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Book Review: The Citizen Manual Series

“Being a Professional Citizen is not a hobby for you, it is your personal commitment. A promise to yourself and your family to be tactically and technically proficient with all the tools you have available.” These words are pulled directly from the pages of The Professional Citizen Project website. This site, and the project it supports, is the brainchild of veteran Jack Morris, who is passionate about passing on the preparedness and tactical skills he learned in the military to all Americans.  This ideal that all upstanding citizens should be “tactically and technically proficient” is literally a founding principle of our nation. A principle that harkens back to the time when farmers and blacksmiths grabbed their muskets from over the hearth to defend their families and their freedom. To make these skills more widely accessible, Morris is publishing a line of “Citizen Manuals.” We got our hands on the first two installments: CM-1: Individual Tactical Skills and CM-2: Reconnaissance.

The 411

These books are styled after military field manuals, both in physical appearance and structure, right down to font selection and chapter/section breaks. There’s no storytelling here, just straight-forward “how-to” information. CM-1 is a primer for folks who maybe haven’t had much, or any formal tactical training. It includes chapters covering skills such as “Shoot,” “Move,” “Communicate,” and “Survive.” The “Shoot” chapter is pure fundamentals, with sections on fratricide prevention, rifle setup, and zeroing advice. (This is not a manual on how to shoot.)

Likewise, the “Move” chapter talks about fundamental land navigation, as well as dismounted patrolling formations and a brief overview of “actions on contact” — what to do if you encounter an enemy during movement. Other sections include shelter, water, first aid, hand signals, and radio security protocol.

The Reconnaissance manual, CM-2, is clearly meant to build directly on the skills from CM-1. Chapter 1, Section 1 is titled “Organizing For Combat” — with a focus on squad-level organization and tactics which carries forward through the duration of the book. This book also includes more of those “minuteman” or “partisan” skills, including personal camouflage, recon-specific carbine setups, how to build and deliver proper mission briefings, and the different types of reconnaissance patrols.

That being said, there’s also some really good general survival/preparedness information, such as reverse planning, the light cycle of the day, and how to observe objects at night, both with and without NVGs. These latter skills might come in handy in a wide variety of scenarios. (We’ve used reverse planning for everything from training days to family vacations.) 

Featured image of the citizen manual.

The Verdict

Morris and the team at Professional Citizen Project should be commended for the time and effort they’ve invested in this book line. For military veterans, these books are great refreshers that cut out a lot of the extraneous doctrine and policy found in issued Field Manuals. For citizens who lack formal military training, this is a great way to learn some foundational survival and tactical skills in a way that’s both accessible and written specifically for civilians. Rounding up a half-dozen friends and drilling regularly as an independent minute-squad might not be in your preparedness plan, but there’s still plenty of good information for the individual citizen in these manuals, and the low cost makes them well worth the investment to keep on your shelf for quick reference or regular perusal.

About the Book

  • Book & Author: Individual Tactical Skills & Reconnaissance Manual by Jack Morris
  • Publisher: The Professional Citizen Project
  • MSRP: $23 ea
  • URL: tpcproject.com
  • Pages: 225 (CM-1) 239 (CM-2)
  • Rating: Thrive | Survive | Die


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Editor's Note: This article has been modified from its original print version for the web.

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