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Desert Storm Commemorations this year?


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I was an NBC NCO...that REALLY sucked! Not sure about the M-40 frames- my Reserve unit hadn't transitioned to the M-40 when I finally got out. For the M-17, there was also an eyeglass insert framed in plastic that plugged into the inside of the mask with brass prongs and they never stayed in. In the end, I never bothered with the lenses and I was pretty much as blind as a bat. :crying:
I was the company NBC officer (among a lot of other extra duties). I hated being in MOPP, as does everyone else, but I spent a lot more time in it than many of my soldiers. At least Ft Lewis, the climate wasn’t that bad for the suits. But Maryland in August, 100 degrees and saturated humidity? I almost passed out twice in MOPP4 there.

I had to sit in on a court martial once for a soldier who’d gone to NTC and had bought an extra MOPP suit and removed the lining and got a mask and gutted it as well so he could breathe normally through it. He got busted when someone apparently popped a CS can and he started choking. Kid got into a lot of trouble over that.

 

Back to my first question though; is anyone doing anything living history-wise for the 20th anniversary? I’m trying to build together a group of people to portray DS era people for parades and events throughout this year. So far, it’s me and two other guys but I might be able to get some more together. I feel we owe it to the vets of that war. I have built up the framework of a website so we can post a schedule and photos when they become available. This isn’t something we’ll be doing every day (as we’re all primarily into WW2), probably a half dozen or so events, maybe more. It’s all in planning right now, will post the link once there’s something to look at.

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1st Armored Division, like the majority of VII Corps units, did not wear DBDU's during the war. Most of VII Corps' DBDU's were lost in transit and did not arrive in time. One 1AD soldier I spoke with after the war stated they were issued DBDU's as they were standing in line to board aircraft for the flight home. He sewed insignia on by hand on the plane. The SSI was worn in the correct location on the shoulder, by the way, not in the 2AD manner over the pocket.

 

The desert boots entered production in Oct/Nov 1990 and were not available for issue until Dec 90/Jan 91. However, they apparently did not reach theater in any quantity until Feb 91 and most troops received them after the end of the war.

 

The flag is complicated. When the 24th ID and 197th Inf Bde deployed for Desert Shield, they already had DBDU's in their supply rooms set up with SSI, US Army tapes and flags sewn on. These units were assigned to XVIII Abn Corps as part of the RDF, which fell under CENCOM control and therefore were supposed to be prepared to deploy to SWA. The flags were full color, fully embroidered, and displayed correctly with the field in the upper left and worn on the right arm. Other XVIII Abn Corps units that followed on seemed to follow the same practice. The exceptions are the 82d and 101st, which went in first and started off with little or no insignia on their DBDU's.

 

At some point, and I don't remember when now, someone thought that wearing the US flag might offend the host countries and it's wear was suspended. This decision was eventually reversed, but somewhere in the process someone also came up with the whole idea of the flag "flapping in the breeze" and it was reversed with the field in the upper right. This violates US code for the display of the flag, but nobody seems to care. Most units that deployed late to SWA didn't wear the flag until after the war when they got new issues of DBDU's. So, most of the uniforms with the reversed flag are post war "coming home" uniforms.

 

There are exceptions to all of this, of course, but this is intended as a general overview.

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B229, thanks for the heads-up on that. I’ll have to rethink shoulder insignia, I guess. Maybe the 24th ID as it was a well-known unit in action. That would require a color shoulder flag as well. I would go with Florida National Guard as I knew guys at the time who went, but I can’t find much data on specific units and how they were equipped.

I’ve gotten most of what I need (or it’s on the way) but I’m still trying to find an inexpensive M258A1 decontamination container to hook to my M-17 bag. It kills me to know I’m buying the stuff I used to have back in the day, all over again.

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Paul,

 

That makes sense - I never looked at it that way.

 

Can anyone out there confirm that it was common practice for snipers using 7,62 mm rounds to carry their magazines in old style M1956 ammo cases?

 

Thanks

 

Hi, apologies for the slow reply. I and a couple of other sqd ldrs/asst sqd ldrs carried m21s to give us the ability to reach out and touch if need be (the desert being a bit more open then the forests we normally trained for). The m14/21 mags didn't work with m16 pouches so we used the m1956 pouches, which were still readily available off post.

 

We carried the m21s because the sniper squad had recently been issued the m24s. And it just happened to be that we were also sniper trained.

 

Jeff

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A couple of more questions:

  • I know they used PVS-7 NVGs, but how were they mounted? Did everyone use those clumsy face mounts or did they have helmet mounts?
  • How common was the purchase of souvenir items for Desert Shield by soldiers in-country? If at all, what was the most common thing you’d see someone spending money on? (and before anyone asks, YES, I am aware how rarely most grunts got off the line to even have the chance).
  • By 1996 when I put on a uniform, everyone had a multi-tool of some kind (like a Leatherman or Gerber tool) and I wouldn't have been caught dead without one, but were they in use in the DS era? If so, what was the most popular model?

:think:

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Johan Willaert
A couple of more questions:
  • By 1996 when I put on a uniform, everyone had a multi-tool of some kind (like a Leatherman or Gerber tool) and I wouldn't have been caught dead without one, but were they in use in the DS era? If so, what was the most popular model?

:think:

 

I bought my first Leatherman (a very basic black model Survival Tool in 1990...

It came with the early brown leather case...

So those were around at the time

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A couple of more questions:
  • I know they used PVS-7 NVGs, but how were they mounted? Did everyone use those clumsy face mounts or did they have helmet mounts?
  • How common was the purchase of souvenir items for Desert Shield by soldiers in-country? If at all, what was the most common thing you’d see someone spending money on? (and before anyone asks, YES, I am aware how rarely most grunts got off the line to even have the chance).
  • By 1996 when I put on a uniform, everyone had a multi-tool of some kind (like a Leatherman or Gerber tool) and I wouldn't have been caught dead without one, but were they in use in the DS era? If so, what was the most popular model?

:think:

 

There were no helmet mounts for NVGs available at the time, only the face/head mount as far as I know. I don't think the early helmet mounts appeared until around 1993.

 

There were tons of souvenirs sold during Desert Shield, but I'm not sure what would be the most common or popular. Pretty much anything you could think of was made in desert camo with a DS logo of some kind on it. Friends I know came back with T-shirts, frisbees, fly swatters, sun tan lotion, you name it. Not sure about the Leatherman/Gerber thing, but that seems to me to be a much more modern affectation. I know the Army started including these type of multi-tools in with the RFI issues pretty early on in 2002-2003.

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Hi Lee,

 

we only had the "face mounts" for NVGs. As far as the knife/multi-tool I really think that was unit and job specific as to who or how many carried them. I carried (and still do) a leatherman from the late 80s and most of the guys carried a multi-tool or some type of utility knife, but I was in an infantry unit.

 

As far as souvenirs, we had some chances, mostly as described by B229. One thing though as far as I remember, Bart Simpson was big, on t-shirts, dolls, etc., etc., usual junk. I knew someone had done their research for the film "Three KIngs" when I saw a humvee drive by with a Bart Simpson doll strapped to the front. It was only a 3 or 5 second thing, but it spoke a lot to me about setting the tone for the film.

 

Jeff

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The other day I got a copy of this book from 1990, ”Operation Desert Shield, The first 30 days” which is a great record of the deployment as it was printed before the ground war happened, so the photos show a very tight timeframe of the early stages of the buildup and show the gear from most of the services. Black boots were on everyone, and I did see the same earplug case I have several of, on people’s web gear (can’t tell if they put unit crests on them like I saw often on active duty in the later 90s). The shoulder flags (with star field to the left) for the 24th ID are confirmed there, just like explained earlier. All rank seen on BDUs were green-backed, like I had suspected. I noticed one photo showing a small unit (captioned as having just arrived) with DBDUs that only have the unit patch and Army nametape with NO other insignia of any kind, not even names or ranks.

The great thing is that I found my issued BCG glasses with sunglass lenses (heavily used, of course) which are also seen in the book, so I’m good to go for historically-correct (but very unflattering) eyewear.

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Man, you guys just exploited a weakness in my collection. Interesting stuff.
I regret not getting into this last year as I’ve already missed the anniversary of Desert Shield. Our group has three guys right now (one guy has a son he can outfit so we might have more than 4 soon) and looking to get more, with a few interested people who might get into it with us soon. We all have everything we need and are pooling our resources together for displays, now expanding from the original concept of just parades. One of the guys has an M-54 5-ton truck, which would make a good “background” for displays as well.

I was surprised how easy it was to get all the needed stuff for a basic DS equipment layout (of course it didn’t hurt that I had a lot of it already from my Army days). I’m lucky enough to live near several good surplus places and have “one stop shopping” for the most part. The rest is easy to get off eBay. It makes me wonder why more people aren’t putting together impressions for this reason. Like most cases, the rifle is the pricey part. I have a nice AR with a A2 configuration (in my state, you cannot own fully-automatic weapons so a real M-16 isn’t an option), but there are really good airsoft versions of all the weapons for a collector/re-enactor on a budget.

 

Here are a few more questions:

  • Does anyone have (or know of a location for) labels from the water bottles used? I know the brands used, but I'd love to print out some correct labels as I plan on buying a case of large water bottles for us to drink from, which would clearly click with any veterans.
  • Can any veterans comment on the use of Kevlar flak jackets? The Desert Shield book I have shows none being worn, not even by line grunts on exercise patrols, where you’d think they would use them (“Train as you fight,” and all that). I’m sure the grunts used them in firefights, but I’m starting to wonder exactly how much they were actually used in the theater.
  • I know that the word “Hooah” was big in my day (went active duty in 98) but I wonder how common it’s use was in DS? I know the movie, “Courage Under Fire” has it used a lot, but I wonder about how common it was then among the normal line units. I once asked a SF LTC who was my cadre CO in Army ROTC about the use of the word, and he told me that he’d never heard of it at all until he saw a banner after the Rangers got back to Hunter from Panama which had the word on it and he had to ask what that meant. Another cadre was a Ranger E-7 and he said that’s roughly about the time he started hearing it as well. Was it at that time still limited to SOCOM-type units or was it in widespread use by 1990/91?
  • Were CUCV trucks used in DS? I cannot find any photos of them being used, but I can’t imagine that they weren’t there (I know I had them in my motor pool as late as 1999). I know someone with one who was thinking of painting it DS colors and markings (and if I can find an inexpensive one would likely want to do the same), but I couldn’t say who used them and when. Would they have been sent over into a desert environment? I know from personal experience that they could get fussy in CONUS deserts...

Oh, I found a nice thread on the subject here, including a photo of a DBDU patrol cap in theater (the kind that apparently never got used…)

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Even if you could own an MG, who could afford an M16? I have a DPMS wih basic A1 sights and etc. that's close enough for my Nam outift with the triangular handguard and early stock I found for it. I could pull off the look OK just by switching back o the modern looking stuff. I haven't seen many good pictures, but I could use a marine friend's equipment to put together most of what I'd need, I think;. He was on standby to go to Iraq for DS, never left. I am assuming the mag pouches are ALICE pouches, standard green canteens and covers, ALICE packs, right? How common was the buttpack, and was it the nylon variety?

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How common was the buttpack, and was it the nylon variety?

usmc used them as always,bouth nylon and cotton.

 

Were CUCV trucks used in DS?

yes they where used there,but mostly as mp and in rear with the gear people :thumbsup:

 

we had many desert painted cucvs in norway afther ds on exersice so its confirmed.

but those cucvs was used by the usmc.

 

cheers ken

 

and dont forgett to gett some old style brown bag mres :thumbsup:

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Man, I got a whole pile of the MREs left, think... Buddy of my dad was in the Guard, I used to eat 'em when my folks went out of town for the weekend back in the day. So how would my woodland ALICE pack work out? It was Marine used at some point (dude I know gave it to me), not sure when. I know where a chocolate chip pack cover is...

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Still need to find some early MREs for displays, it was a surprise to find how tough they are to find anymore.

Even if you could own an MG, who could afford an M16? I have a DPMS wih basic A1 sights and etc. that's close enough for my Nam outift with the triangular handguard and early stock I found for it. I could pull off the look OK just by switching back o the modern looking stuff.
I hear you there. Other than that third position on the selector switch, my AR isn't any different from the A2 I carried.

I do know there were some A1's that got over there for sure. Heck, I saw Reserve units as late as 1999 with A1's still in use, with the triangular handguard! :blink:

How common was the buttpack, and was it the nylon variety?
The books I have from the era showing troops before the ground war started suggest to me that mostly they used nylon, but plenty of cotton Nam-era ones got used as well. I'm sure it depends on which surplus place the troops got to before deploying if they weren't issued one.

But this would largely depend on the duty of the individual. Light fighters often would wear them but mech soldiers might not nearly as much, because a loaded butt pack is NOT a comfortable thing if you send time sitting in a track or vehicle. I found that out when was in a heavy mech unit in the 90s myself, I only used a buttpack for one day, then never used it again.

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Here we go...

 

. None of the 6-color desert BDU hats were issue items. They were part of the commercial hype around the war during which you could almost buy anything ranging from Zippo lighters, Parker pens, flyer's kit bags to ties (I'm not joking!), all in chocolate chip pattern. I bought items at MCSS and on the economy outside of Ft Bragg too. You will however find a few pictures of mainly officers wearing them caps. The most available pictures of someone wearing one are the ones of GEN Schwarzkopf. I also have seen pictures of USAF officers wearing them at Welcome Home ceremonies.

The one I have came from a surplus store on Yadkin Rd. Don't really remember from where exactly. It has an OD tag inside, and that already indicates that it's "bad".

You will also notice that the sizes are S,M, L etc. rather than expressed in inches.

 

When I reported to SOCCENT at McDill Air Force Base on 3 August 1990 and was issued my desert gear at the USCENTCON HQ, I had a choice between the "boonie" hat and the standard chocolate chip pattern "patrol cap" and I chose the latter (also available was the Marine pattern chocolate chip pattern utility cover without the EGA). They were issue items. I never got off the base, or even to the exchange, from the time I first arrived on base until we boarded the SOCCENT C-141 for the trip to Dhahran.

 

What follows are some pix from the build-up period and the Ground War, Desert Storm. I've probably posted them at one point or another over the last couple years but they seem germane to this topic so will post these couple again here.

 

Top is me at King Fahd Airfield in about Oct of 1990 wearing my SOCCENT-issued chocolate chip patrol cap.

 

Second is me in Kuwait on the first day of the ground war. I had been wearing my soft cover but some 5 minutes earlier, a Marine Colonel ordered me back into my protective gear.

 

post-1107-1295791112.jpg

 

post-1107-1295791120.jpg

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Top is me after the Colonel told me a second time to get ALL my protective gear on...my issue soft cover was in my back pocket; that's a subdued color American flag on my right shoulder....field facing the rear as that's the only style available and I had the unofficial SOCCENT patch on the left shoulder. Second is me on the second day of the ground war talking to the overhead OV-10 FAC....wearing my issue soft cover. Third was fourth both show me with the issue choc chip soft cover. #3 was taken on the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense compound after the Iraqis had been ejected from Kuwait and we were fooling around a little. Fourth is me checking out an Iraqi antiaircraft gun near the race track in Kuwait City.

 

post-1107-1295793031.jpg

 

post-1107-1295793039.jpg

 

post-1107-1295793047.jpg

 

post-1107-1295793666.jpg

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flashesandovals

Hey USMCRECON,

 

Do you still have that patrol cap?

I'd be very interested in seeing a picture of the label inside. If it hasn't faded that is...

Do you recall what color it had; was it white, tan or green?

 

Thanks,

 

flashesandovals

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Not long after the war ended I encountered a Major from DLA or some other command at some kind of victory display here in CONUS. He was wearing his DBDU's, including the choco chip combat cap that he was "issued". I asked to look at it, and, sure enough, it was a commercial cap. I'm sure his command, and others, purchased these and provided them to individuals to wear, but there were no government contract caps procured in the day desert (6-color) camo pattern. The same is true for USMC utility caps.

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Here are a few more questions:
  • Does anyone have (or know of a location for) labels from the water bottles used? I know the brands used, but I'd love to print out some correct labels as I plan on buying a case of large water bottles for us to drink from, which would clearly click with any veterans.
  • Can any veterans comment on the use of Kevlar flak jackets? The Desert Shield book I have shows none being worn, not even by line grunts on exercise patrols, where you’d think they would use them (“Train as you fight,” and all that). I’m sure the grunts used them in firefights, but I’m starting to wonder exactly how much they were actually used in the theater.
  • I know that the word “Hooah” was big in my day (went active duty in 98) but I wonder how common it’s use was in DS? I know the movie, “Courage Under Fire” has it used a lot, but I wonder about how common it was then among the normal line units. I once asked a SF LTC who was my cadre CO in Army ROTC about the use of the word, and he told me that he’d never heard of it at all until he saw a banner after the Rangers got back to Hunter from Panama which had the word on it and he had to ask what that meant. Another cadre was a Ranger E-7 and he said that’s roughly about the time he started hearing it as well. Was it at that time still limited to SOCOM-type units or was it in widespread use by 1990/91?
  • Were CUCV trucks used in DS? I cannot find any photos of them being used, but I can’t imagine that they weren’t there (I know I had them in my motor pool as late as 1999). I know someone with one who was thinking of painting it DS colors and markings (and if I can find an inexpensive one would likely want to do the same), but I couldn’t say who used them and when. Would they have been sent over into a desert environment? I know from personal experience that they could get fussy in CONUS deserts...

Oh, I found a nice thread on the subject here, including a photo of a DBDU patrol cap in theater (the kind that apparently never got used…)

 

The GM CUCV's came in in the mid 1980's, so there were plenty of them around for DS.

 

PASGT vests were worn by the vast majority of Army conventional combat arms forces, although the Army hadn't yet adopted wearing the vest for training the way the Marine Corps had. The desert camo vest covers were sometimes worn over them, but the supply seemed to be pretty limited. Based on photos, it appears almost no one in the 101st Abn had them, for example.

 

The combat cap in desert camo was worn on a limited basis, but they were all commerical products and not government contracted items.

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flashesandovals

B229,

 

I agree about the caps - just like stated earlier on in Jan 9 2011, 09:11 PM.

 

I would however like to hear about USMCRECON's cap - one never knows...

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B229,

 

I agree about the caps - just like stated earlier on in Jan 9 2011, 09:11 PM.

 

I would however like to hear about USMCRECON's cap - one never knows...

 

Yes, of course...I agree. If he still has it, I'd like to see it too...especially the label.

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Yes, of course...I agree. If he still has it, I'd like to see it too...especially the label.

 

I think it's in the storage locker with my DS footlocker and A-bags. Off the top of my head I don't remember what color the tags aere but it was only hand washed...and not very often, so the tag(s) should still be fairly readable. I don't know when I'll get intyo that first storage locker but when I come across it, I'll photo it and post the pix here.

 

As I said earlier, I did not buy it from any supplier or even from the clothing sales store. It was handed me by the SOCCENT supply guy with my other desert gear. Hopefully I can find it relatively quickly and solve the mystery one way or the other. ;)

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I found a DBDU patrol cap just the other day but it too was a commercial one, had a white label, not like my issued woodland ones.

I threw together some of my stuff for a quick photo for the group website. I intend on getting a photo of me in all the gear this weekend...

DSlayout.jpg

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I regret not getting into this last year as I’ve already missed the anniversary of Desert Shield. Our group has three guys right now (one guy has a son he can outfit so we might have more than 4 soon) and looking to get more, with a few interested people who might get into it with us soon. We all have everything we need and are pooling our resources together for displays, now expanding from the original concept of just parades. One of the guys has an M-54 5-ton truck, which would make a good “background” for displays as well.

I was surprised how easy it was to get all the needed stuff for a basic DS equipment layout (of course it didn’t hurt that I had a lot of it already from my Army days). I’m lucky enough to live near several good surplus places and have “one stop shopping” for the most part. The rest is easy to get off eBay. It makes me wonder why more people aren’t putting together impressions for this reason. Like most cases, the rifle is the pricey part. I have a nice AR with a A2 configuration (in my state, you cannot own fully-automatic weapons so a real M-16 isn’t an option), but there are really good airsoft versions of all the weapons for a collector/re-enactor on a budget.

 

Here are a few more questions:

  • Does anyone have (or know of a location for) labels from the water bottles used? I know the brands used, but I'd love to print out some correct labels as I plan on buying a case of large water bottles for us to drink from, which would clearly click with any veterans.
  • Can any veterans comment on the use of Kevlar flak jackets? The Desert Shield book I have shows none being worn, not even by line grunts on exercise patrols, where you’d think they would use them (“Train as you fight,” and all that). I’m sure the grunts used them in firefights, but I’m starting to wonder exactly how much they were actually used in the theater.
  • I know that the word “Hooah” was big in my day (went active duty in 98) but I wonder how common it’s use was in DS? I know the movie, “Courage Under Fire” has it used a lot, but I wonder about how common it was then among the normal line units. I once asked a SF LTC who was my cadre CO in Army ROTC about the use of the word, and he told me that he’d never heard of it at all until he saw a banner after the Rangers got back to Hunter from Panama which had the word on it and he had to ask what that meant. Another cadre was a Ranger E-7 and he said that’s roughly about the time he started hearing it as well. Was it at that time still limited to SOCOM-type units or was it in widespread use by 1990/91?
  • Were CUCV trucks used in DS? I cannot find any photos of them being used, but I can’t imagine that they weren’t there (I know I had them in my motor pool as late as 1999). I know someone with one who was thinking of painting it DS colors and markings (and if I can find an inexpensive one would likely want to do the same), but I couldn’t say who used them and when. Would they have been sent over into a desert environment? I know from personal experience that they could get fussy in CONUS deserts...

Oh, I found a nice thread on the subject here, including a photo of a DBDU patrol cap in theater (the kind that apparently never got used…)

Willy---just for you---Desert storm water labels....What can I say---collectors collect...there sure wasn't much else worth collecting in most of that unholy desert---I did manage to also grab some of those race car cards that were at the bottom of the Suadi version of Twinkies that got passed around once in a while with the "Supplemental Rations."

post-2235-1295997120.jpg

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