[UPDATED 06/05/23] Is skill with a firearm enough to preserve liberty? Are three or four dudes who all like guns a “team”? We believe that developing skill is the beginning, not the end.

To that end, Student of the Gun is offering the Patriot Fire Team Training Camp. This event will help participants build up their existing skills and work with other LMI’s as a team.

In the early morning hours of April 19th, 1775, the members of the local neighborhood watch program formed on the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. The community was in crisis. Eight of their friends lay murdered on the ground a short distance away on the Lexington town green.

Hold on you say, those men were not a “neighborhood watch”. They were members of the local militia and training bands. All very common in New England at the time. I would ask you, what was a minuteman if not a member of the neighborhood watch? The minutemen and the members of the training bands and militias were not paid soldiers or policemen. They were volunteer community members.

PFT Neighborhood Watch

Just like the Massachusetts Militia, a PFT is a Neighborhood Watch with Rifles.

Neighborhood Watch with Rifles.


Many years ago I came up with the concept of a Patriot Fire Team. Four men who pledged to support and defend each other and their families. Naturally, I used the Fire Team concept that I learned so well while serving in the United States Marine Corps Infantry.

Over the years, I have been asked to break it down and explain my idea of the Patriot Fire Team in simple to understand, or easy to digest terms. I believe the best elevator speech that I have been able to craft is the term “neighborhood watch with rifles”.

At the base foundation, a PFT is a volunteer group of community members who have come together to keep their families, and neighborhood by extension, safe from danger. The crisis or emergency may be natural or manmade, however, the mission remains the same; security.

Glorified Hall Monitors.

Sadly, if we are being intellectually honest with ourselves, the traditional neighborhood watch program turns volunteers into glorified hall monitors. Members are instructed to never confront thieves, robbers, looters, rapists, whatever, directly. Their mission is to observe and report. Anything more is too dangerous for them.

They put up signs which basically tell the community, “this is a crime-infested neighborhood”. Neighborhood watch members are instructed to watch and call the police if they suspect a crime is occurring. This is a noble calling and admirable undertaking. Nonetheless, how effective are citizens who watch when the police are either too busy to come or due to political expediency will not come?

When 911 Doesn’t Work a True Neighborhood Watch Should.

For decades the cities and states have programmed the people to “Call 911, and help will be on the way.” The harsh and cold reality of our world has shown us that dialing 911 and waiting around often leads to disastrous results. In large metropolitan areas, on-duty officers are often overwhelmed. They simply cannot drop what they are doing to respond to your call for help.

In rural areas, the opposite is the case. County deputies have hundreds of miles to cover. The nearest law enforcement officer might be a fifteen or twenty minute drive from you when they get the 911 call. They are on their way, but reality dictates that they cannot be everywhere at once. A true neighborhood watch might help.

Also, regardless of an urban or a rural situation, during a state of emergency, first responders; including police, fire, and EMT are almost immediately overwhelmed. You can dial 9-1-1, but a hundred other people before you have already done so. Time to get in line and wait.

The last issue with the 911 system is political corruption. We have witnessed police officers “standing back” while looters and rioters run rampant over the community. Stealing, burning, raping, assaulting, and killing without any fear of the law. The officers in question have orders from their Chief or Sheriff, who has orders from a corrupt Mayor or Council, to “stay back” or “not confront” protesters who are in truth thugs and thieves. Where does that leave you, the citizen?

Neighborhood Watch Thumbnail

PFT Members train and practice together to keep their communities safe from danger.

Reality versus the Narrative.

The media narrative that protesters are “mostly peaceful” as buildings burn in the background or the corrupt politicians who claim that looting and rioting are actually people exercising their right to free speech, does not jive with reality. I don’t need to sell you on the fact that for several years we have witnessed worsening breakdown in our cities. Police have their hands tied and criminals have literal get out of jail free cards.

You and your neighbors may have gotten together and discussed the idea of starting your own neighborhood watch program. Perhaps you went so far as to fill out the forms and order street signs. That would all be well and good if it were not for that nagging little issue of sitting back and watching the crime happen while you wait for help that may or may not ever come.

What good does “observe and report” do for you when law enforcement is either overwhelmed or, worse, ordered not to “interfere with the protesters” burning down your neighborhood? The hard decision you must come to is that your family and community cannot always rely upon outside help. Sometimes, you are the only help that is coming. What are you going to do about it?

Neighborhood Watch with Rifles

What if instead of just watching criminals victimize your neighborhood, you could gather with your friends and neighbors to stop the threat to your families and keep innocent people safe? Doesn’t that sound like an attractive idea?

The Patriot Fire Team is really no more complex than a Neighborhood Watch group who happened to be armed with and trained to use rifles. Through several books, live training seminars, and distance learning discussions, we have helped Americans just like yourself to prepare their neighborhoods and communities to be safe and secure, regardless of whether the 911 system is working or not.

The Patriot Fire Team Manual establishes the foundation and reasons behind the program. Within the Manual are sections about talking with your family, finding other like minded people and recruiting trustworthy neighbors. Firearms are tools we use for defense, but the PFT is about much more. We discuss preparedness when it comes to emergency medical and first aid treatment, food and water storages, and more.

After the PFT Manual, there are two additional books; the PFT Equipment Guide and the PFT Mission Planner. The Equipment Guide naturally gives advice about gear selection as well as other physical fitness and training. The PFT Mission Planner considers many areas that people tend to skip over when they are “prepping” for disasters. In the Mission Planner you will find chapters on leadership as well as how to organize and make the most of the people you have available.

Patriot Fire Team Training Camp

We invite you to join us for the Patriot Fire Team Training Camp  weekend held in beautiful Wyoming.

Course subjects will include: 

  • Land Navigation (Map and Compass Reading)
  • Team Tactics and Patrolling 
  • Fieldcraft and Outdoor Survival
  • Communication and Signalling
  • Night Operations
  • Leadership Traits and Principles
  • Live-Fire Rifle and Handgun training. 
  • And much more. 

The Training Camp  is a FULL Immersion training experience. We will function as teams from the beginning to the end and this is a fantastic way to build camaraderie with your fellow patriots.

The training course will take place over a period of 3 days (Friday to Sunday) All students should plan to arrive by no later than 5 pm Friday. Students will be dismissed at approximately 5 pm Sunday.

This is a primitive outdoor camping experience (no electric or running water) pack accordingly. Two-man sized tents will work well on the terrain here. There will be room for truck campers or small/medium sized RV’s. If you plan to bring one of these please let us know. To reach the campsite, you must drive approximately 3 miles on unpaved dirt road (Low Rider vehicles are not recommended).

All training material and targets will be provided with the cost of tuition!

Gear List
  • Shelter (Whatever keeps the rain off and the bugs out)
    *Two-Man Tents are ideal for terrain. There is room from Truck Campers and Small to Medium RVs. (If you plan to bring a Camper or RV please let us know)
  • Knife – General Purpose
    We recommend The Bobcat Knife + Knife Taco™ if they are still available 

  • Backpack – Capable of holding 3 days worth of gear
  • Poncho – Rugged, Mil-Spec(not disposable crap)
  • Poncho Liner or Sleeping bag (temps can drop into 40’s even in the summer)
  • Sleeping Mat (not required but recommended)
  • Canteen / Water Pouch
  • Quality Boots
  • 2nd Pair of Footwear Besides Boots
  • Clothing – Loose Fitting, Rugged
  • Socks – Cushioned, Wool or Wool-Blend Recommended
  • Hat – Baseball Cap or Boonies style
  • T-shirts – Multiple
  • Lip Balm, Sunscreen, Hand Lotion (we are in a dry climate at elevation)
  • ThermaCell / Bug Spray (we do get mosquitos and ticks in the summer)
  • Compass – (Not Mandatory but nice to have)
  • Food and Water (It’s up to you, but plan for 6 meals)
  • Rifle, 3 Mags, Pouches, 100 rounds (minimum)
  • Pistol, 2 Mags, Rigid/Secure holster, 50 rounds (minimum)
  • EYE Protection (Clear for lowlight)
  • EAR Protection (Electronic Muff are Best)

[Originally Posted 07/21/21]

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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