Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Sunday, January 3, 2010

When To Shoot The Colonels

A sobering essay by former Marine officer Tom Baugh, author of Starving the Monkeys, which begins:

"At ease, Marines, and be seated" orders the gruff Gunnery Sergeant. "Now turn to Chapter 8 in your Military Constitutional Law text," he continues. "Today we discuss the appropriate conditions for shooting a colonel who is issuing an order which would violate the Constitutional rights of American citizens. Our first scenario involves gun seizures..."

Absurd, isn't it, to think that this sort of education is conducted among our armed forces? Yet, millions of citizens indulge this unspoken fantasy each time they imagine that the military exists to preserve our freedoms.

When I was at the Naval Academy in the mid-80s, and a Marine officer in the late 1980s and early 1990s, discussion of such issues was considered taboo. One fellow junior officer even scoffed that "Congress can change that Constitution any time they like." This isn't to say that there wasn't an undercurrent among most of the warfighters that issues such as gun control and preservation freedom of speech might one day pose a crisis of command. Yet this undercurrent was kept carefully concealed, and tended to become a more and more uncomfortable subject as the ranks of one's company became more elevated. Fortunately, with the Soviets and the threat of global thermonuclear war, these issues seemed far removed and safe from serious discussion.

Not so today. In the aftermath of Katrina, armed and uniformed soldiers patrolled the streets and disarmed Americans. Some uniformed soldiers were captured on film lamenting that "I can't believe that we're doing this to Americans." Yet, they did it anyway, lamentations notwithstanding. But why?

To answer that, we need to understand the principles of military command and education. For veterans, this discussion is unnecessary. For the vast number of non-veterans, especially those who harbor that most dangerous and ill-advised fantasy of a Constitutionally-aware military, this discussion is essential to survival...

Read the rest.

And think about it hard.

PS: Baugh's book on how to survive and win the current struggle is available here.

UPDATE 5 JANUARY 2010 2011 EST: See also this reprise on this theme.

Go immediately and read Vanderboegh's essay in response to Baugh's article, which features commentary by another service academy graduate and career officer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes reading this one makes a point that i have tried to express to others.

Having said that, it does not make my day to read same.

sickened, saddened, feeling betrayed, and wondering when we should start to shoot the bastards.

Please, Dear God, give me strength.

January 3, 2010 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Feral said...

So active military Oath Keepers are full of crap? That can't be good.


January 3, 2010 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger chris horton said...

That vision you have in your head of the noble military protecting your rights is just a dangerous fantasy. A fantasy you have to get rid of right now, before it gets you killed.

Kudos and respect to Mr. Rhoades and ALL the Oathkeepers,but does this article speak the REAL truth of the rest?

January 3, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Toaster 802 said...

Awesome posting, as usual. This message needs to be passed around far and wide. And I am here to help!

January 3, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Brock Townsend said...

I haven't read two such good ones in quite a while, and nothing but bleak forecasts, at the best.

January 3, 2010 at 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend the book most highly, best I have read in a long time. Good history, info, maybe how to get through what comes.

January 3, 2010 at 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy direct, why divert funds from the author?

January 4, 2010 at 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hadn't thought about it from that perspective. I shouldn't wonder that the political aspect of the service of the officers in the Armed Forces is part of the reason for our loss of liberty. I'm guessing that it wasn't always this way. Thus, a militia that existed to protect the rights, property, and lives of Americans turned into an army that existed to execute the political will of the government. I don't know my history near as well as I ought, so guys, please school me where I have it wrong.

Wasn't control of the Army always one of the keys for the Politburo to maintain control of the USSR? The means may differ, but the ends seem to be very similar.

Ordering the book as soon as I post the comment.


January 4, 2010 at 1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll probably get a lot of negative comments on this article. The sanctity of the American Fighting Man is a pervasive myth among people who should know better. Personally, I didn't really buy the "fighting for our freedom" line before I was drafted. Less so now.

January 4, 2010 at 2:10 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

Feral: I think the message is just the opposite -- do not count on the limited number of true active-duty OKs to be able to keep the fight, should the NCA say 'go', from your front door.

January 4, 2010 at 4:28 AM  
Blogger daniel said...

I think the situation may be a little better than the article makes it out to be. The pessimism of the article is somewhat predicated on the fact that US soldiers would shoot their fellow soldiers over a refusal to fire on Americans.

Sure, if American civilians put up no resistance and allowed the gun confiscations to take place, then there's less likelihood of mass orders refusals. BUT, if things actually turned hot and the orders were not just to take someoene's gun away but to fire on American citizens, then I think you'd see a lot more orders refusals.

Thinking purely from a life preservation standpoint, would a soldier risk his life engaging US citizens if combat over gun confiscations? I wouldn't.

AND, would a soldier threaten the life of another soldier over his refusal to go along wioth the order to fire on americans? Not many.

Bottom line: If civilians make it an easy gun grab, then that's what it will be. Only if civilians have the guts to up the ante from gun grab to hot fighting, will the prospect of orders refusal come into play.

January 4, 2010 at 4:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniel, history says you're dead wrong. If this weren't so, we'd never have fought a civil war in this country. Regardless of the reasons for that war, Americans slaughtered Americans by the 100's of thousands. Soldiers will, and always have, done what they are told to do by their commanders.

January 4, 2010 at 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What occurred at Waco, in 1993, is an excellent example of the military's willingness to kill American citizens.

Some of the "participants" at Waco included the Army, Texas National Guard, Air Force, US Missle Command, and US Special Operations Command.

January 4, 2010 at 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The domestic police today are farther down the gun-grabbing path that the military is going in the future. But, I don't see the domestic police today having any troubles from internal oath-keepers preventing them from grabbing guns, drugs, large sums of cash, employees who don't have the right color passport, etc. All the police that didn't like where policing was headed have already exited.

January 4, 2010 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger AgPilot60 said...

I have an ex Ranger that I occassionally consult with. He allows that 20% will follow orders to fire on civilians. When that is about to happen he says the remaining 80% will turn and fire on the 20%. He said that over & over non-coms have it pounded into them about not harming civilians. Who knows for sure what will happen. It could be a home town or a family just like his.

January 4, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Happy D said...

To be honest you may only get one free Waco or New Orleans. Now we know what to expect.

What happens next time after the fools take the guns. Then a few good ol boys start sniping them?

January 4, 2010 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger kenlowder said...

Just be ready to kill and be killed for your guns. When you start shooting to protect your right to keep your guns they WILL shoot back when you attack. It will only be some time after martial law and the shooting stops will those with a conscious reconsider their actions and what they will need to do. If you are not organized into a militia with a large group to put up a defense you will lose.

Ken Lowder

January 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the tipping point unConstitutional order is given, citizens should not wait for the police or military to show up at their doors and engage them. Citizens and like minded soldiers and policemen should shoulder their arms and begin the search for the politicians who gave the orders, for THEY will have become the enemy.

January 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger pdxr13 said...

I tend to agree with the 80/20 assessment.

Starting in BMT, the law is an important subject, and is taught formally, semi-formally in mass meetings, and as part of self-study professional military education. Anyone with a few brain cells touching each other will quickly understand that a soldier is going to be faced with situations that can work out badly from a personal and legal perspective even when performing assigned tasks with aplomb.

Every Enlisted person and junior Officer must read "The Good Soldier Svejk". There are solutions to the dilemma of unlawful orders inside.

I'm not sure what "political reliability" actually means beyond going-with-the-flow during the past 5 Administrations, nor how many military officers would transmit illegal orders down the chain of command. We can be certain that the number who would is greater than zero.


January 4, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger johnnyreb said...

Mike said it best......the next move is up to .gov. Choose wisely.

January 4, 2010 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger WebWarrior said...

@AgPilot, what happens when the POTUS designates American civilians (who just happen to be gun owners) as enemy combatants?
The point being that orders from a duly appointed "superior" officer are beyond question or reproach.
Military training is designed to develop discipline through repetition. It is assumed that any order is lawful (which as the author points out is subject to the whims of those that make the laws).

January 4, 2010 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger AgPilot60 said...

"If the tipping point unConstitutional order is given, citizens should not wait for the police or military to show up at their doors and engage them. Citizens and like minded soldiers and policemen should shoulder their arms and begin the search for the politicians who gave the orders, for THEY will have become the enemy."


January 4, 2010 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger HerbM said...

The article focuses on an important issue worth serious thought, but the example is improperly chosen --perhaps for effect, but it belies the truth.

In the Army we WERE TAUGHT to understand what constituted an illegal order and how we could legitimately and legally refuse to obey such orders.

I have personally done so without recriminations or punishment.

It wasn't about "shooting the colonel" but rather explaining respectfully to a superior officer that such an order was illegal and that I must therefore refuse.

Some soldiers will carry out illegal orders, some will just avoid dealing with such orders, and others will raise the issue and stop such orders from being completed.

January 5, 2010 at 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a NCO in the US ARMY infantry, and I can tell you that there is a growing movement in all braches and ranks that are teaching the younger soldiers to respect and understand the oath of service. First, and foremost the oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies... even if that enemy is the very person handing out orders. The point is that some of you who doubt the commitment of active duty service members to know, understand, and enforce the bill of rights should shut the fuck up, or pick up a weapon and defend something other than your keyboard. One of you ass-holes wrote "sickened, saddened, and feeling betrayed".... try looking in the mirror dick-wad.

January 5, 2010 at 2:46 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

Anon at 0246 am:

Thank you for your service and your efforts to keep everyone focused on the fundamental job.

As a point of information (and not agitation), can you describe the training on this topic that NCOs and enlisted personnel receive?

It would go a long way to assuaging doubts.

January 5, 2010 at 4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a load. The author of this screed has an obvious hatred for the military. So, all officers are just political appointments who have no soul? Bullshit. I personally know officers who are solid MEN and don't care what happens, they will do what is right.

And all enlisted will just do whatever they are told? Also bullshit. I wouldn't when I was in, and neither would the men I served with in no bull combat arms units all. And the same goes today. There will be some who follow orders, but there will be many who will not.

HerbM has it exactly right.

And Webwarrior, orders are not beyond reproach. Depends on whether they are lawful, and Congress can't just do as it pleases. We have a Constitution. They THINK they can do as they please, but the military reserves the right to tell em to eat shit if what they do is counter to the Constitution. Let the weenie lawyers go enforce their own laws.

This article is designed to make you all give up and stop trying to outreach and dialogue to the military. If you do that, you will make the fondest desires of the rulers in Washington true. They WANT you to see the military as your enemy, so the brainwashers can say to the military, "see, we told you they hate you."

That is what they want to see - the division of the people from the military.

And some of you are falling for it. Hook, line, and sinker. Suckers.

January 5, 2010 at 5:12 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...


Can you detail the content of courses and other instructions received by

- officers

- NCOs

- enlisted personnel

on disobeying unconstitutional orders?

January 5, 2010 at 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


As far as an official curriculum on this topic it is barely covered in basic trng. Myself, being a NCO (until 2011 when I finish my degree and recieve my commision) I do not know what the O-crowd gets at west point or the war college on this subject.

Those of us who are OKs have taken it upon ourselves to teach and mentor our subordinates, and peers about the constitution, the bill of rights, and one's own personal moral compass.

Images like the threeper flag flying out of an OH-58 do wonders for getting apathetic, and affable young soldiers to rally to the cause.

Our message is clear... we have a duty to support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC, even if that enemy is a General officer, a reporter, a congressman, or even the CIC.



January 5, 2010 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger WebWarrior said...

To the anonymous posters....thank you for your service to "our" country.
Although I cannot for the life of me understand why the two anonymous posters are offended by this article I think a point was made.
Based on the defensive appearance of those responses it looks as if some already foster an "us vs. them" attitude towards the unhallowed voice of the inquisitive, yet mundane American civilian. Apparently by the NCO's statement, reservists should also "shut the fuck up" as active duty and only active duty service people are a caste apart from the rest of America?

The fact of the matter is that the Bill of Rights has been, is being and will continue to be trampled on. The CIC has in fact said that the Constitution reflects some "deep flaws in the American culture". I believe that the "flaws" are not in the American culture, but are painfully evident in the indifference of the majority.

Nobody truly knows what the future will bring to us as a country. But doesn't it make sense to be prepared for any possibility?

January 5, 2010 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

Thank you, Sergeant, for your response.

Be advised that no right-minded folks think that just because someone wears a uniform, they are the enemy.

Similarly, one would be foolish not to require additional proof of an approaching person's good intentions, regardless of garb.

Methinks that there will continue to be a lot of "advance and be recognized" calls going back and forth between the military and non-military citizens of our country.

Stay safe.

January 5, 2010 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

In the British army it is unstated but generally known that the platoon sergeants primary task is to shoot the platoon Lt. should it become necessary.

January 6, 2010 at 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster who claims to be an NCO Army infantry:

Your opening statement; "there is a growing movement in all branches and ranks to respect and understand the oath of service" reveals in fact, that it is not currently the norm......but it should be.

Your comment to "shut the fuck up" also reveals a mindset that if someone does not agree with you they have no right to voice their dissenting opinion. And that is quite un-American in my view. I have no intention of shutting the fuck up now or in the future.

Reflect for a moment on the horrors of Katrina, Waco and even go back as far as Kent State and even back to the Bonus March. The military followed orders (unlawful orders in my view) and they fired upon civilians.

For the record, the Bill of Rights is not something to be "enforced" as you say (this also reveals your perverse view). They are rights endowed to us by our Creator and are to be RESPECTED by all agents of government, especially those in the military.

I am not a military man but I am an American who has read and understands the Founding Documents of our nation. I am also quite past the age of militia service but willing to shoot the fucking traitors who will attempt to violate my God given rights.

I continue to be "sickened, saddened, and feeling betrayed" especially when i read misguided slop from the likes of you, ASSHOLE.

Maybe you should take a reading comprehension course before you next delve into the Founding Documents.

January 6, 2010 at 12:57 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

Sir Henry: Thanks so much. I needed that.

Both anons: Let's take the scrap elsewhere --say, to here.

January 6, 2010 at 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Concerned American:
I respect your post and i am the first poster on that next article in this series.

I do not hold that all military and police are on the wrong side but i am extremely wary of the
us -v- them mentality that seems to pervade these 2 sub-cultures.

I am also not one to roll over and wet myself when someone talks shit at me. His comments needed to be addressed and I thank you for allowing my reply to be posted.

It is my fervent hope we do come to some understanding and stop the chest pounding and huffing and puffing. Ego can really get in the way of clear thinking.


January 6, 2010 at 1:37 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

Amen, bro.

May there be peace amongst all freedom-loving peoples, so that, together, we may slay the evil sonsofbitches who would enslave us.

January 6, 2010 at 1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've had some time to re-read the entire article, and all the posts twice. My conclusion is that my initial reaction (while it may have been a little over-zealous) is still the way I feel now.

Those of us (active and reserve) take great offense by being lumped together as a whole with those who will forget what it is they swore to defend.

I guess my anger toward some of the posts is that alot of us have given so much of ourselves, our family, our soul, and our BLOOD for the safety of our homeland. I personally have spent 52 of the last 66 months outside of my homeland, and still our commitment continues to be questioned.

Some of us take it upon ourselves to risk our careers, and our freedom (possible stay in Leavenworth would suck) to educate others on what the oath of service truly means. Our commitment and resolve has never been more important than it is now in the wake of the continuing war being waged on our Republic by the administration.

As far as my reaction to the comment of my reading comprehension of the founding documents:

---"For the record, the Bill of Rights is not something to be "enforced" as you say (this also reveals your perverse view). They are rights endowed to us by our Creator and are to be RESPECTED by all agents of government, especially those in the military."---

Well sir, you are correct. Those things are endowed to all of us by our Creator, but let me ask you this while we're on the subject of reading comprehension.

1. What rights, in the Bill Of Rights, are actually endowed to the individual citizen?

answer: NONE, the bill of rights merely lays out a list of liberties that the federal government SHALL NOT INFRINGE UPON.


1.) you can worship any "Creator" you want, you can have any "Opinion" you want, and "THE CONGRESS" shall not pass a law prohibiting or infinging upon such.

2.) since you brought up KATRINA lets talk about the 4TH amendment: THE GOVERNMENT or its representatives CAN NOT come in to your home without just cause (a warrant for ivestigating a crime) to search or seize your shit.

(more KATRINA reference) 2nd amendment: the GOVERMENT had no right to confiscate thousands of firearms owned by private citizens, which has been infinged upon for years. To really "DELVE" into this portion of the founding documents, ANY law pertaining to firearms is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

So if my views are "perverse" as you say, or my reading comprehension is faulty I guess I'll just keep studying "til I got smarts real good".

My final question is:

Do the American people want to embrace those service members who are trying to advance the cause by educating others, and preparing for the day we'll have to defend the people from the OBAMANATION, or will you just lump us in with the brain-washed sheep who can't think for themselves?




11B20 B4/C2

January 6, 2010 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger AgPilot60 said...

"Controversy is the servant of truth." Lets get it out there in the open so we'll better know how to deal with it when the time comes.

January 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...


Thank you for what you are doing, both overtly and covertly, for the cause of freedom.

My concern is what the Bad People in the civilian government will order your chain of command to do to you and any other perceived potential troublemakers, either prior to or in the course of the coming Bad Things.

As the officer said over at Mike's place:

[Baugh] posits the extreme case, which is shooting the malcontents, in this case, the ardent Constitutionalists and Patriots. What is much more likely is that they will be dismissed from their positions of authority, shunted off to make-work jobs, overlooked for promotion and favorable assignments consideration, and forced out of the service long before their ‘extreme’ views play out in overt, resistant action. And if it should come to that, they would be disarmed and locked up, tried by courts-martial, convicted and imprisoned for violation of any number of UCMJ provisions, but premised on dereliction of duty or disobedience to lawful orders. One stands true to one’s conscience at one’s peril.

Please take care of yourself, whatever that means and whatever that takes, along with those like you.

We in the FreeFor need you.

January 6, 2010 at 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I want to first thank you for your service to and sacrifice for our country......my country and yours.....our beloved America.

I too have read and re-read the articles and comments of all. I think what is being demonstrated is the heated-ness of this very hot issue. May I suggest we all take a deep breath and put "feelings" aside. It is better to act based on thoughtful contemplations than to run in headstrong due to visceral reactions.

In a way, what this discussion might best be likened to is the Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments of the day. As another poster stated; "CONTROVERSY IS THE SERVANT OF TRUTH." It may still be possible to prevent a brother against brother war that would bloody our sweet land of liberty but we must be willing to listen and to reason with one another.

You are correct that any thinking person with an historical understanding of our nation can see that there is indeed a war being waged against out Republic. It has been incrementally waged over many decades. This issue of anticipated/impending gun confiscation is the flash point. As a people, we have been pushed and pushed until there will come a breaking point. "A LONG TRAIN OF ABUSES" I earnestly believe that gun confiscation will likely be that breaking point. The other poster, Daniel has made a very good point; if it comes we need to make as hot as possible as fast as possible in order to sway the hearts and minds of those who might be sitting on the fence grappling with their consciences.


None of us know what the ratio of OK/OB might be....not until the Shit hits the fan. I am by nature a bit of a pessimist. Some of my life experiences have made me that way. I pray every night that I am wrong but my gut is telling me differently.


To answer you central question: I support the concept and goals of OATH-KEEPERS. I thank them for their efforts.

Let us all endeavor to study and learn truth and speak it to all whom we may come in contact.

Thank you for your continued comments.

Peace to you.

KPN 3%er

January 6, 2010 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Ron Jones said...

I propose you engage in radical activism to advance the Oath Keeper cause. Send an email to every human being you know who may be receptive to the mission and purpose of the Oath Keepers. Get them to help you with grass-roots marketing campaign. A little salesmanship will work wonders.


Get in direct contact with the military men who would be issued the order to fire upon civilians.

Once upon a time, I was an active duty Marine, and I can tell you without a doubt, that Marines love mail. Even if it's from a stranger, a Marine will open an envelope that has been hand addressed.

So, you may not know what his name is, but you can look on the usmc.mil website (or army, navy & air force) and identify units and their mailing addresses.

Talk to your friends and family who were former active duty. Find out what the unit hierarchy looks like, and write to the title.

For example, I was in 2nd Battalion 4th Marines TOW platoon (in Weapons Company). So, I'd write to:
'1st Section Leader,'
'2nd Section Leader,'
Platoon Sergeant,
Platoon Commander,
Company Gunny,
*Company 1st Sergeant,
*Company Commander,
*Battalion Sgt Major
*Battalion Commander

*these individuals should be identified by name on the Unit Website.

"If a man would have friends, he must show himself friendly."

Introduce the Marine to Oath Keepers. Who they are, what they stand for, the oath itself, etc. Ask them for support, ask them to visit the Oath Keepers website, and ask them to tell a friend.

Don't merely hope "someone," "somewhere" is teaching these guys about the Constitution. Every time you share an idea or a thought with someone, you are advancing the cause of liberty.

And...for goodness sakes...get a girl to hand address the envelope for you ;)

January 7, 2010 at 6:42 AM  
Anonymous William said...

I agree that fifty percent of the active military would follow unlawful orders and fire on US citizens if they were ordered to do so. They are the ones who are in just for a free meal ticket and whine everytime they are sent to war or claim PTSD whenever they return. I train active duty soldiers from all branches and I talk to them about this very subject. By my reckoning at least half would refuse to obey an unlawful order and instead turn the guns on whoever gave the order. The DOD is the last federal agency to be completely compromised by the leftist but it is fast becoming taken over by the PC crowd.
We have to work fast guys if we are going to reclaim the heritage of America.
Please read "Rules for Radical Conservatives " by Dave Kahane.

November 16, 2010 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger SFMEDIC said...


November 16, 2010 at 2:28 PM  

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