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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Veteran Marines reveal best gear for deployment

By Cpl. Tom Sloan | | January 04, 2006

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Just like the training they receive, Marines are equipped with the gear they need to accomplish their missions.

In addition to the standard issue, however, many Marines seek out and purchase their own gear as a way to make their job easier and gain the edge.

With constant rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terrorism, many Marines have come to learn what gear works best, both issued and paid for out of pocket.

Marines throughout the Corps recently commented on the gear they rely on to help them accomplish their missions.


The infantryman is the man on the ground fighting insurgents on the urban battlefields of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghanistan. His gear list is large, but what he requires is necessary.

Lance Cpl. Scott D. Wilson, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, and a veteran to the fighting in Iraq, explains what a grunt’s gear list should look like.

“What the Marine Corps issues us is good,” explained the 21-year-old from Elkhart, Ind., but there are other things that prove useful, he said.

His unit returned from Fallujah, Iraq in April, where they conducted numerous combat missions. Wilson and many of his comrades relied on gear they purchased to aid them in the operations.

Wilson said infantrymen would be aided by:

-Surefire Flashlights, which cost between $40 and $100 and mount on the M-16A4, are useful for clearing dark rooms because they allow the Marine to shine light in the same direction as he points his weapon.

-Three-point slings “are 10 times better than the regular sling because it allows the Marine to maneuver the weapon more freely,” Wilson said.

-Drop holsters, which cost between $40 and $80 and secure pistols better

than the standard issue holster.

-Aim point laser sights, which cost between $200 and $500 and mount atop the M-16A4 and promote “pinpoint accuracy.”

-Black Hawk and Tactical Assault Gear brand load barring vests, which

cost between $80 and $300 and have multiple magazine and grenade pouches. “They hold more ammo and fit better.”

-Personal knives “fit almost anywhere and are good for easy access, compared to the issued bayonet that’s long and bulky.”

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