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6 Essential Pieces Of Gear T&P Readers Swear By (And 1 You Can't Get In Stores)
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Every grunt and their mother has that one piece of equipment they cannot live without. Forget ultra complicated or batshit insane everyday carry kit: that one essential piece of gear that U.S. military veterans rely on is, as Tim O’Brien put it in The Things They Carry, is “largely determined by necessity” — and typically the best tool to accomplish those necessary challenges is the simplest one.
We asked our community of veterans about the gear they rely on in their day-to-day lives. Here are their top picks (and some suggestions from our staff):
There’s a reason Leatherman is synonymous with “multi-tool,” much to the chagrin of Swiss Army knife maker Victorinox AG: The stainless steel tools are durable and versatile. The Wave model, in particular, is a Leatherman fan favorite with a history of reliability. In 1998, a Michigan firefighter even used his Wave to save a child’s life without amputating his leg when he was pinned beneath a car.
Army vet Jason Cantrell put it best:
A hand truck
If you’ve spent years rucking a heavy pack for miles on miles, why wouldn’t you make the rest of your life easier on your back, knees, hips, waist, and sanity?
You don’t want to just randomly buy one though: Handling and durability are just as essential, especially since you’ll be bumping into walls and doors like it’s nobody’s business. Therefore, we recommend the Welcom MC2S Magna Cart Elite 200lb Capacity or the Cosco 3-in-1 Aluminium hand trucks.
I’m just going to leave this here:
Personally, we’d recommend the Multi-Plier 600 Bluntnose stainless steel multi-tool that’s beloved in the U.S. military. Nothing fits better than familiarity — and I guess it’s just as good as your field knife!
The woobie in actionDoD/Spc. Kristina Truluck
Do I really need to explain all the ways that this nylon poncho liner is way, way more than just a nylon poncho liner? No, but Angry Staff Officer can and will:
It can be used as a blanket, pillow, shelter, hammock, camo hide for concealment, jacket liner, seat cushion, mattress — when you are sleeping on the ground, anything helps — and something soft to hold onto when you’re far away from home and everything’s going to … well, you know, the stuff that hits the fan. It is remarkably resilient to extreme heat and cold, dries quickly when wet, and most importantly, can be squished up into a tiny ball that takes up barely any room in your rucksack and adds virtually no weight. I am still convinced it is magical.
F*ck, now I want one. And you can score one for a (relative) steal at on Amazon.
A knife — an actual GOOD knife
Yes yes yes, a single blade is as useful as a fancy multitool in the right hands, and not all knives are created equal. If you’re going to get something made special, we recommend talking to Marine vet and Brooklyn-based Chapman Knifes proprietor Joel R. Chapman.
But if you’re just looking for something off the shelf, we’re partial to bench made knives — and our friends at U.S. Elite Tactical will give you 10% off a new one with the discount code taskandpurpose.
BONUS: Your DD-214
This won’t cost you a dime, just several years of your life and most of your sanity.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."