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. . . Protect the people at a minute's notice. . .Preston Garvey

The Commonwealth Minutemen are a faction in the Commonwealth in 2287.


The Commonwealth Minutemen are a volunteer civilian defense militia, described as citizen soldiers banding together to protect themselves and their communities.[1] Similar to the Minutemen of the Revolutionary era, the modern day group is focused on defending the people of Massachusetts, at a minute's notice.[2][3] A statue near the Old North Bridge commemorates the original group, standing where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired.[4]

The group first rose to prominence in 2180, when they defended Diamond City against a super mutant attack.[5] The Minutemen then attempted to branch out to organize a provisional government with regional settlements.[6] This effort was cut short when group members were murdered by the Institute's representative, a synth.[7] Meanwhile, the group established its headquarters at Fort Independence in South Boston, referring to it as "the Castle."[8] The group including Ronnie Shaw established an armory within the facility, guarded by a sentry bot named Sarge.[9] They maintained operations from this location until 2240, while under the leadership of General McGann, the headquarters were destroyed by a creature that emerged from the surrounding ocean.[8][10][11]

Quincy Massacre

The Minutemen continued in their goals of responding to requests for help from nearby settlements that were being attacked, lending their aid towards its defense.[12] The overall faction was historically led by a general and individual contingents led by a colonel.[13] The last Minutemen general, Joe Becker, died in 2282, but who should serve as successor was never agreed upon.[14][15] After General Becker's death, rivalries between different groups began to cause infighting and disorganization.[16][17] Some members left the group entirely, such as James Wire and Ronnie Shaw.[18][19][20]

The loss of stable leadership and internal squabbles began to erode the efficacy of the group, but the efforts of the Minutemen to respond to defense requests persisted.[21] One such request was from the citizens of Quincy, who were being attacked by a mercenary group known as the Gunners.[12] One group of Minutemen responded to Quincy's request, under the command of Colonel Ezra Hollis.[22][23] Preston Garvey, a Minutemen member since the age of 17, was in this group and assisted with the efforts to barricade the town against future attacks.[24][25] Hollis knew that they didn't have the numbers to hold the town against subsequent attacks, but repetitive requests for reinforcements from other Minutemen groups went unanswered.[22][23][25]

Shortly thereafter, Clint, a ten-year veteran of the Minutemen, arrived in Quincy not to provide reinforcements, but having defected to the Gunner side.[26][27] Hollis refused to stand down and the Gunners attacked in force, taking the high ground on the overpass.[28][29] Despite their best efforts, the Minutemen could not defend against the Gunners' superior numbers and position.[28][30] Colonel Hollis was captured alive, standing by Minutemen principles until the end, executed by Clint.[28] The rest of the inhabitants were killed with the exception of a few who fled with Garvey, who took over after Hollis' death.[28][31]

From Quincy, the small contingent that survived the massacre headed to Jamaica Plains, and then Lexington to find shelter.[32][33] Unable to settle there due to feral ghouls, they attempted to settle in Concord.[32][34] By the time the group reaches that destination, Preston believes he is the last member of the Minutemen alive, dedicated to protecting the surviving group of civilians.[22][35] Word of the Minutemen's inability to protect Quincy spread across the Commonwealth, where settlers will make disparaging remarks about the group and event.[36]


The general serves as the overall leader of the Minutemen, with individual groups by colonels. Members wear distinct uniforms along with various pieces of armor, and are often armed with their signature laser musket, as well as pipe weapons and double-barrel shotguns. They also utilize artillery, giving them the means to defend locations from afar. Once the Castle is reclaimed, the group begins to broadcast Radio Freedom as a way to send alerts across the Commonwealth.[37]


Soon after escaping Vault 111, the Sole Survivor may come across the Museum of Freedom under attack by raiders. They must fight their way upstairs, where they are introduced to Preston Garvey, who is protecting a group from hostilities. If assistance is given, Garvey invites the Sole Survivor to join the Minutemen, they are promoted to the rank of general, and the main questline starts.

Throughout this questline, the Sole Survivor will be asked to lead the Minutemen and complete tasks to align more settlements with the Minutemen. Eventually, this will lead to Taking Independence, in which the Minutemen take back their former headquarters, the Castle. With all the Minutemen quests completed, new quests assigned by Preston Garvey will begin to cycle back through previously completed quests.

The Minutemen are neutral, and will stay friendly to the player character should they ally with the Institute, Brotherhood of Steel or the Railroad. However, the Sole Survivor can opt-out of any of those factions and work specifically with the Minutemen for the main quest. Upon completion of the Nuclear Option, soldiers from the army will patrol the Commonwealth's military checkpoints. Depending on the actions of the Sole Survivor, they may initiate the conflict in the Commonwealth against other factions:

  • If the Sole Survivor enters into hostile relations with the Institute, a faction war between the Minutemen and the Institute starts and they can now enter the Minutemen route of the main quest. This route will lead to Defend the Castle against the synths and later on to the completion of the main quest with The Nuclear Option.
  • If the main quest was finished with the Minutemen or the Brotherhood of Steel and the Sole Survivor has or gains hostile status to the Brotherhood, the two factions will go to war. The conflict in the Commonwealth will end with the optional Minutemen quest With Our Powers Combined, where the Minutemen use their artillery to bombard the Prydwen. After the Prydwen is destroyed, the Brotherhood will launch their final assault on the Castle. Once the assault is over, the conflict in the Commonwealth ends.

Named members



Related quests

Main questline

  • When Freedom Calls: A group of raiders is laying siege to a building in Concord. The Sole Survivor can help eliminate the threat to the settlers within.
  • Sanctuary: The Sole Survivor can agree to help the people in Sanctuary Hills establish a permanent settlement.
  • The First Step: Preston Garvey asks for one to travel to a nearby settlement that's requested help from the Minutemen. The player character can head there to see what they can do to help them.
  • The Sight: Mama Murphy insists that she can see the future while under the influence of chems and asks the Sole Survivor to procure some for her. After each dose of chems, Mama Murphy will have a vision about the Sole Survivor's future.
  • Taking Point: Preston informs the Sole Survivor of a promising site for a new settlement. He asks them to clear the settlement of enemies before building a recruitment radio beacon to attract new settlers.
  • Taking Independence: Preston brings up the idea of retaking the Castle, suggesting that the radio transmitter there would help with communicating with the growing number of allied settlements. Preston will then ask the Sole Survivor how they would prefer to approach the attack.
  • Old Guns: Ronnie Shaw informs the Sole Survivor of an armory hidden in the western bastion of the Castle that only she knows how to access. She will lead them to the area to do so.
  • Inside Job: Once the signal interceptor has been built, Sturges will ask the Sole Survivor to insert a network scanner holotape inside the Institute's computer network to infiltrate it and download any available information.
  • Form Ranks: Preston Garvey will state that the Minutemen are not strong enough to take on the Institute. They will need to recruit more settlements in order to have the manpower necessary to stand a chance.
  • The Nuclear Option: Sturges analyzed the data from the Institute network and found a way to access it via an old tunnel providing cooling water to their reactor. He gives the Sole Survivor a holotape that will reprogram the relay to bring in the Minutemen and end the Institute.
  • With Our Powers Combined: The Minutemen can remove the Brotherhood of Steel as a threat to the Commonwealth. With enough artillery batteries, they can attempt to take out the Prydwen with a surprise attack.

Side and radiant quests

  • Defend the Castle: The Sole Survivor receives word that enemies are preparing to attack the Castle, and they can help defend it.
  • Returning the Favor: Blake Abernathy asks the Sole Survivor to retrieve a locket from the raider hideout in USAF Satellite Station Olivia. If they are successful, his farm will join the Minutemen's cause.
  • Clearing the Way: A settler tells the Sole Survivor that a nearby area has been infested with hostiles that are threatening their settlement. The settler will ask that they clear the infestation before mentioning that the infested area would be a good spot for another settlement.
  • Ghoul Problem: An allied settlement is having trouble with feral ghouls, and needs help in dealing with them.
  • Greenskins: A large group of super mutants has been raiding a settlement and causing trouble. A settler will point the Sole Survivor to the mutants' hideout and ask that they are eliminated for the safety of the settlement.
  • Kidnapping: A settler has been kidnapped and their friends are in desperate need of help. The Sole Survivor can either give the settlement leader enough caps to pay the ransom, or they can offer to rescue the settler.
  • Raider Troubles: Raiders have been harassing a settlement and causing trouble. The Sole Survivor must travel to the raider hideout and eliminate them.
  • Resettle Refugees: The Sole Survivor is informed of a group of Institute refugees at a military checkpoint who are looking to resettle, and is asked to assist them.
  • Rogue Courser: Preston Garvey has learned of a courser who has embedded himself within a raider gang. The Sole Survivor can take them out before they gain control and start causing significant problems.
  • Stop the Raiding: A large group of raiders came by recently asking for tribute, which the settlement was forced to pay for their own protection. The settler will point the Sole Survivor to the raiders' hideout and ask that they are dealt with.
  • Defend: A settlement is under imminent threat of an attack. The Sole Survivor can travel to the settlement and deal with the attackers.
  • Defend the Artillery: A Brotherhood vertibird has been spotted near the settlement, scoping out the artillery. The settlers there will ask the Sole Survivor to help build up the settlement's defenses to protect against the upcoming attack.


The Commonwealth Minutemen appear only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenes

The faction is based on the real world Minutemen, a self-trained colonial partisan militia during the American Revolutionary War, known for being ready "at a minute's notice."


  1. 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."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  2. Fallout 4 loading screens: "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."
  3. Fallout 4 loading screens: "Like the Minutemen of the Revolutionary era, the modern day Minutemen are dedicated to defending the people of Massachusetts, at a minute's notice."
  4. Preston Garvey: "Well I'll be damned. It's the monument to the original Minutemen. I knew that was somewhere around Concord. That means this right here must be the Old North Bridge. Where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired. I'd call that the best omen I've seen since we left Quincy."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  5. Fallout 4 loading screens: "The Minutemen first rose to prominence in the year 2180, when they defended Diamond City against a horde of Super Mutant attackers."
  6. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide: "Historians have noted the original name for this settlement was Fort Independence, but the people of the Commonwealth now refer to it simply as the Castle. This place has a long and storied history; it is one of the first forts in America and predates the Revolutionary War. In recent times, it served as the base of operations for the Minutemen as they attempted (and failed) to establish a Provisional government. In 2240, the Castle was partly destroyed by gigantic Mirelurk, and most of the Minutemen leadership died."
  7. Sole Survivor: "Massacre of the CPG? What's that?"
    Nick Valentine: "The Commonwealth Provisional Government. Years back a group of settlements tried to get together and form a coalition. Every settlement with even a hint of clout sent representatives to try and hash out an agreement. Only the Institute sent a representative of their own, a Synth. The man killed every rep at the talks. The Commonwealth Provisional Government was over before it even got off the ground. I took up in town not long after. I was damn lucky they didn't just tell me to scram right then and there."
    (Nick Valentine's dialogue)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fallout 4 loading screens: "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."
  9. SARGE: "Comparing intruders to known Minutemen roster."
    Ronnie Shaw: "Well I'll be. I would've never guessed the Sarge would still be down here. Don't worry, it's one of ours."
    (SARGE's dialogue)
  10. Fallout 4 loading screens: "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."
  11. Ronnie Shaw: "That explains all the landmines. This is, well... was, General McGann. He had your job back when I first joined up. Must have gotten trapped down here when that sea beast attacked the Castle. He did manage to keep the armory secure. I'll give him that much. Rest in peace, general. Your fight is done and the Minutemen live on. No point in getting all sentimental about something that happened 40 years ago."
    (Ronnie Shaw's dialogue)
  12. 12.0 12.1 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."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  13. Preston Garvey: "The leader of the Minutemen has always held the rank of General."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  14. Preston Garvey: "Our last leader was General Becker. After he died back in '82, nobody could agree on who should take his place."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  15. Preston Garvey: "You're the best leader the Minutemen have had since General Becker was killed. I'm proud to call you a friend."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  16. Preston Garvey: "You know, the politics and rivalries and bad blood between the different groups. I guess General Becker was able to keep a lid on it. Keep everyone more or less on the same team. But after he was killed, it all came out in the open. I couldn't believe it at first."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  17. Preston Garvey: "Back before General Becker died, the Minutemen were a force to be reckoned with."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  18. Libertalia terminal entries; Wire's terminal; April 2283: "Raiders. That's what they called us. And they're not wrong."..."General Becker would be sick if he saw us now. But he's dead. And we're alive."
  19. Ronnie Shaw: "That's just sad. General Becker used to run the Minutemen. The last real leader we ever had. After he died, there wasn't anybody left with the guts and brains to pull things together. I'm talking about the gang of clowns that let the Minutemen fall apart. I didn't respect any of them, so I took a vacation."
    (Ronnie Shaw's dialogue)
  20. Ronnie Shaw: "Yeah, I was. Back before Joe Becker got himself killed and the idiots took over."
    (Ronnie Shaw's dialogue)
  21. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Groups, Gangs, and Factions p. 37: "Minutemen"
    "The Minutemen were once a formidable and rather popular faction in the Commonwealth. Due to significant losses and internal squabbles, however, this people's militia has struggled to survive in recent years."
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Preston Garvey: "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)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Quincy ruins terminal entries; Hollis' terminal, Status report
  24. Preston Garvey: "When I turned 17, I joined up with Ezra Hollis's company. He was one of the good ones. Really believed in the old-time Minuteman way."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Quincy ruins terminal entries; Hollis' terminal, Setting up defenses
  26. Quincy ruins terminal entries; Hollis' terminal, Betrayed
  27. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map p. 387: "QUINCY RUINS"
    "Due to some controversial zoning, the freeway was run right over the main street, near the buildings of this once-picturesque and historical settlement. John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and John Hancock were all born here. Currently, Gunners have taken over the Quincy ruins and a section of freeway that runs through the town. This was once a Minutemen stronghold until the arrival of the Gunners and a defection of one of the Minutemen's own."
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Quincy ruins terminal entries; Gunner terminal, Col. Hollis
  29. Quincy ruins terminal entries; Sturges's terminal, Baker here
  30. Preston Garvey: "Once the Gunners got up here, there was no way to defend the rest of Quincy. We gave the Gunners a hell of a fight, but we never really stood a chance. There were just too many of them and too few of us."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  31. Ronnie Shaw: "Garvey? Oh yeah, I heard of him. Took over Hollis's group after the Quincy Massacre. One of the good ones."
    (Ronnie Shaw's dialogue)
  32. 32.0 32.1 Preston Garvey: "Just folks lookin' for a new home. A fresh start. I've been with 'em since Quincy. Lexington looked good for a while, but the Ghouls drove us outta there."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  33. Quincy ruins terminal entries; Gunner terminal, Preston
  34. Preston Garvey: "A month ago, there were 20 of us. Yesterday there were 8. Now, we're 5. First it was the Ghouls in Lexington. Now this mess."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  35. Sole Survivor: "Minutemen? So now I'm traveling backward in time?"
    Preston Garvey: "Protect the people at a minute's notice. That was the idea. So I joined up, wanted to make a difference. And I did, but... things fell apart. Now it looks like I'm the last Minuteman left standing."
    (Preston Garvey's dialogue)
  36. Settler: "The Minutemen? I heard about what happened in Quincy. Bad business, that."
    (Settler's dialogue)
  37. Fallout 4 loading screens: "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."