Tail-gunners are low-level members of motorcycle clubs (you might also be wondering why bikers wear leather vests) who are appointed to provide a protective escort for high-ranking, often international, members.
They do not have the organizational power or influence of their senior counterparts, but they still serve a vital function as bodyguards for club members.
They generally fill one of two roles: tail-gunner in front or tail-gunner behind.
In the former role, which is more common in Europe and parts of Asia, the tail gunner flags down potential threats ahead so that the higher ranking member can avoid them. This technique is known as pre-emptive defense.
The latter role is most common in North America and is called door-gunner. In this capacity, the tail gunner rides behind the senior member and provides protection against attacks from the rear.
Does a tail gunner have power in the motorcycle club?
A tail gunner does not have much power within his club, but rather serves as an enforcer for higher ranking members in international dealings. He does not speak for the club unless it is with express permission from a senior member.
Often, he will travel with an entourage of other low level members who will protect him if necessary and ensure that his actions are in keeping with the goals of the club.
In general, a tail gunner is the lowest ranking member of a motorcycle club. He may recruit new members and perform other duties as instructed by senior members, but he does not have the power to represent the club on his own. He usually reports directly to the highest ranking officer in his club, who in turn reports to the next highest ranking officer.
A tail gunner’s power ends at least one rank below him in a chain of command that goes all the way up to his national or international leader.
A tail-gunner is responsible for enforcing club rules and maintaining order among other members both on and off “official” business. In many cases, this involves punishing wrongdoers through physical force or intimidation.