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Individual/organizational issue items/clothing bag in 80s and 90s.


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Hi,

 

There are some things that if you weren't in military, especially if you are foreigner that are not so easy to understand and not as simple as they are in fact. I'm making some reenactment project considering "woodland era" us army 1980-2005.

 

I would like to get information about how different items are issued to soldiers. Which items are soldier's personal items that he gets new and are used only by this particular soldier and which items are given smoetimes previously used and reissued to another soldier in particular unit.

 

That's why I would like:

 

# 1. To find Army men's clothing bag items list for newly enlisted soldiers for 1981-2005 period. Probably there were some changes during that period. Complete list with NSN's and quantities would be great. What other gear is issued to soldiers during basic training? Does soldiers get some LBE items that become their own personal items that they use after basic training or they have to return all the gear?

 

# 2. Get info about items listed below - how these were issued - as new or as reissued, used only by particular soldier in particular unit or by multiple soldiers from unit (random items given for soldiers for exercises ect from some repsitory for particular day):

 

2.1. Helmets

2.2. Body armor

2.3. Load bearing equipment

2.4. Backpacks

2.5. Raingear

2.6. Cold weather items - parkas, mittens, vapor barrier boots

2.7. Canteens, mess kits ect.

2.8. Gas masks

 

How all items listed above are stored in units? In soldier's own lockers or all together in some repsitories? If you deploy do you take gear that you were using in your unit in US or just any other random gear that you get at place where you are deployed?

 

Best Regards

Paul

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Paul,

 

The issuing of items has changed over the years and I will try to find my Basic issue inventories and unit inventories and send you copies. I entered the Army in the early 80's and went to basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia for Infantry school. When I arrived we were marched through the CIF (Central Issue Facility). This is where you were sized for your BDU (Battle Dress uniforms), which we received 4 sets, combat boots, 2 pairs, low quarter shoes,1 pair, etc. then issued your Basic Issue which consisted of a Duffel bag, laundry bag, PT uniform, t-shirts, underwear, socks, dress green uniform, dress green shirts, both long and short sleeve, dress green socks, headgear, field jackets, (soft caps, garrison caps) and some other items that you kept. These did not have to be returned as they were specially measured for you and the items came in direct contact with your body/skin so these would not be turned in and reissued to someone else, unlike the Soldiers from WW2 and Korea which would get reissued uniforms, sometimes the reason you will see multiple serial numbers in an Ike jacket for example...

 

Also at CIF we were issued what we would need for Basic Training: helmet, helmet liner, helmet cover, camouflage band, sweatband, pistol belt, ammo pouches, canteens and covers, mess kit, fork, knife spoon, rucksack, suspenders, first aid pouch, shelter half with poles, rope, tent pegs, basically all of the items necessary to go to the field. All items had to be assembled, the helmet sweatband was issued new and had to be put into the helmet for example. This was removed and thrown out when we turned in our equipment. Prior to graduation these items were cleaned thoroughly and inspected and returned to CIF for reissue to the next Basic Training cycle.

 

We went back to the Central Issue Facility one more time during our training cycle, when we knew what unit we would be going to after basic training, we brought our dress green uniforms back to CIF where they sewed on the color should sleeve patch for the division you were going to. I had orders to the 101st Airborne Division, so they sewed the 101 patch on my dress greens. I would have to wait until I got to my unit at the 101st until I was issued the subdued patches for my BDU's...

 

After arriving at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and the 101st, I went to their CIF and was issued 2 duffel bags full of gear. We received a winter uniform and also jungle fatigues (OG107s) left over stock from Vietnam. These light weight jungle uniforms were preferred over the heavy winter BDU's. (The light weight BDUs had not come out yet at that time) Some other items we received were an extra laundry bag, a pile cap (cold weather cap) and a few other clothing items. I will have to recheck by clothing issue list to see what else we were issued, but in some cases it all depended on what installation you were going to. For example, Soldiers stationed in Alaska were issued an Arctic canteen and other cold weather uniform gear whereas someone at Fort Campbell, KY for example would not need the arctic canteen.

 

Upon departing you went to CIF again and after cleaning all gear it was returned. Helmets, canteens, rucksacks, ect. All returned.

 

There were some instances where we were able to keep certain items of gear. We were initially issued the steel helmet and liner, but just before I departed Fort Campbell in 1986, we were issued the new Kevlar Helmet and cover. Some of us actually were able to keep our M1 helmets and camo covers. I still have mine today..

 

gas masks, and rifles were issued at the unit level, and were reissued to Soldiers after they departed to new Soldiers. Gas masks were cleaned and reissued, along with weapons and other equipment. Rucksacks, suspenders and all those items were issued and returned to CIF. Body armor was only issued during specific missions, used on the hand grenade ranges, for riot control, ect. Mess kits went away in the 90's when the Army came up with field ration packs that had disposable plates, ect. Army reserve and National Guard units were still issued mess kits but they were not used too much, to my knowledge at least they were not used...

 

A large majority of Soldier's would purchase an additional set of gear and would keep that gear throughout their careers. Some Soldiers will tell you that when you get ready to turn in gear to CIF it is very hard to turn everything in the first time because the inspectors will always find something that is dirty and it needed to be re-cleaned, so to get around this, some Soldiers would go to the clothing store and purchase a new item and turn that item in and keep the dirty one...

 

Now I want to be clear that this is what was happening when I was in the Army, 84-05, Things have obviously changed in the 2000's so I will leave that up to the men and women who served during that time period, as I was transitioning out and retired.

 

In the barracks, weapons were stored in the arms room and most sensitive items were as well, such as commo. gear and night vision equipment, other items were kept in the Soldier's wall lockers. When I was in Berlin each Soldier had 2 wall lockers, one for civilian clothes and things and the other was for field gear and uniforms. Our rucksacks and gear was always packed and ready for an alert, which we had at least once a week. We had to be able to be ready within 2 hours to move to our defensive positions throughout the city, and time would have been wasted standing in line to sign out your gas mask, ect. so when we were alerted, we would get our weapons from the arms room, and then we would spend the rest of the time loading up the unit supply, commo and other areas into the trucks. We would road march to the field and the supply section would meet us in the field.

 

We also had an ammunition bunker in the basement of our barracks and on a few occasions we were issued our basic load, (M-16 ammo, M60 machine gun ammo, SAW ammo, LAW rockets, hand grenades, ect. This only happened 3 times when I was stationed in Berlin...

 

Hope this gives you some idea as to what I experienced. There will be others whose CIF experience and issue experience is going to be different, based on timeframe, location and unit standard operating procedures, so hopefully you will get some feedback from others on this topic who have served after my time or even before my time so you can get a better idea from others..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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My experience in 1997 at C. Company 2/54th Infantry was very similar to Leigh. Main differences were our TA50 wasn't issued to us through CIF which there was one at 30th AG Bn that handled uniforms for recruits or clothing bags. Our dress stuff wasn't issued to us till week seven or so for our family days at the end of week eight. It was OSUT so about four months total of combined basic & AIT. In basic what I can remember being issued was a pistol belt with all sorts of buckles, two small arms cases, 1st aid/compass patch that was worn to the right of the buckle not on the shoulder, two canteens with one in right hand cargo pocket when not wearing gear, & the suspenders. Helmet covers weren't worn till after rifle quals (BRM) but had masking tape with roster number on it. Kevlar flak vest was only issued a couple times out of a pile for the event like bayonet assault course. All of our gear was in our wall locker display. The only patches sewn on were on Class As for Guard & Reserve guys but only stamped name tags & US ARMY on BDUs. Those of us who had rank couldn't wear that at first. We all had earplug case in the collar button. Later units had them on different places along the way if they did require & sometimes with officer branch insignia on them sometimes DUI etc.

 

When I got to a unit it varied as to where things were kept as far as individual lockers in supply if there was room or in the Bs or at home or some guys all over the field or pawn shops. I was given all new stuff when I deployed which was a first. When I was ambulatory medevaced I left the stuff behind in Iraq where it was written off but nice thing is it still got to me so I have almost all of my Iraq gear. Also, gear varied. I was Guard then Reserve then Active but I've had M1967 short ammo pouches issued, lots of ALICE which I had a specific personal set I wore as an instructor, the vests, MOLLE, etc.

Be well,

 

Chad C. Rogers

Retired Army

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Thanks.

 

I will really appreciate if someone send me any documents especially from 1980-2005 period. It's really interesting for me getting these informations.

 

It would be really great If I could display all the items included in clothing bag with correct contract dates and document stating that I should have all of these. There is some initial clothing allowance table in fm 21-15 from 1977 but it's quite outdated even for middle 1980s as uniforms changed.

 

Also for my collection I try to be quite precise and get some as most real experiences as I can. That's why I need to know If I was in the army in 80s would I get new helmet or LBE or it should be rather in just serviceable conditio.

 

Best Regards

Paul

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It would be dependent on unit. Some units still used steel pots till the late 80s. My father had a steel pot in 90 or so while my brother in the same unit had a Kevlar. Lots of photos I've seen in early 80s of the 82nd had Kevlar while the Marines had Kevlar vests but with steel pots while I've seen Navy shore folks with Vietnam era flak vests but Kevlar helmets into the 90s. Some may've had one new pouch of ALICE while a ragged one all issued at the same place & time.

 

As far as documents for reference, I never saw any clothing bag list till I was an instructor. We were dependent on the NCOs to know. The recruit or soldier did a verbal inventory conducted by our Drills & NCOs by holding up what they called off. A PCC essentially. The displays where often drawn down by the recruits. I found what's left of my sketch to lay out everything in my old smart book recently but water damaged much of it. Some units would have a nice printed diagram but not all since a new commander brought changes to the extent of move this razor to there or this pouch up there. Tons of those lists were thrown away, washed in pockets & such so most readily will be recollections. Even as a Field Historian in the Army I found that was the most common documentation & often the only reference I could get. Best approach is to average our recollections while considering what units we were assigned or attached to while acknowledging our memories aren't 100% & cross reference with what printed docs you can find however taking into consideration they weren't always abided by. Also you may do a display that's complete & perfect according to one person but totally wrong according to another vet. There was a website that I can't seem to find again that had lots of the locker displays saved.

 

Would you care to post a picture when you accomplish your project?

Be well,

 

Chad C. Rogers

Retired Army

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Paul,

 

Chad has provided you a great insight as to what our current Soldiers are doing reference issue and turn-in.. It is great to see how the system has evolved and changed with the times.

 

When I get some time I will get those clothing records scanned and sent to you.

 

Chad, thank you Brother for your service...

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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@ VolunteerArmoury:

 

- I will give some pictures but I probably still need some time ;) Right now I have some photos on facebook showing my first attempts in making some setups from 1986-2004 period. There are many mistakes, some items are wrong, some things still needs adjustments.

 

Don't know if you see polish characters here but if you type my name: Paweł Tworzewski on facebook and you find a photo of a guy looking like 80s/90s GI you will be able to see my album called US ARMY Clothing and Equipment. I use this profile mainly for contact with another collectors and reenactors so there isn't a lot of unwanted photos - only these needed. In fact I'm going to build some website to show my collection and to share with others. Also I try to use and test as much of equipment and clothing to be able to give others my opinions about it. There aren't that type of site considering us equipment from that period in polish.

 

In a middle of next month I will start making some better more period accurate photos.

 

Best Regards

Paul

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I can't upload pics from my phone of my initial issue print out from Feb 17, 1998 at Fort Knox. I am going to post pics of my cif issue from 1-1 Cav in Germany and 1st Cav Div in Fort hood as well. First basic issue that the soldier keeps all of these items.

I will list them and post pics tomorrow.

1 Belt( standard belt for use with BDU's. 2 Cap BDU HW hot weather cap. 3 Cap Cam standad BDU cap. 4 Gloves Lt Dy black work gloves. 5 Coat HW BDU Hot Weather BDU coats two. 6 Boots Black combat boots two pairs. 7 gloves inswl glove liners for work gloves two pairs. 8 Field Jack two 9 Coat Camof regular BDU top two 10 sockliner these are thin dress shoe type two pairs.11 socks 408 regular boot socks seven pair 12 trou HWBDU hot weather bdu pants two 13 unshirt brown seven 14 trou Camof regular Bdu pants two 15 Bag Barrack 16 Buckle Blk standard trouser belt buckle for bdus 17 headband for kevlar. 18 tag id dogtags two 19 necklace id dogtag chain 20 cover tag a rubber tag shaped cover to cover one one dog tag. 21 Undshwlbwn long john top two 22 drws wl bn long john pants two mine were white 23 drawers br underwear seven 24 towel br four 25 bag duffel 26 cap cw cam helmet liner. 27 trunks pt shorts grey three 28 jersey pt shirts grey three 29 sweatpants pt sweatpants grey two 30 sweatshirt pt sweatshirt grey 31 cap knit black watch cap 32 name tape six 33 army tape six.

Next sheet dress uniform 1 belt brass belt for dress pants looked the same as standard bdu belt 2 buckle brass dress buckle 3 cap garr garrison cap 4 necktie 5 shoes dress 5 sock liner 6 unshirt whi white undershirt two 7 coat aw black trench coat 8 gloves dr bl dress gloves 9 trsr 489 dress trousers greeen two 10 coat ag 489. 11 shirt ls the long sleeve shirt light green you wear under dress coat. 12 shirt ss same as above except short sleeve two 13 insignia specialist rank one pair

That is all of initial issue from basic

Stuff issued from cif and turned in kevlar helmet, canteen cup and cover, two M 16 ammo pouches, suspenders, pistol belt, poncho, cold weather parka and liner, trigger finger mittens if i remember correctly, field jacket liner, wool blanket, first aid pouch, sleeping bag, water proof bags two, that is all i can remeber of basic issue from cif. We got a gas mask from unit and nomex just for gunnery that were also turned back in.

Will post cif issue in Germany a little later.

Regards Allen

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Having the collector's instinct going into the US Army, I have fairly good records. I also have about 90+% of the clothing issued to me at Ft. Benning in June 1997. I even have extra NIP brown shirts because some poor guy left it at 30th AG.

Pawto, I tried looking for you on Facebook. I found your profile but not the album you mentioned earlier.

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Paul,

 

Chad has provided you a great insight as to what our current Soldiers are doing reference issue and turn-in.. It is great to see how the system has evolved and changed with the times.

 

When I get some time I will get those clothing records scanned and sent to you.

 

Chad, thank you Brother for your service...

 

Leigh

And thanks to you too, Brother.

Be well,

 

Chad C. Rogers

Retired Army

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I tound on Facebook as well however I'm not seeing the album. Fortunately I was collecting as well but time has damaged the documents I had. We certainly came close to crossing paths at Benning. I enlisted in January 97 into the Guard & reported to OSUT on 01 August 97. Had been collecting for about twelve years by that point thanks to a father who was in. I began in the Tennessee Guard then transferred to Georgia then Reserves before going onto and retiring from active duty. Paul, did you specify if you're looking at a recruit setup or a line soldier? And if line, what battalion (battalions in the same division could vary)?

Be well,

 

Chad C. Rogers

Retired Army

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Well I didn't specified any unit yet. My main aim in collecting is still to find different changing items from 1980-2005 period.

 

I thought that it would be a good idea to show uniforms and field gear of a line soldier who served from late 80s into early 2000s. But I still have to read a lot and learn a lot how that carier would in fact look like. It's only an idea right now because I'm mainly focused on gear rather than on any conflict, unit or story of a soldier.

 

That's why I try to find as much different information as possible. From little bits of information you can create quite nice database and get a lot of knowledge. Also I have some USMC items in my collection but I'm not really focused on USMC gear and uniforms as here in Poland there are many people collecting USMC items and quite a lot of USMC reenactors.

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The field gear is pretty much all ALICE gear. There are various nuances such as buckles, markings, and construction. The protective mask went from the M17 series to the M40 series. The PASGT insides changed in the late 90's. The NBC canteen cap has like three variations. I maintain my Senior ROTC and National Guard and my basic training web gear. All the setups happen to be the same. Sometimes I added a compass and/or bayonet depending on the training.

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If it comes to my album on fb it's in photos -> albums -> US ARMY Clothing and Equipment 1986-2004. Unfortunately I'm unable to post any link here and also there are too many and too large photos to put on forum. But - it doesn't really matters as I have more knowledge than few months ago and I see that I made few mistakes in my fb album. So it's definetely time to make some new photos and put somewhere that I will be able to show these on this forum.

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