Well this is a pretty easy subject, I suppose. Everyone knows the guys that go out and spend all of their money on any new piece of gear they can find. Anything that makes them look like someone out of a videogame or some BLACKHAWK! ad in Leatherneck Magazine. It’s the stuff that usually no one needs, but somehow it always finds it’s way into the hands of the guys who go outside the wire the least–if at all.
I remember traveling extremely light on a daily basis. My flak had nothing more than 6 standard issue magazine pouches, my IFAK, and an extra pouch for my NVG’s and related gear. Granted, I was mounted, so I kept my water in the truck via Nalgene bottle (cause only boots use canteens); as well as any extra flares or whatever I needed for daily turret-use.
Regardless, even on the ground, you can always tell the saltier Marines from those who wish they were. Marines who have been around know what they need, and tend to carry only that.
On a matter of personal opinion, I think one of the worst decisions a commander (company, battalion or otherwise) can make is creating an SOP system for the flak accessories (besides the IFAK, obviously). The flak is the one piece of gear that absolutely needs to be customized for comfort and practicality. For some reason, Lieutenants seem to think that grenade pouches are the coolest thing in the world, when in practice no one ever really uses them (grenades are a pain to get in or out of those issued ones).
Anyway, another slightly late update. I’ve become a night owl of sorts lately. I haven’t been around Portland the last couple of days but look forward to me scouring the 24 hour cafes and diners writing the next Terminal Lance.
Until next time, motivators.