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L. Neil Smith's
Number 629, July 24, 2011

"The 21st century Rosa Parks"

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The Organization of the Resistance Part One
by Lucifer Geraldo

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

The guerrillas are referred to in SF doctrine as irregular forces. This means that the troops mustered didn't come from military or police units of the State. They're civilians, mostly. The core leadership of the guerrillas will most definitely be made up of ex-State military. They know how to lead and train military units. They will turn civilians into soldiers and lead those soldiers in small unit operations against the enemy State in the cause of human Liberty.

The guerrilla military unit undergoes a metamorphisis as the fighting force moves through the phases of resistance. In the beginning, its just buddies getting together to practice tactical shooting and conduct paint gun battle drills. In the end, the rag tag bands will be marching in platoons, companies, and battalions. Probably sharing a common uniform now as well.

I've mentioned in previous articles that guerrilla warfare is best thought of as being nothing more than small unit offensive operations. To quote: "Small unit means just that: most guerrilla ops will be conducted with relatively small groups of force. Think along the line of fire teams and squads. What kind of offensive operation can you pull off with a fire team or a squad? Well, think raids and ambushes and attacks on enemy systems/infrastructure. Your targets will be carefully selected to take into consideration your limited firepower on the ground and the advantages of total surprise. You'll harrass the enemy. Strike where he is weak, become invisible where he is strong."

"Here's another thing to chew on: why do you think guerrilla war emphasizes the offensive?"

"Any answers? Beuller, Beuller?"

"Okay, if you are running around in squads and fire teams, maybe even platoons—to be on the defensive means that you are fixed in one location, the enemy knows where you are at and they're preparing to roll over you with everything they've got. Not a good position to be in for a G-force commander. If you get forced into the defensive too much, you probably won't make it to tomorrow's battlefield."

I'm not going to recommend down to the squad level exactitude when it comes to the wiring diagram of the perfect guerrilla infantry force. I will tell you that the US Army Special Forces mission is to take irregular forces and order, train, and equip them to be more like American regular forces. The goal is to always end up with a regular force out of the guerrilla force you started with. This regular force becomes the NEW Regime's military when the enemy State is finally routed.

It will be useful to examine how the US Army organizes light infantry troops from the fire team level all the way up to the battalion. Battalion level is the largest level we will concern ourselves with for the combat organization of guerrilla troops. As with everything else, when I lay out the archetypal organization of infantry units, I will be using classic doctrine rather than sticking to what's currently being sold as infantry organization. We'll use the classic infantry field manual that the US Army used circa 1986—FM 7-8.

The fire team is composed of four soldiers. These soldiers are:

  • Team Leader (usually armed as a Rifleman)
  • Automatic Rifleman (this would be a soldier with a light machine gun like a SAW)
  • Grenadier (the guy toting the M203 grenade launcher bolted to the underside of the barrel of his M4 rifle)
  • Rifleman (M4 packing soldier)

The infantry Squad is composed of:

  • Two fire teams
  • A Squad Leader (armed like a Rifleman)

The infantry Platoon is composed of:

  • Three rifle squads
  • One Weapons Squad organized as follows:
  • 3 Machine gunners
  • 3 Asst. gunners
  • 3 Ammo Bearers
  • 1 Squad Leader

  • 1 HQ Element composed of:

  • Platoon Leader
  • Platoon Sergeant
  • Radio operator
  • Medic

SIZE: 41 soldiers.

Okay, the Infantry Company is composed of:

  • 3 Rifle Platoons
  • 1 Weapons Platoon (mortars and anti-armor systems)
  • HQ Platoon

SIZE: 120+ soldiers.

Now, up to the battalion level in broad strokes:

  • 3 light infantry companies
  • BN HQ Company

SIZE: 500+ soldiers.

(NOTE: my actual template of infantry organization comes from the Ranger Regiment of the mid-1980s. Back then, Rangers were 7-8 super alpha male light infantry maniacs. The kind of troops that fight crazy in the dark and win. This is the kind of troop you want to be on the battlefield... feared and invisible. Back then, the Army did these tasks without the crutch of body armor.)

What follows is a list of key tasks that infantry units need to be proficient at:


The guerrillas will need to be proficient at performing the following additional tasks (this is by no means all inclusive, just a top-of-the-head dump):

  • TARGET ANALYSIS (the study of enemy systems and infrastructure to knock out key systems)
  • SERE (survival evasion resistance escape)

So my advice is to organize yours numbers starting at the most divisible infantry level: down to fire teams, and mimic the jobs above with the weapons you have available. This means that your guerrilla units should be based on groupings of four plus leadership. As the guerrillas seize better weapons from the battlefield, they will be able to look and operate more and more like a regular light infantry unit.

So, as a guerrilla participant, you now know what the destination for the guerrillas is: to someday become a regular force that is capable in every way of conducting force-on-force engagements with the enemy State's regular forces and prevail on the battlefield. It all hinges on bread-and-butter infantry tactics and discipline multiplied by the will to resist, the will to win.

The guerrillas live off the war itself. They steal arms, ammunition, ordnance, equipment, supplies from the enemy units they attack and overcome. They will also rely heavily upon the direct support of sympathizers within the population. This logistical support from the population is another specific arm of the resistance known as the auxiliary.

The auxiliary serves the same functions that combat service and support units do. They are the logistical support element of the guerrillas. We'll look at the auxilary next in part two of this series.

Until then:

Libertas vel Oblivio
Res ipsa loquitor

Lucifer Geraldo is the pen name of a former Army green beret now off the reservation. His websites are and

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