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Everything posted by Brig

  1. Private purchase P-26, worn in the 30s. Looks like the continents are part of the globe, which would make it enlisted. H&H made these in officer and enlisted version for private purchase
  2. 14 years ago tomorrow...hard to believe it's been that long, his little girl must be nearly grown by now...he still crosses my mind as often as he did back then RIP Brother... This was our flag on the FOB, lowered to half mast the day we lost Scott...
  3. Oh, yes, I also camouflaged my weapon my first tour...I still have some of the painted mags...I used a double-clamped mag as my primary, the clamps had been gifts to us from the Israelis when we went through their Counter Terror School in 2005 a few months before going to Iraq..
  4. Some was SOP, some was just paranoia of running dry in a gun fight...I didn't even mention what was in the assault pack Tour 1...2005-2006...the war was still a war and not this police-action hearts and minds thing quite yet, so I was paranoid of going winchester on ammo...typical combat load of the time was 6 rifle mags, I doubled it. You use to be able to buy mags at the PX, this was before all the gun laws tightened and now you need a letter from the CO authorizing you to buy them, which is usually only to replace ones you may have lost. Mid-tour we received a threat of gas attack, so from that point on gas masks had to be on us at all times like during the invasion. I hated it bouncing against my leg so invested in the gas mask pouch. I also hated the straps of the camelback cutting into my shoulders so I invested in the camel back hump...camelbacks had only been an issued item for about a year so they didn't have the pouches out yet, those didn't come out until years later when we switched from the ILBE pack to the new ruck. I was a boot at the time so didn't rate a compass, and commercially purchased GPSs were godawful expensive back then...the only guy who had sprung for one was our squad leader and I think he said he spent around 600 bucks on it. Tour 2...2006-2007 (I waived my dwell time and was back in theater 90 days after returning from my first tour. both were also extended). This was Baghdad, mostly external security outside the embassy compound, so I didn't need as much ammo. Typical loadout was 7 mags and I largely stuck to that. I also had a 21" collapsible asp tucked into a pouch in case a protest at the gate turned riotous...never had to use it. But I did once kill a fly with it Mr Miagi style. Tour 3...2011-2012...Typical loadout was 7 mags, I was a section leader which meant my Marines were my weapon so I wouldn't be doing as much shooting, so I didn't see a need to go excessive on this either. I had a compass issued and had bought a commercial Garmin GPS...it was originally 900 bucks with all the bells and whistles, but I got it at a Black Friday sale the day before I deployed for around 250-300...awesome investment, but I still use it as a backup to a compass, not primary I always field strip my MREs. Typically in my assault pack I carried rations, two canteens and E-Tool strapped to the sides, extra batteries, a headlamp with red lens filter, 550 cord, multiple pairs of socks, weapon cleaning gear and lube. After that it was mission dependent...maybe a ranger roll for sleeping, extra mags if we were doing remote ops, air panel, flexi cuffs, camie paint. I always have a protractor and map pens in my GP pouch as well as extra batteries, a notebook and map, signal mirror, maybe a whistle for a signal plan. Other odds and ends. Copenhagen in my top left sleeve pocket with my kill card, which has since been replaced with ZAP tags. I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff. It was a lot of stuff, and loadouts varied mission to mission. If it was a local patrol we traveled light, if we were on a multi-week patrol base op we backed heavy and lived out of main bags. Unfortunately most of my pics were lost, that's the problem with digital photos is viruses and accidental wipes, but here's a couple photos of me during my first tour kitted up...the photos without gloves were the same ambush, you can see we had to sit for hours in an irrigated field and the gloves got soaked, started doing a number on my hands so I dropped them. I'm on the left in the photo of us holding 40mm after a successful ambush, you can see we're filthy soaked... And a couple photos my second tour...
  5. The Marine Corps finally started issuing pouches that are almost the same as the private purchase, since everyone was buying it, anyway. Originally, units had either the LBVs with MOLLE pouches, or the even earlier one with permanently sewn-on pouches. The LBV pouches were tri-color woodland, and we were wearing the new coyote tan interceptors....so we started buying the tan pouches. Now that they're issued, you see very little private purchase gear, with the exception of GP pouches. Most guys in leadership billets have a privately purchased GP pouch, as the Marine Corps doesn't issue anything similar. Same for smoke grenade and popup pouches...they're not issued, so some guys will buy them. How I wore my gear depended on the mission and the tour...my usual rig during combat deployments... -Iraq (first trip)...issued interceptor vest with 5 Blackwater double mag pouches, issued IFAK, 2 Blackwater hand grenade pouches, 3 Blackwater triple 40mm pouches, Blackwater gasmask Flak pouch, Blackwater camelback hump, unknown brand private purchase smoke grenade pouch, and (mid-tour) an Army issued (believe outside purchased) dump pouch, private purchase Blackwater GP pouch. Also, a Blackwater pistol belt with a Serpa drop holster, and a Blackwater leg paddle, Blackwater NVG pouch, 5 private purchase pistol mag pouches (can't remember the brand), and a Blackwater double rifle mag pouch, as well as a SpecOps knife scabbard with my KABAR in it, and two issued but obsolete 40mm pouches that held 6 rounds per. An additional pistol mag pouch for my Gerber. I also wore Blackwater knee pads, which were unit purchased, and had a Blackwater buttstock single mag pouch. Unit purchased motorcross gloves, issued ESS glasses. Typical combat loadout 12 rifle mags, 5 pistol mags, 1 frag grenade, 18 40mm grenades. -Iraq (Round two)...Scaled down version of first tour due to mission changes...biggest difference was I worse a private purchase Spartan vest. 3 Blackwater double mag pouches, issued IFAK, 2 Blackwater hand grenade pouches, 1 Blackwater triple 40mm pouch, Blackwater gasmask Flak pouch, Blackwater camelback hump, unknown brand private purchase smoke grenade pouch, unit purchased dump pouch, private purchase GP pouch. Also, a Blackwater pistol belt with unknown maker private purchase NVG pouch, single mag pouch private purchase, as well as a SpecOps knife scabbard with my KABAR in it, and an additional pistol mag pouch for my Gerber. Private purchase Blackwater knee pad and unit purchase motorcross gloves, private purchase sunglasses. Typical combat loadout 7 rifle mags, 3 40mm. -Afghanistan...issued plate carrier with 3 Blackwater double-mag pouches, private purchase IFAK pouch, 2 Blackwater hand grenade pouches, private purchase smoke grenade pouch, Blackwater smoke grenade pouch, Blackwater popup pouch, Blackwater GP pouch, Blackwater radio pouch, issued hydration pouch. Also a Blackwater pistol belt with dump pouch, private purchase NVG pouch, issued 152 black gear pouch, unknown brand mag pouch for my Gerber, SpecOp scabbard with my KABAR. Private purchase Blackwater gloves and private purchase Oakleys. Typical combat loadout 7 rifle mags, 2 hand grenades, 1 popup, 1 or 2 smoke grenades. Might be missing some stuff. definitely caribiners, always at a minimum one on my belt and one on my flak. As you can see...vast majority was private purchase
  6. NSN is true for unit purchases, the days if waivers is gone...but I haven't heard that IRT private purchase
  7. Blackhawk was hugely popular in the Marine Corps via unit purchase, as well as private-purchase. It was fairly affordable. Guys with a little rank on their collar (higher paychecks) and gear-queers also used a lot of Diamondback. SpecOps was a crappy budget brand available at the PX, but often bought due to the low pricetag, particular outside the infantry. In my experience, grunts are a little more willing to pay more for their gear...they knew they would use it, unlike guys who may never leave the FOB, and we tend to consider it an investment in our lives, not an expense. But...even if they go for a decent brand, they still tend to buy the lesser priced items. Prime example is the Blackhawk paratrooper drop holster...had a strap for the pistol grip so it wouldn't fall out in a jump, and took the pistol off safe when you drew. I hated it...thought it was a safety hazard, and guys never knew what to do with the pistol grip strap. But it was $50 rather than the $100+ a Safariland or Serpa cost. I invested in the Serpa the week it came out, a few days before my first deployment in 2005...15 years later and I'm still using the same one....
  8. It's usually deferred to commanders at the unit level, and by no means limited to the Special Forces community. Every victor unit I've been in has authorized private-purchase gear to varying degrees It is also extensively used by law enforcement, reenactors, paintballers, airsofters, and wannabes...I have long said that in the future, the only private-purchase gear of any value on the collector market will have to be documented to a veteran/part of a group
  9. There was no uniform emblem in this design, but there was a known sweetheart pinback. Never seen a screwback...but these used to sell stupid high a decade ago during the EGA craze, so I guess it's possible it was converted. Any signs of having had a clasp on the anchor? The swivel hinge could have been replaced with the stabilizer pin Or, they could have produced a sweetheart screwback. Not a uniform item, though
  10. I hear the official war cry of the Space Force was approved. The commander yells "To infinity!" and the troops yell "And Beyond!"
  11. Not a bad way to bring in the New Year...first find of the decade...taken in Boston, sadly no name...
  12. They go one of a few ways usually... 1) Crappy liberal-agenda anti-war PTSD stigma pushing swill 2) Over-the-top patriotic-propaganda pushing Americanpaloozas 3) Hollywood-can't-settle-for-honesty-churched-up-BS 4) Spec Ops/MOH Worshipping Flicks And before everyone starts screaming how good some of the more popular ones are, anyone who thinks Lone Survivor or American Sniper are historically accurate haven't read the after-action reports I was appalled how quickly Hollywood started churning out the movies in the early days. As a rule, I no longer watch movies about wars/events I was a part of
  13. It's alarming how many service members don't understand what blue means on ordinance...I have a stock of spent LAWs at work we use in the ISMT. One goes down, pull the computer guts out, stick them in a tube where they sights haven't snapped (because that's 99% of the time the issue). Every time someone comes through, I have to explain to them what properly de-milled means.
  14. I don't think it's World's Fair...these badges were fairly common in the era and of a wide array...MPs, flight line inspectors, shore patrol, etc. I don't know what this one was for, though.
  15. It goes into the PayPal account and is immediately taken out by PayPal to pay the taxes. Needlessly complex, but that's what they came up with
  16. Buttons on these screwed to studs, so can't be trusted to ID, they are too easy to replace. Image of the buttons is small, but they're don't look USMC to me, either
  17. Picture came out as a tiny thumbnail, unviewable
  18. Great topic! NORMASH sign in Korea...
  19. I'm late to this party, but I'll chime in with my initial assessment, much of which was confirmed here... -Wings were added to the group...first, they're rigger wings, not parachutist wings. While this alone doesn't mean enough, since some Paras wore them against regs, why are they still in the box? Wosk has been selling their packaged surplus for 15 years...I remember buying several sets when they first hit the market in spring of 2004...and they're still being sold off. I am always suspicious of packaged Wosk items in groups. -My first impression when seeing the PFC stripes and the 1937 GCM was...how? Then I saw his records that say TSgt. And then seeing that he stayed in well after the war. Yes, he could have gotten another alpha blouse...and it happened, but that was rare, and continues to be. Marines don't like buying uniform pieces any more than they have to. As pointed out above, late war stripes with an early, blooded, Aussie-made SSI. And unnamed...sorry, but not for my money. IMO, the uniform is 100% put-together. Stripes probably original to the uniform, but SSI added, maybe cap added. Which makes me think the blooding is added to the SSI. Judging by the amount of times I've been contacted about my Paramarine uniform, Blooded Aussie Paramarine SSIs are worth a respectable sum. I'm not an expert on patch prices, but I don't think I've seen any Aussie blooded Paramarine patches sell less than $600, and that's on the low end since my memory isn't what it once was. So there's some salvage to the uniform. -As pointed out, the wool SSI was added by a previous owner, and the parachutist wings. All that said, I don't think $5000 was unreasonable to the group, given the sum of the parts. But neither medals nor patches are my forte....
  20. If you had to have just one, the original portrait is better than the painting, IMHO. And I doubt they'll go from $700 to $100, I'd chalk it off and wait until the end of the sale, when it's inevitably still around, prices tend to drop at the end
  21. Must have been some lively inter-service rivalry ribbing around that dinner table for years to come...
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