How Military Personnel Can Be Survival Preppers
Those people who are part of military service, you have unique constraints and obstacles to being a survival prepper. This includes Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and perhaps even merchant marine personnel. Due to the obligations of your duties, it is very difficult to prepare for disaster events, when compared to civilians. Civilians are free to conduct their affairs within the limits of the law, any time and anywhere. Military personnel are very much constrained from being a survival prepper. This article is to provide advice as to how Military personnel can be survival preppers.
When you are part of a branch of the military (and Coast Guard), you and your family live a nomadic life. The military can and will move you around the world, often with limited notice. In many relocations, you are unable to move your personal goods. A Marine doing Embassy duty in Russia is likely unable to absorb the costs of moving their personal vehicle to Moscow. Since military families move often, military families tend not to accumulate a lot of household stuff.
Cover the basics, provide lots of love, and have just a few toys for the children of the military. As a result, military families are likely unable to store lots of disaster/survival supplies. Having 20 super pails of rice and beans results in shipping these buckets around the country, around the world, as a military family relocates. Also, being part of the military means not being rich. No one gets rich by having a career in the military. Military families live a modest middle-class life but always challenged in their personal finances.
Military families almost never have spare money at the end of the month for discretionary purchases. Military families are often separated by the duties and tours of military personnel. I have a family member who was in the US Navy aboard submarines. That family member would leave, without notice, with no guidance provided upon the return date. His family would need to conduct their daily affairs with the participation of the boomer.
Acknowledging the limitations placed upon military families against accumulating survival/disaster supplies, it must be recognized that military families are very vulnerable to disaster events. Military families live near military bases. Military bases are often located in isolated, remote locations. Military bases may be targets for terrorists. Military families are dependent upon the military supply chain. Military supply chains can be interrupted no less than civilian supply chains.
Here are some recommendations for military families to obtain a measure of self-reliance and resiliency in a disaster, emergency situation.
1. Select a hometown to be your center point of your family’s planning. Your designated hometown will be the place where you store much of your long-term supplies. As you travel about the world, you’ll consider your designated hometown as the retreat location for your family. How you select your designated hometown is a very personal decision. You may select your hometown based on where you were raised, where your spouse was raised, where your parents or siblings live, where you have a lot of friends located, the place where you wish to retire, or any location that you simply love to be.
2. In your designated hometown, definitely obtain a rental storage unit. This where you should store your long-term survival supplies. Select a storage unit which is well-shaded from sunlight, so that your unit remains cool. Even if you maintain a home or apartment while you are oversees, still maintain a rental storage unit, which is in walking distance from your permanent home. Have the payment of your rental storage unit linked directly to your bank account, so that a payment is never missed. Missing payments for a rental storage unit may result in you losing all the contents of your storage unit. Security your rental storage unit with two circular, high-density locks. These are very difficult to cut. Example: Master Lock Round Padlock
3. Recommend that you keep a full camping kit in your survival supplies. This includes a 4-season tent and outdoor quality sleeping bags for every family member. If you are released from the military very suddenly due to an economic collapse, likely you will be drawing upon your survival supplies immediately.
4. During the Clinton Administration, there was a military draw-down. Many folks, who thought they were about to have a long-term career in the military, suddenly found themselves without any job. It is important during your military career to prepare for civilian employment. Take advantage of very bit a possible training, including college courses, while you are in the military. While you are away on duty, you’ll be able to take correspondent college courses (unless you are in an active combat zone). Your military career will eventually end, one way or another. Hopefully, you’ll be able to retire after your military career in good health. In retirement, you likely have a lot of active years remaining, thus you would take up civilian employment. Build your next career before you need your next career.
5. Take advantage of the Military Base PX to stock up on disaster and survival supplies. Military PX are often highly subsidized. Military personnel are not highly paid, so take advantage of the savings at the PX.
6. While Military families are not able to accumulate a year’s worth of stored food, due to likely relocation in the future, Military families should still try to accumulate at least 3 months of food. Use the Military PX to stock up on canned and dried food, so that in the event of a disaster, military families are not immediately put at risk. Military families are affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and blizzards, no less than civilians.
7. It is very difficult for Military families to save money. But try to bank some money. Utilized the Military savings programs to bank away a small amount of pay every month. You will need a buffer of money for emergencies and to transition out of the military.
8. If you are single (not married, without children), then live the true military life. Eat in Military canteens, not fast food. Not junk food. I know, Military food is not the best. But you are single and flexible, so don’t spend your money. Live in Military barracks. Don’t blow your money on cars, motorcycles, booze, bars, and illicit relationships. A young man or woman entering the military at age 18 can save enough money by age 22 to attend college. Four years in the military and then four years in college will prepare you very well for life. If you blow all your money when young, you have nothing left when you are old.
9. If I could go back to age 18 and was going to join the military, I’d rent a bank safe box, buy gold and silver coins, and bank away the coins in the bank safe box. For $50 each month you could buy two Silver Eagle one ounce coins. By doing this for three years of the typical Army enlistment, you’d end your contract with nearly $1800 in silver coins. That’s a nice little monetary survival cache. Attach the payment for the bank safe box to your bank account, so that as you travel around the world, your coin cache of money is preserved.
10. Create caches of survival supplies. As you create new friendship in your travels, store a small amount of supplies with them. Or store some of your supplies with your parents, siblings, or in-laws. Redundancy is a good thing with the location of your survival supplies. Some of the key things to put into your cache are: boots, boot socks, MRE’s, camping equipment, tactical gear, ammunition, silver junk coins, and your personally owned firearms.
11. If you are allowed, buy and store your personally owned firearms. Some branches of the military require you to register your personal firearms. So perhaps your parents, siblings, or in-laws receive ownership of your personal firearms, while you are committed to military service. Then your family can sell back your firearms to you after you leave the military. Store at least 1000 rounds of ammunition for each of your firearms. Recognize that each state has different laws about the ownership of firearms. Even as a member of the military, you must be very careful about transporting and storing firearms. Currently, it is very risk just to transport a 30-round magazine through the state of New York, even if you were just traversing from Maryland to Maine, and needed to pass through New York State.
12. As you select your designated hometown, you might consider selecting a state that loves liberty and freedom, such as New Hampshire, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and the Carolinas. A lot military personnel are stationed in California. California is nearly a separate communist state, due to its tendency to regulate every aspect of a person’s life. If I was stationed in California, then I might rent a storage unit over the border in Arizona to store my supplies.
13. Since military personnel lives a nomadic life, I’d recommend that you store long-term food which is highly transportable. MRE’s are heavy and bulky, so store just a limited amount. Superpails and #10 cans are heavy and bulky. Rather I suggest that you focus on dehydrated and freeze-dried food, such as Mountain House. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are a more expensive form of food storage, but these are lighter and easier to transport. You would do well by storing LRP rations, not MRE’s. Then it is much easier to transport your food, as you relocate to new duty stations.
14. As you arrive at a new base, new duty station, assess the local circumstances at the base. If you get based in a desert, dry region, store a lot more water. If you get based in a cold-weather region, focus on storing warm clothing, warm footwear, and cold-weather sleeping bag. As you conduct your local prepping throughout your travels, after a period of many years, you will have built up a depth of survival supplies.
15. Keep your mouth shut. You don’t want to appear as some survivalist wacko by your commanders. As you live within the law, live within regulations, no one needs to know that in your heart, you are a survival prepper. Opsec is even more important for military personnel.
16. An excellent resource for military families is the local Pawn Shop. Since military people are very transient, a lot of goods are sold cheaply to Pawn Shops near military bases by folks going overseas or relocating to a new base. Pawn Shops are great places to accumulate supplies, especially guns, camping gear, household goods, kitchen items, etc. Rather than paying top prices for new stuff, instead, look for gently used items at significantly cheaper prices. Pawnshops are great places to buy gold and silver coins. Also as it happens, military families can get into a financial bind very quickly. Perhaps the transmission blows out in the car. Or run short on a budget at the end of the month. To raise cash quickly, it is much better to use a pawn shop, rather than a payday loan. With a pawn shop, you can bring jewelry, musical instruments, or even the weekend motorcycle in for quick cash. You have the option to sell or obtain a loan secured by your item. Payback your pawn loan, get your item back. Payday loans, auto title loans, and any outfit in the bad parts of town that provide quick loans are to be avoided, which a trap to debt hell.
17. Another excellent resource for military families is the Goodwill store. Don’t snicker. I have a great job, but I will still occasionally visit a Goodwill store. I keep my eye out for camping gear, sporting goods, and new overstock items that are donated from other stores. If your military family has young children, the Goodwill store is an excellent place to get young children’s clothing on the cheap. You’d be amazed at the high quality, name-brand children’s clothing at Goodwill. When my children grow out of their clothing, we donate to Goodwill. Young children typically don’t wear out their clothes, since they are growing so fast. So I know good stuff is going to Goodwill.
I’d recommend that every military person ready this book. Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse. Once you read this book, you’ll understand the importance that military families being prepared for disasters. Yes, this a work of fiction. But the story represents how Military families would be hugely impacted by an economic collapse.
Military personnel can be survival preppers as well. It is more difficult, but achievable. You must already live a frugal life. Being a survival prepper reinforces frugal concepts and self-sufficiency. There will be life after the military. By preparing now for your family and preparing for your post-military career now, you will have a better outlook and easier transitions in life. Being dependent upon the military makes you very vulnerable to regular disasters — the same disaster that civilians get caught by. By being a survival prepper, you start your lifelong journey towards self-sufficiency and reduce the risks of being dependent on a huge organization.
Thank you to all that serve in the military and coast guard. I am grateful for your commitment and dedication to our country and our freedom.