Essential Equipment

We suggest that every recruit have at least the following:

Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)

The IFAK is your personal first aid kit, and should be equipped so that someone else can treat you in the event that your suffer a life threatening injury. An IFAK must worn on your person at all times during a Field Training Excercise (FTX), and should be conspicuously marked. At minimum your IFAK should consist of the following:

  • Compression bandage
  • Assortment of bandages for minor wounds
  • Turnicate
  • Heavy tape
  • Pain medication, OTC
  • 5 pairs nitrile gloves
  • Trauma sheers


Generally, militia members wear some manner of BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) with the pattern determined by their AO. Generally, multicam/OCP, A-TACS, or even woodland patterns will suffice for this area.

Reference section LFMS-01-07A “Uniform Standards” for more information about a uniform.


During training, we are on our feet a lot, moving over rocks, and through brush and mud. A good pair of boots is essential. Under no circumstances should “open toed” shoes be worn to a FTX.

Reference section LFMS-03-06 “EQUIPMENT” for more information about boots.


All recruits should have a semi-automatic rifle, chambered in a common caliber (ideally 5.56 NATO). The AR-15 platform is preferred, and used by 90% of the unit. A good adjustable two-point sling is highly recommended, and you should have at least 6 extra magazines.

Load Bearing Equipment (LBE)

This is a harness, vest or belt that is used to carry your gear. You’re not going to be very effective if you have to train with 6 magazines, a radio and your IFAK shoved in your pockets.


You can never have enough ammunition. For training that involves firearms, expect to use between 10 - 100 rounds of live ammunition. Most militia members have a minimum of a thousand rounds of “range ammo” for each firearm they plan to use for militia activities. For duty ammunition, you should have as much as you can reasonably affort.

Suggested Equipment

Beyond the essentials above, we suggest that every recruit consider the following, as budget permits:

MURS-capable Handheld Radio

Many members of our unit are licensed HAM radio operators. We use simplex frequencies for communicating in the field. If you are not yet licensed, we suggest that you start with an inexpensive, MURS-capable radio. These are NOT the “walkie-talkies” that you can purchase at local hardware or sporting good stores (although anything is better than nothing). They are relatively inexpensive and work for close-range communications.


While a sidearm is not required, many prefer to have a back-up weapon. Much like the rifle, a common caliber is suggested, and most opt for 9MM or .45acp. Invest in a good holster that can be attached to your other gear, and a minimum of 3 extra magazines.