say that could never be a reason they are activated, but I would assume that their role would not be much more than armed security or augmenting the military or Government forces. In that case, they should be ready to be under the laws and scrutiny of the US military units they are attached to. They should also be ready to accept that they will possibly be subject to punishment under the UCMJ for certain crimes.
In my view, militias these days spend alot of time trying to be combat troops, and not enough time acting like a small military with all the trimmings. They seem to lack a basic command structure with units for transportation, supply, training and operations, and intelligence. Some state militias have large units of light infantry and such, but they still seem to fall short on organization and capability in the event they are truly needed by the government or required to act alone due to tyrannical actions of the government.
Now that we have established the concept behind both the Minuteman and the organized and regulated militiaman. In general, the regulated militia is gonna have a purpose of augmenting the government in natural disasters and threats of outside occupation. The problem I see is that they are forgetting that working too close with the government could put them in the governments' sights. I personally have no issue with these state militias wanting to help in an unarmed capacity with natural disasters. However, it worries me that they are lightly organized and really only centered around serving the government. I personally believe that you can be a force to help augment the government, while at the same time be versatile in capabilities and true readiness.
When we look at the Minuteman, you are looking at someone that is operating in their immediate area. They know the terrain and have a personal connection with their area. They are not bound by rules of any organization, and therefore are alone to exercise their own judgement. They do not have a structure, a command, etc. They are on their own if they do not organize into small local defense forces that can fix these shortcomings. If you organize a small group of Minutemen together, you are still going to have greater flexibility than a larger militia that is under the thumb of the state.
In the Minuteman group, everyone theoretically is equal in rank and just as valuable. However, the training of the individuals will be determined by the seriousness and schedule of the group. This leaves the likelihood of a truly prepared Minuteman force to be slim. It takes more than just a dislike for tyranny and invades to fight an armed force. The good thing is that a minuteman does not have to be an overt responding force, but rather one that remains under cover and conducts sabotage, communications, assassinations, transportation, cache of supplies, etc. In fact, this type of action will probably give you the greatest chance of survival over being a glory seeking hound in Multicam and armed with an AR15 that will malfunction when used for more than bench rest shooting.
In closing, I just wanted to clarify that I am not part of any militia or Minuteman group. However, from a tactical perspective I see many weaknesses. The majority of these groups focus on military action and not enough on true resistance necessities such as intelligence, undercover infiltration, sabotage, etc. In reality, a militia force that thinks they are going to primarily be an overt force against an army with tanks, grenades, rockets, mortars, and machineguns are out of their minds. you can fight that type of force in smaller numbers and smaller battles like ambushes, but it takes very concentrated training and skills to be capable of that kind of action without losing too many people.
In the long run, the difference between a Minuteman and a militia are null because whether it is an invading force or our own government, both will be labelled as terrorists or insurgents. Be careful not to label yourself in any way. Don't announce your intent so loudly to those that could so easily turn against you. Keep your actions private, your skills sharp, readiness high, and make sure that you are actually acting appropriately and realistically in your role as a militia or a Minuteman.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.