KA-BAR Celebrates 120 Years Of Knife-Making And ‘BAR’ Slaying


Few pieces of gear are steeped in as much martial history as the KA-BAR Fighting Utility Knife — from stories of brutal close-quarters combat to myths about the knives being so durable that they were sent along with wooden shipping crates instead of crowbars during World War II.

Today marks the 120th anniversary of the company that gave the military its most iconic blade.

Even the name KA-BAR has its roots in legendAs the story goes, a fur trapper in the 1900s wrote a letter about killing a grizzly bear with a knife from the Union Cutlery Company, which began producing its first knives in 1898. The letter was so smudged, all that was made out from the passage was: “K A Bar.” And so the KA-BAR trademark was born, and years later, Union Cutlery was renamed after the brand.

Related: How The KA-BAR Became The American Warfighter’s Blade Of Choice  »

And though the company hasn’t had a military contract since World War II — the halcyon days of issued knives — “KA-BAR Knives have been carried in every conflict since” Joseph Bradley, the sales and content manager for KA-BAR, told T&P.;

“Most troops are not being issued knives, yet everyone still carries one,” Bradley added. “Most troops are going out of their way to buy a knife of their choice.”

So we asked you, our “BAR” slay’n, crate and can-opening, tacticool knife-carrying readers, to send us your KA-BAR pics. You didn’t disappoint.

Okay, someone took the words “knife hand” a bit too literal:

And this guy, who got it backwards:

Even the Army gets in on the KA-BAR action:

Something tells me this one wasn’t ceremonial:

Well, it is does have the word “utility” in its name:

Expensive kitchenware is for suckers:

The tacticool KA-BAR:

Don’t bring just one knife to a gun fight. Bring them all:

Someone’s ready to re-invade Normandy:

Sure it’s rusty, but it still cuts and if the knife doesn’t get you, the tetanus will:


Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)

A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)

Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.

So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.

Read More Show Less

R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.

Read More Show Less
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)

The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.

These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.

Read More Show Less