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QUICK Start Unit Guide

The QUICK Start Guide
to Forming a
Civilian Defense Force Unit

PLEASE NOTE: The links in this article are being updated and may not work. The information linked to will be available in the next few days as the updating process is completed.


The following guide is a pre-Charter starting point for Civilian Defense Force Members who are forming a Unit for the first time. It explains the easiest, fastest way to take the necessary steps for getting a Unit up and running as well as preparing for and completing the Chartering process.

This guide follows the QUICK method:

  • Qualify yourself, your Unit area, and any other early member-candidates.
  • Utilize the resources available to you (and found in this guide) to take the first steps.
  • Initiate your first meeting and begin organizing the structure of your group.
  • Charter your Unit as specified in the comprehensive CDF Unit Chartering Manual.
  • Keep pushing forward with recruiting, community involvement, and training.

The thrust of this guide—and it should be the emphasis you carry forward in getting things started—is actually getting things started. Stated simply, if you get the ball rolling it will soon roll along with much more ease than if you sit around contemplating or waiting until everything seems perfect. This doesn’t mean that we don’t want you to do things right, or to be sloppy in your efforts, but you and your community will not be well served by hesitation and over-complication. Movement is as important as method.

The factor that most determines how, and how quickly, you get started is decision. When you decide you’re going to do something, that cuts off any other possibility. In fact that’s the root meaning of the word—to “cut off from”. Take these next few moments to truly decide that you’re going to form a CDF Unit. Don’t read any further until that absolute certainty is fixed in your mind, and all other possibilities are rendered moot.

We’ll assume, from this point forward, that you’re absolutely committed to following through, and the language of this document will reflect that. We will not deal in “ifs”, but rather “whens”.


Step one in the process is to qualify yourself and potential others, as well as your chosen Area of Operation (AO), for Unit creation. This should essentially have already been done as part of the Membership process:

  • You looked at our Unit Map to determine what (if any) Unit was serving your area and, finding none within suitable range or with the qualities you prefer, you double-checked that your new Unit would not fall within five miles’ radius of any other Unit*.
  • You verified that you and anyone else you intend to immediately bring onboard with your new Unit meet the minimum requirements for CDF Membership, including the four primary provisions (or “affirmations”) that we include as part of that process, and you’ve filed the “Unit Commander Application” that is required for all prospective new Unit Commanders.
  • You’ve read and completely digested the “Great Expectations” CDF Member Guide.

Taken together, this process represents the bulk of what is required in order to QUALIFY your new Unit. However, there are two additional steps that must be undertaken:

  • You must complete and file a Unit Commander Background Check Addendum, providing additional information for national leadership to conduct a more advanced background check. As the Founder of a new CDF Unit, you become the Unit Commander by default (more on this below) [NOTE: This has now been incorporated into the Unit Commander Application; a separate form is no longer required]
  • You must file an AO Overlap Determination Form if any existing Civilian Defense Force Unit is geographically present within 20 miles’ radius of the Area of Operation (AO) you submitted with your CDF Application*. This form will alert our national team that we should investigate the situation and determine boundary lines for each and every Unit that could potentially overlap one another’s Areas of Operation.

If you believe either of these situations might create any issues with forming your new Unit, it is advisable to wait until you’ve received resolution from National before proceeding with the next step. Clarification and resolution materials will be sent to the email address you provided with your application, at which point you may proceed as instructed. If, however, you legitimately believe there will be no problems with either of these things, move forward. Do not interrupt the formation of your new Unit unless you believe there is truly reason to do so.

* New Units that are not in a major metropolitan area and that fall within a five mile radius of the PIN on our map that represents the center of an existing Unit will not typically be approved. New Units falling within a five mile radius of the EDGE of the coverage area of an existing Unit (as shown on our map) may be approved, but with boundaries for both Units assigned by National. In all cases, National must be notified and a decision/resolution must be provided by National before the new Unit can proceed with formation. Urban/metropolitan areas will often be much more “granular” in representation, with many more units serving so large an area. National must still be consulted for a decision regarding borders in these areas.


The second step is to UTILIZE the resources available to you right now, in the moment at hand (including within this guide) to bring your group into reality. The point of this step is to TAKE ACTION NOW, rather than waiting until you have all the money, supplies, contacts, plans, organization, etc., ad infinitum. If you wait until you have the perfect color of paper to print flyers, rather than the copy paper you have now, you’re wasting valuable time. If you wait until you get an appointment to speak with the mayor, or round up two or three others to assist, or find a donor with deep pockets, you’re wasting valuable time. No doubt these are all worthwhile ways to spend some time, but they should not be the sole focus and they should never be used as roadblocks or excuses while the outcome of such efforts remains in flux.

What should be done instead is part of decision—cutting off from all other possibilities. You’re DOING this! There is nothing that will make you wait, nothing that will turn you aside. If you want to let people know you’re meeting next Tuesday, and you know of a dozen places a flyer could be displayed to get the word out, print the flyer and get it distributed no matter what paper you have. If your printer is down, find a Staples or Kinkos (do they still have those?) or FedEx or UPS Store that does self-serve printing and get it done. Take a break from the compulsion to watch the news or browse a forum, and use that time instead to decide on a starting structure for your organization. And the operative word there is starting; this is just what you’re doing until you have enough of a group to make more formal, permanent arrangements. If Thomas Edison had waited until General Electric was built before inventing the lightbulb, we’d all be reading our laptops in the dark…or something.

Get started now, with what you have.

Your mobile phone is useful for way more things than Facebook and TikTok. In an hour you can set up a “burner” phone number, purchase a mail-drop address in your area, find a local yard sign printer and arrange to print a few dozen for the road, locate and contact nearby Neighborhood Watch leaders, and send CDF links to your three or four best America-first friends. By nightfall you could have a meeting spot arranged (even if it’s just a local coffee shop), a basic agenda roughed out, a bug placed in the ear of a local firearms trainer, ten or twelve flyers scattered about town, and still have time to catch Tucker Carlson before bed.

There is almost nothing you need that would keep you from doing these things, other than impetus and the few things we link to at the end of this guide.

Use what you have, so that you’re moving forward toward getting what you’d like to have. It’s that forward momentum that will bring the like-to-haves to you with little effort.


The third step in the process is to INITIATE the formation of your new Unit by conducting a formal first meeting. By “formal”, I don’t mean tuxedo and top-hat; formal, in this case, means an actual announced meeting at a specified location with a written agenda and some form of RSVP system to allow you to know (roughly) who/how many to expect. I like veterans’ halls for this type of thing, but a barn in a field will work fine as long as you have permission to be there and can provide the resources necessary to effectively meet and greet your prospective new members.

We’ve published several guidelines for how to conduct such a meeting. They can all be found on this page.

At the conclusion of your meeting, if you have even one person who agrees to join and help, you now have a working CDF Unit! Don’t squander those new brothers and sisters; arrange immediately to get together again for the purposes of completing the next step.


Chartering your group is perhaps the easiest step of all. The process is simple:

  • Download our Civilian Defense Force Unit Chartering Guide
  • Follow each step, in order, downloading the forms/visiting the required web pages and completing all the specified activities/paperwork necessary to receive the blessing of the National Leadership (“National”).
  • Upon completion of this step, watch your email for your chartering documents and your new Unit Designator.
  • Begin using the Unit Designator on all official communications (including materials like flyers and yard signs, as part of your Unit name).
  • Assign a member to act as daily liason with National (usually this is the Unit Commander, but it can be any designated Unit member). This person will be tasked with participating in our online forum, reporting progress for their group and any call-out situations they’re involved with, and continuing the education of the Unit by reading and absorbing materials like our Call-out Guide.

That’s it! Other than maintaining the required records and staying in compliance with our Charter requirements, there’s little else you’ll need to do on a wider scale besides building the best organization you can (and keeping National abreast of your progress).


From this point, the rest is just recruiting, training, building relationships, and assisting your community as necessary. The most important thing to do is maintain momentum; don’t allow your group to stagnate, or fall into “hurry up and wait” mode. There’s always something you can be doing, even if it’s just meeting every couple of weeks for coffee and to discuss your next steps. And those steps can be myriad:

  • Local political action is vital for the long-term success of your organization, and the long-term future of our country. All politics is local—so you must be involved in that, to make sure only true America-first candidates are put into positions of leadership. Start with basic positions; precinct captains within your local parties, school board members, row offices in your county, township supervisors and small-town councils, etc. We’ll soon have a guide available that spells out how to effectively work within your local community to change the entire country and world. It can absolutely be done—and it must be, starting with you and your group.
  • Hikes, day trips, festivals, etc.
  • Trainings, for everything from canning garden goodies to firearms safety. There are literally a thousand important skills that can be passed on to your members and the members of your community at large (and many if not most of these kinds of events can be opened to the public…a great way to recruit new members).
  • Simple barbecues, pot-lucks, etc. These are fantastic camaraderie-building exercises…and who doesn’t like good ham BBQ?
  • Civic action, such as “clean the park” days or “roadside litter collection” efforts.

These are just a very few suggestions for things you can do to both keep your unit active and visible, and to endear yourselves to the community and be seen as a force for good in your neighborhood. You can think of a hundred more. Be creative, be community-positive, and be diverse. You don’t want to be a one-trick pony; if the neighborhood only sees you as gun-wielding soldier wanna-bes, they’ll never trust you and you won’t be effective when the chips are down. Yes, defense of people and property is our primary purpose…but it isn’t our only purpose, and it cannot be the only front we show to the public.

Never, ever forget that recruiting quality candidates into your ranks should always be at the top of your agenda. There’s strength in numbers. Recruiting is how you build those numbers. To truly move forward, always be recruiting. See the “Recruiting Materials” section of our collateral page for posters, flyers, etc. to help you with your recruiting program.


What you are undertaking by forming a CDF Unit may seem daunting, at first. This is especially true if you’ve never led an organization or served as a “Commander” of anything. Such activities often require talents that don’t come naturally to many of us. To be an effective CDF Member, though, you must learn to step outside of your “comfort zone” and take on new challenges and responsibilities. In particular, this often means accepting some form of “command” or other decision-making role. Such is the case with forming a new CDF Unit, because ordinarily this makes you the default Unit Commander. If you’ve never been in a position to lead people, to create and build and grow an organization, or to accept the responsibilities (and accolades) that come as part of the whole process, push yourself out of that “comfort zone” and step into leadership with GUSTO! The current “leader” class in this nation is too full of cowards and incompetents to be worrying yourself about doing poorly. How much worse than them could you possibly be? And the fact is that a true Patriot who is determined to protect his community and restore honor and dignity to the country will automatically be head and shoulders above the self-serving nincompoops we currently imbue with “leader” status. You’ll be just fine.

However, you aren’t required to remain the leader of the organization you get off the ground. You’ll start out in that position because you obviously have to, but if you believe it would be in the best interest of your Unit, or of your own self, to pass that responsibility onto some other willing party, you can do so at any time (provided they meet our candidacy requirements). As your group grows and becomes more organized, you’ll eventually create a structure for selecting leaders and/or group governance. How you do that is up to you and your group, but naturally there will need to be some provision for continuing leadership in the event that you (or any other “officer”) become inactive or such vacancy otherwise needs to be filled.

In the beginning, though, it’s all you. Do not fear taking the reins; if you’re Patriot enough to step up and make the Unit a reality, you’re already ahead of the all-talk-no-action crowd.

At first you’ll command your Unit, and that must be your focus. As you grow and “prove yourself”, there may be additional opportunities at the state, regional, or national levels. Don’t get too far ahead, though; for now, build the best, most active, most dedicated Unit in your area that you possibly can. The Civilian Defense Force is a national organization that is focused on local action; this is the formula that will keep Americans safest and give our communities and nation their best possible chance of long-term survival.

You will have questions. Many answers can be found within the Unit Building Resources page of our Headquarters website. You’ll find others by looking at our Unit Commanders’ Forum on the HQ site, or by posting your own questions (and experiences) within that forum. You will also have the opportunity to interact with members of the National organization there. And of course our Unit Chartering Guide spells out all of the specific policies and practices for CDF Units in much greater detail.


This QUICK Start Guide gives you the basic information you need to follow through as a CDF Member/Leader to get a Unit started in your area. The rest is up to you.

Our nation is, sadly enough, on it’s last legs for the simple lack of dedicated Patriots actively doing something to save it. Millions of people talk, moan and groan, bellyache, complain, and nearly everyone who sees what’s going on says “someone should do something”.

You have to be that someone in your area.

As they say, talk is cheap. You cannot be a true American Patriot in this time of dire need by just talking. You must act. You must find others in your area who are willing to act, and gather them together. You must organize, train, prepare, and then rise when the situation–whatever that situation might be–demands it.

Failing this, you’re damning all of our children and grandchildren to a world dominated by elite plutocrats and their mindless foot-soldiers whose sole intent is robbing us all of freedom and placing all the wealth and happiness of the world within their control. Such tyrants are on the rise, and flexing their muscles over all of humanity as we speak. America is the last and only bastion of personal freedom, individual responsibility, and ultimate self-determination on the face of the planet. We—every American Patriot and all of the Civilian Defense Force family—must dedicate ourselves to standing up to the bullies and thugs and making America strong again. We have to do this community by community, street by street.

That effort begins on your street. It begins with you.

You know your duty. You know what must be done.

We’re glad you’ve chosen to join us.


It should be noted that this document contains capitalization that is not necessarily “correct” according to the standards of journalistic style. This is intentional.

  • All Civilian Defense Force designators (“Member”, “Unit”, “Leader”, “Commander”, etc.) are capitalized to indicate that these are proper, official, CDF-recognized names for their respective offices. We consider these “titles”, for all intents and purposes.
  • The word Patriot is capitalized by choice, out of respect for those who put themselves forward in ultimate support of America and “the American Way”. We also consider this to be a “title”.
  • Similarly, the word Liberty is capitalized by choice in recognition of the immense importance of that concept to humanity, particularly in relation to our efforts.

While not always technically “proper”, capitalization of this nature is purposeful, not erroneous.

This document was first published 8/28/2021, and was last revised 9/05/2021.