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    My personal junk.

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    Antimedic
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    Registration date : 2020-08-20
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    Post by Antimedic on Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:10 am

    As I wrote in my intro post, I enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1996.  My collection began before that, with army surplus used for Boy Scout camping and other adventures, but the collection grew very quickly while I was still in basic training.  My primary Drill Sergeant advised us that we should possess TWO sets of field gear.  One, issued by the Army, would go out into the woods with us.  The second, personally purchased, would stay in the wrappers until inspection time and come out ONLY for that.  Hence, the purchase of a full belt kit- two M16 small arms ammo pouches, two canteens with cover, one canteen cup, two field dressing/compass pouches, one web belt, one set of suspenders, all purchased before graduation from Basic.  I think one of my sons absconded with it when he was in Scouts, as it hasn't been seen in my collector's dump in many years.  Now that he's left the National Guard and home for the regular Army, I'll have to "clean out" his room one of these days...

    Anyways, this will be the first of my collection posts.  Each piece has some backstory, and I'll try to get that properly conveyed.

    Piece number one: an early MOLLE medic rig that I used for OIF.  This took some practice to rig up with the parachute harness, and I'd used it for a year and a half or so before we got the order to jump on Bashur DZ.

    Most of it is original, some is replacement.

    The overall rig consists of:
    The MOLLE medic vest (original);

    ALICE pistol belt (original);

    Four ALICE M16 small arms cases (original) with a total of 12 magazines (purchased later, configured as original with 550 cord pull loops and taped bottom end);

    Four MOLLE medic pouches (original) with various bandages (original);

    ALICE compass/field dressing pouch (original) with M2 lensatic compass (original, and going back to Boy Scouts);

    Two ALICE canteen carriers (original) with two canteens (replacements, wrong caps) and a cup (original);

    Two ALICE pistol magazine pouches (original) with two magazines (later purchase);

    M9 bayonet with sheath (replacement, later purchase); and

    M9 pistol (personal collection) with UM84 (I think?) holster (original).  

    The bayonet came from a gun show a few years ago, the M9 pistol, pistol magazines, and rifle magazines are part of my firearm collection.  The frag grenades are dummies from gun shows.  A lot of the content of the pouches is original, in that we were not asked to return the bandages and other items.

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    Guaranteed rain if you eat these...
    My personal junk. Bad_lu10
    Usually discarded IMMEDIATELY on opening the MRE.
    And, NO, I did not have any on me when we jumped.

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    Camonut314
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    Post by Camonut314 on Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:38 pm

    AWESOME! I thank you for sharing your experience which serves us collectors and historians as it did the republic.
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    Post by Wolverine on Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:03 pm

    Neat set up - did you ever come across anyone who had LC-2 first aid/compass pouches sewn on to canteen covers?
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    Post by Antimedic on Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:04 pm

    The mod I saw most often on canteen carriers was a strobe light pouch. Come to think of it, I have one on an old-skool cut-down LC-2 setup. I'll have to dig that out. It's what I used when I first got to Italy/173d ABN before I got the vest. If I can ever find the butt pack that goes with that vest, there's a strobe pouch sewn to the left side of it nice and tight up against the seam that's closest to the body when worn.
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    Post by Antimedic on Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:35 am

    Next item.  This will probably be offensive to some.  It occurred to me even as I was pulling it together that it was a shame to modify some of these things...

    All of the components were found in and around the places I was working in Northern Iraq in 2003.

    First, I found the CHICOM/Soviet pattern AK chest rig.  The shoulder straps were chewed up and it was missing one of the toggle loops for a grenade pouch, so I adapted it to suit my needs.  Used copper wire to secure the end of one of the shoulder straps back to the top of the main piece, and sewed some 550 cord to the grenade pouch to allow it to hold a smoke grenade.  The usual loadout was as seen here- three rifle mags, a smoke, a frag, my compass, and a field dressing-cravat bundle.  A few weeks later, I found some old-skool U.S. LBE suspenders.  I had an inkling that they were WWII or Korean War era, and had at least a little heartburn about modifying them, but they went onto the commie chest rig as seen below.  

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    Unreadable markings on the suspenders, on the lower face of the right shoulder strap.  My suspicion on the source and era is based on the configuration.  When rigging it all up, I removed a support strap that angled out from a point a few inches up from the bottom of the front straps- points towards winning the Internets For The Day to anyone who can definitively tell me what I corrupted here.
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    Loadout, dummy frag and smoke.  The "T - TRAINING" mark on the middle magazine is to remind me that it is damaged, and not for serious use, as the feed lips are spread and it frequently double-feeds.  I probably have period correct bandage and cravat to put back in the left end pocket, but I have only the one compass, which is in my camping ruck rather than sitting useless in my museum totes.
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    I found and incorporated other bits over the next few months.  There were some British-patterned sustainment pouches that I added to it, and incorporated my issued CamelBak, turning a classically simple chest rig into a post-modern monstrosity for a paratrooper.  While my primary assignment was Evacuation squad, several of us from HHC were made part of an ad hoc security detail for a natural gas facility.  It was a few scouts, a couple mechanics, two or three guys from the mortar platoon, a couple truck drivers, and 4 medics.  Because I was prior Infantry and knew the system, I was the 3d shift gunner on our M998 (pickup configured HMMWV with M2 BMG--incidentally a GE product made in 1943).  I used this lighter rigwhen in the truck rather than the heavy medic vest upthread.  

    As soon as the Brit-looking pouches reappear in the gearpile, I'll put it back together and post photos.

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    Camonut314
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    Post by Camonut314 on Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:59 am

    Nice looking rig, I don't think anyone here will claim it a sacrilege and I personally find it quite elegant! The straps are M44 type, used up until the adoption of the M56 gear. Luckily, post-WWII (which those seem to be) are still fairly common.
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    Post by Wolverine on Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:40 pm

    Judging by the faded stamp, those suspenders are early 1950s production. They are very common, even in NOS condition.
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    Post by Antimedic on Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:29 pm

    My Camillus Jumpmaster/Air Force Survival Knife. Designed in the early 1960s and issued to aircrews and Jumpmasters ever since. Camillus won the initial contract and held it until 2006, and Ontario Knife makes them now. I bought mine at the Clothing Sales store in Vicenza in 2001. I immediately modified the sheath, moving the securing strap down to right on top of the guard, removing the weak-a$$ black nylon tie down lace, and adding the paracord lace and Velcro strap. It rode on my right calf. Initially, I hated the sheath. It was a bright tan, and stuck out horribly against my BDU. After a few weeks in the field it darkened up quite a bit, and has aged pretty nicely since. When we jumped into Bashur DZ in ‘03, I used it to cut the rigging to get my HMMWV off the drop pallet when we finally found it. It also opened plenty of MREs and more than a few cans of soup.


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    Post by ripcord on Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:51 am

    The USAF/USN/USMC survival knife is a classic !

    Looks well used and super clean. Sheath, appropriately salty.

    Had a 1969 dated one from my squid days on my LBE for a couple of years of NG duty before going to an olive green Glock with sawback.  Neat plastic sheath.
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    Post by filupe on Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:44 am

    Really digging your gear posts with the detailed commentary on how and why it was put together.

    ... and what IS the deal with Charms?  Why do they still put them in MREs if soldiers avoid them like the plague??  I didn't know about this until the 'Generation Kill' series brought it to my attention.

    We have bits in our ration packs which soldiers like to bitch about (tinned cheese for instance ... and chocolate block) but I have never seen anything like the virulent hatred for Charms ... they actually look like they might be something decent to suck on whilst undertaking one of the many onerous duties that defines the military experience!
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    Post by TimB on Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:26 pm

    The chest rig mag pockets - are they too deep for the M-16 magazines? How to keep the magazines "up"?
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    Post by stayalert on Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:39 am

    These are truly awesome photos, with the annotations bringing the cherry to the cake. You wouldn’t have any images showing either rig in full would you?

    Love the survival knife. I’ve been told the metal plate at the bottom of the sheath is there to prevent the knife point from shoot through end when a pilot has to pull and eject. However looking at the surface area of the hand guard of the knife it seems a little far fetched that this would have enough force to push down on the leather and rip the stitching. Do you know if there is any truth to this?
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    Post by Antimedic on Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:41 pm

    Apologies for the delayed responses.  Court docket has been pretty intense the last few weeks.  

    TimB wrote:The chest rig mag pockets - are they too deep for the M-16 magazines?  How to keep the magazines "up"?

    The pockets are deeper than needed for m-16 30 round mags, but not outrageously so.  I put a longer 550 cord pull-loop on the mags and just dropped them in.

    stayalert wrote:These are truly awesome photos, with the annotations bringing the cherry to the cake. You wouldn’t have any images showing either rig in full would you?

    Love the survival knife. I’ve been told the metal plate at the bottom of the sheath is there to prevent the knife point from shoot through end when a pilot has to pull and eject. However looking at the surface area of the hand guard of the knife it seems a little far fetched that this would have enough force to push down on the leather and rip the stitching. Do you know if there is any truth to this?

    From what I've seen of the world, physics will do plenty of things that we don't expect.  I think the main worry--which is supposedly resolved with the rigid sheath--is not that the stitching would burst, but rather that the material would fold or bunch up and the blade would break through the back or end of the sheath and into the wearer.  Throwing things out of airplanes--whether as part of a planned Airborne operation or as an exigency while ejecting from a damaged aircraft--puts those things up against physical forces that just don't occur during other aspects of daily life, and it's difficult to predict what will or won't happen.  

    I'll see if I can't get some more photos soon.  It's about time that I prep for Veteran's Day.  The local middle school invites Vets to come in for panel discussions with the students as well as a few other activities.  The day usually starts with the local Legion Honor Guard doing a flag raising and 21-gun salute with the middle school choir following up with the National Anthem.  

    We then go into the building where student council members guide groups of 2-3 Vets to classrooms for the discussions.  Each discussion usually lasts about 45 minutes, and then they rotate the kids from room to room, so each group of Vets talks to 3-4 groups of students.  The Vet groups change from year-to-year.  I've been in a group with my dad (I'll be posting some of his late Cold War and Op Desert Shield/Desert Storm items soon); with a pastor who was in the National Guard and served in Korea, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia (and happened to grow up with my grandparents); with a local farmboy who jumped into Normandy one early June evening in 1944 and went back to farming in 1946; and with kids who, while I was out having my adventures, had been working at the local grocery store while waiting until they could enlist and end up in some of the most intense fighting to occur in Afghanistan.  The questions from the kids aren't scripted, but they have to be approved by the staff, and the staff doesn't let rude questions in.  Hard questions, like "Do you believe that we were right to go into Iraq?" were ok, but rude ones like "Did you kill anyone?" were not allowed.

    After the panels, Vets and student council have lunch together with staff- usually homemade soup and sandwiches in the conference room- and you'd better believe the soup is phenomenal!  After lunch, most of the Vets head out to the rest of their day.  A few of us stick around, because earlier in the day, we'd set up tables full of piles of uniforms, equipment, and weapons in the library.  Yes, weapons.  There's a part of state law here that allows firearms on school property if it is approved by the administration and is for educational purposes, so the tables include AR-15s set up as clones of the weapons some of us used in the military, several Garands and M1 Carbines, M14s, M1911s, M9s, and even a real-deal BAR.  We usually pull firing pins if at all possible for an added layer of safety/security.  

    The last few years have also seen a mockup of a hootch, similar to what many of us slept in when in the field, which gives the kids a look at life in the field beyond just the piles of kit.  

    Most years we just let the kids come up to the tables and handle just about everything but the pointy-stabbys and bangety-bangs, putting on armor and helmets, getting a feel for the textures of the uniforms and equipment, and writing questions on 3x5 cards.  We let them mill about for maybe 30 minutes, and then start answering questions.  We don't always get to answer all the questions, so I decided to write a letter--which turned into a short illustrated book--to satisfy everyone's curiosity.  

    It's one of the better days of my year.  

    Coming back around to stayalert's question on photos, as I drag out all the kit for this year, I'll take some new shots.

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    Post by stayalert on Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:47 am

    REF sheath: that makes a lot more sense!

    Sounds like you guys had a great veteran day Smile
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    Post by Antimedic on Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:03 am

    My first duty station was Ft Campbell, KY, B Co, 1-327 IN, 101 ABN. I suffered through the Saubalauski Air Assault School in spring 1997. After graduating, my section sergeant (I was 11C, we were organized a little differently) gave me my Swiss seat. His version of things was that once a Soldier was Air Assault qualified, that Soldier would be issued and required to have in his field gear at all times them means to execute any Air Assault operation required. For that reason, this bundle was always in our rucks.

    My carabiner appears to be of 1980 vintage.
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