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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.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."