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FALLUJAH, Iraq (Nov. 28, 2004) -- After coming out of a combat zone, many Marines commented on the items they’re glad they brought with them.

The following list includes 20 “must have” items of Marines from 3rd Platoon Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment during Operation Al Fajr:

1. Advanced combat optical gun sight/Binoculars: “When you’re on post, you can tell what individuals walking down the street (blocks away) are carrying,” said Cpl. Michael Fredtkou, a M-203 gunner. “The enemy doesn’t expect you to see them that far away.”

2. Energy bars: “They’re lightweight, easy to get to,” said Staff Sgt. Luis Lopez, 3rd platoon sergeant. “Plus they’re not as bulky as MREs.” (meals-ready-to-eat)

3. Kevlar cushions: “The old padding gives you a headache after wearing it for a few hours,” said 1st Lt. Travis Fuller, 3rd platoon commander. “After a few minutes with the cushions on, you can’t even tell it’s there.”

4. Elbow/Knee pads: “If it wouldn’t be for these things, my knees would be completely cut up by now,” said Lance Cpl. Tim Riffe, a machine gunner. “You can only take so much jumping into a defensive position without them.”

5. Personal Role Radio: “Communication has been a huge key in our operations,” said Cpl. Tyrone Wilson, 2nd squad leader. “When my squad was across the street in a defensive position, the platoon was able to let me know insurgents were in the building next to us. Who knows what would’ve happened if they couldn’t contact me.”

6. Global Positioning System: “I’m able to pinpoint our location within 10 meters when calling in position reports and medevacs,” said Lance Cpl. William Woolley, a radio operator. “We’ll never get lost as long as we have it.”

7. Extra socks: “My feet are nice and dry right now,” said Lance Cpl. Kaleb Welch, a squad automatic weapon (SAW) gunner. “I’ve gone without changing my socks before on three to four day training exercises and I always regretted it later.”

8. Gloves: “They’re clutch because when you’re climbing over a wall you don’t have to worry about broken glass cutting your hands,” said Cpl. Gabriel Trull, 1st squad leader. “You also don’t burn your hands when changing 240 golf barrels.”

9. Baby wipes: “It’s a multi-use piece of gear,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Irving Ochoa, a Navy Corpsman. You don’t have much time out here for personal hygiene, so it’s the best alternative.”

10. Three-point sling: “When you’re jumping over rooftops you don’t want to worry about dropping your weapon,” said Cpl. Dave Willis, 3rd squad leader. “At any time you can just reach down and grab it.”

11. Alice/Day pack: “Without these I don’t know how I’d carry all of my gear,” said Lance Cpl. Geoffery Bivins, a SAW gunner. “It displaces all of the weight around my body, so I’m not uncomfortable. When you’re running with 100 lbs. on your back, that’s important.”

12. Night Vision Goggles: “Wearing these at night gives you the advantage over the enemy,” said Lance Cpl. Marquirez Chavery, a combat engineer. “When you’re on a rooftop at night you can see everything.”

13. Personal hydration system: “Water is one of the things you always need to make sure you have,” said Seaman Hugo Lara, a Navy corpsman. “Instead of struggling to get your canteens out, the cord is there within your reach. Plus it holds more water as well.”

14. Watch with compass: “You get calls where you have to lay down suppressing fire in a certain direction and instead of wasting time to ask which way is north or south, you can just look at your wrist,” said Lance Cpl. Lonny Kelly, a machine gunner. “Knowing the time is important because everyone pulls shifts for guard duty or standing post. How would you know when your shift starts or stops without one?”

15. AA batteries: “You use them for your NVGs and handheld radios; both which contribute to more effective fighting,” said Cpl. Bryan Morales, 1st squad 1st fire team, team leader. “You wouldn’t want either of those items dying on you, so having a spare set of batteries around is very important.”

16. Poncho/poncho liner: “The temperature at night is extremely different during the day,” said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Etterling, machine gun team leader. “If you don’t have some sort of protection at night, you end up freezing because you’re cammies are still damp from sweating during the day.”

17. Ballistic goggles: “I was the A-driver one of our convoys and we got hit by an IED (improvised explosive device),” said Lance Cpl. Anthony Johnson, an assaultman. “Shrapnel bounced off of my glasses, saving my vision.”

18. Multi-purpose portable tool kit: “It’s like carrying a combat knife, hammer and screwdriver in one hand,” said Lance Cpl. Evan Fernandez, an assaultman. Cutting open MREs, cleaning your weapon, tightening screws on your gear; it has a thousand uses.”

19. Carabineers: “Anything that you might have to grab at a moments notice, you don’t want to be digging through your pockets to try and find it,” said Pfc. Jason Kurtz, a SAW gunner. “With these you can attach anything to your flak and have right at your fingertips.”

20. High powered flashlight: “It does wonders,” said Cpl. Chris Williams, 2nd squad 1st fire team leader. “After you throw a fragmentation grenade into a room it’s difficult to see because of all the dust floating around. No one can hide from them."
 

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thanks, garand! sounds like the real nitty-gritty of old[except for g.p.s./n.v.g's/power-bars/ hand-sets] the MARINES never did 'dig to deep' to get to the bottom of things[ it does not take, but [1] high speed/low drag squad leader,
to make[1] high speed/low drag squad]


an, insightful list on the basics, my brothers crave/appreciate.


thank you.
 

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I can personally vouch for the knee pads (along with elbow pads), and gloves. On training exercises I wear fingerless weight-lifting gloves; they save a bunch of palm & knuckle wear.
 

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Another excellent post. Thanks Garand.

RIKA
 

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I noticed an interesting bit of triva on number 11.

Also, agree on the baby wipes - they ARE part of my kit when hunting. No sense in roughing it more than necessary...

:devil:
 

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I'll vouch for extra socks! They're really a maker-or-breaker.

No 11 is a lie, no one can run around with more than 30 pounds on them! :dgrin:
 

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NOBODY survived combat without knees and elbow pads, right? A good idea, sure. "must have", not a chance. A silencer is a LOT more likely to be of value to you. Know what Harry says about going prone when ambushed? "All you are doing is going down in the kill zone".
 

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Fair enough. Not "must haves"; but a VERY GOOD thing to have, on the knee pad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
And "Harry" had a real patsy in you, gunkid. He shovelled it and you lapped it up!!
 

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Awesome list.

I imagine at some point, sunscreen and insect repellant are two good items to have that won't take up too much room.

cheers
 

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can contrive the knee pads, if needed. Can't carry the kitchen sink. SOAP is a lot more useful and necessary than almost anything you can think of. Get sick or infected, and you've probably had it, post shtf.
 

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Yea GK the only combat you have ever seen is in the prison shower.

And soap? Well I am sure you need taht for bending over to pick up.
 

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well, the ol' boy[mister160] is real close to the x-ring.

the russians suffered huge attrition losses in afganistan[non-combat related]
just from not washing their hands!

when people over there say it's a shit-hole, they know what their talking about.
 

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andy said:
NOBODY survived combat without knees and elbow pads, right? A good idea, sure. "must have", not a chance. A silencer is a LOT more likely to be of value to you. Know what Harry says about going prone when ambushed? "All you are doing is going down in the kill zone".


hmmm lets see. marine in the field doing his job or a convicted felon who can't so much as touch a single round of 22 short ammo. which one shall i believe?
 

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andy said:
NOBODY survived combat without knees and elbow pads, right? A good idea, sure. "must have", not a chance. A silencer is a LOT more likely to be of value to you. Know what Harry says about going prone when ambushed? "All you are doing is going down in the kill zone".
which, of course, is why you posted this.

So which is it? going prone is a good idea, or it isn't? You try to have it both ways.

:devil:
 

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andy said:
...All you are doing is going down in the kill zone.

If I'm about to be killed, I may as well be doing something I enjoy, and 'going down' is certainly in the top five... :dgrin:
 
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