I think the rape whistle bit might go over the heads of some of our POGier friends reading the strip. For those of you not in the know, often times even us grunts are issued a gear list before embarking on a field op. This doesn’t always happen, and is wholly dependent on the command, but when it does there is almost always a rape whistle, a giant clothespin, and bug repellent on it. It’s as if the CO was going on his first field op and was so insecure about all of the useless drivel he was bringing that he went and had the company clerk tell everyone to bring the same thing so he wouldn’t look lame.
Gear lists weren’t a practice for me during my first workup, as my CO of the time was a pretty hard-chargin’ guy. My second workup, however, wasn’t quite as liberal in terms of our ILBE’s. Instead, issuing out ridiculous lists, “Well you get paid this weekend, go out and get the items for next week,” was a fairly standard-issue sentiment from him. In my humble opinion, a gear list should be limited to what a Marine needs to conduct the training. Basically, make sure you bring your PPE, maybe some cleaning gear. Everything else should be up to the individual Marines to worry about–if they pack too light, oh-fucking-well.
Also, before I forget, I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day! Hopefully not too many of you were stuck in the field for it. It’s happened to me before. I didn’t mind so much because my girlfriend at the time was off-island anyway, but there were married Marines in my platoon stuck out there–on base–in the “field”. I also spent a Valentine’s Day at beautiful 29 Palms one year during my second run at Mojave Viper. That, however, was largely unavoidable.