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Not only did it not work well with mags, but the M249 would beat the snot of out the magazines too.

 

Moose,

 

Do you ever recall having issues with the Bipod legs that folded under the hand guard? The first generation SAWs that we had in the 80's, we had a terrible time with the Bipod legs always dropping out of the locked position under the hand guards. During movement, the slightest snag would drop the legs and sometimes the feet would also extend. I remember several of the bipod legs being bent and damaged because of this flaw..

 

When we did fire magazines with blanks in them through the SAW, I do remember they worked pretty well, but when we put live rounds through, they jammed and did damage the magazines. When we would fire the same magazines through M16's, after firing through the SAW, we also had jamming problems and the magazines would not lock into the magazine well.

 

Leigh

 

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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TheGreenMachine

Great info, thank you all very much!

 

Another thing I noticed on your gear, Leigh and seen on some pics is the way to carry the flashlight. I've tried to insert it into the side of the M16 pouch, but getting it out sometimes is pretty tough, as the opening is the same size as the diameter of the flashlight. Was this a usual way to carry the flashlight? I thought it usually was attached to the suspender (on the weak side as not to harm using the weapon) - but the first-aid/compass pouches were worn on that location, so maybe this was the reason for putting the flashlight into the M16 pouch?

 

Speaking of the compass pouch: Who did carry the compass usually? Everyone or just squad/troop-leaders? I thought I read somewhere that compass were given out just like weapons and bayonets.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Regarding the Time the M249 came out. The Army seemed to feel that it was fitting for the Rapid Deployment Forces to get the first run at new gear and weapons. We got the Kevlar Helmet in 1982ish, and the M249 before pretty much anyone else while I was at Fort Bragg. There were representatives from the Manufacturer that came out to question us about what we thought of the weapon and what changes we would want.

 

  • The magazine well was useless, and as Moose mentioned, was nothing but a jam waiting to happen. We stopped even trying to use them.
  • The original carrying handle, as I mentioned, was in a fixed position and and we asked for the Manufacturer to give us a folding one.
  • There were no drums, just bandoliers, as Leigh shows above, with cloth/cardboard. This was a problem with all Light Machine Guns of the time as the cloth would catch the rounds and cause them to feed incorrectly, causing the bolt to slow and jams would occur. It goes without saying for prior service individuals but most without experience don't realize that a machine gun needs as little pulling weight on the ammo belt in order to keep feeding with the least reasistance. Ammo in a bandolier was ok for moving from point A to point B but once in a firefight you need the ammo to feed easily. In our day, the cloth bandoliers were useless. Also, the cardboard inserts would get moisture as well as get crushed easily enough and bind up the ammo. We learned not to leave ammunition in the bandoliers due to the snap reaction needed from the Machine Gunner during training and combat actions. The time it would take to remove the ammo from the cloth bandolier and cardboard insert can often mean the difference between winning and losing a firefight. Bottom line is that the ammo for the M60 and M249 was transported in the bandoliers to some degree but one free belt of ammo had to be ready to go and loaded.
  • Slings- I believe we used the same sling for the SAW as we did for the M60, which is the same one many of us used for the M16.

Compasses- Compasses were usually kept on a keeper made of parachute cord and were attached to the pocket through the pen hole. I kept my compass in my upper pocket with one button undone so I could simply reach in and remove it. I didn't use a compass pouch because it took up room on my web belt and I could keep it safer in my pocket. All good Soldiers will purchase their own compass. During movements in the field you usually have a Patrol Leader using his compass to monitor the bearing. The Assistance Patrol Leader will also be checking it from time to time. The Point Man would often be using a compass, pick a point in the distance on the proper bearing, head to it carefully while also keeping a pace count. A smart Patrol Leader will use the second man in a movement to keep track of the azimuth and a different person to keep track of the pace count. This way there are three guys keeping track of the bearing and the distance travelled. The PL and APL will have maps to confirm locations, distance travelled, etc..

 

Rock

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Leigh,

 

I don't really rembmer the bipod legs or problems with them. For some reason I've completety lost my experience with them. I remember being at the range in a supported position with the gun but simply can't remember problems with the legs. I remember the M60 Bipod and how it worked, just not the M249.

 

Weird,

 

Rock

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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Great info, thank you all very much!

 

Another thing I noticed on your gear, Leigh and seen on some pics is the way to carry the flashlight. I've tried to insert it into the side of the M16 pouch, but getting it out sometimes is pretty tough, as the opening is the same size as the diameter of the flashlight. Was this a usual way to carry the flashlight? I thought it usually was attached to the suspender (on the weak side as not to harm using the weapon) - but the first-aid/compass pouches were worn on that location, so maybe this was the reason for putting the flashlight into the M16 pouch?

 

Speaking of the compass pouch: Who did carry the compass usually? Everyone or just squad/troop-leaders? I thought I read somewhere that compass were given out just like weapons and bayonets.

 

So I have been having the same problem as you for the flashlight, on the belt, on the suspenders, in the grenade pouch. I guess it was different between units, branches and even soldiers. I usually carry it in the grenade pouch because I put the compass on the suspenders with a spare bandage behind it, and then another bandage pouch on the belt with 2 more bandages. As to compasses I think everyone got them.

Cold War Collector 1945-1991 NATO & Warsaw Pact

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I've been doing a generic US Infantry '80s kit for the past couple of years off and on at the airsoft field I work at, mostly because I think it's just cool looking.

Saying it's an '80s kit might be a bit of a misnomer though, and it's probably more accurate to say it's more of a mid-90's kit, mostly because of the non-issued Blackhawk suspenders.

 

 

Me on the right, my buddy with his SAW and showing off his ALICE SAW Pouches

VxAqUiz.jpg

 

From the front, in action

Axlg2k3.jpg

 

From the rear, showing the more ancient pieces in the kit, including the M56 buttpack, black leather .45 holster, and claymore bag (for when 12 magazines just aren't enough)

e5XAzJq.jpg

 

Me on the left, my buddy doing an impression of a SAW gunner

zkGfphf.jpg

 

In regards to things on the suspenders themselves, if I didn't have my KABAR on the left strap, I'd have the flashlight on there. I generally try to put the bandage and compass pouches between the magazine pouches if I can, just to spread them out a bit and to spread the weight of the mag pouches out a bit.

 

Any tips or suggestions from guys that actually wore this stuff back in the day would be much appreciated, considering my only real world interaction with it was when I got some of it when I went through PI back in 2007 and then never again.

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So I have been having the same problem as you for the flashlight, on the belt, on the suspenders, in the grenade pouch. I guess it was different between units, branches and even soldiers. I usually carry it in the grenade pouch because I put the compass on the suspenders with a spare bandage behind it, and then another bandage pouch on the belt with 2 more bandages. As to compasses I think everyone got them.

 

Compasses were issued to Team leaders, Squad Leaders, platoon sergeants and Platoon Leaders. Most of the other soldier's who carried them, purchased them and they were not issued.

 

Just depends on the unit inventory or MTOE (Military Table of Organizational Equipment)

 

Leigh

 

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

The Buttpacks were used during Vietnam and perhaps the 1970's. Can't speak for other units but they weren't used much by the 82nd Airborne or the Berlin Brigade (at least by me, nor do I remember many of them). They required different suspenders (H-Straps). Many guys liked the Vietnam era H-Straps because they were readily available and more comfortable than the Y-Straps. The Y-Straps dug into your shoulders more and the items your on the webbelt sagged a little more. The Buttpack required the rear straps of the H-Harness to be attached and the buttpack would be in the way of the rucksack, which carried more, higher on your back.

 

Some guys chose the Vietnam Buttpack for lightweight movements but most of us didn't use it.

 

First Aid pouches were always worn and were Standard Operationg Procedure (SOP) to be placed in a certain place on the LBE. Some units were so organized that the placement of items in the rucksack and pouches were identical and memorized for night operations. This SOP is still used in most elite units. Standard Infantry Units, as of 1986 required guys to carry all listed items in the rucksack depending on the mission parameters.

 

Compasses, as Leigh stated, were handed out based upon the TOE and usually to leaders. The leaders would dole them out to soldiers that they were training or to guys they trusted with Land Navigation. Not every soldier is a good Point Man or navigator but it can be taught over time. I bought my own because I wanted to learn it and became a natural at it over time.

 

Heres one for you! (Rolling up the sleeves) Every Infantryman knows that if it isnt' covered with camoflauge or some sort, then it must have camo applied to it. In every theatre of training or battle I went to, we rolled our sleeves DOWN! White skin in the jungle, woods or desert stands out like a white flag and can give your position away. I remember the sweat permeating through my uniform as it soaked through at the wrist area of my uniform. In the field, your uniform sleeves were simply rolled down and your hands, face, neck and any exposed skin should have thickly applied camo. Even in an Urban Combat environment the application of camoflauge to the skin reduces reflection, glare, and the easy recognition of a face among the blotched camo uniform and equipment. Sleeves were simply not rolled up except in garrison situations.

 

Rock

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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flashesandovals

I've been doing a generic US Infantry '80s kit for the past couple of years off and on at the airsoft field I work at, mostly because I think it's just cool looking.

Saying it's an '80s kit might be a bit of a misnomer though, and it's probably more accurate to say it's more of a mid-90's kit, mostly because of the non-issued Blackhawk suspenders.

 

 

Me on the right, my buddy with his SAW and showing off his ALICE SAW Pouches

VxAqUiz.jpg

 

From the front, in action

Axlg2k3.jpg

 

From the rear, showing the more ancient pieces in the kit, including the M56 buttpack, black leather .45 holster, and claymore bag (for when 12 magazines just aren't enough)

e5XAzJq.jpg

 

Me on the left, my buddy doing an impression of a SAW gunner

zkGfphf.jpg

 

In regards to things on the suspenders themselves, if I didn't have my KABAR on the left strap, I'd have the flashlight on there. I generally try to put the bandage and compass pouches between the magazine pouches if I can, just to spread them out a bit and to spread the weight of the mag pouches out a bit.

 

Any tips or suggestions from guys that actually wore this stuff back in the day would be much appreciated, considering my only real world interaction with it was when I got some of it when I went through PI back in 2007 and then never again.

What is the green tape around the barrel ends for?

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flashesandovals

Gotta wear eye protection for airsoft. Definitely didn't want to lose our eyes.

This was a "tip or suggestion" as per your request.

I am not saying you should not wear eye protection, I am just saying that the type of glasses you are wearing is wrong for an 80's/90's impression.

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The OG507's, or Green Fatigue (Pickle Suit) were worn and used in the Army and the last year of use was late 1983 I believe. The OG507's went out at the same time that the Khaki Class B Uniform was authorized. I was issued some green uniforms as well as the BDU's but when I went to my unit the camoflauge uniform was the only one authorized for wear initially. In use were old slant pocket Jungle Fatigue's, lots of RDF's and of course the new BDU, which was the least popular of the camo uniforms. This was a time of transition.

 

Helmet Bands and did we put anything in them? Not at Fort Bragg except maybe the Machine Gun Team who would keep a bottle of breakfree handy to unclog the M60 MG.

 

Marking buildings was done in most Infantry units-- In Berlin, as mentioned previously, we used a combination of orange paint, white paint and white chalk to mark building cleared. No building was to be marked as clear until all floors were secure and the Assault Team was on to the next building. Reason for that was that an enemy could counterattack and take the building back, and if it was marked, friendlies might enter unwittingly and be killed or captured. The support team was to be in place, putting fire on the next building and the next building under assault before you could consider a building clear.

 

 

Rock

I wore OG 507's into 1984 and ETS'd wearing my Khakis in Oct 84. Also had Slant pocket OG from 83 on ($8 a Set at MCSS then).

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What pouches were used with the m60?

None, I used a WWII GP Ammo bag to carry 300 linked rounds as did my AG and the ammo bearer had 2 bags. We had to buy them in Killeen. Other gunners used Buttpacks, the flimsy bandoleer, and one team used the metal cans. Then there were the Villistas who wore them like Bandits in the wild bunch

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

None, I used a WWII GP Ammo bag to carry 300 linked rounds as did my AG and the ammo bearer had 2 bags. We had to buy them in Killeen. Other gunners used Buttpacks, the flimsy bandoleer, and one team used the metal cans. Then there were the Villistas who wore them like Bandits in the wild bunch

 

I may have mentioned previously and will echo Linedoggie's post. Machine Gun ammo was kept loost, clean and handy. At least one full belt was kept with the gun and rarely did we use the bandoliers other than for transportation purposes. There were two bandoliers of ammo in each can and we would remove the ammo from one bandolier and carry it loose. Depeding upon the METT-T(Mission, Enemy, Troops, Time, Terrain) we could keep the ammo stowed in the bandoliers but if the situation was one of likely contact then the Gunner would have a loaded gun with a full belt and the Assistant Gunner had one loose belt ready to attach to the back end of the Gunners belt.

 

The GP Bag is a fantastic way to keep the rounds protected, clean and easily accessible. The Bandoliers were too cumbersome to carry by themselves, didn't allow easy access to the belt and simply didn't work as designed when attached to the MG. As I mentioned previously, the bandolier was too restrictive and the cardboard would crumple and distort- both problems would bind the belt and cause mis-feeds and jams.

 

For us the M60 was the difference maker, even in training. The "pop, pop, pop" of the M16 rifle while using a blank adapter was so unintimidating that it was almost funny to watch and listen to. The M60, even when blank adapted got your attention. Every foot soldier, even in a training mode, knows the devastation that a fully auto MG can cause so we used them to great affect as our first form of fire initiation, and we targeted enemy MG's first due to the damage they can cause.

 

HIgh volume of fire can discourage an opponent and the high volume of fire from a Machine Gun is more than a simple way to put more bullets downrange- A fully auto MG is a physcological weapon that causes fear in an enemy and gives comfort to a friend. Our MG Teams were important and critical to success in training and battle. Their ability to put rounds onto a target, or to make lots of noise can, and does make a difference on the field of training and definately on the field of battle. I consider the small details such as how and why the ammo for MG's was carried to be a critical education point because it's something that reenactors usually don't understand but was sooooo important in real life.

 

And to reiterate- sleeves down. It sucked for us and, especially with the first pattern BDU's, was very hot but we did it because it was SOP and made sense. Most of us had white as snow arms and it was actually easier to roll the sleeves down than apply thick layers of camo to our arms, which was sticky, pulled your arm hair, came off easily, and was hard to maintain.

 

To add an exclamation point to my claim- take a look at most of the troops that arrived on Grenada in 1983 and you will see their sleeves rolled *down*--- Keep in mind that it was 100 degrees temperature and 110 degrees+ on that freaking airfield. The perfect time to roll up the sleeves?! Nope, keep them down as it was SOP in the Infantry.

 

Rock

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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I may have mentioned previously and will echo Linedoggie's post. Machine Gun ammo was kept loost, clean and handy. At least one full belt was kept with the gun and rarely did we use the bandoliers other than for transportation purposes. There were two bandoliers of ammo in each can and we would remove the ammo from one bandolier and carry it loose. Depeding upon the METT-T(Mission, Enemy, Troops, Time, Terrain) we could keep the ammo stowed in the bandoliers but if the situation was one of likely contact then the Gunner would have a loaded gun with a full belt and the Assistant Gunner had one loose belt ready to attach to the back end of the Gunners belt.

 

The GP Bag is a fantastic way to keep the rounds protected, clean and easily accessible. The Bandoliers were too cumbersome to carry by themselves, didn't allow easy access to the belt and simply didn't work as designed when attached to the MG. As I mentioned previously, the bandolier was too restrictive and the cardboard would crumple and distort- both problems would bind the belt and cause mis-feeds and jams.

 

For us the M60 was the difference maker, even in training. The "pop, pop, pop" of the M16 rifle while using a blank adapter was so unintimidating that it was almost funny to watch and listen to. The M60, even when blank adapted got your attention. Every foot soldier, even in a training mode, knows the devastation that a fully auto MG can cause so we used them to great affect as our first form of fire initiation, and we targeted enemy MG's first due to the damage they can cause.

 

HIgh volume of fire can discourage an opponent and the high volume of fire from a Machine Gun is more than a simple way to put more bullets downrange- A fully auto MG is a physcological weapon that causes fear in an enemy and gives comfort to a friend. Our MG Teams were important and critical to success in training and battle. Their ability to put rounds onto a target, or to make lots of noise can, and does make a difference on the field of training and definately on the field of battle. I consider the small details such as how and why the ammo for MG's was carried to be a critical education point because it's something that reenactors usually don't understand but was sooooo important in real life.

 

And to reiterate- sleeves down. It sucked for us and, especially with the first pattern BDU's, was very hot but we did it because it was SOP and made sense. Most of us had white as snow arms and it was actually easier to roll the sleeves down than apply thick layers of camo to our arms, which was sticky, pulled your arm hair, came off easily, and was hard to maintain.

 

To add an exclamation point to my claim- take a look at most of the troops that arrived on Grenada in 1983 and you will see their sleeves rolled *down*--- Keep in mind that it was 100 degrees temperature and 110 degrees+ on that freaking airfield. The perfect time to roll up the sleeves?! Nope, keep them down as it was SOP in the Infantry.

 

Rock

 

 

Can't say it any better than what Rock stated..

 

I concur with all above..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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What is the green tape around the barrel ends for?

 

It's to denote that the gun has been chronographed by the field staff, to ensure it isn't shooting too hot.

 

Not sure why we had our sleeves rolled, it was honestly a chilly day.

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TheGreenMachine

Another (maybe stupid) question from someone not too familiar with US military procedures:

 

When you put on your boots, did you put your trouser's legs into the boot or was there some other way to keep the trousers from slacking over the boots? In the german Bundeswehr, we had special rubber bands for our trousers to turn the ends upside down, just to ensure propper looks.

 

Does anyone have an idea where to get one of these older M249 pouches? There are many on Ebay, but they're all the newer version with the button on the velcro. Maybe someone of you know a surplus or collector store for such rare military items?

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I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong someone, that back then they used blousing straps (or boot bands, which are pretty similar) in much the same way that the US Armed Forces does today. I think every branch uses these to blouse their utilities nowadays.

 

Blousing Straps

dT72ROQ.jpg

 

Boot Bands (I've heard them referred to as 'Trouser Twisties' by the Brits :lol: )

Me8YYrt.jpg

 

Essentially, you make a fold or two at the bottom of the trouser, and then tuck that fold underneath the band, keeping the bottom of the pant around the top of the boot, and maybe an eyelet or two down. This creates a uniform, crisp look, in addition to keeping critters from crawling up there when you're in the field.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong someone, that back then they used blousing straps (or boot bands, which are pretty similar) in much the same way that the US Armed Forces does today. I think every branch uses these to blouse their utilities nowadays.

 

Blousing Straps

dT72ROQ.jpg

 

Boot Bands (I've heard them referred to as 'Trouser Twisties' by the Brits :lol: )

Me8YYrt.jpg

 

Essentially, you make a fold or two at the bottom of the trouser, and then tuck that fold underneath the band, keeping the bottom of the pant around the top of the boot, and maybe an eyelet or two down. This creates a uniform, crisp look, in addition to keeping critters from crawling up there when you're in the field.

 

In the mid 1980's the manner you bloused your boots was personal, so long as it looked right and stayed in place. Some guys simply tucked the trousers down into the boots and tied the boots tight. Some guys (like me) used blousing bands to keep the boots bloused. On other occasions I would tuck the trouser leg into the boots but didn't prefer that because they kept coming out. The bottom picture above is the type of blousing bands I saw most and still use them on occasion. They work well enough and are lightweight and easily transportable. I also found that they were fantastic in the jungle and forest at keeping the bugs out of your boots--

 

In Garrison-- Normally when you blouse your boots you tuck the trouser inside itself using the blousing band as a keeper, while resting the bloused trouser just above your boot so that when you were standing/walking the boot looked bloused.

 

In the field I rolled the bloused trouser down *over* the top of the boot so that the bloused trouser rested over the boot and kept bugs out of your trousers and boots and kept your ankles from getting bitten. It was less attractive looking but functioned well.

 

Bugs, ticks, gnats, chiggers, moquitos etc.-- Were a problem during summer months in most areas of the world and year long problems in the jungle. Using the boot blousing method sealed your boots off 99% from bites. Even though the jungle is mostly hot and humid I devised my own method of sealing myself off from bites and such. I would roll down the sleeves of my Uniform Shirt, put on the wool glove inserts and pull them *over* the sleeve of the shirt to create a seal. I took a standard Vietnam Era Mosquito Head Net and wore it at night , tucking it in under the uniform shirt but over the t-shirt underneath. I buttoned the top button of the uniform shirt to keep it in place better. Make sure that your t-shirt is tucked into the trousers. A little spray of bug spray around the ankles, waist, neck and wrist helps deter some bugs, but always seemed to attract others (our joke). Really though, using bug spray was a no-no due to the smell carrying over the distance and giving away your position. In training we did it because it seemed to give us some, probably misguided, belief that bug spray actually worked. The military issue bug repellant was stinky and pretty worthless but we spread that on our skin- resulting in bugs sticking to your skin, biting you and making you more miserable. Also dirt, leaves and debris would make you gritty and more uncomfortable. Most of us bought a can of bug spray commercially and used it in training. Bugs, pests, snakes and spiders are always a problem but will always be part of the job. Emplacing simple field expedient measures to reduce exposure is somewhat of an art in military circles.

 

Rock

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

And to add to your "boot blouse" topic. I watched the Drill Sergeants in boot camp and NCO's at my duty station bouse their boots. They used custom made "Boot Blocks" which were usually cardboard rounded in a circle. They placed them inside the bottom of the trouser leg, placed their rubber band or blousing band into the trouser and rolled the trouser leg underneath, giving the appearance of a straight rolled and bloused trouser bottom. This looked very good and some guys used it their whole career while in garrison. Wasn't prudent for the field as they blousing block would come out and fall onto the boot if the trouser came unbloused from the band.

 

By 1985ish I don't remember a commercial version so these were all custom made of different material.

 

Rock

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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And to add to your "boot blouse" topic. I watched the Drill Sergeants in boot camp and NCO's at my duty station bouse their boots. They used custom made "Boot Blocks" which were usually cardboard rounded in a circle. They placed them inside the bottom of the trouser leg, placed their rubber band or blousing band into the trouser and rolled the trouser leg underneath, giving the appearance of a straight rolled and bloused trouser bottom. This looked very good and some guys used it their whole career while in garrison. Wasn't prudent for the field as they blousing block would come out and fall onto the boot if the trouser came unbloused from the band.

 

By 1985ish I don't remember a commercial version so these were all custom made of different material.

 

Rock

 

Huh, now that is something I've never heard of. Sounds like it would work pretty well to give that crisp, uniform appearance that DIs and DSs love so dearly. Seems like it would go in line with some of the more jacked DIs I saw and then later when I got to the fleet, the gym rat guys trimming the sleeves of their garrison cammies so that when they rolled them, they'd end up a lot thinner, tighter, and cleaner looking.

 

Of course, now that we don't roll our sleeves in garrison anymore, that's basically a set of wasted cammies for them :lol:

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Look at the picture. Bloused boots on all MP's. Second Squad Sgt has blocks in place as you can see the straight appearance all the way to the bottom. Usually and NCO thing but some EM's did it. Contrast his straight trouser appearance to the bulk of the soldiers and you can see that they bloused their trousers naturally and left a crumpled appearance when standing.

 

black_combat_boots_01_700_zpsd673dda7.jp

Blocks Natural-> Whole squad Leader Blocks

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Tailored Uniforms- Some guys tailored their uniforms to make them fit better, more snug and fit-to-form. Most guys don't mess with them but some do. Drill Instructors, Officers and some NCO's form-fit their uniforms to their body to give them a clean, uncrumpled appearance expected of them.

 

One SSGT in the 82nd Airborne always wore tight fitting Blouses because he was a body builder and it gave him a more buff appearance. He was a fair soldier but kept up his Jump Status by the skin of his teeth, usually opting out of jumps and field problems due to, what we believed, were imagined medical issues. Most of us didn't respect him much since when he did go to the field he wore jump boots and did push ups all the time to "keep up his physique". Whenever we went to the field for longer periods he would have some medical issue arise and not go with us to suffer. Funny thing is he ended up becoming a Drill Sgt and was quite good at it. I met some of his recruits after the fact and they said he was big, mean and tough- I enlightened them of his actual performance and respect issues and it kind of opened their eyes.

 

Guys like him that opted out of field problems on a regular basis, for seemingly imagined medical issues, then appeared normal in garrison were called "Garritroopers" and were not necessarily respected. And to top it all off, he was married with kids. His Wife was a SFC at 18th Airborne Corps and when we shipped off to Grenada both of them were on the Island at the same time, which is a no-no. We all thought it very, very unmanly when one of them was ordered out of the Combat Zone and it wasn't HER! He left the Island and she stayed---> which wasn't a surprise to us because he seemed to hate the field and was whining about being a Father and Husband and didn't want to get hurt in combat.

 

Good riddance!

 

Rock

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2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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TheGreenMachine

So, seems its very much like in the german army - guess it's some kind of Nato procedure to use blousing straps. Thanks for the info!

 

Now, me and a friend of mine are currently discussing about headgear (patrol caps to be precise) in the US Army back in the 80s. Was there a summer patrol cap ("cap, hot weather", made of RipStop material) available in the 80s yet? Or did all of you always were issued the patrol cap with the fold-out earcovers, even in summer?

 

All the "cap, hot weather" we've seen so far were made in 1994 onwards (when looked at the SPO number). We never saw a RipStop cap made prior to 1994 or with the older DLA number on the label. Can you confirm our suspicion that there was only one type of BDU patrol cap (the one with the fold-out earcovers) in the 80s?

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