Were known as minutemen because the could be ready to battle with a "minutes" notice. Minutemen fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolution. They were used to protect their town from invasion of other armies.
Fallout: Beginning Vs. End (i only have Fallout 3 and New Vegas, i don't have Fallout 4 yet, but I've heard talk that you get pretty decent armor and weapons right at the beginning. Anyone wish to clarify this?