Thoughts on Discipline and the Guerrilla

I very recently had the pleasure of attending NC Scout’s Scout Course. It was an incredible opportunity, not only for the training value, but to meet all the amazing people who came out to train together. It was an incredible group of individuals, tied together by a love of freedom and a willingness to train.
During the course I had several comments on the fact that I kept my carbine slung or within arms reach the entire time, even while eating or relaxing by the bonfire. The most frequent question I got was “Is that a Marine thing to do?” To which the answer was, to an extent, yes, but it got me to thinking. As I drove home after the course, I thought to myself about why I have that habit. Further, I wondered: why must it be a “Marine thing” and not also a “guerrilla thing”?
Admittedly, this is something that the Corps has engraved into my skull since boot camp. Every time I’ve been to the field, at least 3 times a day a Gunnery Sergeant or Lieutenant would check to make sure everyone had their weapons with them, and God help the poor soul who let Gunny find his rifle left unsupervised in a Humvee. It seemed a bit tedious, but looking back I see why we did it, and why I continue to maintain the habit.
The first reason I keep my rifle with me always in the field is weapon and gear accountability. My rifle is my most precious possession in the field. To quote the fabled Rifleman’s Creed, “my rifle is my best friend, it is my life. I must guard it, as I also guard my life.” My rifle is the means by which I protect my life, my brothers in arms, my family, and my freedom. I want to ensure that I always know where my rifle is, as well as my other force-multiplying tools. Y’all who were with me on the Scout Course don’t know this, but I always had my NVG on me as well, either in its pouch on my belt or in my cargo pocket.
The second reason was that having my rifle on my person helped foster a mindset of perpetual readiness. I was confident that, no matter where I was, if an unexpected threat were to arise, I was ready and able to meet it. Just the fact that I was wearing my rifle reminded me to be aware of my surroundings and subconsciously heightened my alertness. I would argue that this is even more important for the guerrilla than for the Marine, because there is no safe “rear area” for him. The guerrilla is always behind enemy lines, always surrounded, always under threat. It is thus especially important that he maintain a perpetual state of readiness.
Finally, keeping my weapon slung was an exercise in personal discipline. Discipline goes a long way towards affecting the success of armed groups. Having the self discipline not to smoke in a tactical environment can mean the difference between living to fight another day or getting your head shot off by a sniper who zeroed in on the glowing ember. Having the discipline to pack up your sleeping roll and shelter when you get up keeps you ready to grab your pack and go if your base camp comes under attack. And, in this instance, having the discipline to keep my rifle with me at all times ensures that I am ready to meet any threat that suddenly arises.
Self-discipline is a skill that must be practiced daily in order to make it a habit. You can practice discipline daily in a number of ways such as making your bed, brushing your teeth, and reading your Bible daily. If you practice exercising discipline often, eventually it becomes habit, and it will be easier for you to apply that discipline to areas such as the examples above to help you return home in one piece after the coming troubles.
Try this little exercise. If you keep a gun for home defense, try setting an alarm for random times during the day, and every time it goes off think to yourself, “If someone were to bust down my door right now, what would I do? How fast can I get to my weapon? Better yet, is it in reach?” You’ll be surprised how quickly you develop a tactical mindset and start wargaming your house.
In summary, I believe that those of us preparing for the fight ahead should seek to establish habits that encourage a warrior’s mindset and nurture our self-discipline. Prepare your minds now for what lies before us, we are running out of time. While you’re at it, read through the Rifleman’s Creed a time or two, and think about how it may very soon apply to all of us free Americans.

Hold your loved ones close, keep your heads on a swivel, and your rifle within reach.

– Mike

Published by vonsteubentraining

Mike is the owner and chief instructor of Von Steuben Training & Consulting (VSTAC). A self-described “Tactical Scholar,” he spent 6 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator and small-unit tactics instructor. He has dedicated his life to honing the tactical prowess of himself and his fellow patriots, guided by the wisdom of his commanding officer, Jesus Christ. He can be contacted via email at

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