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1980s gear questions

Started by knd643 , Jun 13 2013 07:08 PM

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#26 fallout

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:23 PM

Thanks for the help, I would like to know about infantry and armor cvc, so I guess infantry wore the BDU and armor wore the coveralls right? So I guess armor is tanks and infantry is armored personnel carriers?


Edited by fallout, 17 June 2013 - 01:24 PM.


#27 Allen Dail

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:30 PM

Hello I was an armor crewman in the late 90's M1A1 in Germany. On the tank during gunnery we wore the cvc coveralls, Nomex balaclava, cvc gloves,the cvc frag vest and black standard combat boots. It was a simple green cover with to soft inserts on the front and the back. You wore the cvc helmet in the tank and your Kevlar if you dismounted. Our Lbe was also only worn when dismounted. It was a compass/first aid pouch,two M-16 magazine pouches,and two canteens. We also had a shoulder holster for our pistol. I only wore the nomex tanker jacket a couple of times. I did not like its length and if you bent over or moved it would ride up on your back. I always wore my field jacket.

On field exercise when we were not shooting we would wear our regular BDU's that is what I am wearing in my pic here. with a mopp suit over the top of them.

Hope this helps

Allen



#28 ccyooper

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

I was in an armor unit (2AD) during the early 80' s and Allen Dail is right on... the troops I was with and around just wore their green perma press until BDU's with field jackets, etc., and the proverbial MOPP suit when it was cold.. actually most of them wore that all the time because other than leaking charcoal, etc. you did not get greasy, tear your uniforms on hatches, etc..and it was comfortable.



#29 VolunteerArmoury

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

I was an 11C in a Mech Infantry brigade in the late 90s assigned as driver/ammo bearer then assistant gunner on a M106 Mortar Carrier then over to FDC as RTO & M60 on a M577. We were issued CVC overalls, gloves, etc but generally wore BDUs. We had the LBV with the PASGT vest, the promask M25 then the M40 CVC version which we all wore them under the arm rather than on the thigh. Couple times or three I was told to wear on my mask carrier on my chest like WW1 style. Holster for 9mm was on the belt of the LBV which then the mag pouches were for poggy bait, sunglasses, & cassette Walkman. Had the medium ruck with the tanker roll on top which was strapped to the side of the track. Think I kept a 2 qt canteen by my seat & LBV on top strapped near my hatch if I recall correctly.

#30 fallout

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:13 PM

What's the tanker roll? 



#31 fallout

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:33 PM

Also on the M81 BDU, on the when wearing it the left pocket has a smaller pocket inside, what's that for? And on the M81 BDUs and earlier uniforms what did you usually keep in your pockets?



#32 Allen Dail

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:51 PM

The little pocket inside the upper left brest pocket is a pen pocket. I never used it because you were not supposed to have the top of you pen sticking out of the pocket. So basicly it was useless.
I carried my small pocket notebook and pen in the upper left chest pocket. The other three pockets i didnt carry anything in.
The front slash pockets on the pants i carried my wallet and keys. Those are the only pockets on the pants i used.

#33 VolunteerArmoury

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:53 PM

What's the tanker roll?


The "tanker roll" if that was its real name was the roll we had on top of our rucks. It was the sleeping map with shelter half folded over & pins, poles inside. We had to carry it but just used the shelter as a tarp or ground cloth. Seems I had it as a hooch lean too once or twice. We had to do that in Infantry School & also later when I was a Mech Infantry unit. Maybe there's another name for it.

#34 fallout

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:43 PM

Thanks.



#35 fallout

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:21 AM

So if you take the sleeping bag, you would leave the poncho liner but you would still take the poncho as it is helpful right? And in the 80s everyone got a poncho I think, but if you have a wet weather parka would you still get a poncho and did every one get a parka or was it for certain people? And for sleeping gear you had a sleeping bag or poncho and liner and a sleeping mat(?) or shelter half, Did you get a did you use the steeping mat of did you get use the shelter half as a ground sheet, and when did the sleeping mat start to be issued, was it used it 1983 or later? And lastly, I got a 1980s dated shelter half for 15$ and it came with 3 poles what else do I need, I think 5 pegs(orange or green ones, probably the green ones) and a rope(how long?) correct? Is that what you carried with you shelter half? Thanks.


Edited by fallout, 22 June 2013 - 04:31 AM.


#36 VolunteerArmoury

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 12:01 PM

I saw all sorts of pets including wooden ones when I came in the 90s. I think it was five pins per person. I typically used my poncho as a fly & bundled up in my poncho liner. I long intended to have 2 liners sewn together to use but never did. Never fooled with undoing that tanker roll sinc I didn't want to redo it. I first saw the tanker roll stuff while I was a recruit in Infantry OSUT in 97 with 2/54th Infantry. A mortar platoon I was with later had us do the roll for a while but I guess it was someone who either was cadre at Benning before coming to our line unit & liked it or whatever but it wasn't practical. After we stopped with them the only use I got out of the mat was to keep my duffle bag open making it easier to pack. Didn't use shelter half beyound a couple bivouacs early in OSUT just like the old school of rows of tents & a street like effect. Later I recall the Drills telling us how to make hoochs for our fighting postions & later in the mortar portion using ponchos buttoned together over our mortar pit. Don't know when the mats were first issed.

#37 Rakkasan187

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:08 PM

So if you take the sleeping bag, you would leave the poncho liner but you would still take the poncho as it is helpful right? And in the 80s everyone got a poncho I think, but if you have a wet weather parka would you still get a poncho and did every one get a parka or was it for certain people? And for sleeping gear you had a sleeping bag or poncho and liner and a sleeping mat(?) or shelter half, Did you get a did you use the steeping mat of did you get use the shelter half as a ground sheet, and when did the sleeping mat start to be issued, was it used it 1983 or later? And lastly, I got a 1980s dated shelter half for 15$ and it came with 3 poles what else do I need, I think 5 pegs(orange or green ones, probably the green ones) and a rope(how long?) correct? Is that what you carried with you shelter half? Thanks.

 

Taking the sleeping gear to the field really depended on the unit you were in and the mission. I was stationed at Fort Campbell in the early 80's and we brought the sleeping bag to the field during the winter months. We also used the shelter half in the cold winter months. During the summer months we just used our ponchos as ground cloths and the poncho liner as a light weight sleeping bag.

When we went to the field we very rarely carried the sleeping bags with us, since most of our insertions into the field were by air assault by either UH-60 Blackhawk or CH-47 Chinook. The supply truck would bring the bags out to the field for us.

 

In Berlin when I was stationed there in the late 80-s to 90's (86-90) again depending on your unit and mission you could possibly carry your sleep system with you. The sleeping bag and outer cover were wrapped in the shelter half, poles (3) pegs (5 orange) and yellow tent rope. This (Tanker roll) was rolled as tightly as possible and placed in a waterproof bag. This bag was then closed and T straps were secured to the bag. This was then attached to the bottom of the large rucksack with 2 carrying straps. There were times when we would road march to the field and the bags were dropped and carried out later on with the supply truck. 2 platoons per company in the Berlin Brigade were also mechanized platoons (1 being infantry, the other being 81 mm Mortars). These platoon members used to carry their bags in their M113 APC's.

 

I mentioned that it all depended on the mission. If we were attacking to later occupy a position, we carried light, mostly ammunition and spare batteries and NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) equipment in the attack, then after the attack during reconsolidation we would gather our rucks and prepare for defense. If we were occupying a building, we basically barricaded ourselves inside and had all our food, ammo, weapons, ect inside. We seldom used sleeping bags in this environment, but rather used ponchos and poncho liners. Occasionally we used sleep mats but this was when we were going to be in a fixed position like the defense.

 

during deployments to the west we rolled out with all our items. We slept in GP medium tents and used sleeping bags in the winter. and during the summer months again used the poncho and liner.

 

Leigh



#38 fallout

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:03 AM

Thank you very much!



#39 12thengr

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:35 AM

 I was with a Mech unit in Germany in the late '70s and eveybody had a tanker roll on the top of their wall lockers. When we rolled out on an alert you would grab that and your steel pot, drop by the arms room for m-16 and m-17 gas mask and head to the motorpool. We also took it on 'camping trips', both official and not. Mnt bag rolled up with cover, blanket, tent poles and stakes all rolled inside the shelter half and secured with the 'spagehtti straps. Quite an art form to get it right and one of the first things we learned coming in. I've got one and if I get real ambitious I'll take a few pic's. If you want to see it.



#40 fallout

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:16 AM

Yes that would be great!



#41 12thengr

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:48 PM

photo (33).JPG Not a great example but I don't have an equipment inspection coming up anytime soon.... :rolleyes:



#42 Linedoggie

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:47 PM

I was in an armor unit (2AD) during the early 80' s and Allen Dail is right on... the troops I was with and around just wore their green perma press until BDU's with field jackets, etc., and the proverbial MOPP suit when it was cold.. actually most of them wore that all the time because other than leaking charcoal, etc. you did not get greasy, tear your uniforms on hatches, etc..and it was comfortable.

Was 2AD 1982-1984 124th Maint Bn. My Mopp suit was razored to remove the lining except on the collar. Washed a dozen times and I wore OD T shirt and shorts under it. under the OD rainboots wore sneakers. Every Hardened Steel FTX had a 4-6 hour block of MOPP 4 so this became our field MOPP



#43 Fender Rhodes

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:06 AM

Completely agree with this post by NS13 Jarhead. I joined in '91 and the gear was almost exactly as described.

 

Bayonets were serialized gear and not always issued to us. Most of us had private purchase K-Bars in black or brown scabbards. I believe my first one was black.

 

I started out on the M16A2 and carried two 30rd mag pouches, but when I got assigned to a SAW, I carried one SAW mag pouch and two 30rd mag pouches (SAW pouch on the left, 2 mag pouches on the right). The rest of the belt and harness was pretty standard. Had my strobe light and LC2 first aid/compass pouch (with pressure bandage) on the left strap of my 'Y' harness (I'm a righty shooter so I didn't want anything on the right shoulder strap of my harness). I used to slide the pouches as far away from my midsection as possible. When going to the prone position, landing on fully loaded mag pouches isn't terribly comfortable.

 

Carried a M1956 Buttpack on the back center of my pistol belt and later got a nylon one. Kept the first aid kit attached to the left side of the buttpack. Two 1-quart canteens in their carriers flanked the buttpack. The right side one had my canteen cup. Had a second LC1 first aid/compass pouch on the left side of my pistol belt, near the buckle. This had my dummy corded compass and a second pressure bandage (bullets tend to leave an entry and exit wound).

 

We were issued medium ALICE packs, but being that I was an RTO for a while (before I got assigned to the SAW), I bought my own large ALICE ruck and frame. If we were going to be humping a lot, I'd usually remove the buttpack so my pack frame would fit flush on my waist and not ride on top buttpack and grind it into my lower back (the buttpack got placed in the pack flap, first aid kit attached to the top left side of the ruck). I can't remember ever taking a shelter half into the field after boot camp. If we had time, we could rig a poncho shelter with 550 cord, but yes, we just slept out under the stars, wrapped in a poncho liner. The 'cho liner was one of mankind's greatest inventions...ever.

 

The buttpack usually had clean socks in a zip lock bag, a rat-f**ked MRE, small flashlight (mini Maglite back then) and some survival gear in a taped up plastic soap dish (swiss army knife, waterproof matches, signal mirror, fishing hooks and line, 12ft of 550 cord...all private purchase).

 

If it was going to be cold, we took sleeping bags and they were generally put into a WP bag because if they got wet, they'd weigh about eleventy billion pounds and took 17 years to dry out.

 

Spare set of cammies and skivvies were usually put in zip lock bags in the ruck main compartment, down at the bottom. We typically packed the things we needed the most or would use most frequently at the top of the ruck and the extra crapola at the bottom.

 

E-tool typically got attached to the left side of the ruck and the 2-quart canteen, if we were issued them, would be on the right. I went out and bought doubles of most of the gear. One set was the Corps' and was kept nice and clean for JOB inspections and my private purchase stuff was for the field. Plus stuff would get lost or 'permanently borrowed' by someone and it always helped to have backups. "Gear that's adrift is gear that's a gift!"

 

M17 Gas Mask carrier was worn on the left side (again, I'm a righty). We got cleaning kits but no bipods. The cleaning kit typically ended up in the buttpack or rucksack flap pocket. I got a pistol belt extender later on so I wouldn't have to monkey with my belt when we wore kevlar flak vests. The kevlar helmets were standard by then and we all bought padded rings to put in them for comfort.

 

Maps, notebooks, SOI, second signalling mirror, all went in the top two pockets of my cammie blouse. Almost never used the lower pockets. If we were in the field, I used a OD triangular bandage as a sweat rag around my neck...unless the first sergeant was around. If he saw them, he'd yell at us and ask us if we thought we were "back in the 'Nam." Then they would be disappeared until he left the area and went back to his comfy office (while we were in the field of course!).

 

I wore green issue jungle boots almost all the time. I really didn't like the issue leather boots and only wore them if we were ordered to.  

 

I had great squad leader when I joined. He was a Root vet and taught me a lot about fighting from 'levels'. Basically from the ruck to the harness to the pockets. Essentially be prepared to drop everything and fight and survive from your pockets. I'm pretty sure his brother was Marine veteran of Vietnam and taught him a lot of tricks, which he passed down to us, his 'squad babies.'

 

I was blessed to have great NCOs and officers when I was a junior Marine. They taught me how to live in the field and a lot of those lessons remain with me today.

Thanks for the nostalgic walk down memory lane.

S/F

FR

 

In the USMC it mostly depended on the mission or on the location/duration of the operation.  Always wore cartridge belt and H-harness with two 3-magazine pouches for M-16 (enlisted) or two 9mm ammo pouches and holster (officer), two 1 qt canteens (with NBC cap), 1st aid kit.  Sometime also had a butt pack in the center rear of the belt where I carried change of socks & skivvies and a deconstructed meal (C-Rat or MRE).  Most of the other stuff was carried in the ALICE pack.  But we kept 24 hours worth of essentials on the belt and attached it to the flak jacket in case we had to ditch the pack for some reason. 

  • PASGT vests started being issued - No idea, but the first one I wore was 1985 (I wore the plate armor ones from 1980-1985)
  • Bayonets - Always carried it on the cartridge belt, left side, ring forward. As an officer I carried a Ka-Bar in its place.
  • poncho with poncho liner or just the sleeping bag or both - Depends, most times it was poncho+liner.  For longer duration ops (1 month+) or a training hike, I'd take the sleeping bag.
  • shelter halves  - Used it in Boot Camp in 1980, Korea in 1982 and at The Basic School in 1988, other than that I usually slept under the stars or in GP-Medium.  If carried, it would be near the top of the ALICE pack to help act as waterproofing.
  • BDU's - Usually one spare set 
  • underwear - One or two extras
  • undershirts - One or two extras
  • socks - Two or three pair
  • towels and washcloths - Usually just a small brown/green cotton towel
  • Also always carried the E-Tool attached to the side of the ALICE pack.
  • And we always carried the M-17 gas mask in a leg carry on the left side.

Never saw or used an M-16 bipod, but the cleaning kit always fit nicely in the hatch in the buttstock of the rifle.


Edited by Fender Rhodes, 25 June 2013 - 03:09 AM.


#44 fallout

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:29 AM

Thank you very much, this is very good information!



#45 Rakkasan187

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 06:22 AM

Some excellent information is being shared by members of our sister services. The Marine Corps packing list for example is very similar to a light infantryman's packing list for the Army. I will add again that the mission and unit will almost always dictate what type of gear will be in your rucksack, as well as climate and time of season.

 

Packing the ruck in "levels" or layers was also important as FR has indicated. For example, the spare set of boots that were carried in the rucksack were placed at the bottom, either in the waterproof bag or outside at the bottom of the rucksack. Inside the waterproof bag went the items that were not necessarily used all the time, such as the spare set of BDU's but were packed per SOP and packing list requirements. On top of the BDU's went more important and more often used items, socks, t-shirts, poncho liners, ect. On top of these items went additional gear such as rain gear (if not in the outer pockets) Usually the most important items would be directly under the flap of the rucksack. In Berlin when i was stationed there, the top item was the NBC MOPP suit. We trained with the NBC suit every time we went ot the field. On the inside of the ruck sack outside of the waterproof bag on the sides went TA-1 phones, MRE's, Night Vision Devices, NBC equipment, items that could be taken out and used when in a defensive position or special circumstances such as an Oberservation Post at night. Rather than digging through the waterproof bag to get to this equipment, it was usually carried outside of the bag and could be quiclky removed for use. Unit Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) differed in every unit, but the basic field gear was carried by all, regardless if they were in a mechanized unit, or a light infantry unit.

 

Leigh



#46 Fender Rhodes

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:21 AM

Good points Leigh.

 

I didn't really get into the packing of the ruck due to variances in unit SOP. I know that our squad/platoon/company used a packing SOP for rucks. But yes, it was common sense driven. Most used, high priority gear to the top (within reason so to maintain the balance and 'ride' of the ruck), lesser used, less priority gear to the bottom.

 

MRE's always got rat-f**ked and then repacked into their outer bags before being packed into the ruck.

 

We almost never got issued MOPP suits. In fact prior to going into Iraq, I only remember wearing one about 50% of the time for the gas chamber.

 

NVGs were typically issued to team/squad leaders, etc and being serialized gear, only when we were on exercises and ops. They got turned in at the armory with our weapons, knives/bayonets, etc.

 

If we took gumby (rain) suits out (and later on, goretex) they usually stayed in the ruck until we were in a non-tactical situation.

 

We got issued two sets of gloves, black leather shells with OD wool liners as well as a pair of heavy tan work gloves which were used for rappelling and putting up concertina/razor wire. I bought a couple of sets of nomex summer weight flyers gloves as well. It was (and is) easier to manipulate your weapon when wearing them, rather than the black leather ones.

 

In boot I got issued three sets of rip stop cammies and one set of RDF rip stops. I guess those were leftovers (I still have the trousers but can't fit into small regular anymore!). After I got to the fleet I bought the heavy weight cammies. They held up better in the field.

 

Zip lock bags, duct tape and 550 cord were heavily used.

 

Again, great thread. I'll keep posting stuff as the memory gets jogged...

FR



#47 Rakkasan187

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:01 AM

FR,

 

I swear, your unit and mine must have had the same concepts. What you have been posting almost mirrors all of my thoughts and what I used. Thank you for your service in the Marine Corps. Back when I got to the 101st, we were issued jungle fatigues. Wore those on all deployments and even in garrison. The heavy weight BDUs whcih I was issued in basic training were too warm for the humid summers at Ft Campbell. The ripstop jungle fatigues were much cooler, not to mention that they looked really sharp when they were highly starched. Used to wear them prior to Guard Mount. I did not see the lightweight ripstop BDUs until I arrived in Berlin in the mid 80's. Still kept 2 pairs of jungle fatigues from the 101st days. I gave obe set to a forum member here and the other is still hanging in my closet with my Jungle Expert patch still sewn on. This was prior to the regulations stating we had to remove them. I was able to wear it for a few months at least.

 

Will post pictures soon so we can reflect and take a trip down memory lane...

 

Leigh



#48 Fender Rhodes

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:00 AM

Leigh,

Same to you...thank you for your service Rakkasan trooper!

 

I think much of the similarities are driven by common sense...that and good leadership! Like I said before, I was very lucky to have some outstanding NCOs when I was a junior Marine. Most had learned hard lessons in Beirut and later in Desert Storm. I arrived at my first duty station right after the conclusion of the war and man-o-man, the only thing worse than being a boot, is being a boot in a unit full of combat vets!

 

I liked the rip stop cammies (BDU) and just like you said, they looked great starched out. Despite the heat and humidity at Camp Lejeune (aka Camp Swampy), I always wore the heavy weight cammies in the field. The just held up better than the rip stops.

 

On an interesting side note, I think I was in the last cycle that went through Parris Island where we did not have to have name tapes on our cammies. We were required to have our last names stenciled across the back of our blouse (across or in between the shoulder blades) and on the flap of the right cargo pocket of our trousers. These were essentially just laundry markings. After Desert Storm, the rumor was the press was pissed off that they couldn't ID any of the Marines they were interviewing, so complaints went up the chain and made its way all the way to the Commandant. Presto-change-o, we were required to wear them. The local seamstresses outside of Lejeune made a killing during that time for sure making and sewing them on thousands of pairs of cammies! 

 

One other change came around that time frame and it was just as unpopular as the name tapes and that was the order to change our beloved 'club patch.' Since WWII, the Marine Corps had required its personnel to have an EGA (Eagle, Globe and Anchor) along with a large 'USMC' stenciled to the left pocket of all utility uniforms. After Desert Storm, we were required to use new ones that consisted of a markedly smaller EGA and no 'USMC' stencil.  Most of us continued putting the old style club patch on until we could no longer find them. Low-level disobedience to a stupid order for sure but one motivated by tradition and espirit. Sometimes you have to wonder what goes through senior leaders' mind when they come up with s**t like that. It seems minor now, but at the time it was a big deal to young Marines that were eager to keep any ties to the traditions of our amphibious warrior forefathers of WWII. 

Best,

FR


Edited by Fender Rhodes, 26 June 2013 - 03:22 AM.


#49 Fender Rhodes

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:07 AM

One last thing I wanted to circle back on and this is just one individual Marine's perspective, but when I wore my harness (LBE), I usually ran the straps out pretty far. I was taught to have the LBE hang low, especially during humps. Again if the first sergeant or sergeant major wasn't around, we would unbuckle our pistol belts. While this placed all of the LBE weight on the shoulders, it freed up your hips from getting rubbed raw by the pistol belt (and all of the attached gear).

 

Even later on in my career as a senior staff NCO, I used to allow my Marines to hump loads in that manner. I was tough but fair, and it was little things like that which let them know that despite being a jerk, I gave a crap about their welfare.

 

In this regard, the need for comfort during long road marches overrode the 'look good, have uniformity' mentality of the peacetime Marine Corps, especially when it came from first sergeants/sergeant's major that long forgot what it was like to be a junior Marine. This was especially problematic when those senior staff NCO in question did not have a groundpounder background and brought an attitude with them that the line infantry guys were just inferior creatures because they never served in aviation or some other rarefied MOS.

 

This type of attitude could be summed up with one example. A former sergeant major of mine (with an admin MOS) decided to blow off a class I had arranged with instructors from the base rappel master course in advance of a rappelling and fast roping exercise with helos from New River Air Station. Any type of training requiring helo support requires a ton of background work and prep, especially when it involved rappelling. In other words, training evolutions like that were a PITA to put together. Remember, this was the Clinton era...the Corps had little extra money for training and aviation fuel and blade time were at a premium (in fact I was surprised we got the green light for the whole damn thing!). Anyway, the training class, which was a requirement to be able to take part in the helo portion of the exercise, came and went and no sergeant major in attendance. Apparently there was some monumentally important rear-echelon s**t for him to take care of which had nothing to do with the required training. 

 

So we head out to the Verona Loop training area where we were to meet up with the helos at one of the training HLZs. We manifest the sticks and zap sheets (in triplicate!) and stage for the helos. Who do I see standing at the lead position of the first stick? Well the sergeant major of course. Cut to the chase, we get the safety brief, the helos arrive and we board, get altitude and prep for rappel. Belay men are on the HLZ. The rappel master (SSgt-type) running the show directs the sergeant major to the hell hole, rigs him and we radio to the HLZ party that the first Marine is coming out. The sergeant major who decided to blow off the rappel refresher class gets about five feet down and goes sweetheart over tea kettle. The handset crackles in my ear, "Sergeant, KFC is going on up there?!?!" The rappel master is talking to the crew chief who is speaking to the pilots. Everyone and I mean everyone is screaming Hilarious!!! Finally the rappel master looks at me and directs me to get the sergeant major going. I snap link to the helo deck, lay down near the hell hole and stick my head out and proceed to scream at the sergeant major to "fix his f**king self." After a few minutes he finally rights himself and finishes the rappel. Let's just say when landed, he was waiting for me. After berating me for a few minutes, he finally got 'adjusted' by one of our senior officers who saw the whole thing play out and knew that he had skipped the training. I felt vindicated but also pissed off that my Marines and I were saddled with this politicking, unmotivating, piece of s**t. Thankfully he PCS'ed about a year later.

 

WOW! That was fun recalling that little tidbit. I do apologize to everyone for heading off on a tangent like that.

Best,

FR



#50 Rakkasan187

Rakkasan187
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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:22 AM

FR,

 

I think we were bred from the same traditions and customs. Almost everything you said about your beloved Corps, I can also recall my deep love and passion for the Army Infantry. Traditions and pride are the heartbeat of a unit. Comradship, and the willingness to lay your life down for a buddy was unquestionable. The powers that be sometimes don't realize that by taking the smallest of traditions away from a Marine, Salior, Soldier, Airman CoastGuardsman, it has a lasting effect on them. Take for example our Army Rangers, so long the pride and distinction of identifying these elite forces with the Black Beret. Once the black beret was made an Army wide thing, it was no longer something that identified a special unit or person. Now the Rangers did adopt the tan beret which looks very sharp, but again, why take a  symbol of a unit's identity and make it army wide? In the 80's after I returned from Panama and the Jungle Warfare School I wore with pride my jungle expert patch, Not all soldiers had the opportunity to attend this course and those who have will know that it was a tough school. When the order came down to remove the jungle patches from our uniforms, we were outraged. We could only figure that some high up commander did not have the opportunity to attend the school and made the command decision that if he couldn't wear it, no one will. Being a private back then, these were little things that had no real impact, but in the eys of someone who endured and survived that school it angered us.  

 

On the note about your LBE, we usually extended the pistol belt out the whole length in order to place addtional pouches and equipment on them. We only buckled our pistol belts in garrison as well. The Commanders and NCO's in the field were very laxed about web gear. Comfort and practical sense were the watchwords. For example: I am in the prone and I need to change magazines. Where are my magazines? With the pistol belt buckled they are under me, I have to roll to one side to retrieve a magazine, thus exposing myself and my position if I am out in the open. With the pistol belt unbuckled when I get in the prone, guess what, my ammo pouches and other items that were underneath me with the buckled belt are now at my sides and can be easily accessed. Just some common sense lifesaving combat skills..

 

I also had a similar incident with a certain BN Command Sergeant Major. I was at an Air Defense Installation as an Infantryman and I felt out of place. When I got assigned as the Ops NCO for an Air Defense Basic Training/AIT unit I introduced methods and ideas to these folks who thought I walked on water. Never before thought of thinking outside the box was the mentality of most of the folks in the unit. came up with and wrote several BN SOP's that were blessed and used. Fast forward to August 1990, Gulf War, Drill Sergeants in the unit (most of them infantry) get orders to report to Infantry units for deployment. I requested a 4187 transfer to a combat unit. After all I was an infantryman. Well the CSM DENIED my request. I put it in again, once again DENIED, I was getting pretty angry, and I explained to the CSM that he was potentailly hurting my career. He asked me how he was hurting my career progression. I explained to him that leaders with combat experience will get promoted faster than those who don't (at least in the Infantry they get promoted a littlke quicker). I told the CSM that by preventing me from deploying, I would not be not as competetive as my peers who did go into combat and therefore I ran the risk of not being promoted with my peers. He told me I was crazy, that nothing of the sort will happen and again DENIED my transfer. I did not deploy and was very angry. When the troops returned, Soldiers that I worked with that I outranked at the time (Sgt E-5 promotable) were now in some cases 2 ranks higher than me. That really bothered me. When I confronted the CSM with my concern, he basically said "oh well". Fast forward a few months later, It was a Friday afternoon, and I was getting ready to call it a day. The First Sergeant (who also hated the CSM) came to my office and asked I was doing anything. Told Top that I was getting ready to punch out for the weekend. He told me that he had a "special job" that needed his and my attention. I asked him what was up. He told me that we had to drive downtown to the county jail and picked up the CSM!!! He had gotten arrested for shoplifting at a local grocery market. Now the 1SG knew of my burning hatred for this man, and the smile on my face grew so large that my cheeks hurt. I grabbed the company vehicle and went downtown to pick up our CSM convict... This made my day. Although it really didn't change things in the long run, I was happy to see a little bit of discomfort come to a person who dished out discomfort on me. He was taken out of the Command Billet, lost his CSM wreath and was forced to retire. He still kept his benefits unfortunately, but would you beleive all this over a pack of sisposable razors, a paperback book and a candy bar that he shoplifted. Pretty pathetic..

 

Have been working on a book for the past few years and this is just a paraphrase of the story from the book.

 

Leigh




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In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)