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moweeser
07-07-2009, 10:33 PM
A question for you guys. My son is 20, joined marines right after highschool last may Paris Island in Aug. on to Pendleton for SOI and he has about 2 weeks or so left in thier recon course. Then to a PDS and some more training Im sure. At some point deployed some where. So the question is concerning the gear he will be issued packs and such will that gear not be adequate for the job does he need something else better If I knew for sure that "better" gear was available and could make a differance in his ability to do his duty I would be interested in making that happen. Any insite from you guys would be appreciated.

Have a nice day.

straps
07-08-2009, 01:44 AM
Welcome. As a young 0311 he will work with what he is issued and like it. The good news is that the gear they are issued is better than it has ever been--at least for figuring out what will work and where personal purchases might fill in the gaps. Until he gets that seasoning (maybe from a team leader/squad leader who is into gear, maybe not) he will do better to avoid attention that varying from what could be a tightly prescribed combat loadout could attract. The packs that a Marine could carry range from the Viet Nam era ALICE (units that use ALICE packs tend to be more tolerant of variation) to the more recent ILBE, which is a "good" ruck/assault pack combo that started out as a nice Arc'Terxy design and has subsequently been economized by a major manufacturer. It is a good but (in the assessment of the user base) far from great pack. A couple frequent posters on this board have provided MarPat digital camo for Kifaru to build packs ranging in size from Expresses to MMRs. Other Marines use Coyote, which seems to have kept them out of trouble with the chain of command. Far as the Kifaru line, a Coyote Marauder would likely be a good bet as an alternative to the ILBE Assault pack. For 2nd line gear (gear worn directly on the armor, and sometimes on the assault packs), Tactical Tailor offers most of its highly regarded line in Desert or Woodland MarPat. Their utility pouches are all utilitarian, but proven designs. What could benefit your boy as much as anything is a few pair of good socks (Smartwool PhD--comes in tan), a good folding knife (Benchmade/Spyderco) and maybe a good high-lumen LED flashlight (in order or price/performance Fenix, Inova or SureFire).

Caveat I'm an old Army puke so take my insights with a grain of salt, all I know is what I learned from the Marines I spent much of 2005 with in Ramadi. Hope this helps.

Another good source of info for you is lightfighter.net. The demographic there ranges from Blue Star Dads like yourself to the dudes your boy will be working with, who are in the fight (or still have some dust on their boots) and have good info on every facet of the struggles your son will face. Be sure you follow the "Introduction" instructions. More good info than you'll be able to absorb, a few laughs, and a blessed minimum of cyber-posing.

BuckarooMedic
07-08-2009, 05:29 PM
moweeser,

I'm in a course sittin' next to a guy who is Marine Recon. I'll ask him your question and get back to you.

I would generally concur with Straps though. As a private in the Marines, even in Recon, he's pretty much going to be told what he can use. When he goes operational, he will probably have quite a bit more lee-way. Straps hit it on the head; a really good folding knife (I highly recommend Spyderco, either one of their "Military" or "Salt" models), a good flashlight or head-lamp, maybe some better, USMC approved, boots and socks, etc. You know, things that will make life a little nicer.

Take care,

moweeser
07-08-2009, 08:28 PM
Thanks guys for the quick response and good info. A good knife and light I can do easy enough. Thanks again.

BuckarooMedic
07-15-2009, 09:00 AM
Talked with my Marine Corp buddy. He said invest in a good ruck. He used a non-issued ruck for both of his deployments and it was the best thing he did. He said that once one gets to the Recon unit it's pretty chill and no one will bust anyone out for non-issue gear. Take this with a grain of salt, because as with most military things it's totally situationally dependent.

ryanusmc
07-16-2009, 04:15 AM
Wait until he gets to his unit, force recon, recon battalion, or just a line unit. Then wait some more. I did (as an 0311) very little with force recon but a lot of training with SEALs and othe spec ops teams who could use anything they wanted. Never saw a Marine who used anything but the molle or alice (my favorite).

We do more with less