Picture the typical civilian Zombie fighting unit. A few guys, maybe a gal, toting a variety of firearms and perhaps even a legitimate off-road vehicle. But this image of the typical Zombie fighting unit is hardly typical at all. For most civilian groups, the reality is that they have families and for many of those who have families there are children. Many of these children are also into the subject of Zombies. Depending on their age, many have spent countless hours shooting Zombies in one of the many Call of Duty games. So what role will children play in a Zombie infested environment?
The reality of Counter-Zombie Operations requires one trait over all: discipline. The discipline to hold fire when engaging the enemy is unnecessary and probably more often than that, noise and light discipline (also known as “sit down and shut up”). For those who have children, the first thing you realize is that children are notoriously bad at these. Being quiet for any reasonable amount of time is almost impossible and the instant an adult turns away, at least one child is busy doing something that can get him or herself killed or maimed even in the most ideal of situations.
Many parents may be tempted to believe that the gravity of the situation will encourage, perhaps force, children to be quiet, because after all, the price of failure is death. However, children do not think that far ahead, and the idea of dying is almost unimaginable to the point where they simply will not believe that they can die. With a group of Zombies shuffling on ahead, oblivious to the presence of the group of people hiding behind a wall, children will fight and shout over how one child has a bag of gummies and will not share.
Remember these characters in the Lord of the Rings?
They basically did everything possible to get the Fellowship of the Ring killed. In a nutshell that will be how children will be in Counter-Zombie Operations.
For those not familiar with Lord of the Rings, but have watched 24, remember that little girl in Season 2? The one that kept disappearing and was practically the terrorists’ most valuable asset? Believe it or not, that’s fairly realistic.
ROLES AND INVOLVEMENT
Every child is somewhat different so the age brackets to follow are a bit of a generalization. However, no child under the age of fourteen should EVER be given an active role in the team. Children under the age of fourteen will fail on the job. Just because a child picks out something useful or has a moment where he or she contributed does not mean the child will be a force multiplier on a consistent basis. Children between the age of fourteen to eighteen, and including young adults up to the age of twenty five (unless a veteran, reservist, National Guardsman, or active duty and unable to return to any unit), must be paired with an older and more experienced member of the group. Some of these may show promise or excel in a variety of roles in Counter-Zombie Operations. However, promoting them to a leadership position is to be avoided. People of this age group will almost always fail to make sound leadership decisions. It is much better to retain them as a force multiplying subordinate rather than a liability which has gained too much authority too quickly. Of course if losses force them into leadership positions, there is not much of a choice in the matter.
Groups that have children most certainly need to have some kind of base of operations which include a room where children can be hidden when need be. This room must be padded for maximum sound insulation. Also windows must be set up so they can be blacked out within seconds. A small ventilation to the roof must be included in case the lock down situation needs to last several hours to several days. Some kind of light source is essential. At least one adult needs to be in there at all times. A suitable toilet must also be present (catty litter is extremely useful). Rations and water locked and secured in this room at all times is also essential. If unlocked, you will find the rations and water emptied out by children when it is really needed.
Children must always be kept together to ensure that they can be secured as quickly as possible when the need arises.
Children under the age of fourteen contribute best to a Zombie infested environment when they are able to be quiet and stay out of sight when necessary. Never are they to leave the confines of a secured zone. The idea of giving an eight year old a rifle because “he’s a pretty good shot” and giving him a combat role, no matter how trivial, is a recipe for failure.