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2/12/15

The SFODA as a model for the modern tribe...

Recommended reading over at the Spartan Monkey's place -> The SFODA as a model for the modern tribe.

Short version: Army SF Operational Detachments / "A-Teams" are structured such that each member of the ~12 man team specializes in a certain primary skillset, but all cross-train in a variety of disciplines.

Spartan Monkey suggests a variety of well-thought specializations that could apply to a preparedness / survival tribe.

My Thoughts: I think the small SF teams have a lot to extrapolate from in terms of how they structure themselves and some of the strategies that they are known for, especially unconventional warfare (typically, organizing, equipping, training and leading friendly indigenous forces into battle). More on that later.
 
As the SF has realized, there are huge benefits to having specialized, in-depth skill sets, especially to small groups operating with little/no outside support.

A survival / preparedness group or tribe could certainly take a page or two from their playbook.



Specialization seems somewhat counter-intuitive to our 'self-sufficient' mindset, and really, many of us focus on try to learn a little about the broad array of related skills.

But, specialization is a lot more efficient and viable than trying to do it all.

As an example, four of the potential specializations Spartan Monkey suggests:
  • Electronics expert (commo, security systems, off-grid electrical)
  • Medical expert
  • Food expert - storage and production
  • Weapons expert (weapons repair / maintenance / gunsmithing / reloading)
How long would it take one person to get really proficient in each area? How much would they need to invest in training, tools and mistakes? How would they have time and opportunity to gain experience using each of those skills?


Now -- what if, instead, you could largely focus your time and efforts on one or two areas that you had a natural aptitude for? You develop a deep understanding, experience and the associated tools in that one area, while relying on other group members to do the same for their areas of specialization?

And then, as you each build up your specialized knowledge, capabilities and tools, you shared that with the rest of the tribe?

The vehicle expert, who has invested in a pretty capable at-home repair shop and the skills to use it, helps the tribe repair their own vehicles.

The food specialist, who grew up on a small farm, has been canning food all their life, raises backyard chickens and grows prize winning vegetables, helps group members build and maintain their food storage, plant gardens or raise small livestock.

The weapons expert, who has invested in gunsmithing tools, formal training and a healthy inventory of spare parts helps tribe members with repairs, maintenance and gunsmithing.

The medical expert, who teaches the group members first aid, tactical combat casualty care, and maintains comprehensive medical kits. 


And so on, training the rest of the group, building up their knowledge and skills as you go.

To the extent that its feasible and practical, this concept makes all sorts of sense.

Making it happen in real life is unfortunately squishy, since we're usually friends with people who have fairly common interests, not completely diverse and different ones.

But, where it makes sense, making the effort to get your tribe organized to that level would be worthwhile.

Thoughts?

3 comments :

  1. I like SM's breakdown. Depending on your numbers, everyone needs an apprentice or two. Maybe an education expert. Did I miss that?

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    Replies
    1. I think each specialist would be able to teach their own expertise.

      If I remeber right, the SF teams have two of each specialist role, allowing the 12 man squad to split into two smaller groups.

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    2. I was thinking about how this would apply to a civilian group, as a template. Eventually you would group up and start over, breeding :)

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