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Military gear hints?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by chadintex, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. chadintex

    chadintex Well-Known Member

    I've recently joined the Texas State Guard and never having military experience, I ask that those who have BTDT offer any advice you can as far as which gear to buy and any tips, tricks, etc. you can offer.

    which BDU's are best for Texas summer,
    where is a good place to get a cheap kevlar helmet, lesnsatic compass, poncho, etc.

  2. greenmountaingear

    greenmountaingear Active Member

    Unless your group specifically demands you get a KEVLAR...don't. If you need one you can try to hit up gunshows, sometimes a cheap source for a banged up on there.

    As for all of the other fine gear, let me know what I can help you out with. You could always start out w/ a basic LBE (Y or H harness) or could go right to a good tactical vest, chest rig, etc. Many, Many options.

    The best advice I could give is that since you are new to this maybe you should hang out with some of the more expirienced folks and observe before purchasing. See what works for them, take a little advice from everyone and then go from there ;)

    Best of luck and drop me a line if I can help in any way!

  3. Quartus

    Quartus Well-Known Member

    Good advice, green, and welcome to THR.

    chad, don't expect to get it all right the first time. If you can borrow some gear, and do your own humpin' o' the hills in it a few Saturdays, you'll learn what works for you. That would be better than running out and laying down the green before you know what's what.

    Remember that military issue is NOT necessarily the state of the art stuff. In fact, it flat ISN'T.
  4. Glockster35

    Glockster35 Well-Known Member

    Is this some Militia or the actual Air National Guard?

    If it's the latter, they should issue you gear.

    If not, don't go out and spend a ton of cash on gear right away. Find out what others in your group are using, and what your duty responsibilities will be.

    What weapon do you plan to carry at your hip, and on your shoulder?
  5. chadintex

    chadintex Well-Known Member

    This is the state militia under the governer. It is a volunteer outfit where gear is supplied by oneself. We have some of the basic responsibilities as the National Guard, but can not be federalized. Gear is expected to be USGI. I have not drilled yet as I was just sworn in a few days ago and the equipment list is pretty basic, ie: BDU's LBE, and individual equipment for a MP/soldier.

    Unit moral seems very high and everyone seemed very sqared away. My badly worded original post was meant to ask if anyone had any uniform tips so that when I do first drill I don't embaress myself or the battalion.

    Also, if anyone has any experience in the TSG, I would love to hear about it.

    Thanks again.
  6. Kor

    Kor Well-Known Member

    First of all, ya gotta remember why they call it a "uniform" - so's ya look more-or-less like everybody else. Senior NCO's will spot the smallest piece of non-regulation clothing or equipment from 20 yards away, and will jump all over your case in a heartbeat. The idea is to wear what everyone else in the unit is wearing, and not to be obviously different.

    GI-issue BDU's are where you start, buy a couple of sets from your local Army-Navy surplus store or online from Ron(greenmountaingear). Texas being much like Arizona, I personally recommend you go with 100% rip-stop cotton BDUs for comfort in the summertime - however, they're not quite as sturdy as the NYCO(nylon-cotton blend) BDUs, and tend to wrinkle and fade more. NYCOs are hotter, but look nicer and hold up better over the long run. Be sure not to buy Desert BDUs when the rest of the unit is wearing Woodland Camo - check first before buying. Also, get a couple of brown or OD green undershirts to wear with your uniform - white T-shirts are a big no-no with BDUs, they look all wrong.

    You'll probably need to have a unit patch and embroidered nametags sewn on to your BDU shirt(blouse) - don't try to do it yourself, unless you know exactly how they're supposed to be positioned your sewing will look like crap. Find a tailor shop that's close to a major military base - they will either know how to do the job properly, or they will tell you where to go.

    For headgear, start with the basic BDU cap - it may not be right for all occasions, but it's never "wrong." "Boonie" or "jungle" hats are only worn on field exercises, seldom if ever in "garrison"(around barracks, unit offices or other, improved facilities). Don't be a "wannabe" and buy a beret UNLESS and UNTIL you're told to by someone in your chain of command. Like Ron said, hold off on the Kevlar helmet until you're told specifically that you need one, and then look for the cheapest one you can find online or at a gun show. If you shop carefully, you can probably find a PASGT(Kevlar) helmet for $50-75. Try to get a new replacement sweatband for it, instead of the nasty, funky one that will probably come with it.

    For your load-bearing equipment(LBE), start with the GI pistol belt and Y-harness suspenders. The H-harness suspenders are a bit more comfortable, but date back to the Vietnam era and will probably be kinda raggedy by now - a newer Y-harness will look more "strack" and be more presentable. Add two 1-quart plastic canteens with canteen covers - can't carry too much water, especially in Texas during summer. Get two compass pouches - one holds your compass, the other will hold a field dressing(first-aid compress/bandage). Add two GI M16 magazine pouches, and that should be about it. Don't go overboard hanging too much stuff on your LBE - you'll look silly and be uncomfortable. Hold off on the snazzy Bianchi UM84/M12 GI nylon flap holster until you find out if you're actually going to carry a pistol on duty. The same goes for entrenching tools(GI folding shovels) and "buttpacks"(3-day combat packs). DO NOT strap a Ka-Bar or other combat knife/bayonet onto your LBE UNLESS and UNTIL someone in your chain of command tells you that you may do so. Try to get someone from your unit to help you adjust your LBE for fit - it goes about 3 times faster with help than if you do it by yourself. Get some OD green duct tape("90 MPH tape") and use it to tape down all the loose straps.

    Boots will be black, UNLESS you are authorized to wear Desert BDUs along with the rest of your unit. For now, just get the basic, all-leather GI "Speed-lace" boots, and a shoe brush and can of Kiwi black shoe polish to keep 'em looking neat. Don't spend extra money on fabric-sided "jungle boots" or Hi-Tec-style "SWAT boots" unless your unit chain of command specifically allows you to wear them. A pair of all-black Doc Martens or Red Wings work boots should also be fine, but in order to look "right" with BDU trousers tucked into their tops the boots should be 8" - 10" tall.

    Hope this helps!
  7. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Good info above...

    I like best the suggestion to pick the brains of those in the unit.

    Aside, don't know bout your weather but in my part of Arizona, am right now wearin multiple layers of clothing cause tis NOT warm.

    Layering with the ability to peel with temp rise better than not layering and being screwed when temp shifts by thirty degrees or so.

  8. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    I've always preferred blousing rubbers for my boots instead of tucking them in. This is especially preferred if you have thick calves or short legs, which I have both. Sometimes tucking in all that BDU material makes for a pain. Check your SGM or equivalent. Chances are he's wearing blousing rubbers. :D

    Another small item is a leatherman or gerber mini tool. Most are pretty discreet and have a thousand uses in the field. I've had one save my bacon a bunch of times.

    And lastly look for LBE belt extender. This is a little clip that extends your pistol belt approximately 3". Adjust it so that it fits correctly without the clip while wearing your standard uniform shirt . Add the clip when you have to wear a field jacket. Trying to adjust your pistol belt is a major pain in the butt, but if you don't then you look sloppy. A extender solves this problem.

    Good Shooting
  9. chadintex

    chadintex Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot guys, that is what I needed to hear.
  10. TimW

    TimW Well-Known Member

    Speak for yourself, pal. It's been near 100 still down here in the Valley of the Sun. Oh...a cool mid-upper 70's in the morning, but c'mon, it's near end of October already!!!
  11. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    Contact the NCO(s) of your outfit, these guys are usually the ones with past military and current militia experience. They should be able to recommend the best gear for your unit's needs.

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