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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.
NAS Pensacola shooter reportedly hosted a 'dinner party' to watch mass shooting videos the night before the attack
The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the night before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.
The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.
The Navy pledged Friday to find ways to upgrade security procedures and prevent future attacks following two shootings and a fatal gate runner incident at naval bases in Virginia, Hawaii and Florida in the last week.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper also announced he is "considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families," although he did not give details.
The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.