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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Commonwealth Minutemen
Fo4 Minutemen Flag.png
Commonwealth Minutemen's Official flag
TypeFrontier militia
McGann (—2240)
Joe Becker (—2282)
Preston Garvey (until placing the Sole Survivor in charge)
Sole Survivor (optionally)
FoundedCommonwealth vigilantes, around 2180
StructureHierarchical paramilitary organization led by a General
Notable MembersColonel Hollis
Preston Garvey
Ronnie Shaw
Lieutenant Foster
Sole Survivor (optionally)
HeadquartersThe Castle (—2240[1][2]/2287(8) (Optionally))[3]
Notable LocationsCommonwealth
Sanctuary Hills

The Commonwealth Minutemen (commonly referred to as simply the Minutemen) is a paramilitary group protecting the various settlements in the Commonwealth in 2287.


Founded by ordinary folk of the Commonwealth, the Minutemen are dedicated to the protection of their home, the Commonwealth, from outside threats. Their first major action was the defense of Diamond City in 2180 from a horde of super mutants.[4] As they rose to prominence, the Minutemen became known as citizen soldiers, protecting the Commonwealth and its people so that they could decide their own future. The Minutemen also clashed with the Institute on occasions. However, as the years went by and their influence grew, Minutemen leaders gradually forgot their ideals - and with it came decline and defeat.[5]

Despite a long and respectable tradition, the group has fallen into disarray in recent years, due to a string of disastrous defeats, the single biggest hit being the loss of The Castle to Mirelurks in 2240, after a queen mirelurk decided she fancies the location.[1][2] The loss of their headquarters, radio station, and General McGann sent the Commonwealth Minutemen into disarray. Without artillery support and their resources, they were picked off one by one.[6][7]

After the death of Becker in 2282 no one could agree whom would lead the Minutemen next. This fracturing would lead to the collapse of the organisation. Their death knell came in 2287, when the Gunners attacked Quincy, led by a former Minuteman. Colonel Hollis and Preston Garvey were the only Minutemen unit that responded to the town's desperate call for help. The others... Simply refused to come. Despite a desperate defense, the town fell to the gunners. Barely twenty people made it out of there alive, led by Preston Garvey.[8] The last surviving Minuteman led an exodus, coming under attack from raiders looking for easy picking. He eventually wound up in Concord, with just five survivors of the attacks in Quincy, at the nadir of the Minutemen's existence, five minutes from extinction...[9] Until the Sole Survivor arrived in the town, the fate of the Minutemen appeared all but sealed.[10]


The leader of the Minutemen is traditionally referred to as General and is responsible for outlining the faction's policies, managing personnel, and other major affairs.The Minutemen are spread around the Commonwealth, the most experienced taking a leader position in most cases.[11]

Outside relations

The Minutemen were originally a militia centered around the idea of protecting the people of the Commonwealth at a minute's notice, but eventually became the primary force in the region, stabilizing the situation and responding to emergencies much like a military force would.[12]

Interactions with the player character


The Minutemen believe in using technology in a controlled manner to help their cause. They fight for freedom, but they do not believe in the rights of the Institute's Synths. In combat, the Minutemen emphasize reliable technology, which can be used without fail in interventions. They operate (or at least used to operate) their own radio station to coordinate their efforts in the field.[3] Unique in the Commonwealth is their use of massive mortars to deploy artillery strikes against targets their light arms cannot succeed.[13] They also utilize flare guns to signal for assistance from any nearby minutemen.[14] The Minutemen also utilize laser muskets as a signature weapon, appearing to be handmade from laser rifle components.



The Commonwealth Minutemen appears only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenes

The Commonwealth Minutemen as a whole comes from the legacy of the Minutemen, who were private colonists who independently organized to form well-prepared militia companies and self-trained in weaponry, tactics and military strategies. They served during the American Revolutionary War.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Minutemen once made their headquarters in South Boston's Fort Independence, also known as "the Castle." That ended when a giant creature rose from the sea decades ago and laid it to waste."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Fort Independence was named in 1797, at a ceremony presided over by President John Adams. Before then, it was known as Castle William, and then Fort Adams. Before its destruction in 2240, the fortification served as an apt headquarters for the Minutemen."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Radio Freedom is the radio station of the Minutemen, and allows them to broadcast alerts all across the Commonwealth from their headquarters in the Castle."
  4. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Minutemen first rose to prominence in the year 2180, when they defended Diamond City against a horde of Super Mutant attackers."
  5. The Sole Survivor: "Can you explain what the Minutemen are all about?"
    Preston Garvey: "We're citizen soldiers. The people of the Commonwealth banding together to protect ourselves and decide our own future. That was the original idea, and it was a good one. The Minutemen fell apart because our leaders forgot what we were supposed to stand for. I think you're the one who can bring the Minutemen back, and bring the whole Commonwealth together. Player Default: Okay. I'll do it."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  6. The Castle terminals; Security Terminal, Attacked in the night
  7. The Sole Survivor: "So what happened to this Castle if it was so well-fortified?"
    Preston Garvey: "This was long before I joined up, but the story I heard was that some kind of monster came out of the sea and destroyed the fort. A lot of the leaders were killed in that battle, and I guess nobody ever felt it was worth the risk to try to retake it. I've always wondered if losing the radio station was the beginning of all our later problems. Should I send a garrison to man the Castle?"
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  8. The Sole Survivor: "What was the Quincy Massacre?"
    Preston Garvey: "I thought everyone in the Commonwealth knew about that by now. Where the Minutemen betrayed each other, and the people they were supposed to protect. I was with Colonel Hollis's group. A mercenary group called the Gunners was attacking Quincy; the people there called for the Minutemen to help. We were the only ones that came. The other groups... they just turned their backs. On us, and the folks in Quincy. Only a few of us got out alive. Colonel Hollis was dead. So I ended up in charge of the survivors. We never found a safe place to settle. One disaster after another... you saw how it ended, in Concord."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  9. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Minutemen were formed over a century ago by ordinary people who simply wanted to defend their home, the Commonwealth, from any threat imaginable. Sadly, the group has fallen into disarray in recent years."
  10. When Freedom Calls
  11. Preston Garvey
  12. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Like the Minutemen of the Revolutionary era, the modern day Minutemen are dedicated to defending the people of Massachusetts, at a minute's notice."
  13. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Use Artillery Smoke Grenades to call in artillery strikes from nearby Minutemen batteries."
  14. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Use the Flare Gun to summon help from any nearby Minutemen."
Commonwealth Minutemen
Fo4 Minutemen Flag.png
Fo4 Minutemen Flag.png