Sunday, January 13, 2013
My personal Army Surplass
Handcuffs: We were issued a pair but I made a point of buying my own. The quality of these were better. When I found them last month I told Juli never to use these since I lost the keys. In my 7 years in the Guard I used them once. At the Dallas Naval Airstation they have 4 branches of the military on one base. The Air Force crossed trained us (Army) guys to fill in for their APs' (Air Police) since theirs were reservist and had to pull annual 2 weeks of training else where. So we guarded their planes while they were gone. In the Air Force they park the planes on the tar mat inside an area marked off with a red line. You could enter an exit only through the break in the line. Well the Navy had their planes parked on the other side of that. On my first rotation guarding the planes a Navy Commander wanted to take the shortcut through the red line. I tried to stop him politely but he ignored me and stepped over that line. Needless to say I proceeded to tackle him and place him under arrest. My ears rang from the words that came out of his mouth. But I never got in trouble. :)
Compass: Again I decided to go with buying my own. This one was a Swiss Army compass. The later part of my time in the Guard I was an instructor. I would teach land nav quite often and the army issue ones were very good. But at some point I found out what made the issued ones glow in the dark all the time(the parts that glowed were literally radioactive). Using them in the 'normal' life of your career in the army would not be dangerous but as often as I was teaching the class I decided to err on the side of caution and switch out to this one.
Canteen: This is the full set. Canteen, Cup and Carry Case. What you can't see in the water purification tablets that are in the pocket you see and the clips that hold the case to the belt. This is my oldest piece of equipment. It followed me from the Active Duty Army. I got it in 1986. It stuck with me through thick and thin. I used it rarely. I was first assigned to the 24th Infantry Div.(slated for middle east only). So this canteen was too small. I have always carried and used the larger 2 liter canteen. This one was used more for show. The cup I used all the time though for coffee and such. The first time was in a fox hole at 2am in winter in Death Valley. Someone came by to check on me and give me something to keep warm. It was my first cup of coffee ever and I didn't care what it was = just that it was hot.
Message Book: The day I was sworn into the Texas State Guard I received this. My new company commander was from England and was just over 5 foot tall. He administered the oath to me, we saluted each other then shook my hand saying "congradulations Corporal" I smiled and then he continued, "I want you to be my aide because you are so big and I want you to protect me." Then he handed me this book as a symbol of what my duties were to be for a while.
Range Finder: By the time I had joined the Guard I had learned the value of having some of my own equipment. This never uses batteries. It came in handy during our many trips out to the field to train. I always say that my career in the Army consisted of "Train, train, train ..."
Tabasco: Yes these were issued to me in MRE packs. They were the most treasured possesion out in the field. I got to try the first generation of MREs' Ugh! These bottles were a God send to help you swallow the food we had too eat. These are still sealed and are the size of my pinky.
Earplug Case: I was in the Guard in Texas. My commander wanted to do something to our uniform to make us stand out from the rest. Of course, the rules for our uniform are very specific and can't be changed. So he looked over them and found the loop hole. We were a Military Police unit so we could wear the crossed pistols in brass on the case. He had us add the little armadillo with Texas flag pin to the case. It definately caused a stir with in the entire Guard but was never changed.
Whistle: As I mentioned I was Military Police, so I had to wear this on my uniform. But because of it many people got confused looking at our uniform. That is because it is worn in the spot that we normally had to wear our ear plug case. One day, at the armory a young private stopped our commander to politely point out that he had his earplug case on the wrong side. He smiled and answered, "why thank you for noticing, however, We are Military Police and are required to wear the whistle there so the case goes to the other side." She blushed and apologized but he would have none of that and made a point of giving a formal recommendation to her commander for her concern.