Recommended Reading

The conceptual knowledge of small unit tactics (i.e. Principals of Patrolling)  is nothing new.  The following books provide insight into how Americans from the colonial time period up through and beyond the birth of our nation applied these fundamentals to defend themselves and their communities.  Although applications do sometimes change, these experiences are just as relevant today as they were then.


The Journals of Robert Rogers of the Rangers:  The Exploits of Rogers & the Rangers from 1755-1761 in the French & Indian Wars in His Own Words - Major Robert Rogers

     Robert Rogers played an instrumental role in synthesizing the terrain-based, small unit tactics of the Eastern Woodland Indians with European weapons technology and his own ideas to enable tactical success in a wilderness environment.  Rogers distilled many of these Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) into a single document, his "Rules of Ranging", which are still in use to this day.  Robert Rogers's journals provide relevant examples of tactics and perseverance proven against a formidable enemy. 

Some Thoughts on Scouts and Spies - Gerry Barker

     Gerry Barker takes a deep look at how common folks, often neighbors, dealt with scouting and patrolling the vast wilderness they lived in both before and after the birth of the United States of America.  These techniques dovetail well with Major Robert Rogers and outline sound concepts that are relevant to the "how to" of rural defense. 

The Minute Men  The First Fight:  Myths and Realities of the American Revolution - John R. Galvin

      Quite apart from the romanticized accounts of Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775, John Galvin relates an objective description of the the infrastructure and common practices used throughout the American colonies which positively influenced the events of that day.

Jack Hinson's One-Man War - Tom C. McKenney

     Tom McKenney presents a work focused on the vision, ability, and will of a single individual, Jack Hinson, during the American Civil War.  Hinson had a remarkable ability to analyze terrain and use it to the greatest advantage , was devoted to individual excellence with his rifle, and demonstrated high levels of focus and dedication while often displaced from his home and conveniences for months at a time.  

Marine Corps Field Antenna Handbook (MCRP 6-22D)

    This manual does an excellent job of not only explaining "how" to build different types of field antennas but also the "why" behind it.  Antenna Theory, the understanding of which is critical to ensuring good communications, is explained in detail.  

Long-Range Surveillance Unit Operations (FM3-55.93 or the older FM 7-93)

    This manual has great information that parallels most of the small unit tactics experience in some of the other selections on this page.  Where this manual excels is its application of those tactics in the modern setting after being vetted in Vietnam within the LRP/LRRP/Ranger units.  In addition to tactics, radio communications are also discussed in a more abbreviated form that the Marine Corps Field Antenna Handbook.  Additional topics include planning considerations, evasion, and a host of other relevant topics.

The Ranger Handbook (TC 3-21.76)

    Although focused on slightly larger elements such as the squad, this training circular remains a staple reference because of it's simple and tactically sound approach to planning considerations, treating casualties, and other basic tasks inherent to patrolling.



The underpinning of the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights is the reality of Natural Rights in accordance with Natural Law.  The following works trace the origin of the our Natural Rights back through the history of civil government and are crucial in correctly understanding and articulating the necessary function these rights have in a constitutional republic.

Politics: Athenian Constitution - Aristotle

    Aristotle sought to counter the philosophy of Plato, which promoted a highly centralized state headed by a monarch.  Aristotle reasoned in his writing that a republic in which citizens had true political equality.  Key to this philosophy was the requirement that a citizen in the republic was one who bears arms.

On the Republic; On the Laws - Cicero

    Cicero's public orations and criminal defense in court cases speak to the individual right to be armed for self defense.  However, the writings mentioned above associate an armed populace with a republican form of government while contrasting the disarmed populaces present in oligarchies and empires.  These associations are just as accurate today as they were then.  Cicero represents the best of the Republic of Rome and serve as a cautionary tale against the fate of countries which, like Rome, seek to move beyond the natural individual rights of the citizens

The Magdeburg Confession - Collective authors

    This work champions the supremacy of the Laws of Nature and Nature's God over any unjust law by clearly presenting the "Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate".  Nine Lutheran pastors wrote this document in a city under siege and facing the very real threat of death at the hands of an army sent to suppress their freedom of religion in the year 1550.  This served as the written defense of their decision to take up arms when attacked and outlined the Biblical parameters they responsibly acted within.

English Bill of Rights (1689) 

    This document is significant in that the right to carry arms for one's own defense was one of the few mentions of individual rights.  This underscores the level of importance and acceptance of the belief (even in a time of the monarchy) that no authority has the right to debar the use of arms by freemen.

Two Treatises on Civil Government - John Locke

    Together, these works advance the principals of natural law.  These works are important as they not only outlined the right of self defense, but continued to support the concept of an armed populace being a rightful, true defense of a country against tyranny at the hands of rulers acting outside of the dictates of natural law.  The origin, purpose, and end state of civil government are discussed in detail.  

Discourses Concerning Government - Algernon Sidney

    Sidney focuses on the example of the Republic of Rome, with it's armed populace, as a primary defense against a ruler trying to exert absolutism over citizens.  Sidney combined the realism of Machiavelli with an articulate defense of individual freedoms and the right of an armed populace in extremis to remove unjust rulers.

 Commentaries on the Laws of England - Sir William Blackstone

    The commentaries explain the doctrine of English common law in the mid to late 18th century.  The author was/is considered the preeminent authority on the subject matter and was a jurist and judge well versed in the laws he explained.  These commentaries had a significant impact both in England and the United States at the time of it's birth.  Sir William Blackstone stressed the alignment of English common law with natural law.