Marines get issued a lot of stupid shit. Sometimes it’s with a genuine effort of protecting you or giving you some kind of tactical edge; other times, it makes you wonder what kind of coked up pipe dream the guys at Quantico think is going on overseas. With very little consideration for how gear will actually behave in the field, a lot of stuff makes it out to the line units that seems incomprehensibly inconvenient and actually makes their job more dangerous by being cumbersome.
Case in point, this fucking thing:
What fucking asshole in an office saw this in a catalog and was like, “Marines need that.” When I was in Iraq in 2009, they were pushing to have this issued on all of the turret gunners. It was issued, but nobody wore it, because it’s heavy and stupid as shit. Not to mention: in Iraq, in 2009, there wasn’t anything happening that would even remotely warrant such a ridiculous piece of gear. Yet somebody, somewhere, decided that Marines just weren’t safe enough without it while they were in the turret.
Another piece of gear no one liked was the “Quiet Pro.”
It was mandated that everyone be issued this high-speed piece of gear. While in theory it’s actually pretty awesome–it cancels high decibel noise such as gunfire and explosions, while simultaneously allowing your radio to pass through it–no one but Staff NCO’s and officers wore it because the tiny wires tangled up in your flak were more of a pain in the ass than it was worth.
While every boot thinks more gear is better, it’s the guys that are out the most that you see with the least amount of gear attached to them. I went into Iraq the first time with grenade pouches and all kinds of silly shit, but being a turret gunner I ended the deployment with little more than 3 full magazine pouches and my IFAK attached to my flak.
Marines just want the gear they need, and nothing they don’t.