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Posted: 7/31/2010 12:55:32 PM EDT
Ok everyone, I PM'd Tweeter and he was kind enough to email me his post. I'm posting it here for the benefit of everyone. I really appreciated Tweeter's input on this site and it's unfortunate he's chosen to leave. I wish he wouldn't delete his posts as it's beneficial to those that read it but he can do what he wants. Since he sent it to me I'll share with you. Enjoy.


Your gear should assist you. No exceptions.
Good rack system - Some use velcro, some use bungee cords, short answer... you need to find what works
best for you.
Consider a modular set-up, you can adjust it as your duty position changes. Some times you want to have your
pouches on your vest, sometimes on your rack... it's best to keep your options open.
Don't go cheap on this either... it's important that you find one that works and will put up with some serious
abuse.
NOTE: If you have a releasable armor system, you might not want to use a rack system over it, your armor
won’t drop free as quickly, might get tangled up in your rack system and not come off at all (and then what’s
the point of having a quick-release armor set?). If you have a releasable armor system, you might want to
put your pouches on your armor.

Good cleaning kit - Most units can provide you with one, but I've found that they're either overkill or out-dated.
An Otis kit is good, but you don't use all the parts. If you want a Bore-Snake... try getting by with a piece of 550
cord, I don't like them because metal particles and sand can get stuck in the fabric strands.
I've heard stories of them getting bound-up and stuck in the chambers of weapons too.
If I can't clear a binding bore snake out of my weapon on an OP in the middle of a city... I'm fucked.
It's your shit. Me? I say fuck that noise.
If you need a scraper tool, don't use a surgical steel dental pick... it has more potential in harming your receiver
and barrel extension than good that can come from it. Use a piece of coat hangar wire that's been bent, cut,
flattened and filed a little to make a softer metal scraper tool... it's a heck of lot easier to get and cheaper.
You can do the same thing with a piece of brass rod stock from Home Depot and a file.
Oh yeah, put a bottle of gun lube on your rack... you'll need to re-lube every 300 rounds or so.
Carabiners – You probably don’t need a full-size climbing carabiner. Get one of those little screw-gate links at
the hardware store that cost sixty cents. You can use it to secure your NODS/ GCP/ MBITR without having to
re-tie the 550 cord every time you move it. Put some 550 on your NODS plate and stay out of the spider web of
550 that tie-downs usually create.

Lights - You need a couple of different lights, one is a weaponlight (which your unit might already have) and
the others are personal lights.
For a personal light, I'd use a headlamp that is red-light capable... you can use it hands-free to treat a
casualty (a mixture of blue and red light is best for finding blood), set a charge, work on a gun, program a
radio, flip it over to white light for walking around the FOB , reading mail in the shitter or searching a building.
The Petzl TacTikka is pretty much king of the jungle with this one. The French finally got something right, go
figure.

You really shouldn't use the high-output lights on your weapon to do in-depth searches.
Here’s why: most incandescent weaponlights are meant to be used for short bursts, not extended periods... the
bulbs are usually halogen or xenon and they get hot quick too, this leads to premature failure.
Another reason is that your head will go to where your light goes... and some places where you need to look
are really hard to put a weaponlight on.
Weaponlight - Whatever light you choose for your gun, make sure it's shock-proof or uses an LED. LED lights
are great because they're very shock-resistant and don't need to be replaced like bulbs do.

The bad thing about LED lights is the brightness of most of them don't throw a very bright light beam for a very
long distance. The LED lights that can do this are usually expensive.
My opinion? cry once and fork out the cash for a quality light. The industry standard is around 65 lumens
minimum for a good weaponlight.
I use a Surefire L4 Lumamax on a Viking Tactics mount or a Surefire X300 on a LaRue mount, either is a solid
choice. If you use an L4, think about protecting the tailswitch from accidental discharge. A Z68 tailcap switch is
a great answer to this problem, there’s a guard around the switch.
Keychain lights - Other places to put a light are easy, where do you use light at?
I keep a keychain LED squeezie light in all the big bags I use… and even some small pouches that I use often.
Here’s why: I can’t see inside the fucking bag.
My headlamp can’t look straight down into my accessories pouch on my chest. Put a light on a piece of 550
cord and safety pin that fucker in there. It’s a solution, but not the only one.

Spare batteries - Make a list of all the electrically-powered shit that you carry with you and bring spares for
all of it.
Hell, I even had a watch battery (you know, for my watch) taped inside my helmet. Good thing too, I needed
it.
If you're smart, you'll have most of your shit set up so that it uses the same types of batteries.
Have a place to put them, there are folks out there that make plastic organizers for batteries. Tip: Leave
rechargeable batteries for non-mission-critical shit like your mp3 player. Cold will deplete the charge on a
rechargeable battery like a fat chick sucking down chocolate pudding.
Lithium batteries aren’t too adversely affected by cold and have a longer storage life than alkaline batteries.
They’re more expensive, but if I’m going to bet my life on a battery, it’s probably going to be a lithium.

Boots - Issued stuff works fine, Belleville 390 desert boots are my personal favorite issued boots. Sure, I have
a pair of Hanwag Mountain GTX boots, but there isn't a Big Army Sergeant Major alive that would let me wear
them.

Socks - I like WigWam Ultramax merino wool hikers... awesome socks. Smartwool is touted as being pretty
good, if you like them try the copies that REI puts out... they're the very same thing and cheaper.

GPS - Small, easy-to-read, back-lit, uses readily-available batteries. I like the Garmin Foretrex 101, 301 or
401. It can strap to your wrist, uses AAA batteries, has a backlight, 500 storable waypoints... stay away from
the 201 though, it's a rechargeable unit made for sailing. Whatever you choose, make sure everyone on
your patrol knows how to use it.
The more GPS units, the merrier.
Buy one at the PX, it's the new compass.
Wrist compass – The GPS may trick you, but a compass and map never lie.
Never assume your patrol will run you through known areas and back to base. What if you have to be quick
reaction for another patrol or contractors or a downed UAV? The compass is more reliable than a GPS.
I can always tell my buddy on the radio "I'm on the north side of the house" or to that effect if I can easily
reference a compass.

Leave the digital bullshit alone for this tool; they're slow, they need to be calibrated a lot and they take
batteries. Fuck that.
The Army has an issued wrist compass for aviator survival kits (compass, magnetic, unmounted: wrist, NSN:
6605-00-809-5252, made by Marathon Watch) but it’s photoluminous, which you have to charge with a
flashlight to get it to glow.
NOTE: Photo-luminous shit is inconvenient and I think the fucking designers that use it are borderline insane.
It doesn’t last that long, so to get the glow-in-the-dark-shit to work, you shine a bright light on it.
It fades quickly however, so you have to periodically re-charge it. It basically comes down to you using your
light to see in the dark, rather than reading your watch or compass via some glow-in-the-dark bullshit.
Long story short, use tritium, it glows for about ten years… not five minutes.
Suunto makes a really good compass, but it’s also photo-luminous and doesn’t clip onto wide watchbands.
In my opinion Cammenga makes the best one, the same folks that make the issued luminous compass. The
dial is tritium-lit and tracks very well, isn’t liquid-filled (bubbles in a compass are bad) and goes for about forty
bucks. My only gripe is the band, I'd recommend you replace it as soon as possible.

Water bottles/ canteens - Some prefer the old-fashioned canteens, but I like the Nalgene bottle because I
can cook in it, see what the contents are, it doesn't hold bad tastes, it's easily cleaned and I can measure
and mix stuff in it.
Canteens have a narrow mouth, can’t accept ice cubes and will warp or melt when holding very hot water.
The cons are: wide-mouth bottles spill easier while drinking, especially in vehicles. There are solutions for
this, but they cost extra. My favorite “cost extra” is called a Capcap, funny name… fucking ingenious.
Also; Nalgene bottles aren't free or NBC-mask compatible. Canteen or water bottle, get a metal cup for it…
cold food sucks.
Cup - Whether you're on a combat outpost or pulling shifts on an OP, being able to heat what you eat is a
fucking huge morale boost. Hot coffee or ramen on a COP shift can really assist in keeping your head straight.
Get a metal cup for whatever water bottle you use and grab a fistful of heat tablets before you head out the
door. Olicamp and Vargo make cups that fit perfectly under a Nalgene bottle, the Olicamp cup is stainless and
goes for like... six bucks.
The Vargo cup is titanium and goes for about thirty bucks, I own both and hafta say that I honestly don't give a
shit if it's made out of titanium or not. I like the fact that the Vargo holds about ten fluid ounces more than the
Olicamp cup. The only part I don't like is the fucking lid, so I leave it at the house.

Paper/ Pen/ Pencil - You’ll need to write, the shit you write in combat is usually a little more important than
normal shit. Keep in mind that sweat and water will destroy regular paper. Use waterproof paper or index
cards. Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards are available in tan and green. Ordering info for them: NSN:
7530-01-536-2359. The tan ones are NSN: 7530-01-536-2360.
Ink will run, so consider your favorite brand of mechanical pencil as well, I like the .7mm ones, they tear
paper less and break lead less.
If you need to reference prowords, battle roster numbers, sketches, UNS', GRGs, radio frequencies,
callsigns, whatever. Put it on a fucking index card and punch a hole in it then tie it off with some 550 cord.
You really don’t want to lose shit like that on an operation. Reinforce it with some clear packing tape so it
doesn’t tear off accidentally, regular duct tape works in a pinch too.

Knife - Something you can use to cut with that you can get to easily. Leave the Rambo III Special Ninja Edition
bullshit at home. A locking folder with a pocket clip works. Don’t forget a sharpening stone, you don’t need
fancy honing oils for the stone, your gun lube or some water should work fine.
Multitool - What do you need a multitool for? I guarantee someone makes a tool that does what you need.
Find one that fits your needs, a good pouch for it on your rack is invaluable as well.
Adjustable nylon pistol magazine pouches work great for this purpose, just place your tool or knife away from
your reloads.
It's funny to watch a guy trying to reload with a Gerber during drills, not so much in real life.
Camelbak - Get one, use it. But if you're on a vehicle and you need water, drink bottled water from the truck
first. This way, if you need to get off the truck you're still topped-off on water.
You can get rid of that "new" plastic taste with hot water and lemon juice (which is better than hot water and
vinegar or bleach). Duct tape works fine for fixing most small leaks.
Eye Protection - Whatever it is, make sure it's on the APEL (Approved Protective Eyewear List) that list is
put out for eyewear that is authorized for protective use by military personnel.
Pissed-off that you don't get wear your Limited Edition LiveStrong Oakley Half Jackets? Fuck you, I don't get
to wear my favorite hiking boots.
Eyepro sucks? Start saving up for that seeing-eye dog.

Zip-ties - A handy place to put zip ties is behind pouches or woven into PALS webbing. Check to make sure it
doesn’t interfere with your kit or shooting. If you can't figure out a use for zip-ties then you just need to off
yourself.

Blow-out kit - Most of these are unit-mandated i.e. they have a certain packing list. That doesn't mean that
you can't pack more though. Add some penny-cutter scissors, some extra CATs, Remember to add a Sharpie
marker or something like it. I attached my blow-out kit to a Velcro tear-away panel with an elastic pig-tail cord
to keep it attached to me. It’ll be easier to get to and access what’s inside.
Make sure you know how to use it and that it’s not out-dated.
You can also shove medical shit into pockets on your uniform. The calf pockets on your ACU pants hold a
Bloodstopper bandage perfectly. In fact, go ahead and do that anyway.
Mark the outside with something permanent, distinctive and visible. A red cross sewn to it is pretty good, but a
little red sharpie marker (touched up every once in a while) would work too.

Bungee Cords – If I had enough bungee cords I could probably conquer Asia.
Sling - Two-point. Keep as much of the plastic snaps and buckles and shit to a minimum, it breaks. If you need
to replace a plastic slide adjustment, find an old M16 sling and use the sling keepers at the ends of it... they're
metal. Don’t use plastic when ever possible. You’ll figure this out when your plastic buckles crack from getting
smashed between a seat-back and some body armor for five months.
Worse comes to worse, use a piece of 1-inch OD webbing and tie it off at the ends. Don’t start off with it
though, there are better options out there… don’t begin in a disadvantaged position.
Signal panel - A bright piece of orange or pink all-weather cloth used for signaling, get a piece... keep it
handy. Maybe think about sewing some ScotchBrite reflective cloth to it as well. Whatever you use, try not to
put call-signs and other stupid shit on it.

The best issued item for this is an aviator signal panel, NSN 8345-00-140-4232 (comes in packages of 4).
Keep a rubber band handy so you can attach it to shit or keep a rock in it (for lifting/shifting fires or keeping it
from blowing away in strong winds).
Shooting gloves – Most of the time, they’re mandated.
Use gloves, don't use gloves... do what you want, they're your hands.
Just keep in mind that Haj is smelly and dirty and that you'll be handling everything from flash-bangs (with
some hot fuses) all the way down to hanging out with broken glass, jagged metal, industrial adhesives,
solvents, shit like that.
Like I said, they're your hands.
Bandanna - Handkerchief, bandanna, rag, same thing... lots of uses. Carry a few. Dust mask, sling, t-kit, blow
your nose, clean your lenses, stuff a bullet hole, whatever.

Lighter - Cheap pressurized butane ones are best. My favorites are Scriptos, no child-safety shit, adjustable
and they're translucent so I can see if it's almost empty.
Electrical tape – you can’t fit a roll of 100MPH tape into your kit, but this stuff works well in a pinch. Roll it
around an cleaned section of chemlight tubing, a Sharpie, chapstick tube, whatever.
Sunscreen - My favorite is this shit called Banana Boat, it looks like an oversized tube of chapstick and it
works just like one too. The unscented stuff is made for babies and comes in a pink and white tube. Go ahead
and laugh.
Shit paper - Sound funny? You try finding shit tickets on a new COP or Iraqi compound. Bring a short roll of
the good stuff from home and fold it down flat. If you wanna prevent Klingons, put some individually-packaged
handi-wipes into the cardboard tube. I just keep mine in a squad bag in my vehicle.

Chapstick - Make sure it's also SPF rated, sunburned lips are hard to eat and talk with. This is especially true
when you spice your food up (probably while trying to disguise bad KBR cooking).
Tabasco and Texas Pete will fuck your shit up if you have chapped or sunburnt lips. It can be used in a pinch
for sunscreen if you really need it too.
Hot sauce – Speaking of Texas Pete, KBR isn't mom's cooking and no matter how good they are, the menu
isn't that diverse. Bring some with you in case someone’s always stealing the stuff at the chowhall.

Fuel Pills/Heat Tabs - Fuel tablets are so fucking useful I have no clue just how to explain how motherfucking
useful they are. Yeah I do... cold food sucks.
If you can smell it, then the packaging has a hole in it, use some tape to re-seal it. These stink, so I usually
tape them up as soon as I get them.

Ear Plugs - For 'terps or in case you lose yours and need to talk after a demo breach. Safety pins can hold
these inside a pouch pretty well... so you don't have to dig for them.
Use a drop of alcohol in your ears every other day to reduce the risk of ear infections, especially if you use
earmuff-style earpro that seals.

Binoculars/Monocular - compact and as high-powered as you can afford. Not being able to ID anything sucks
ass.

Some people use their ACOG to identify friendly forces, from a distance this can make you look like a threat to
a dumbass that doesn’t have an optic. Just play it safe and try not to aim at friendlies.
USB drive - a little thumb drive kicks ass, you can get them for about $30 or so and they carry a lot of shit...
trade mp3 files, photos, whatever. The best use I found for mine was keeping all of my military records on me...
I scanned them and took them with me.
It kept me eligible for a huge fucking bonus because I had my own records to help back up what the army lost.
This is also a real life-saver when you find yourself going to a real easy promotion board and you’re overseas
with a shitty S-1 section.
I like to use a memory card in a USB adapter, that way I can use it in a camera (as an SD card) and in pretty
much any non-government computer as a USB memory stick.

Laptop - nothing fancy and make sure it's on your home-owners/renters insurance. Movies, music, games... I
used mine to write my emails home in a simple text document, then I saved it to a thumb drive and took it to
the MWR computers and simply cut and pasted to a web-mail provider's email program.
It sure beats wasting my allotted half-hour typing-out an email and then sending it.
An Acer Aspire One or Asus Eee netbook is just what the doctor ordered for deployments for new soldiers;
wireless, good sized hard drive, small. They both go for about $400.
On that note, if you’re a Joe and you stay up all fucking night playing motherfucking Xbox, you’re fucking up
big.
If you fall asleep in a truck during a mission, expect someone hitting you with something heavy… maybe in
the face.

mp3 player - Rock out. Just start thinking about how you're gonna load it, power it, shit like that. Oh yeah,
don't bring that shit with you on missions. I'll fucking kill you.
Safety Pins – The kind you get off an ammo bandolier are the best. Black, strong, rust-resistant… they’re
great for staging earplugs, index-cards, LED lights, chemlights, signal panels, whatever.

Drink Tablets/ Powders - The tablets are relatively new and don’t make a huge fucking mess like powders do.
Nuun, Zyme and Elixer are awesome, carbonated tablets (kinda like Alka-Seltezer) that you just drop into a
bottle and wait a couple of minutes. It's bubbly for a few hours and basically flavored water with some good
shit (like caffeine) thrown in so you can justify using it. Water gets a little old after a while.

Things to know before you go
Keep a smoke grenade on your shit. Pilots can't see that little signal panel while you're huddled next to cover
dumbass. Yellow smoke and white smoke are hard to see. Use green, red or violet instead.
We all saw Blackhawk Down, but don’t be a fucking retard and modify any grenades with tape or zip-ties.
If you tape the fucking safety clip (some idiots call it a spoon) down and remove all the original safety features,
then throw it here's what happens:
Not only does your grenade not go off, but now a bad guy potentially has a hand grenade, it's lost, someone
kicks it or removes the tape or the tape rots off. Way to go dick-hole, you fucked yourself, maybe a buddy or
two or even a stranger or kid that didn't deserve to get blown the fuck up.

I've never seen anyone at a grenade range that trains to remember removing tape.
You didn't train with your ordnance that way, don't use it that way.
In a panicked, confused or rushed situation, you're probably not likely to remember until after the fact.
I don’t want to explain to your mom that you were a dumbass and killed yourself with duct tape.
Belt-fed guns are your friend, never leave a belt-fed behind. Load a teaser belt, grab an AG and leave the M-4.
Keep your Lasers zeroed.
Better yet, keep it zeroed with a pattern generator on it so you know which one is yours. “Hey dude, I’m the
circle, you’re the triangle, the team leader is the cross”.
Your dot looks like your buddy's dot in a night-fight. It blows when you can't find your laser in a crowd.

Tie your shit down – Learn an End-of-Line Bowline and maybe a Double Figure Eight knot. Use tie downs.
Put a little carabiner on the end of your tie-down to attach it to your helmet, your rack, etc.
If it’s mission critical, tie it down… not just the stuff you get from the arms room.
Wear wool socks, even when it’s as hot as the surface of the sun. Wool wicks moisture, you’ll figure it out.
Put your shit on and shove yourself into as many positions as possible with it. Know it, know what you can do
with it, but more importantly... know what you can't do with it.
Rehearse. But If you're running finger drills, take a break and pick up later.
Have a bag or box with some water, smoke, ammo and frags in it.
Mark it and don’t use it until you need it… you’ll know when you need it.
Mark your shit: Use name tapes, laundry markers or both. Remember, there's only one thief in the army...
everybody else is just trying to get their shit back.
It's good to pack some shit that'll keep you comfortable... but there's a time and place for everything. I'm pretty
sure you don't need a carton of cigarettes for a three-day combat outpost shift. You could probably do some of
your missions without an iPod or your coffee cup too. I like Red Man and everything, but I don't put in a chew if
I think I'm gonna hafta talk on a radio a lot... you get my point?

If you’re particular about your gear, make a list or a photo-catalog of what you prefer to use. This way, when
something breaks or wears out you can get someone stateside to get it for you. With a good description and
a picture, they’ll know what to look for and send it.
Include sizes, colors, names, accessories, where to get it and how much it’s going to probably cost.
It sucks when you get the wrong sized shooting gloves and the used ones you have smell like rotting chicken
and are torn to rags.
You don’t have to include everything, just the hard-to-find shiz.
Don't do anything because it looks cool, do it because it works. If you hafta convince yourself it works, it
probably doesn’t work as well as you think. Always refine your tactics, techniques and procedures.

Don't bullshit yourself: If you don't need that ninja sword... ditch it. Looking cool is not the same as being
effective... chances are you're the only one that thought you looked cool anyway.
Cool? Going home is cool.
If you need access to some chemlights, just run a zip-tie or 550 cord through the little eyelet at one end and
keep it loose enough to attach to a small carabiner. When you need the chemlight, just rip it off the zip-tie and
smack it on something to activate it.
Maybe use a rubber band to keep them from flopping around.
Ear protection: $200-350 for Peltors, depending on the model, is worth it. You can hear
incidental/environmental noise, radios and people talking. If you have a radio and don't get issued electronic
ear pro, buy it yourself. Take care of it and sell it (or just give it) to the next guy.
Ear plugs cost about $0.15 and don’t take batteries. Con: ear plugs aren’t selective, you can’t hear anything.
Stage magazines everywhere, be like the fucking ammo Easter Bunny.

Keep a list of National Stock Numbers for ordering shit from Supply, they conveniently forget or miswrite the
NSNs for your order sometimes so your request doesn’t get completed.
If you’re a Joe, a Sarge or a Sir, everyone should have a list of their favorite NSNs.
Wear your helmet. Nothing is dumber than the guy who doesn't want to wear a helmet because he saw a
movie where the SF guys don't wear helmets.
Same goes for your body armor. Wear it… or someone’s gonna rearrange the furniture in your living room.
Training: PT, movement, shooting, commo and medicine. You can be the best IV-sticker in your platoon, but if
you can't call for a bird… your partner dies.
Know your routes. Know your alternate routes. If you don’t have alternates, your plan is incomplete.
If it'll make your job easier, buy it. Or you'll regret it later, out in the field, and miserable... where it's not
available.
If you’re out for a long walk, maybe think about bringing something small and calorie-packed. You don’t wanna
go overboard with the Rip-Its… you’ll really fuck yourself up.
Try water/Gatorade and energy bars instead.
Bonus: you don’t piss neon green shit, your sleep patterns aren’t fucked and your kidneys don't join the circus.
PACE.
If you don’t know what it is, here goes:
Primary
Alternate
Contingency
Emergency
Commo, Trans, CASEVAC… fucking PACE everything.

Don’t be a nasty motherfucker.
Shower, clean up after yourself, keep your uniforms clean. Yeah, we got it, you were sprayed with blood on a
mission, now clean it up douchrocket. It’s not a badge of honor, it’s biohazard.
Don’t be the asshat that takes all the hot water, refuses to clean anything or becomes a card-carrying member
of the save-the-piss-bottle-foundation. Hey Princess, you’re not the center of the fucking universe.
Keep your windows clean enough to lick.
Hatch Operator nomex gloves may cost $10 more than issue aviator gloves, but they last twice as long. So by
that logic they're cheaper. If another brand is even better, tell your friends.
They’re knee pads, not ankle warmers.
If you wear them and they’re on your ankles, they can’t stop your body weight from driving that little rusty nail
into your fucking patella.

Even if you know a 9-line/ UXO report by heart, keep copies on hand where you can get to them in a hurry.
Heck, go ahead and tape one to the sun visor, ceiling, zip-tie it to the radio, where ever. You can get
mentally lost when you’re wounded or watching one of your friends all fucked up.
Reading it can help kick-start you back into what you’ve trained… kind of a mental reset button.
Use a rubber band to attach a one-hand tourniquet to your armor so someone can get to it in a hurry. Check it
for dry-rot every once in a while.
PMCS your vehicle before EVERY run.
If you can't, at least pay attention. Get out, kick the tires, check the fluids, look underneath, get to know your
truck. End result: make your truck reliable.
Basically, baby it before you have to beat it to death.
If you do a lot of housework, think about having a magazine on the back of your armor for a buddy.
This way, he can see it easier and doesn’t have to go to his shit when he’s in a hurry… This is especially
nice if your weapon goes down and he has to use a lot more of his own ammo to cover your malfunctioning
ass.
Trade. Three things you don't need and three things you do? That's one and the same my friend.
“Fuck it… Let’s go” syndrome is eventually terminal.

Favorite National Stock Numbers
4-Inch Israeli Bandage NSN 6510-01-460-0849
6-Inch Israeli Bandage NSN 6510-01-492-2275
8-Inch Israeli Bandage with 12” Abdominal Pad NSN 6510-01-532-6656
36-Inch SAM Splint NSN 6510-01-225-4681
Bolin Chest Seal NSN 6510-01-549-0939
Combat Application Tourniquet NSN 6515-01-521-7976
Airway, Nasopharyngeal, 28fr, 12s NSN 6515-01-180-0467
Aviator signal panel, comes in a package of four NSN 8345-00-140-4232
OD green 550 cord, 400 yards NSN 4020-00-246-0688
OD green 2-inch tape, 60 yards NSN 7510-00-266-5016
Strobe light, marker, distress ui ea (MS2000) NSN 6230-01-411-8535
Kit bag od green ui ea (aviator kit bag) NSN 8460-00-606-8366
Viking Tactics VCAS sling NSN 1005-01-534-4359
Viking Tactics VCAS wide (padded) sling NSN 1005-01-534-4361
Surefire L4 Digital Lumamax NSN 6230-01-522-6611
Petzl/SKEDCO TacTikka medical NVG green/white headlamp NSN 6515-01-527-8068
Green Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards NSN 7530-01-536-2359
Tan Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards NSN 7530-01-536-2360
Lubricating Oil, Weapons, TW25B. unit size: 1 syringe. NSN 9150-01-448-2266
M249 collapsible buttstock assyembly NSN 1005-01-515-8268
Garmin Foretrex 101 wrist-mounted GPS NSN 5825-01-554-6352
Strider SMF folding knife NSN 1095-01-531-5015
CR123A batteries (Surefire batteries) NSN 6135-01-522-6679
6 inch infrared chemlight 8 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-396-1704
6 inch chemlight orange 12 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-195-9753
6 inch chemlight green 12 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-074-4229
Oakley SI M-Frame Strike 2.0 laser array, grey/clear/laser w/ case NSN 4240-01-555-5324
Tan IR reverse flag patch NSN 8455-01-524-4926
HMMWV tow strap NSN 5340-01-475-3650

Feel free to distribute and alter this document in a professional and responsible manner
Link Posted: 7/31/2010 1:12:26 PM EDT
[#1]
LNL

good stuff, may want to re-edit for readability though  
Link Posted: 7/31/2010 1:47:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: deadbolt] [#2]
This is the best I could do with my barking wife and dog.   Admins
please re-arrange, cut and past, whatever if needed so it moves to the first
post.
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All Credits Go To: Tweeter
Your gear should assist you. No exceptions.
Good rack system - Some use
velcro, some use bungee cords, short answer... you need to find what
works best for you. Consider a modular set-up, you can adjust it as your
duty position changes. Some times you want to have your pouches on your
vest, sometimes on your rack... it's best to keep your options open.
Don't go cheap on this either... it's important that you find one that
works and will put up with some serious abuse.
NOTE: If you have a releasable armor system, you might not want to use a
rack system over it, your armor won’t drop free as quickly, might get
tangled up in your rack system and not come off at all (and then what’s
the point of having a quick-release armor set?). If you have a
releasable armor system, you might want to put your pouches on your
armor.
Good cleaning kit - Most units
can provide you with one, but I've found that they're either overkill or
out-dated. An Otis kit is good, but you don't use all the parts. If you
want a Bore-Snake... try getting by with a piece of 550 cord, I don't
like them because metal particles and sand can get stuck in the fabric
strands.
I've heard stories of them getting bound-up and stuck in the chambers of
weapons too. If I can't clear a binding bore snake out of my weapon on
an OP in the middle of a city... I'm fucked. It's your shit. Me? I say
fuck that noise.
If you need a scraper tool, don't use a surgical steel dental pick... it
has more potential in harming your receiver and barrel extension than
good that can come from it. Use a piece of coat hangar wire that's been
bent, cut, flattened and filed a little to make a softer metal scraper
tool... it's a heck of lot easier to get and cheaper. You can do the
same thing with a piece of brass rod stock from Home Depot and a file.
Oh yeah, put a bottle of gun lube on your rack... you'll need to re-lube
every 300 rounds or so.
Carabiners – You probably don’t
need a full-size climbing carabiner. Get one of those little screw-gate
links at the hardware store that cost sixty cents. You can use it to
secure your NODS/ GCP/ MBITR without having to re-tie the 550 cord every
time you move it. Put some 550 on your NODS plate and stay out of the
spider web of 550 that tie-downs usually create.
Lights - You need a couple of different lights, one is a weaponlight
(which your unit might already have) and the others are personal lights.
For a personal light, I'd use a headlamp that is red-light capable...
you can use it hands-free to treat a casualty (a mixture of blue and red
light is best for finding blood), set a charge, work on a gun, program a
radio, flip it over to white light for walking around the FOB , reading
mail in the shitter or searching a building. The Petzl TacTikka is
pretty much king of the jungle with this one. The French finally got
something right, go figure.
You really shouldn't use the high-output lights on your weapon to do
in-depth searches. Here’s why: most incandescent weaponlights are meant
to be used for short bursts, not extended periods... the bulbs are
usually halogen or xenon and they get hot quick too, this leads to
premature failure. Another reason is that your head will go to where
your light goes... and some places where you need to look are really
hard to put a weaponlight on.
Weaponlight - Whatever light you
choose for your gun, make sure it's shock-proof or uses an LED. LED
lights are great because they're very shock-resistant and don't need to
be replaced like bulbs do.
The bad thing about LED lights is the brightness of most of them don't
throw a very bright light beam for a very long distance. The LED lights
that can do this are usually expensive. My opinion? cry once and fork
out the cash for a quality light. The industry standard is around 65
lumens minimum for a good weapon light. I use a Surefire L4 Lumamax on a
Viking Tactics mount or a Surefire X300 on a LaRue mount, either is a
solid choice. If you use an L4, think about protecting the tailswitch
from accidental discharge. A Z68 tailcap switch is a great answer to
this problem, there’s a guard around the switch.
Keychain lights - Other places
to put a light are easy, where do you use light at? I keep a keychain
LED squeezie light in all the big bags I use… and even some small
pouches that I use often. Here’s why: I can’t see inside the fucking
bag. My headlamp can’t look straight down into my accessories pouch on
my chest. Put a light on a piece of 550 cord and safety pin that fucker
in there. It’s a solution, but not the only one.
Spare batteries - Make a list of
all the electrically-powered shit that you carry with you and bring
spares for all of it. Hell, I even had a watch battery (you know, for my
watch) taped inside my helmet. Good thing too, I needed it.
If you're smart, you'll have most of your shit set up so that it uses
the same types of batteries. Have a place to put them, there are folks
out there that make plastic organizers for batteries. Tip: Leave
rechargeable batteries for non-mission-critical shit like your mp3
player. Cold will deplete the charge on a rechargeable battery like a
fat chick sucking down chocolate pudding.
Lithium batteries aren’t too adversely affected by cold and have a
longer storage life than alkaline batteries. They’re more expensive, but
if I’m going to bet my life on a battery, it’s probably going to be a
lithium.
Boots - Issued stuff works fine,
Belleville 390 desert boots are my personal favorite issued boots.
Sure, I have a pair of Hanwag Mountain GTX boots, but there isn't a Big
Army Sergeant Major alive that would let me wear them.
Socks - I like WigWam Ultramax
merino wool hikers... awesome socks. Smartwool is touted as being pretty
good, if you like them try the copies that REI puts out... they're the
very same thing and cheaper.
GPS - Small, easy-to-read, back-lit, uses readily-available batteries. I like the Garmin Foretrex 101, 301 or 401. It can strap to your wrist, uses AAA batteries, has a backlight,
500 storable waypoints... stay away from the 201 though, it's a
rechargeable unit made for sailing. Whatever you choose, make sure
everyone on your patrol knows how to use it. The more GPS units, the
merrier. Buy one at the PX, it's the new compass.
Wrist compass – The GPS may
trick you, but a compass and map never lie. Never assume your patrol
will run you through known areas and back to base. What if you have to
be quick reaction for another patrol or contractors or a downed UAV? The
compass is more reliable than a GPS. I can always tell my buddy on the
radio "I'm on the north side of the house" or to that effect if I can
easily reference a compass. Leave the digital bullshit alone for this
tool; they're slow, they need to be calibrated a lot and they take
batteries. Fuck that.
The Army has an issued wrist compass for aviator survival kits (compass,
magnetic, unmounted: wrist, NSN: 6605-00-809-5252, made by Marathon
Watch) but it’s photoluminous, which you have to charge with a
flashlight to get it to glow.
NOTE: Photo-luminous shit is inconvenient and I think the fucking
designers that use it are borderline insane. It doesn’t last that long,
so to get the glow-in-the-dark-shit to work, you shine a bright light on
it. It fades quickly however, so you have to periodically re-charge it. It
basically comes down to you using your light to see in the dark, rather
than reading your watch or compass via some glow-in-the-dark bullshit.
Long story short, use tritium, it glows for about ten years… not five
minutes. Suunto makes a really good compass, but it’s also
photo-luminous and doesn’t clip onto wide watchbands. In my opinion
Cammenga makes the best one, the same folks that make the issued
luminous compass. The dial is tritium-lit and tracks very well, isn’t
liquid-filled (bubbles in a compass are bad) and goes for about forty
bucks. My only gripe is the band, I'd recommend you replace it as soon as possible.

Water bottles/ canteens
- Some prefer the old-fashioned canteens,
but I like the Nalgene bottle because I can cook in it, see what the
contents are, it doesn't hold bad tastes, it's easily cleaned and I can
measure and mix stuff in it. Canteens have a narrow mouth, can’t accept
ice cubes and will warp or melt when holding very hot water. The cons
are: wide-mouth bottles spill easier while drinking, especially in
vehicles. There are solutions for this, but they cost extra. My favorite
"cost extra” is called a Capcap, funny name… fucking ingenious. Also;
Nalgene bottles aren't free or NBC-mask compatible. Canteen or water
bottle, get a metal cup for it… cold food sucks.
Cup - Whether you're on a combat
outpost or pulling shifts on an OP, being able to heat what you eat is a
fucking huge morale boost. Hot coffee or ramen on a COP shift can
really assist in keeping your head straight. Get a metal cup for
whatever water bottle you use and grab a fistful of heat tablets before
you head out the door. Olicamp and Vargo make cups that fit perfectly
under a Nalgene bottle, the Olicamp cup is stainless and goes for
like... six bucks. The Vargo cup is titanium and goes for about thirty
bucks, I own both and hafta say that I honestly don't give a shit if
it's made out of titanium or not. I like the fact that the Vargo holds
about ten fluid ounces more than the Olicamp cup. The only part I don't
like is the fucking lid, so I leave it at the house.
Paper/ Pen/ Pencil - You’ll need
to write, the shit you write in combat is usually a little more
important than normal shit. Keep in mind that sweat and water will
destroy regular paper. Use waterproof paper or index cards.
Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards are available in tan and green.
Ordering info for them: NSN: 7530-01-536-2359. The tan ones are NSN:
7530-01-536-2360. Ink will run, so consider your favorite brand of
mechanical pencil as well, I like the .7mm ones, they tear paperless and
break lead less.
If you need to reference prowords, battle roster numbers, sketches,
UNS', GRGs, radio frequencies, callsigns, whatever. Put it on a fucking
index card and punch a hole in it then tie it off with some 550 cord.
You really don’t want to lose shit like that on an operation. Reinforce
it with some clear packing tape so it doesn’t tear off accidentally,
regular duct tape works in a pinch too.
Knife - Something you can use to
cut with that you can get to easily. Leave the Rambo III Special Ninja
Edition bullshit at home. A locking folder with a pocket clip works.
Don’t forget a sharpening stone, you don’t need fancy honing oils for
the stone, your gun lube or some water should work fine.
Multitool - What do you need a
multitool for? I guarantee someone makes a tool that does what you need.
Find one that fits your needs, a good pouch for it on your rack is
invaluable as well.
Adjustable nylon pistol magazine pouches work great for this purpose,
just place your tool or knife away from your reloads. It's funny to
watch a guy trying to reload with a Gerber during drills, not so much in
real life.
Camelbak - Get one, use it. But
if you're on a vehicle and you need water, drink bottled water from the
truck first. This way, if you need to get off the truck you're still
topped-off on water.
You can get rid of that "new" plastic taste with hot water and lemon
juice (which is better than hot water and vinegar or bleach). Duct tape
works fine for fixing most small leaks.
Eye Protection - Whatever it is, make sure it's on the APEL (Approved Protective Eyewear List) that list is
put out for eyewear that is authorized for protective use by military
personnel. Pissed-off that you don't get wear your Limited Edition
LiveStrong Oakley Half Jackets? Fuck you, I don't get to wear my
favorite hiking boots. Eyepro sucks? Start saving up for that seeing-eye
dog.
Zip-ties - A handy place to put
zip ties is behind pouches or woven into PALS webbing. Check to make
sure it doesn’t interfere with your kit or shooting. If you can't figure
out a use for zip-ties then you just need to off yourself.
Blow-out kit - Most of these are
unit-mandated i.e. they have a certain packing list. That doesn't mean
that you can't pack more though. Add some penny-cutter scissors, some
extra CATs, Remember to add a Sharpie marker or something like it. I
attached my blow-out kit to a Velcro tear-away panel with an elastic
pig-tail cord to keep it attached to me. It’ll be easier to get to and
access what’s inside. Make sure you know how to use it and that it’s not
out-dated. You can also shove medical shit into pockets on your
uniform. The calf pockets on your ACU pants hold a Bloodstopper bandage
perfectly. In fact, go ahead and do that anyway. Mark the outside with
something permanent, distinctive and visible. A red cross sewn to it is
pretty good, but a little red sharpie marker (touched up every once in a
while) would work too.
Bungee Cords – If I had enough
bungee cords I could probably conquer Asia. Sling - Two-point. Keep as
much of the plastic snaps and buckles and shit to a minimum, it breaks.
If you need to replace a plastic slide adjustment, find an old M16 sling
and use the sling keepers at the ends of it... they're metal. Don’t use
plastic whenever possible. You’ll figure this out when your plastic
buckles crack from getting smashed between a seat-back and some body
armor for five months. Worse comes to worse, use a piece of 1-inch OD
webbing and tie it off at the ends. Don’t start off with it though,
there are better options out there… don’t begin in a disadvantaged
position. Signal panel - A bright piece of orange or pink all-weather
cloth used for signaling, get a piece... keep it handy. Maybe think
about sewing some ScotchBrite reflective cloth to it as well. Whatever
you use, try not to put call-signs and other stupid shit on it.
The best issued item for this is an aviator signal panel, NSN
8345-00-140-4232 (comes in packages of 4). Keep a rubber band handy so
you can attach it to shit or keep a rock in it (for lifting/shifting
fires or keeping it from blowing away in strong winds).
Shooting gloves – Most of the
time, they’re mandated. Use gloves, don't use gloves... do what you
want, they're your hands. Just keep in mind that Haj is smelly and dirty
and that you'll be handling everything from flash-bangs (with some hot
fuses) all the way down to hanging out with broken glass, jagged metal,
industrial adhesives, solvents, shit like that. Like I said, they're
your hands.
Bandanna - Handkerchief,
bandanna, rag, same thing... lots of uses. Carry a few. Dust mask,
sling, t-kit, blow your nose, clean your lenses, stuff a bullet hole,
whatever.
Lighter - Cheap pressurized
butane ones are best. My favorites are Scriptos, no child-safety shit,
adjustable and they're translucent so I can see if it's almost empty.
Electrical tape – you can’t fit a
roll of 100MPH tape into your kit, but this stuff works well in a
pinch. Roll it around an cleaned section of chemlight tubing, a Sharpie,
chapstick tube, whatever.
Sunscreen - My favorite is this
shit called Banana Boat, it looks like an oversized tube of chapstick
and it works just like one too. The unscented stuff is made for babies
and comes in a pink and white tube. Go ahead and laugh.
Shit paper - Sound funny? You
try finding shit tickets on a new COP or Iraqi compound. Bring a short
roll of the good stuff from home and fold it down flat. If you wanna
prevent Klingons, put some individually-packaged handi-wipes into the
cardboard tube. I just keep mine in a squad bag in my vehicle.
Chapstick - Make sure it's also
SPF rated, sunburned lips are hard to eat and talk with. This is
especially true when you spice your food up (probably while trying to
disguise bad KBR cooking). Tabasco and Texas Pete will fuck your shit up
if you have chapped or sunburnt lips. It can be used in a pinch for
sunscreen if you really need it too.
Hot sauce – Speaking of Texas
Pete, KBR isn't mom's cooking and no matter how good they are, the menu
isn't that diverse. Bring some with you in case someone’s always
stealing the stuff at the chowhall.
Fuel Pills/Heat Tabs - Fuel tablets are so fucking useful I have no clue
just how to explain how motherfucking useful they are. Yeah I do...
cold food sucks. If you can smell it, then the packaging has a hole in
it, use some tape to re-seal it. These stink, so I usually tape them up
as soon as I get them.
Ear Plugs - For 'terps or in
case you lose yours and need to talk after a demo breach. Safety pins
can hold these inside a pouch pretty well... so you don't have to dig
for them. Use a drop of alcohol in your ears every other day to reduce
the risk of ear infections, especially if you use earmuff-style earpro
that seals.
Binoculars/Monocular - compact
and as high-powered as you can afford. Not being able to ID anything
sucks ass. Some people use their ACOG to identify friendly forces, from a
distance this can make you look like a threat to a dumbass that doesn’t
have an optic. Just play it safe and try not to aim at friendlies.
USB drive - a little thumb drive
kicks ass, you can get them for about $30 or so and they carry a lot of
hit... trade mp3 files, photos, whatever. The best use I found for mine
was keeping all of my military records on me... I scanned them and took
them with me. It kept me eligible for a huge fucking bonus because I
had my own records to help back up what the army lost. This is also a
real life-saver when you find yourself going to a real easy promotion
board and you’re overseas with a shitty S-1 section. I like to use a
memory card in a USB adapter, that way I can use it in a camera (as an
SD card) and in pretty much any non-government computer as a USB memory
stick.
Laptop - nothing fancy and make
sure it's on your home-owners/renters insurance. Movies, music, games...
I used mine to write my emails home in a simple text document, then I
saved it to a thumb drive and took it to the MWR computers and simply
cut and pasted to a web-mail provider's email program. It sure beats
wasting my allotted half-hour typing-out an email and then sending it.
An Acer Aspire One or Asus Eee netbook is just what the doctor ordered
for deployments for new soldiers; wireless, good sized hard drive,
small. They both go for about $400.
On that note, if you’re a Joe and you stay up all fucking night playing
motherfucking Xbox, you’re fucking up big. If you fall asleep in a truck
during a mission, expect someone hitting you with something heavy…
maybe in the face.
mp3 player - Rock out. Just
start thinking about how you're gonna load it, power it, shit like that.
Oh yeah, don't bring that shit with you on missions. I'll fucking kill
you.
Safety Pins – The kind you get
off an ammo bandolier are the best. Black, strong, rust-resistant…
they’re great for staging earplugs, index-cards, LED lights, chemlights,
signal panels, whatever.
Drink Tablets/ Powders - The
tablets are relatively new and don’t make a huge fucking mess like
powders do. Nuun, Zyme and Elixer are awesome, carbonated tablets (kinda
like Alka-Seltezer) that you just drop into a bottle and wait a couple
of minutes. It's bubbly for a few hours and basically flavored water
with some good shit (like caffeine) thrown in so you can justify using
it. Water gets a little old after a while.
Things to know before you go - Keep a smoke grenade on your shit. Pilots
can't see that little signal panel while you're huddled next to cover
dumbass. Yellow smoke and white smoke are hard to see. Use green, red or
violet instead. We all saw Blackhawk Down, but don’t be a fucking
retard and modify any grenades with tape or zip-ties. If you tape the
fucking safety clip (some idiots call it a spoon) down and remove all
the original safety features, then throw it here's what happens: Not
only does your grenade not go off, but now a bad guy potentially has a
hand grenade, it's lost, someone kicks it or removes the tape or the
tape rots off. Way to go dick-hole, you fucked yourself, maybe a buddy
or two or even a stranger or kid that didn't deserve to get blown the
fuck up.
I've never seen anyone at a grenade range that trains to remember
removing tape. You didn't train with your ordnance that way, don't use
it that way. In a panicked, confused or rushed situation, you're
probably not likely to remember until after the fact. I don’t want to
explain to your mom that you were a dumbass and killed yourself with
duct tape. Belt-fed guns are your friend, never leave a belt-fed behind.
Load a teaser belt, grab an AG and leave the M-4. Keep your Lasers
zeroed. Better yet, keep it zeroed with a pattern generator on it so you
know which one is yours. "Hey dude, I’m the circle, you’re the
triangle, the team leader is the cross”. Your dot looks like your
buddy's dot in a night-fight. It blows when you can't find your laser in
a crowd.
Tie your shit down – Learn an
End-of-Line Bowline and maybe a Double Figure Eight knot. Use tie downs.
Put a little carabiner on the end of your tie-down to attach it to your
helmet, your rack, etc.
If it’s mission critical, tie it down… not just the stuff you get from the arms room.
Wear wool socks, even when it’s as hot as the surface of the sun. Wool
wicks moisture, you’ll figure it out. Put your shit on and shove
yourself into as many positions as possible with it. Know it, know what
you can do with it, but more importantly... know what you can't do with
it. Rehearse. But If you're running finger drills, take a break and pick
up later. Have a bag or box with some water, smoke, ammo and frags in
it. Mark it and don’t use it until you need it… you’ll know when you
need it.
Mark your shit - Use name tapes,
laundry markers or both. Remember, there's only one thief in the
army... everybody else is just trying to get their shit back.
It's good to pack some shit that'll keep you comfortable... but there's a
time and place for everything. I'm pretty sure you don't need a carton
of cigarettes for a three-day combat outpost shift. You could probably
do some of your missions without an iPod or your coffee cup too. I like
Red Man and everything, but I don't put in a chew if I think I'm gonna
hafta talk on a radio a lot... you get my point?
If you’re particular about your gear, make a list or a photo-catalog of
what you prefer to use. This way, when something breaks or wears out you
can get someone stateside to get it for you. With a good description
and a picture, they’ll know what to look for and send it. Include sizes,
colors, names, accessories, where to get it and how much it’s going to
probably cost. It sucks when you get the wrong sized shooting gloves and
the used ones you have smell like rotting chicken and are torn to rags.
You don’t have to include everything, just the hard-to-find shiz. Don't
do anything because it looks cool, do it because it works. If you hafta
convince yourself it works, it probably doesn’t work as well as you
think. Always refine your tactics, techniques and procedures.
Don't bullshit yourself: If you don't need that ninja sword... ditch it.
Looking cool is not the same as being effective... chances are you're
the only one that thought you looked cool anyway. Cool? Going home is
cool.
If you need access to some chemlights, just run a zip-tie or 550 cord
through the little eyelet at one end and keep it loose enough to attach
to a small carabiner. When you need the chemlight, just rip it off the
zip-tie and smack it on something to activate it. Maybe use a rubber
band to keep them from flopping around.
Ear protection - $200-350 for
Peltors, depending on the model, is worth it. You can hear
incidental/environmental noise, radios and people talking. If you have a
radio and don't get issued electronic ear pro, buy it yourself. Take
care of it and sell it (or just give it) to the next guy. Ear plugs cost
about $0.15 and don’t take batteries. Con: ear plugs aren’t selective,
you can’t hear anything.



Stage magazines everywhere, be like the fucking
ammo Easter Bunny.
Keep a list of National Stock Numbers for ordering shit from Supply,
they conveniently forget or miswrite the NSNs for your order sometimes
so your request doesn’t get completed. If you’re a Joe, a Sarge or a
Sir, everyone should have a list of their favorite NSNs. Wear your
helmet. Nothing is dumber than the guy who doesn't want to wear a helmet
because he saw a movie where the SF guys don't wear helmets.
Same goes for your body armor. Wear it… or someone’s gonna rearrange the
furniture in your living room. Training: PT, movement, shooting, commo
and medicine. You can be the best IV-sticker in your platoon, but if you
can't call for a bird… your partner dies. Know your routes. Know your
alternate routes. If you don’t have alternates, your plan is incomplete.
If it'll make your job easier, buy it. Or you'll regret it later, out
in the field, and miserable... where it's not available.
If you’re out for a long walk, maybe think about bringing something
small and calorie-packed. You don’t wanna go overboard with the Rip-Its…
you’ll really fuck yourself up. Try water/Gatorade and energy bars
instead. Bonus: you don’t piss neon green shit, your sleep patterns
aren’t fucked and your kidneys don't join the circus.
PACE. If you don’t know what it is, here goes:
Primary
Alternate
Contingency
Emergency
Commo, Trans, CASEVAC… fucking PACE everything.
Don’t be a nasty motherfucker. Shower, clean up after yourself, keep
your uniforms clean. Yeah, we got it, you were sprayed with blood on a
mission, now clean it up douchrocket. It’s not a badge of honor, it’s
biohazard. Don’t be the asshat that takes all the hot water, refuses to
clean anything or becomes a card-carrying member of the
save-the-piss-bottle-foundation. Hey Princess, you’re not the center of
the fucking universe. Keep your windows clean enough to lick. Hatch
Operator nomex gloves may cost $10 more than issue aviator gloves, but
they last twice as long. So by that logic they're cheaper. If another
brand is even better, tell your friends. They’re knee pads, not ankle
warmers. If you wear them and they’re on your ankles, they can’t stop
your body weight from driving that little rusty nail into your fucking
patella.
Even if you know a 9-line/ UXO report by heart, keep copies on hand
where you can get to them in a hurry. Heck, go ahead and tape one to the
sun visor, ceiling, zip-tie it to the radio, where ever. You can get
mentally lost when you’re wounded or watching one of your friends all
fucked up. Reading it can help kick-start you back into what you’ve
trained… kind of a mental reset button. Use a rubber band to attach a
one-hand tourniquet to your armor so someone can get to it in a hurry.
Check it for dry-rot every once in a while. PMCS your vehicle before
EVERY run. If you can't, at least pay attention. Get out, kick the
tires, check the fluids, look underneath, get to know your truck. End
result: make your truck reliable. Basically, baby it before you have to
beat it to death. If you do a lot of housework, think about having a
magazine on the back of your armor for a buddy. This way, he can see it
easier and doesn’t have to go to his shit when he’s in a hurry… This is
especially nice if your weapon goes down and he has to use a lot more of
his own ammo to cover your malfunctioning ass.
Trade. Three things you don't need and three things you do? That's one and the same my friend.
"Fuck it… Let’s go” syndrome is eventually terminal.
Favorite National Stock Numbers
·    4-Inch Israeli Bandage NSN 6510-01-460-0849
·    6-Inch Israeli Bandage NSN 6510-01-492-2275
·    8-Inch Israeli Bandage with 12” Abdominal Pad NSN 6510-01-532-6656
·    36-Inch SAM Splint NSN 6510-01-225-4681
·    Bolin Chest Seal NSN 6510-01-549-0939
·    Combat Application Tourniquet NSN 6515-01-521-7976
·    Airway, Nasopharyngeal, 28fr, 12s NSN 6515-01-180-0467
·    Aviator signal panel, comes in a package of four NSN 8345-00-140-4232
·    OD green 550 cord, 400 yards NSN 4020-00-246-0688
·    OD green 2-inch tape, 60 yards NSN 7510-00-266-5016
·    Strobe light, marker, distress ui ea (MS2000) NSN 6230-01-411-8535
·    Kit bag od green ui ea (aviator kit bag) NSN 8460-00-606-8366
·    Viking Tactics VCAS sling NSN 1005-01-534-4359
·    Viking Tactics VCAS wide (padded) sling NSN 1005-01-534-4361
·    Surefire L4 Digital Lumamax NSN 6230-01-522-6611
·    Petzl/SKEDCO TacTikka medical NVG green/white headlamp NSN 6515-01-527-8068
·    Green Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards NSN 7530-01-536-2359
·    Tan Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards NSN 7530-01-536-2360
·    Lubricating Oil, Weapons, TW25B. unit size: 1 syringe. NSN 9150-01-448-2266
·    M249 collapsible buttstock assyembly NSN 1005-01-515-8268
·    Garmin Foretrex 101 wrist-mounted GPS NSN 5825-01-554-6352
·    Strider SMF folding knife NSN 1095-01-531-5015
·    CR123A batteries (Surefire batteries) NSN 6135-01-522-6679
·    6 inch infrared chemlight 8 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-396-1704
·    6 inch chemlight orange 12 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-195-9753
·    6 inch chemlight green 12 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-074-4229
·    Oakley SI M-Frame Strike 2.0 laser array, grey/clear/laser w/ case NSN 4240-01-555-5324
·    Tan IR reverse flag patch NSN 8455-01-524-4926
·    HMMWV tow strap NSN 5340-01-475-3650
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­––––––––––––––––––––––
 
 
 


 




 
Link Posted: 7/31/2010 5:52:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: F5] [#3]
deleted
Link Posted: 7/31/2010 8:18:31 PM EDT
[#4]
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 6:07:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: COMPNOR] [#5]
- Be weary of the "I've heard..."  Sometimes its true.  Sometimes its not.  Sometimes it may be true but the guy was doing it improperly or just being stupid.  Like using the wrong size bore snake.  They're quick.  They work.  You can wash it.  As for cleaning kits, most units seem to be issued the comprehensive Otis, which has just about everything including a multi-piece cleaning rod and gerber pliers.  You might not need the whole thing, so cannibalize what you do.

- Iraq is not Afghanistan.  You might just be allowed to wear those fancy hiking boots.  Going to Afghanistan you get some different options.

- Eye-pro is generally part of your uniform.  And going outside the wire it will need to be ballistic.  Why would you want to ruin your oakleys?  I like the Revision ICE series.  Good lenses, and thin earpieces go great under headsets.  Plus you can get them through ADO.

- ADO is your friend.  You can get eye-pro and gloves from it.  Hatches gloves might cost $10 more and last twice as long, but nomex flight gloves I can get through ADO at no cost to myself.  So just order yourself a new pair every month, and you aren't out any money.

- Speaking of gloves, they're also generally part of your uniform.  And if you're going out, they might be required to be flame resistant.  If they're not, you could get your ass chewed over it.  As was said though, they're your hands.

- Ziplock bags.  Of all sizes.  They're great to put some t-shirts, fresh socks and undies in, and then throw in your bug-out bag. Your bag might get wet, but you can keep the contents dry.  

- Those green bungee like blousing straps with the metal hooks work great as mini-bungee cords.  You can even use one to put a tourniquet on your vest.  Last a bit longer then that rubber band too.  

- Head lamps with red filters(or red filters period) are a must.  You might find yourself on a blackout FOB, or changing a tire on the side of the road at night.  No need to give yourself away.  They are watching.  For other lights you might even consider a compact LED lantern for your room.  Generators can be finicky.   like the Sidewinder by Streamlight.  The head angles, has white, blue(or green), red, and IR capabilities.  Different brightness levels, and can blink.  The included clip slides right into a channel of PALS webbing, and you can use that blousing strap I mentioned to secure it.  Runs off of AA's.  

- The calf pockets are also great for another tourniquet.  I always carry one in my left pocket.

- Knee Pads suck.  All else fails use the foamies you get issued if you're wearing Frac-U's.  Same goes for those elbow pads.  Can make being jostled around that turret a bit easier.  

- Plastic muzzle caps for your M16/M4/M249.  Really for any weapon.  It sucks dropping your M4 in the rain and having it land in mud.  And they shoot right off.

- Sniper Belts(reflective belts).  Depending on where you go, you might just need one.  And even if at your final destination you don't, in transit you might.  And before you decide to get cute and order a black or pink one, green orange or blue are typically the only authorized colors.  

Well, just some more food for thought.
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 9:57:25 PM EDT
[#6]
Tagged for a little later since I didn't get through the original
Link Posted: 10/8/2010 9:44:13 AM EDT
[#7]
great post! this is the stuff I love to read. People that have been there and done that and their thoughts. Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/8/2010 6:39:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: TrackSol] [#8]
Originally Posted By COMPNOR:
- Eye-pro is generally part of your uniform.  And going outside the wire it will need to be ballistic.  Why would you want to ruin your oakleys?  I like the Revision ICE series.  Good lenses, and thin earpieces go great under headsets.  Plus you can get them through ADO.


Good info in all of your post, however the ICE series eyepro is from ESS, not Revision. I have both and I agree the ESS ICE are very nice. They're light and thin.

ESS ICE Series

Link Posted: 11/27/2010 2:37:12 PM EDT
[#9]
I wish I had either written something like this out or had access to this before I retired. Every Joe I had would instantly have gotten a copy of it as soon as they hit the unit. This is about the most cut and dry HFR list I have seen and this wisdom should be followed. Kinda reminds me of a down and dirty version of those skinny ranger rick (or whatever they were called) books that clothing sales used to carry. Only thing I would add is to carry extra 550 cord and learn how to tie knots. I know the bowline was mentioned, and probably the most usefull you need, but learn the other ones in the ranger handbook (or engineers handbook) as well.
Link Posted: 12/1/2010 5:17:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: doubleclaw] [#10]
"Shit paper - Sound funny? You try finding shit tickets on a new COP or Iraqi compound. Bring a short roll of the good stuff from home and fold it down flat. If you wanna prevent Klingons, put some individually-packaged handi-wipes into the cardboard tube. I just keep mine in a squad bag in my vehicle."

Shit paper is nice, but if your Ziploc busts/gets ripped and the paper gets wet, you get to use the haji doo-doo hand or waste a perfectly good T-shirt. A better solution is a travel sized pack of unscented wipes. I like Hooah's wipes. They have the stupidest name in the fucking universe, but they are super durable and infused with lovely Aloe Vera that keeps your special no-no places clean and soft. A pack of these will fit in your cargo pocket nicely, and I usually bring two packs in my ruck as a backup if i know I'm gonna be gone a while. You can bathe with them, clean off grease/oil and they will even do a passable job as weapon wipes.

I am now back in AFG as a contractor, and a lot of the info in this thread is still very useful, ESPECIALLY the part about having a SERE plan.

Lights - I bought a Streamlight Microstream USB before I came over this time, and I have to say that it is the best purchase I have made in years. They're about $30, and worth every penny. It's "only" 250 lumens, but I've searched vehicles and lit up passageways with it, and it busts out a LOT of light for such a small package.

Wipes - Still haven't changed my stance on wipes. In fact, if you are sharing latrines with LNs, you are going to be forced to perform various cleansing rituals to the bathroom fixtures before use, because they (and some Americans, unfortunately) will absolutely WRECK a fucking terlet. Wipes enable you to clean the worst filth off the surfaces that your ass-related areas have to touch.

SERE - Carry a nice chunk of cash. I carry $500, a copy of my LoA, Passport and both work IDs on every mission. I have a working personal cell phone with an international plan. Also have a bobby pin stashed in my wallet, a handcuff key and some other innocuous items that can be used to break restraints, if that becomes necessary. Kidnapping Americans is currently big business in the western police districts of Kabul.

Go-Bag - Bring one and stuff it with enough basic necessities to make it through an evacuation, to include packaged foods like Clif Bars and the like. An insulated water bottle is also a good idea.

Knives - The handiest knife I've had so far is a little Spyderco Delica that I use to cut up food instead of using these bullshit plastic butter knives. Cutting up an overcooked camel steak is a LOT easier with a real knife versus a dull plastic piece of garbage.

Things have changed a lot over here since most of the green suiters went away. It's quiet so far this year, but everyone around here seems to be waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Link Posted: 12/1/2010 8:33:56 AM EDT
[#11]
Originally Posted By doubleclaw: A better solution is a travel sized pack of unscented wipes. I like Hooah's wipes. They have the stupidest name in the fucking universe, but they are super durable and infused with lovely Aloe Vera that keeps your special no-no places clean and soft. A pack of these will fit in your cargo pocket nicely, and I usually bring two packs in my ruck as a backup if i know I'm gonna be gone a while. You can bathe with them, clean off grase/oil and they will even do a passable job as weapon wipes.


I still carry a pack of wipes with me wherever I go. I got hooked on them in the field and can't live without them. When you are out in the suck and having to run patrols all day nothing sucks worse than a bad case of itchy ass. Good butthole maintenance is paramount.
Link Posted: 12/1/2010 3:59:16 PM EDT
[#12]
LMMFAO. That was some funny shit! No pun intended...


[email protected]
Link Posted: 12/22/2010 7:56:22 AM EDT
[#13]
Originally Posted By TrackSol:
Originally Posted By COMPNOR:
- Eye-pro is generally part of your uniform.  And going outside the wire it will need to be ballistic.  Why would you want to ruin your oakleys?  I like the Revision ICE series.  Good lenses, and thin earpieces go great under headsets.  Plus you can get them through ADO.


Good info in all of your post, however the ICE series eyepro is from ESS, not Revision. I have both and I agree the ESS ICE are very nice. They're light and thin.

ESS ICE Series




Fuckin' A! I love my ICE2 Naro's, and at less than $40.00 for a set of two glasses, they're the unsung bargain brand of the APEL list.
Link Posted: 12/22/2010 9:04:31 PM EDT
[#14]
Originally Posted By DM1975:
Originally Posted By doubleclaw: A better solution is a travel sized pack of unscented wipes. I like Hooah's wipes. They have the stupidest name in the fucking universe, but they are super durable and infused with lovely Aloe Vera that keeps your special no-no places clean and soft. A pack of these will fit in your cargo pocket nicely, and I usually bring two packs in my ruck as a backup if i know I'm gonna be gone a while. You can bathe with them, clean off grase/oil and they will even do a passable job as weapon wipes.


I still carry a pack of wipes with me wherever I go. I got hooked on them in the field and can't live without them. When you are out in the suck and having to run patrols all day nothing sucks worse than a bad case of itchy ass. Good butthole maintenance is paramount.


It's so true.  Once you get a case of the swamp ass, it's all you think about.  It can be very distracting.  They make these new wipes with the Aloe in it.  Holy shit.  I would have loved to have them in the desert!!
Link Posted: 12/24/2010 2:27:51 AM EDT
[#15]
Originally Posted By doubleclaw:
Originally Posted By TrackSol:
Originally Posted By COMPNOR:
- Eye-pro is generally part of your uniform.  And going outside the wire it will need to be ballistic.  Why would you want to ruin your oakleys?  I like the Revision ICE series.  Good lenses, and thin earpieces go great under headsets.  Plus you can get them through ADO.


Good info in all of your post, however the ICE series eyepro is from ESS, not Revision. I have both and I agree the ESS ICE are very nice. They're light and thin.

ESS ICE Series




Fuckin' A! I love my ICE2 Naro's, and at less than $40.00 for a set of two glasses, they're the unsung bargain brand of the APEL list.


Where are you getting a set for $40.00? Most places are listing them for like $60.00 & up...
Link Posted: 12/24/2010 4:47:49 AM EDT
[#16]
Originally Posted By FlDiveCop71:
Originally Posted By doubleclaw:
Originally Posted By TrackSol:
Originally Posted By COMPNOR:
- Eye-pro is generally part of your uniform.  And going outside the wire it will need to be ballistic.  Why would you want to ruin your oakleys?  I like the Revision ICE series.  Good lenses, and thin earpieces go great under headsets.  Plus you can get them through ADO.


Good info in all of your post, however the ICE series eyepro is from ESS, not Revision. I have both and I agree the ESS ICE are very nice. They're light and thin.

ESS ICE Series




Fuckin' A! I love my ICE2 Naro's, and at less than $40.00 for a set of two glasses, they're the unsung bargain brand of the APEL list.


Where are you getting a set for $40.00? Most places are listing them for like $60.00 & up...


I got mine for $38.00 at Fort Hood Clothing and Sales. AAFES FTW.

Link Posted: 12/25/2010 8:12:25 PM EDT
[#17]
tweeter kinda sorta touches on this but i want to say it outright

HAVE A FUCKING SERE PLAN!!!!

im talking a personal "oh my god they just drove off without me" plan

that shit they tell you before you get into country is worthless. carry some local currency and some US or euros. a few phone cards for the major cell phone networks and sat phones etc. get youre god damn blood chit from the S2! they are stingy and dont want to issue them but you are entittled to yours. or make up your own, all you need is an interpreter and some waterproof paper. get some pics of your kids too, or fuck anyones kids, anything to build some raport put all that shit into a ziploc bag and keep it in your back pocket with the buttons closed.

i had a friend of mine get lost in sector and it took a day or so for him to get back.
Link Posted: 12/26/2010 1:06:21 AM EDT
[#18]
Originally Posted By TrackSol:
Originally Posted By COMPNOR:
- Eye-pro is generally part of your uniform.  And going outside the wire it will need to be ballistic.  Why would you want to ruin your oakleys?  I like the Revision ICE series.  Good lenses, and thin earpieces go great under headsets.  Plus you can get them through ADO.


Good info in all of your post, however the ICE series eyepro is from ESS, not Revision. I have both and I agree the ESS ICE are very nice. They're light and thin.

ESS ICE Series



You are correct.  I realized my mistake shortly after posting, but my lazy ass never got around to correcting it.
Link Posted: 12/26/2010 11:24:21 AM EDT
[#19]
Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
tweeter kinda sorta touches on this but i want to say it outright

HAVE A FUCKING SERE PLAN!!!!

im talking a personal "oh my god they just drove off without me" plan

that shit they tell you before you get into country is worthless. carry some local currency and some US or euros. a few phone cards for the major cell phone networks and sat phones etc. get youre god damn blood chit from the S2! they are stingy and dont want to issue them but you are entittled to yours. or make up your own, all you need is an interpreter and some waterproof paper. get some pics of your kids too, or fuck anyones kids, anything to build some raport put all that shit into a ziploc bag and keep it in your back pocket with the buttons closed.

i had a friend of mine get lost in sector and it took a day or so for him to get back.


This is great advice.  I always, always have a SERE plan and I'd never leave my hooch without the tools I would need to SERE.  Shit, it's so much second nature that I do it here stateside.  Just going to the damn Olive Garden I run through scenarios in my head.
Link Posted: 12/27/2010 6:04:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: matticuski] [#20]
Alot of great information here, I def. Agree with the baby wipes, I always have atleast 1 in my assault pack and 1 small one in my rig somewhere

Only thing I have to add is 2 things

Knives;
Like he said there's no need for rambo knives regardless. And DO NOT have your knives where kids can grab it, or anyone for that matter, don't hang it by your neck it's just in the way, don't put it on your back, 'cause if you fall, which you will a few times, it could break it. Put that shit in an admin pouch or somewhere you can grab it easily but nobody else can

Pouches;
If you don't have frag grenades or flash grenades, etc.. don't put 30 of the pouches on there. If you don't have a mbitr/ef johnson/etc.. don't buy the pouches and wear them, don't have 20 lanyards all over

Just my .02
Link Posted: 2/11/2011 9:39:34 PM EDT
[#21]
THE M9 PISTOL AND HOLSTERS

If you are issued a pistol chances are you will be carrying the Beretta M9. If youre one of those people that is issued a tuned 1911, SIG P226 or a Glock of any number then this information is not for you.

First i want to talk about gripes. A lot of people don't like the M9 for a number of reasons. Size, weight, bad magazines, DA/SA trigger, lack of rail, lack of night sights, not ambidetrous, worn out weapons etc. Lets discuss each of these and I'll break the problems down and offer viable solutions to eliminate or mitigate each issue. I'll also discuss holster selection and ways to carry the weapon comfortably and effectively.

Size and Weight. Yes the Beretta is wider, heavier and bulkier than most other fullsize service pistols. This causes a lot of complaints in reguard to grip, fire control operation and the like. I can offer a few points of advice. The first is that its what we are issued. Complaining and bitching about it do absolutely no good. Your time and energy are much better spent learning how to work around these factors. If you have small hands and have a hard time gripping the weapon I suggest trying a more thumbs forward grip. Hold the pistol in your dominant hand and move your grip out and forward more at the sides. Youll find a good way to hold the pistol and now all you need to do is practice. If you still cannot get a solid grip you probably have more issues than just small hands! When it comes to operating the controls Ill go over all that in the ambidextrous section of this write up.The weight sucks, I wont lie, the key is to grow stronger and get it off your thigh, I'll talk about that later.

Magazines. Yes the issued mags suck. They are not OEM and the springs can become weak. If you have magazines like this I suggest throwing them away. Dont bitch, just get rid of them. Tell your supply sergeant you need more. Lots more and they will order them. If he askes what happened to the old ones tell him they got stolen, lost, broke, or that he should shut the fuck up and do his goddamn job and order you more shit. Magazines are durable expendable. get new ones. I know the new ones will probably suck too if they do you have a few options. First get some wire brushes and scrub the fuck out of the inside of the magazine body. Get the inside of the body nice and smooth. Next clean your fucking ammo. Take a dry rag and wipe off each round individually. Check each round for bullet set-back, rust etc. If you’re magazine springs are just fuck all weak you can try to stretch them out a bit but that really only works for a while. You can use CLP sparingly inside the magazine body but I don’t recommend this as they collect dust quickly and can foul up even worse. Proper maintenance is vital if you choose either of these options. I’m talking every 2 days. I suggest ordering some new springs from Wolff or just order some whole magazines from Beretta or Mec-Gar. Mec-Gar makes 20 rounders that are very good. Spending your own money sucks and I would stay away from it as much as you can but if it comes down to using shitty magazines and dying or bitching and buying. I’ll bitch and buy.

The DA/SA trigger. Yes the Army has a stupid affinity for unnecessary safety bullshit. Again the best advice I can give is that you need to practice dry firing often. Get yourself used to the DA pull and the SA pull. Dry fire and range time are the only solution short of replacing your hammer spring which is easy to do but frowned upon. Dry fire and get your trigger reset down. There are plenty of videos of people doing some very impressive shooting with Berettas and you can get there too it just takes practice. If you want you can take some slack out of the Beretta using the half-cock feature. This is not its original intent but it works very well and I’ve seen many people use it. You might get some flack from soldiers that think leaving the safety off is dangerous but those people are stupid and you shouldn’t listen to them. Do what you have to do. In case I didn’t stress enough, dry fire, dry fire, dry fire.

Lets talk about accessories. The Beretta does not have a rail. Some units are getting the newer M9A1 that has an integrated rail but those are not the majority. Remember the pistol was designed in the 70s and 80s rails were nonexistent then. You can work around this by training yourself to use a flashlight in one hand and integrate it into your grip and pistol work. Or you can fork out cash and get a MR11 and a light from surefire. I would tell you not to worry to much about it just accept it. The same goes with night sights. You can’t do much about that as the sights are fixed. Now you can get some enamel paint and repaint those white dots back on or some HiViz luminescent paint to remedy this issue. Again do what you have to do. Testers paint in white works well and costs about $1.50

Ambidextrous! The Beretta is not 100% duh, but it is a bit more wrong-handed friendly than some other pistols. The magazine release can actually be swapped out to make it more orthodox for left-hand shooters. Any armorer can do it and it’s not hard is you just look at it. If you don’t want to switch it out you can use the middle or index finger of your firing hand to release the magazine. The slide release/stop is quite large on the Beretta and is easy to use your index finger to operate if your left-handed or thumb if your right handed. If you find that you have small hands and are right-handed you can use the thumb of your left hand to eject the magazine, release the slide and/or operate the safety if you choose to use it. Obviously the safety is ambi-friendly. I choose to take advantage of the slide release/stop when doing speed reloads but you can slingshot (cycle the slide) if you choose. The reason I use the slide release/stop is that I find it’s easy to engage the safety without noticing it and this can cause problems in a deadly situation. If you slingshot I highly suggest gripping under the safety and pulling up and back to keep from activating it. Your call, again dry fire training and practice will win the day. As a final point I don’t use the safety. I prefer to think of it as a decocker. Again, your call.

Finally we come to the last gripe. At least in my mind. If you can think of more please IM me and Ill address it in an edit! Worn out weapons. It’s no secret that soldiers suck at caring for equipment. These weapons are used and abused. A lot of them have been in country for years. Its up to you to take care of your pistol. Take it out and shoot it, dry fire and any issue that comes up you fill out the paperwork and get the armorer to do his fucking job! Go the maintenance section and beg borrow or steal what you need. If the guy gives you shit like “I can’t replace it until it breaks” or “It’s still serviceable” then break the damn thing. Obviously you must use your judgment. If you won’t get a replacement part for 3 months then don’t break it but if you have a hairline crack in your locking block and the recoil spring is worn out and you’re on a huge base with lots of support then use your head. I’m not advocating destroying government property I’m saying that you need to force some people to do their jobs. You can’t build muscle without a little pain. If all else fails have your wife, GF, brother, best friend, etc send you the parts you need and you become an expert on the Beretta. Do what you have to do.

HOLSTERS
I wont spend a lot of time on this. I hate SERPAs. I really do. Ive seen them break and fail in training a number of times and in competition as well. I don’t trust SERPA holsters at all and I could not in good conscious recommend one to someone going into harms way. Others have carried them successfully and really enjoy them. Your mileage may vary. I suggest a Safariland low ride holster. The 6004 body with the UBL adaptor is the best solution I have found. If gets the pistol below your armor and keeps it off your leg. Works well inside the wire and out.
Don’t wear your pistol in multiple spots. Don’t wear it on your hip to the office, on your thigh on patrols and your chest when you’re driving. That is a recipe for disaster. Where do you think you’ll grab when a threat presents itself? Your chest, hip, thigh? Wear your holster in one spot all the time and develop good muscle memory. Dry fire and practice often. If you choose to wear a thigh holster you need to get it up as high as it will go. Remove straps, tighten straps do what you have to to get it up as close to your hip as possible.

Lastly I want to thank you for reading this. I hope it helps and I hope you take the advice I’ve gained through carrying the Beretta concealed and open here in the states, on multiple tours downrange and training as well as instructing and competing (only competed a few times though I admit!)
I don’t want to turn this thread into a debate or have a long quote tree so please if you disagree on any issue or would like something added to this post IM me and we can start a new thread or I’ll discuss the issue in an edit. I want to do my part to keep this thread clean and streamlined so it’s easier for people to navigate and also in respect for Tweeter.
Final advice is:
1.Practice and Dry fire
2.Stop complaining and work with what you have.


CAsoldier
“Swift and Violent”




Link Posted: 2/12/2011 8:01:51 AM EDT
[#22]
Good posts everybody
Link Posted: 2/12/2011 8:27:43 PM EDT
[#23]
Good post on the sidearm.  Just a few thoughts from my experience.

The latest version of issued magazines is a huge improvment over the old sand paper magazines we had a few years ago.  If you get new magazines, chances are you are getting good ones and should be good to go, maintainance is still required, just not as much as with the older mags.

As far as wear of the holster, I am one that uses multiple carries, specificly a UBL mounted 6004 and a chest mount depending on what I am doing.  Are there potential issues with this, sure.  But since my sidearm is a secondary, the risk is acceptable for me.  I do this because when you are sitting in the front of a UAH or a RG-31 etc, you can not access a belt or even a thigh rig mounted sidearm unless you are tiny or a gymnast.  I would rather have to take an extra half second to think of where my pistol is than not be able to get to a weapon.

I have been doing it that way for about 4 years now, and when it was time to access my sidearm (to include on a two way range) , I can not ever remember it being an issue not did it delay my accessing the weapon.  But what it takes is lots of time doing dry fire and live fire practice.  Something that unfortuanlty, our Soldiers do not do enough of 99% of the time.
Link Posted: 2/12/2011 9:36:41 PM EDT
[#24]
Not only can you not access a belt or thigh rig in an RG driving, but chancesare that thigh rig is in the way and you have to rotate it so its sitting ontop of your thigh.  So yeah, I'm one of those who will alter the location of my M9 depending on what I'm doing.  I also use a Serpa, hated my Safariland.  So to each his own.  Just make sure you're comfortable with your gear.
Link Posted: 2/13/2011 1:22:02 PM EDT
[#25]
Gentlemen please, if you disagree, we can start a different thread.
Link Posted: 2/13/2011 1:27:45 PM EDT
[#26]
Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
Gentlemen please, if you disagree, we can start a different thread.


I think the purpose of the thread is to offer opinions on what works. Everyone will have differing opinions.
Link Posted: 2/13/2011 1:50:13 PM EDT
[#27]
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
Gentlemen please, if you disagree, we can start a different thread.


I think the purpose of the thread is to offer opinions on what works. Everyone will have differing opinions.


i just didnt want to clutter a thread with opinions and not advice is all.
Link Posted: 2/13/2011 2:17:52 PM EDT
[#28]
tag
Link Posted: 2/13/2011 3:00:58 PM EDT
[#29]
Its kinda funny, but just about everything in this thread is an opinion.  You think its bad to have multiple carry positions(opinion).  I myself disagree, and posted why.  It's up to the end user to take all the available information, try different things, and go with what works.  

I mean, what is good on someplace like Bagram isn't necessarily what you want on a FOB.  Or what you might want if you're doing a lot of dismounted ops versus mounted.  In a vehicle, I got the most space in front of me, which is where most of my gear ends up, but then I'm front heavy and sucks going prone.  Or what one person used, they got away with because they had a good commander, whereas your CO might allow only issued stuff and be a hardass about it.  

So take everything that was said.  Use it, but don't treat it as gospel.  What works for one doesn't work for everyone.  

Link Posted: 2/13/2011 10:00:05 PM EDT
[#30]
Overall the consensus is this thread is useful. This is a very great thread for people who are about to deploy and about the same information they will get at any 'good' unit and platoon level. This is what you call a "Lessons Learned" thread, Obviously it's all opinions, nobody can tell you what will work for you in combat. There's too many variables and what if's. Compile the information, see what you feel comfortable with, weigh the pro's and con's of the way you're doing it and take an outside look to make sure it's all smart and squared away, and not stupid and drive on with your working product.

You don't want to be the people who do everything this thread says, or the people who show up on patrol with a FLC and just 1 triple mag pouch and a grenade pouch and that's it. Overall this thread is great, and if I had joe's who were curious about deployments, I'd send them this way, or compile it and give it to them.

Cheers :)
Link Posted: 3/22/2011 9:35:31 PM EDT
[#31]
You sir are right on the money. 14 months in the sand box, and when i left, you listed what i had.
Link Posted: 10/9/2011 6:02:39 PM EDT
[#32]
Pretty much right on the money, I have encouraged my younger troops to ensure they have some of the items on this list as well as a freaking wrist watch. It is amazing to me the number of guys and gals under 25 in my unit that dont wear one.

I know the younger troops dont have much money so i keep an eye out for deals at the NEX/PX or Dicks/Academy for useful shit and when I see something that is actually worth the money on sale I let them know about it.

Like others have said a folding knife is really all you need for most of the time, but I do pack a small fixed blade knife in my gear. Much easier to use when the fingers become chapped and sore no lock to deal with just a snap.

SERE is a big deal to me and I encourage the troops to make there own kit from items they can purchase and the PX and NEX and will fit into a cargo pocket.
Link Posted: 11/13/2011 10:30:42 AM EDT
[#33]
Get your head right. Despite your religious beliefs or humanitarian views, you must resign yourself to the fact that you may have to take the life of another human being. You may have to do so to save your life or your buddies life. Be resigned to that fact and be prepared to execute the task if needed. The number one issue of soldiers making first contact with an actual armed enemy is getting them to pull the freaking trigger.

Absolutely belive if you are not prepared to kill the enemy, he is prepared to kill you. You are not going to convert them in the middle of a firefight.

Resign yourself to the fact that you may get injured. Be prepared to treat yourself and others. Take first aid serious.

The enemy is not afraid of a US soldier with a gun. The enemy does fear a US soldier with a gun that is pointing at his face and is prepared to pull the trigger. Treat all civilians on the battlefield as a threat until you verify they are not.

Violence of action will save lives. Show up in the combat zone ready to thrive in that environment. Show up with a "I hope I survive" attitude and you are already a liability to the mission.
Link Posted: 11/13/2011 10:45:11 AM EDT
[#34]
Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
Get your head right. Despite your religious beliefs or humanitarian views, you must resign yourself to the fact that you may have to take the life of another human being. You may have to do so to save your life or your buddies life. Be resigned to that fact and be prepared to execute the task if needed. The number one issue of soldiers making first contact with an actual armed enemy is getting them to pull the freaking trigger.

Absolutely belive if you are not prepared to kill the enemy, he is prepared to kill you. You are not going to convert them in the middle of a firefight.

Resign yourself to the fact that you may get injured. Be prepared to treat yourself and others. Take first aid serious.

The enemy is not afraid of a US soldier with a gun. The enemy does fear a US soldier with a gun that is pointing at his face and is prepared to pull the trigger. Treat all civilians on the battlefield as a threat until you verify they are not.

Violence of action will save lives. Show up in the combat zone ready to thrive in that environment. Show up with a "I hope I survive" attitude and you are already a liability to the mission.


Concur.
Link Posted: 11/13/2011 11:08:06 AM EDT
[#35]
ADO and ass wipes - two best things posted so far.

I am on my second tour right now and the Army provides so much more this time then the last time I deployed here.  I travel the entire AO, by plane, chopper, convoy, PSD, and thumb sometimes and 80% of what I use was issued by US.   I have set up my IOTV to carry essential items (TT ammo pouches, IFAK, and canteen pouch attached) along with my bug out bag and I have enough gear to last two weeks in the field.  I attach my compression sack with ponchol iner and medium weight bag inside to the bottom of the BOB.

BTW, the Micro Fiber towel, large, is well worth the investment.  Always keep a CLS bag close by.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 11:45:44 PM EDT
[#36]
My best advice is to remember things change all the time. So if this is your first tour, don't be to proud to pick the brains of those you are relieving and what they are using for T.T.& P.
For those of you returning, the same goes double for you! This is not the same place you left some odd months ago period.
Be smart, Be alert, and NEVER get complacent!
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 11:49:40 PM EDT
[#37]
Originally Posted By CWO3:
My best advice is to remember things change all the time. So if this is your first tour, don't be to proud to pick the brains of those you are relieving and what they are using for T.T.& P.
For those of you returning, the same goes double for you! This is not the same place you left some odd months ago period.
Be smart, Be alert, and NEVER get complacent!


Link Posted: 1/8/2012 3:37:33 PM EDT
[#38]
Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
Get your head right. Despite your religious beliefs or humanitarian views, you must resign yourself to the fact that you may have to take the life of another human being. You may have to do so to save your life or your buddies life. Be resigned to that fact and be prepared to execute the task if needed. The number one issue of soldiers making first contact with an actual armed enemy is getting them to pull the freaking trigger.

Absolutely belive if you are not prepared to kill the enemy, he is prepared to kill you. You are not going to convert them in the middle of a firefight.

Resign yourself to the fact that you may get injured. Be prepared to treat yourself and others. Take first aid serious.

The enemy is not afraid of a US soldier with a gun. The enemy does fear a US soldier with a gun that is pointing at his face and is prepared to pull the trigger. Treat all civilians on the battlefield as a threat until you verify they are not.

Violence of action will save lives. Show up in the combat zone ready to thrive in that environment. Show up with a "I hope I survive" attitude and you are already a liability to the mission.


Good post
Link Posted: 7/23/2012 2:16:14 PM EDT
[#39]
Leaving soon for deployment, printed this [email protected]#ker off.




Originally Posted By deadbolt:
This is the best I could do with my barking wife and dog.   Admins please re-arrange, cut and past, whatever if needed so it moves to the first post.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­–––––––––––––––––––––––
All Credits Go To: Tweeter


Your gear should assist you. No exceptions.

Good rack system - Some use velcro, some use bungee cords, short answer... you need to find what works best for you. Consider a modular set-up, you can adjust it as your duty position changes. Some times you want to have your pouches on your vest, sometimes on your rack... it's best to keep your options open. Don't go cheap on this either... it's important that you find one that works and will put up with some serious abuse.

NOTE: If you have a releasable armor system, you might not want to use a rack system over it, your armor won’t drop free as quickly, might get tangled up in your rack system and not come off at all (and then what’s the point of having a quick-release armor set?). If you have a releasable armor system, you might want to put your pouches on your armor.

Good cleaning kit - Most units can provide you with one, but I've found that they're either overkill or out-dated. An Otis kit is good, but you don't use all the parts. If you want a Bore-Snake... try getting by with a piece of 550 cord, I don't like them because metal particles and sand can get stuck in the fabric strands.

I've heard stories of them getting bound-up and stuck in the chambers of weapons too. If I can't clear a binding bore snake out of my weapon on an OP in the middle of a city... I'm fucked. It's your shit. Me? I say fuck that noise.

If you need a scraper tool, don't use a surgical steel dental pick... it has more potential in harming your receiver and barrel extension than good that can come from it. Use a piece of coat hangar wire that's been bent, cut, flattened and filed a little to make a softer metal scraper tool... it's a heck of lot easier to get and cheaper. You can do the same thing with a piece of brass rod stock from Home Depot and a file. Oh yeah, put a bottle of gun lube on your rack... you'll need to re-lube every 300 rounds or so.

Carabiners – You probably don’t need a full-size climbing carabiner. Get one of those little screw-gate links at the hardware store that cost sixty cents. You can use it to secure your NODS/ GCP/ MBITR without having to re-tie the 550 cord every time you move it. Put some 550 on your NODS plate and stay out of the spider web of 550 that tie-downs usually create.

Lights - You need a couple of different lights, one is a weaponlight (which your unit might already have) and the others are personal lights. For a personal light, I'd use a headlamp that is red-light capable... you can use it hands-free to treat a casualty (a mixture of blue and red light is best for finding blood), set a charge, work on a gun, program a radio, flip it over to white light for walking around the FOB , reading mail in the shitter or searching a building. The Petzl TacTikka is pretty much king of the jungle with this one. The French finally got something right, go figure.

You really shouldn't use the high-output lights on your weapon to do in-depth searches. Here’s why: most incandescent weaponlights are meant to be used for short bursts, not extended periods... the bulbs are usually halogen or xenon and they get hot quick too, this leads to premature failure. Another reason is that your head will go to where your light goes... and some places where you need to look are really hard to put a weaponlight on.

Weaponlight - Whatever light you choose for your gun, make sure it's shock-proof or uses an LED. LED lights are great because they're very shock-resistant and don't need to be replaced like bulbs do.

The bad thing about LED lights is the brightness of most of them don't throw a very bright light beam for a very long distance. The LED lights that can do this are usually expensive. My opinion? cry once and fork out the cash for a quality light. The industry standard is around 65 lumens minimum for a good weapon light. I use a Surefire L4 Lumamax on a Viking Tactics mount or a Surefire X300 on a LaRue mount, either is a solid choice. If you use an L4, think about protecting the tailswitch from accidental discharge. A Z68 tailcap switch is a great answer to this problem, there’s a guard around the switch.

Keychain lights - Other places to put a light are easy, where do you use light at? I keep a keychain LED squeezie light in all the big bags I use… and even some small pouches that I use often. Here’s why: I can’t see inside the fucking bag. My headlamp can’t look straight down into my accessories pouch on my chest. Put a light on a piece of 550 cord and safety pin that fucker in there. It’s a solution, but not the only one.

Spare batteries - Make a list of all the electrically-powered shit that you carry with you and bring spares for all of it. Hell, I even had a watch battery (you know, for my watch) taped inside my helmet. Good thing too, I needed it.

If you're smart, you'll have most of your shit set up so that it uses the same types of batteries. Have a place to put them, there are folks out there that make plastic organizers for batteries. Tip: Leave rechargeable batteries for non-mission-critical shit like your mp3 player. Cold will deplete the charge on a rechargeable battery like a fat chick sucking down chocolate pudding.

Lithium batteries aren’t too adversely affected by cold and have a longer storage life than alkaline batteries. They’re more expensive, but if I’m going to bet my life on a battery, it’s probably going to be a lithium.

Boots - Issued stuff works fine, Belleville 390 desert boots are my personal favorite issued boots. Sure, I have a pair of Hanwag Mountain GTX boots, but there isn't a Big Army Sergeant Major alive that would let me wear them.

Socks - I like WigWam Ultramax merino wool hikers... awesome socks. Smartwool is touted as being pretty good, if you like them try the copies that REI puts out... they're the very same thing and cheaper.

GPS - Small, easy-to-read, back-lit, uses readily-available batteries. I like the Garmin Foretrex 101, 301 or 401. It can strap to your wrist, uses AAA batteries, has a backlight, 500 storable waypoints... stay away from the 201 though, it's a rechargeable unit made for sailing. Whatever you choose, make sure everyone on your patrol knows how to use it. The more GPS units, the merrier. Buy one at the PX, it's the new compass.

Wrist compass – The GPS may trick you, but a compass and map never lie. Never assume your patrol will run you through known areas and back to base. What if you have to be quick reaction for another patrol or contractors or a downed UAV? The compass is more reliable than a GPS. I can always tell my buddy on the radio "I'm on the north side of the house" or to that effect if I can easily reference a compass. Leave the digital bullshit alone for this tool; they're slow, they need to be calibrated a lot and they take batteries. Fuck that.

The Army has an issued wrist compass for aviator survival kits (compass, magnetic, unmounted: wrist, NSN: 6605-00-809-5252, made by Marathon Watch) but it’s photoluminous, which you have to charge with a flashlight to get it to glow.

NOTE: Photo-luminous shit is inconvenient and I think the fucking designers that use it are borderline insane. It doesn’t last that long, so to get the glow-in-the-dark-shit to work, you shine a bright light on it. It fades quickly however, so you have to periodically re-charge it. It basically comes down to you using your light to see in the dark, rather than reading your watch or compass via some glow-in-the-dark bullshit. Long story short, use tritium, it glows for about ten years… not five minutes. Suunto makes a really good compass, but it’s also photo-luminous and doesn’t clip onto wide watchbands. In my opinion Cammenga makes the best one, the same folks that make the issued luminous compass. The dial is tritium-lit and tracks very well, isn’t liquid-filled (bubbles in a compass are bad) and goes for about forty
bucks. My only gripe is the band, I'd recommend you replace it as soon as possible.

Water bottles/ canteens - Some prefer the old-fashioned canteens, but I like the Nalgene bottle because I can cook in it, see what the contents are, it doesn't hold bad tastes, it's easily cleaned and I can measure and mix stuff in it. Canteens have a narrow mouth, can’t accept ice cubes and will warp or melt when holding very hot water. The cons are: wide-mouth bottles spill easier while drinking, especially in vehicles. There are solutions for this, but they cost extra. My favorite "cost extra” is called a Capcap, funny name… fucking ingenious. Also; Nalgene bottles aren't free or NBC-mask compatible. Canteen or water bottle, get a metal cup for it… cold food sucks.

Cup - Whether you're on a combat outpost or pulling shifts on an OP, being able to heat what you eat is a fucking huge morale boost. Hot coffee or ramen on a COP shift can really assist in keeping your head straight. Get a metal cup for whatever water bottle you use and grab a fistful of heat tablets before you head out the door. Olicamp and Vargo make cups that fit perfectly under a Nalgene bottle, the Olicamp cup is stainless and goes for like... six bucks. The Vargo cup is titanium and goes for about thirty bucks, I own both and hafta say that I honestly don't give a shit if it's made out of titanium or not. I like the fact that the Vargo holds about ten fluid ounces more than the Olicamp cup. The only part I don't like is the fucking lid, so I leave it at the house.

Paper/ Pen/ Pencil - You’ll need to write, the shit you write in combat is usually a little more important than normal shit. Keep in mind that sweat and water will destroy regular paper. Use waterproof paper or index cards. Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards are available in tan and green. Ordering info for them: NSN: 7530-01-536-2359. The tan ones are NSN: 7530-01-536-2360. Ink will run, so consider your favorite brand of mechanical pencil as well, I like the .7mm ones, they tear paperless and break lead less.

If you need to reference prowords, battle roster numbers, sketches, UNS', GRGs, radio frequencies, callsigns, whatever. Put it on a fucking index card and punch a hole in it then tie it off with some 550 cord. You really don’t want to lose shit like that on an operation. Reinforce it with some clear packing tape so it doesn’t tear off accidentally, regular duct tape works in a pinch too.

Knife - Something you can use to cut with that you can get to easily. Leave the Rambo III Special Ninja Edition bullshit at home. A locking folder with a pocket clip works. Don’t forget a sharpening stone, you don’t need fancy honing oils for the stone, your gun lube or some water should work fine.

Multitool - What do you need a multitool for? I guarantee someone makes a tool that does what you need. Find one that fits your needs, a good pouch for it on your rack is invaluable as well.
Adjustable nylon pistol magazine pouches work great for this purpose, just place your tool or knife away from your reloads. It's funny to watch a guy trying to reload with a Gerber during drills, not so much in real life.

Camelbak - Get one, use it. But if you're on a vehicle and you need water, drink bottled water from the truck first. This way, if you need to get off the truck you're still topped-off on water.
You can get rid of that "new" plastic taste with hot water and lemon juice (which is better than hot water and vinegar or bleach). Duct tape works fine for fixing most small leaks.

Eye Protection - Whatever it is, make sure it's on the APEL (Approved Protective Eyewear List) that list is
put out for eyewear that is authorized for protective use by military personnel. Pissed-off that you don't get wear your Limited Edition LiveStrong Oakley Half Jackets? Fuck you, I don't get to wear my favorite hiking boots. Eyepro sucks? Start saving up for that seeing-eye dog.

Zip-ties - A handy place to put zip ties is behind pouches or woven into PALS webbing. Check to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your kit or shooting. If you can't figure out a use for zip-ties then you just need to off yourself.

Blow-out kit - Most of these are unit-mandated i.e. they have a certain packing list. That doesn't mean that you can't pack more though. Add some penny-cutter scissors, some extra CATs, Remember to add a Sharpie marker or something like it. I attached my blow-out kit to a Velcro tear-away panel with an elastic pig-tail cord to keep it attached to me. It’ll be easier to get to and access what’s inside. Make sure you know how to use it and that it’s not out-dated. You can also shove medical shit into pockets on your uniform. The calf pockets on your ACU pants hold a Bloodstopper bandage perfectly. In fact, go ahead and do that anyway. Mark the outside with something permanent, distinctive and visible. A red cross sewn to it is pretty good, but a little red sharpie marker (touched up every once in a while) would work too.

Bungee Cords – If I had enough bungee cords I could probably conquer Asia. Sling - Two-point. Keep as much of the plastic snaps and buckles and shit to a minimum, it breaks. If you need to replace a plastic slide adjustment, find an old M16 sling and use the sling keepers at the ends of it... they're metal. Don’t use plastic whenever possible. You’ll figure this out when your plastic buckles crack from getting smashed between a seat-back and some body armor for five months. Worse comes to worse, use a piece of 1-inch OD webbing and tie it off at the ends. Don’t start off with it though, there are better options out there… don’t begin in a disadvantaged position. Signal panel - A bright piece of orange or pink all-weather cloth used for signaling, get a piece... keep it handy. Maybe think about sewing some ScotchBrite reflective cloth to it as well. Whatever you use, try not to put call-signs and other stupid shit on it.

The best issued item for this is an aviator signal panel, NSN 8345-00-140-4232 (comes in packages of 4). Keep a rubber band handy so you can attach it to shit or keep a rock in it (for lifting/shifting fires or keeping it from blowing away in strong winds).

Shooting gloves – Most of the time, they’re mandated. Use gloves, don't use gloves... do what you want, they're your hands. Just keep in mind that Haj is smelly and dirty and that you'll be handling everything from flash-bangs (with some hot fuses) all the way down to hanging out with broken glass, jagged metal, industrial adhesives, solvents, shit like that. Like I said, they're your hands.

Bandanna - Handkerchief, bandanna, rag, same thing... lots of uses. Carry a few. Dust mask, sling, t-kit, blow your nose, clean your lenses, stuff a bullet hole, whatever.

Lighter - Cheap pressurized butane ones are best. My favorites are Scriptos, no child-safety shit, adjustable and they're translucent so I can see if it's almost empty.

Electrical tape – you can’t fit a roll of 100MPH tape into your kit, but this stuff works well in a pinch. Roll it around an cleaned section of chemlight tubing, a Sharpie, chapstick tube, whatever.

Sunscreen - My favorite is this shit called Banana Boat, it looks like an oversized tube of chapstick and it works just like one too. The unscented stuff is made for babies and comes in a pink and white tube. Go ahead and laugh.

Shit paper - Sound funny? You try finding shit tickets on a new COP or Iraqi compound. Bring a short roll of the good stuff from home and fold it down flat. If you wanna prevent Klingons, put some individually-packaged handi-wipes into the cardboard tube. I just keep mine in a squad bag in my vehicle.

Chapstick - Make sure it's also SPF rated, sunburned lips are hard to eat and talk with. This is especially true when you spice your food up (probably while trying to disguise bad KBR cooking). Tabasco and Texas Pete will fuck your shit up if you have chapped or sunburnt lips. It can be used in a pinch for sunscreen if you really need it too.

Hot sauce – Speaking of Texas Pete, KBR isn't mom's cooking and no matter how good they are, the menu isn't that diverse. Bring some with you in case someone’s always stealing the stuff at the chowhall.
Fuel Pills/Heat Tabs - Fuel tablets are so fucking useful I have no clue just how to explain how motherfucking useful they are. Yeah I do... cold food sucks. If you can smell it, then the packaging has a hole in it, use some tape to re-seal it. These stink, so I usually tape them up as soon as I get them.

Ear Plugs - For 'terps or in case you lose yours and need to talk after a demo breach. Safety pins can hold these inside a pouch pretty well... so you don't have to dig for them. Use a drop of alcohol in your ears every other day to reduce the risk of ear infections, especially if you use earmuff-style earpro that seals.

Binoculars/Monocular - compact and as high-powered as you can afford. Not being able to ID anything sucks ass. Some people use their ACOG to identify friendly forces, from a distance this can make you look like a threat to a dumbass that doesn’t have an optic. Just play it safe and try not to aim at friendlies.

USB drive - a little thumb drive kicks ass, you can get them for about $30 or so and they carry a lot of hit... trade mp3 files, photos, whatever. The best use I found for mine was keeping all of my military records on me... I scanned them and took them with me. It kept me eligible for a huge fucking bonus because I had my own records to help back up what the army lost. This is also a real life-saver when you find yourself going to a real easy promotion board and you’re overseas with a shitty S-1 section. I like to use a memory card in a USB adapter, that way I can use it in a camera (as an SD card) and in pretty much any non-government computer as a USB memory stick.

Laptop - nothing fancy and make sure it's on your home-owners/renters insurance. Movies, music, games... I used mine to write my emails home in a simple text document, then I saved it to a thumb drive and took it to the MWR computers and simply cut and pasted to a web-mail provider's email program. It sure beats wasting my allotted half-hour typing-out an email and then sending it. An Acer Aspire One or Asus Eee netbook is just what the doctor ordered for deployments for new soldiers; wireless, good sized hard drive, small. They both go for about $400.

On that note, if you’re a Joe and you stay up all fucking night playing motherfucking Xbox, you’re fucking up big. If you fall asleep in a truck during a mission, expect someone hitting you with something heavy… maybe in the face.

mp3 player - Rock out. Just start thinking about how you're gonna load it, power it, shit like that. Oh yeah, don't bring that shit with you on missions. I'll fucking kill you.

Safety Pins – The kind you get off an ammo bandolier are the best. Black, strong, rust-resistant… they’re great for staging earplugs, index-cards, LED lights, chemlights, signal panels, whatever.

Drink Tablets/ Powders - The tablets are relatively new and don’t make a huge fucking mess like powders do. Nuun, Zyme and Elixer are awesome, carbonated tablets (kinda like Alka-Seltezer) that you just drop into a bottle and wait a couple of minutes. It's bubbly for a few hours and basically flavored water with some good shit (like caffeine) thrown in so you can justify using it. Water gets a little old after a while.

Things to know before you go - Keep a smoke grenade on your shit. Pilots can't see that little signal panel while you're huddled next to cover dumbass. Yellow smoke and white smoke are hard to see. Use green, red or violet instead. We all saw Blackhawk Down, but don’t be a fucking retard and modify any grenades with tape or zip-ties. If you tape the fucking safety clip (some idiots call it a spoon) down and remove all the original safety features, then throw it here's what happens: Not only does your grenade not go off, but now a bad guy potentially has a hand grenade, it's lost, someone kicks it or removes the tape or the tape rots off. Way to go dick-hole, you fucked yourself, maybe a buddy or two or even a stranger or kid that didn't deserve to get blown the fuck up.

I've never seen anyone at a grenade range that trains to remember removing tape. You didn't train with your ordnance that way, don't use it that way. In a panicked, confused or rushed situation, you're probably not likely to remember until after the fact. I don’t want to explain to your mom that you were a dumbass and killed yourself with duct tape. Belt-fed guns are your friend, never leave a belt-fed behind. Load a teaser belt, grab an AG and leave the M-4. Keep your Lasers zeroed. Better yet, keep it zeroed with a pattern generator on it so you know which one is yours. "Hey dude, I’m the circle, you’re the triangle, the team leader is the cross”. Your dot looks like your buddy's dot in a night-fight. It blows when you can't find your laser in a crowd.

Tie your shit down – Learn an End-of-Line Bowline and maybe a Double Figure Eight knot. Use tie downs. Put a little carabiner on the end of your tie-down to attach it to your helmet, your rack, etc.
If it’s mission critical, tie it down… not just the stuff you get from the arms room.

Wear wool socks, even when it’s as hot as the surface of the sun. Wool wicks moisture, you’ll figure it out. Put your shit on and shove yourself into as many positions as possible with it. Know it, know what you can do with it, but more importantly... know what you can't do with it. Rehearse. But If you're running finger drills, take a break and pick up later. Have a bag or box with some water, smoke, ammo and frags in it. Mark it and don’t use it until you need it… you’ll know when you need it.

Mark your shit - Use name tapes, laundry markers or both. Remember, there's only one thief in the army... everybody else is just trying to get their shit back.

It's good to pack some shit that'll keep you comfortable... but there's a time and place for everything. I'm pretty sure you don't need a carton of cigarettes for a three-day combat outpost shift. You could probably do some of your missions without an iPod or your coffee cup too. I like Red Man and everything, but I don't put in a chew if I think I'm gonna hafta talk on a radio a lot... you get my point?

If you’re particular about your gear, make a list or a photo-catalog of what you prefer to use. This way, when something breaks or wears out you can get someone stateside to get it for you. With a good description and a picture, they’ll know what to look for and send it. Include sizes, colors, names, accessories, where to get it and how much it’s going to probably cost. It sucks when you get the wrong sized shooting gloves and the used ones you have smell like rotting chicken and are torn to rags. You don’t have to include everything, just the hard-to-find shiz. Don't do anything because it looks cool, do it because it works. If you hafta convince yourself it works, it probably doesn’t work as well as you think. Always refine your tactics, techniques and procedures.

Don't bullshit yourself: If you don't need that ninja sword... ditch it. Looking cool is not the same as being effective... chances are you're the only one that thought you looked cool anyway. Cool? Going home is cool.

If you need access to some chemlights, just run a zip-tie or 550 cord through the little eyelet at one end and keep it loose enough to attach to a small carabiner. When you need the chemlight, just rip it off the zip-tie and smack it on something to activate it. Maybe use a rubber band to keep them from flopping around.

Ear protection - $200-350 for Peltors, depending on the model, is worth it. You can hear incidental/environmental noise, radios and people talking. If you have a radio and don't get issued electronic ear pro, buy it yourself. Take care of it and sell it (or just give it) to the next guy. Ear plugs cost about $0.15 and don’t take batteries. Con: ear plugs aren’t selective, you can’t hear anything.

Stage magazines everywhere, be like the fucking ammo Easter Bunny.

Keep a list of National Stock Numbers for ordering shit from Supply, they conveniently forget or miswrite the NSNs for your order sometimes so your request doesn’t get completed. If you’re a Joe, a Sarge or a Sir, everyone should have a list of their favorite NSNs. Wear your helmet. Nothing is dumber than the guy who doesn't want to wear a helmet because he saw a movie where the SF guys don't wear helmets.

Same goes for your body armor. Wear it… or someone’s gonna rearrange the furniture in your living room. Training: PT, movement, shooting, commo and medicine. You can be the best IV-sticker in your platoon, but if you can't call for a bird… your partner dies. Know your routes. Know your alternate routes. If you don’t have alternates, your plan is incomplete. If it'll make your job easier, buy it. Or you'll regret it later, out in the field, and miserable... where it's not available.

If you’re out for a long walk, maybe think about bringing something small and calorie-packed. You don’t wanna go overboard with the Rip-Its… you’ll really fuck yourself up. Try water/Gatorade and energy bars instead. Bonus: you don’t piss neon green shit, your sleep patterns aren’t fucked and your kidneys don't join the circus.


PACE. If you don’t know what it is, here goes:
Primary
Alternate
Contingency
Emergency
Commo, Trans, CASEVAC… fucking PACE everything.

Don’t be a nasty motherfucker. Shower, clean up after yourself, keep your uniforms clean. Yeah, we got it, you were sprayed with blood on a mission, now clean it up douchrocket. It’s not a badge of honor, it’s biohazard. Don’t be the asshat that takes all the hot water, refuses to clean anything or becomes a card-carrying member of the save-the-piss-bottle-foundation. Hey Princess, you’re not the center of the fucking universe. Keep your windows clean enough to lick. Hatch Operator nomex gloves may cost $10 more than issue aviator gloves, but they last twice as long. So by that logic they're cheaper. If another brand is even better, tell your friends. They’re knee pads, not ankle warmers. If you wear them and they’re on your ankles, they can’t stop your body weight from driving that little rusty nail into your fucking patella.

Even if you know a 9-line/ UXO report by heart, keep copies on hand where you can get to them in a hurry. Heck, go ahead and tape one to the sun visor, ceiling, zip-tie it to the radio, where ever. You can get mentally lost when you’re wounded or watching one of your friends all fucked up. Reading it can help kick-start you back into what you’ve trained… kind of a mental reset button. Use a rubber band to attach a one-hand tourniquet to your armor so someone can get to it in a hurry. Check it for dry-rot every once in a while. PMCS your vehicle before EVERY run. If you can't, at least pay attention. Get out, kick the tires, check the fluids, look underneath, get to know your truck. End result: make your truck reliable. Basically, baby it before you have to beat it to death. If you do a lot of housework, think about having a magazine on the back of your armor for a buddy. This way, he can see it easier and doesn’t have to go to his shit when he’s in a hurry… This is especially nice if your weapon goes down and he has to use a lot more of his own ammo to cover your malfunctioning ass.


Trade. Three things you don't need and three things you do? That's one and the same my friend.

"Fuck it… Let’s go” syndrome is eventually terminal.

Favorite National Stock Numbers

·    4-Inch Israeli Bandage NSN 6510-01-460-0849
·    6-Inch Israeli Bandage NSN 6510-01-492-2275
·    8-Inch Israeli Bandage with 12” Abdominal Pad NSN 6510-01-532-6656
·    36-Inch SAM Splint NSN 6510-01-225-4681
·    Bolin Chest Seal NSN 6510-01-549-0939
·    Combat Application Tourniquet NSN 6515-01-521-7976
·    Airway, Nasopharyngeal, 28fr, 12s NSN 6515-01-180-0467
·    Aviator signal panel, comes in a package of four NSN 8345-00-140-4232
·    OD green 550 cord, 400 yards NSN 4020-00-246-0688
·    OD green 2-inch tape, 60 yards NSN 7510-00-266-5016
·    Strobe light, marker, distress ui ea (MS2000) NSN 6230-01-411-8535
·    Kit bag od green ui ea (aviator kit bag) NSN 8460-00-606-8366
·    Viking Tactics VCAS sling NSN 1005-01-534-4359
·    Viking Tactics VCAS wide (padded) sling NSN 1005-01-534-4361
·    Surefire L4 Digital Lumamax NSN 6230-01-522-6611
·    Petzl/SKEDCO TacTikka medical NVG green/white headlamp NSN 6515-01-527-8068
·    Green Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards NSN 7530-01-536-2359
·    Tan Rite-In-The-Rain waterproof index cards NSN 7530-01-536-2360
·    Lubricating Oil, Weapons, TW25B. unit size: 1 syringe. NSN 9150-01-448-2266
·    M249 collapsible buttstock assyembly NSN 1005-01-515-8268
·    Garmin Foretrex 101 wrist-mounted GPS NSN 5825-01-554-6352
·    Strider SMF folding knife NSN 1095-01-531-5015
·    CR123A batteries (Surefire batteries) NSN 6135-01-522-6679
·    6 inch infrared chemlight 8 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-396-1704
·    6 inch chemlight orange 12 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-195-9753
·    6 inch chemlight green 12 hour, 10 per box NSN 6260-01-074-4229
·    Oakley SI M-Frame Strike 2.0 laser array, grey/clear/laser w/ case NSN 4240-01-555-5324
·    Tan IR reverse flag patch NSN 8455-01-524-4926
·    HMMWV tow strap NSN 5340-01-475-3650

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­–––––––––––––––––––––––
         


Link Posted: 9/5/2012 8:54:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: matticuski] [#40]
Headed back downrange again, had to re-check out this page to see if I was missing anything. After 15 months out of the last 24 in the field, there's some more I've come to realize and I will try to fit into this post. I have ADD and 2 monsters today so bare with me.

Adding onto Electronics taking the right batteries. Since my last deployment everyone has made products that use CR/SF123 Batteries, some units also provide them. So if you're going to get flashlights try to get them all AA (since PVS7/PVS14s use them too) or all CR/SF123 (Surefire Flashlights, Helmetlights, Etc.) Kevlar Mounted Headlights are worth it, IR Flood, Red/White/Blue Lights, 1 CR123 Battery, and they last a long long time. Only downfall are the stupid switches, you walk through trees, or set your Kevlar down, bam you turn the light on. Same goes for the hand-held surefire lights with the push buttons.

You can also get the Surefire Helmet Light Molle Mount from supply or for $20 online, and clip it to your Chest Rig/Vest


Wolf-Tails, if you're a grunt or some other combat-oriented MOS , find out what your SOP is for them, if there isn't one establish one. I understand Afghanistan isn't Fallujah, but Wolf-Tails make a world of difference.


Hearing Protection, the prices have dropped dramatically over the last few years, I just picked up a pair of Howard-Leights (sp) a year ago for $36.00 shipped, electrionic hearing protection, fits under the ACH and works wonders. Even stood next to a M1 shooting HEAT rounds and didn't even flinch.

Day and Night Visual Markings, You can combat-roll a half piece of VS17 Panel and put it on your kit, it doesn't take up much room, and you're going to need it. Whether for a resupply, clearing/uo/mout, ied's, uxo's, medevacs, cas/cca/idf, you name it, Always fucking have one. For night, get a MS2000, or a Sidewinder, these come in handy for a million reasons.

If you're a POG, accept it, don't buy up all the gear at the local stores, let the grunts get some of it.

Thats all I got for now. Ill post more as I think of it.
Link Posted: 9/10/2012 11:17:43 AM EDT
[#41]
To all those who have been or are headed into harms way...God Bless and come home safe.  Those of us at home appreciate your service.
Link Posted: 9/23/2012 4:59:27 PM EDT
[#42]
Here is what I have to offer. I ran an infantry mortar section of 8 guys in eastern Afghanistan. Everything we did was dismounted, mainly ch47 infill/exfil during the summer months. I'll add more when I get an opportunity. Please feel free to PM me with any further questions. Excuse the typos, I wrote this out on my phone.



General plate carrier: not much room to mount a lot of crap on. Keep the sides relatively slick, easier to get in and out of vehicles and the tiny ass mud hut doors.

Spend serious time putting some heavy weight in a ruck with your PC on. The more shit you have on, the harder it is to get the ruck to sit right. Once you adjust your PC, duct/electric tape the shit out of the adjustments so they won't slip later, because they will.and your side plates will rub your skin off.

Admin pouch: on our plate carriers, there was not a lot of room. I ended up taking my tactical tailor pouch off my chest and attached it to my ruck instead. Useful, but it was in the way of my sling or mags on my chest so I dumped it.

Dump pouch: the models that require pulling, unzipping, unsnapping are a pain in the dick with gloves on. Limited space on the carrier usually pushed it out of the way. I settled on the emdomm from skd. It held it's shape and was always ready for me to dump shit into. Mostly mags, brass, sse, but it won't beat the shit out of your legs like cargo pockets will.

Mag pouches: just because you need to carry 7 mags doesn't mean they need to be on your chest. I carried 4, 3 in a triple single across the front, 4th in a single on my weak side, the rest of the mags were in gi bandoliers in my ruck/pack.

Holsters: drop legs made it harder to high step or jump. I used my issued lbtc molle holster, but set it up for a mid height setup (vs low on your thigh or high on a duty belt)

Grgs: frequency lists, grgs, any of the other products s2 kicks out, I had one of my guys laminate a few sets and I 550'd then to my belt loop and stuck them in my cargo pocket. Do your medevac, uxo, forms this way so you can always have them.

knives: ditch the fixed blade and stick with a multi tool.  It gets caught on shit and it's extra weight you don't need. Forget the seatbelt cutters too. stick some trauma shears on your ifak so you can reach and grab them without spilling the ifak.

Water: birds get scratched a lot, walking sucks. Skip the camel back and use the bottled water in your bag. It's less weight to carry out when you can throw/burn bottles away. A bottle of iodine tablets for every few guys is a must. If you run black andget stuck drinking ma-haj's goat shit well water, it helps a bit, and you can fill your disposable bottles with them. Drink mix packets mask the iodine/goat flavor.

Food: jerky/cliff bars/pop tart raids from dfacs will cover you for 1 to 2 days. Field stripped mres suck, but whatever. Worry more about tobacco and water than food.

Low light: make sure you and your guys have a grasp on their strobes and peq15 controls. The flood lamp is important for up close id of targets, be comfortable with it in your nvgs.

Get a weapon light: ask the armorer for one or at least go buy something decent (a used tlr1 will do). If you are working in/around qalats or korez systems, you need to be able to white light areas with your weapon ready. If you use pressure switches (I didn't) don't be sloppy with the routing because they'll rip off.

Electronics: Afghanistan is tough on them. If they don't have a case, dust will get in and ruin sensitive shit. Buy cases for cameras/computers/tablets.

Mbitrs: route the antenna simply through the webbing on your back so it stays out of your face. One tug and you should be able to extend it, but I never needed to. Try to get the trucker mic with an ear piece. Religiously check the batteries so you don't lose fill.

IFAK: put a tourniquet where you can see and reach with both hands on your chest. Use a rubber band to keep it there. We ended up taking our ifaks off the PC and wearing them on our regular belts. It cuts down in width and frees up a little room.

Batteries: always step off with fresh batteries and a spare set. You go through a lot this way, but possibly losing GPS or nvgs because you were lazy is stupid.

GPS: the garmin 401 is great. Finds satellites fast,.decent battery life, 10 digit grid and following routes is easy. It takes 2 AAAs, I got a little less than 24hrs with it always on. When we would stop I would turn it off and it would stretch 3 days. Attach it to your chest, or wrist.

Compass: Every leader needs a regular old lensatic compass. I would also suggest a wrist mounted one, it's easy to be disoriented, and a quick glance at your wrist will help calling targets or terrain. Digging through pockets/bags to call target direction is the wrong answer.

Binoculars: you need to be able to id dudes acting funny or possible ieds. I brought a tripod with me. Very steady, let's you observe comfortably for hours, and helps break up time sweating your balls off on a roof for two hour shifts.

Chem lights: mark rooms, buildings uxo, shitter trenches,whatever. A million uses. Have at least two visible and two ir minimum.

Sharpie markers: drawing on MAMS, sse marking, drawing dicks in the shitter, whatever. Always have one Sharpie and some permanent map markers. (DON'T USE RED MARKERS). You can't see them under red light

Head lamps: buy two. It should be on/off with a red filter. Cycling while,red, blue light with a button is a no go. Skip the surefire helmet mount and just stretch the  headlamp band around your helmet. One stays with your PC, the other is for your tent back and forth to the shitter at night.

––––––––––––

Don't be lazy: If you stop for while, draw up your range card (fields of fire) for security shifts. Do what you can to improve your position, and look at your grgs so if you take contact you already have the target grids or building numbers handy to pass up the net quickly.

Crew served weapons decide the fight: keep them clean and well positioned.

Ladders: strong point positions were mostly rooftop qalat emplacements for us. After 12 hours of bulky dudes walking up and down rickety log ladders in compounds, they fell apart. Bring a ladder if you plan to strongpoint
Link Posted: 9/26/2012 9:42:52 PM EDT
[#43]
Originally Posted By unpleasant:
Here is what I have to offer.


good shit
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 11:50:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: stabbedmyface] [#44]
Blackhawk ARPAT RAPTOR
RAPTOR X-1 Blackhawk Pack

Gruntline
McNett Gruntline
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 1:50:38 PM EDT
[#45]
G-Code holsters using the RTI system or retrofitting your Safariland or Blackhawk(!) holsters to that system makes it a lot easier to swap positions with your M9.

Safariland makes a similar system for their holsters that uses MOLLE "forks" that engage the webbing, but I've never tried it.

G-Code is the shit.
Link Posted: 1/21/2013 4:31:50 AM EDT
[#46]
Originally Posted By unpleasant:

––––––––––––

Don't be lazy: If you stop for while, draw up your range card (fields of fire) for security shifts. Do what you can to improve your position, and look at your grgs so if you take contact you already have the target grids or building numbers handy to pass up the net quickly.

Crew served weapons decide the fight: keep them clean and well positioned.



+1 on range cards and crew serves.
Always improve your position, no matter if it is setting up better cover at checkpoint, or building some shelves to be better organized inside your tent.

Security always needs to be number one.  If you stop, take a knee.  If you stop for longer than a minute, push out your 360 and get some cover.  

Change your batteries BEFORE you need to.  We where averaging 7-8 hour patrols, and I could usually get 2 patrols out of my Garmin with no problems, but if at the end of mission the display said half battery life or less, I changed them.  

Always do all of your maintenance immediately after getting back from mission.  Change your batteries, clean your weapons, and top off on ammo, food, and water.  Its better to be ready to go on another mission right away, than to remember that you drank all your water yesterday as you are walking out the gate at 2 in the morning to babysit an IED all day.
Link Posted: 1/23/2013 10:44:40 AM EDT
[#47]
Most importantly of all, get a horse head mask. Or a magical unicorn mask, either will do.

You're going to run into more than enough super cereal situations over there, so anything you can do for a few cheap laughs is worth its weight in gold.

Bonus points if you can make a sergeant major weep with rage.
Link Posted: 2/3/2013 9:38:19 AM EDT
[#48]
Tag
Link Posted: 2/3/2013 9:37:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: unpleasant] [#49]
When you get to wherever you go, your guys will be scattered to the four winds. You can't be lazy about making sure you have NO shortage of people that are capable of doing the technical aspects of whatever your job is. My mortar platoon of 22 was split in half and sent to different areas. You need to be ready for that possibility.

My "LIFE LESSON" in that was last year I was promoted to E5 1March , I went to IMLC (mortar school!) in April, We found out 1June we were going to Afghanistan, 14June My ass was on the plane. In less than 90 days, I went from being e4 sham master to acting section SGT for 12 guys. I was the only one of 12 that could do the targeting part of our mortar job, and that's the wrong fucking answer. You need to have your shit down cold, and you can’t settle for not cross training your dudes while you have a chance. I should have trained more people months prior, but I didn't expect us to be split.

As soon as you show up, and you play the Manas/BAF/RSOI game, keep your guys busy and PT them hard. Going from 330ft elevation North Carolina sauna to an 8000ft oven is a kick right in the balls. Everything sucks more. It also helps to keep structure and build a daily routine.

Make sure your dudes are sleeping. Airstrips, generators, trucks, smelly 200 man clam-shell tents with squeaky bunk beds are noisy. Sleep aids (unisom) takes the edge off falling asleep if you are having problems. Pack some.

Helicopters: I'm embarrassed to say that the first time I've ever been in an Army helicopter was at night, in the desert, on our first mission. We do the door open, c130 fall to earth thing a lot here, but helicopter/PZ posture process was new to myself and all of my guys. Do static load training if you get a chance. Getting on and off quickly AND CORRECTLY sounds stupid, but we carried 81 tubes, skedcos of ammo, and other large crap that required some maneuvering/packing pre-planning on ch47s and 60s.

Everyone needs be able to go from zero to "radio check" on MBITRs and ASIP radios. Have a good RTO guy, but you can't let him be the only guy that knows how to fill/setup radios in your group.

Equipment wise, You will go with what you have. If you have fucked up radios, Weapons, computers, NVGs, etc.. Turn it in and get it fixed while you have time. Now.

Be nice to your supply/s6/mechanic people all the time. Go out of your way to help them, because that will be the difference between making shit happen on short notice or going without.


The IED detection tech that's available, You'll get some fast classes at BAF/KAF/JBAD by contractors that don't care but don't let that just be it. ID enough of your guys that you will trust with those detectors, and make sure they have that down cold. Take them out in the morning, bury shit in the ground and see what the results are. Get them used to what hits and what doesn't. Know what the battery life is. Know as much as you can. Horrified, I watched our route clearance engineers get a lesson on the devices as we were waiting for a chinook on our first mission. "You know how to use that thing, right?" is what prompted it. Fucking scary. Train your guys.

Go simple with your equipment. If you haven't used it the the "field" at home, don't start. I watched a lot of guys go crazy with pouches, slings, lights.. all sorts of shit that they bought for the deployment that they weren't used to and ended up causing problems for them. Stick with what you have and what you know. There are no coolguy points for extra shit hanging off of you.

Most of my guys decided they wanted to start being hard ass body builders as soon as they showed up, and the PX sold all sorts of supplements. Don't let your guys drink that shit. If they want to PT, cool, but monitor their intake of the supplements/protein crap.

Where we were at, You either hijacked somebody's Qalat or you baked in the sun as a patrol base all day. You need to be ready to do either one. Bring E-tools for sandbags or shallow fox holes. Ponchos for shade for your dudes sleeping between guard shifts. Spend an afternoon and get your guys used to the concept of how qalat houses are laid out, and what is expected of them to emplace and strongpoint one.

Be smart about where you setup if you are staying out. If you have an option, don’t pick a place next to a major dirt road, because you’ll be on edge all damn day when dudes zip past the house on motorcycles. If there is a korez/water pump within view, there will probably be a lot of traffic to that area. Use some common sense or deal with 30 shitty kids staring at you and lots of foot traffic. Same goes for goat herders. Make it very clear to the herders that they need to swing wide, or you’ll be swamped/distracted in smelly goats.

Check Joe’s Shit: People forget things, it happens, but it doesn’t need to happen. The way I dealt with this was the morning before we left, we had a layout of all the shit everyone needed, then I physically stood there and watched them put the shit in their ruck for that patrol/mission. Get a system in place to make sure everything is charged, has batteries, and isn't forgotten.

Buy 3 of these. Keep one at the top of your ruck, one on your chest, and one for backup.
Inova Microlight Red LED

Link Posted: 2/4/2013 1:45:45 AM EDT
[#50]
Originally Posted By Jrcengineering:
Tag


This
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