UPDATED 14 September 2009

Surviving Non-Linear Combat in Iraq/Afghanistan Gear List

A wounded U.S. marine is tended to by colleagues after an attack on their convoy in Fallujah, Iraq (news - web sites), in this image made from video Thursday, April 8, 2004. Two marines were wounded in the attack when their vehicle was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade. (AP Photo/U.S. Pool via APTN)


How the uncaring, rigid, and inflexibly linear U.S. Army and marines are sending our Soldiers unprepared for the Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB) in Iraq resulting in their preventable deaths and maimings is a travesty that has made us ill. The following is not an "ivory tower" nice-to-have list but a list we ourselves will buy if sent to Iraq in the upcoming weeks. Below are a collection of low or even ZERO COST Field eXpedients (Fxs) that you can do NOW to improve your combat effectiveness.

Field eXpedients VIDEOS: Save Thyself with Do-It-Yourself (FxDIY)


The Army should not have its Soldiers driving around in exposed and thinly armored trucks on the non-linear battlefield where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time. The minimum standard for ground vehicles should be a 11-ton M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicle with extra anti-RPG armor all around, underbelly countermine armor and gunshields to face outward with weapon ready to return fire. Details:

Thousands of "vanilla" M113 Gavins are in combat in Iraq now, and have been on duty ever since we invaded!


The Army has thousands of M113 Gavins to do a complete transformation to prevail in non-linear combats--to include thousands ALREADY IN COMBAT IN IRAQ---but the Army's current officialdom is criminally negligent and has other agendas and fantasies disconnected with reality like getting billions from Congress to buy handfuls of wheeled vehicles with computer mental gadgets to boost their egos of what great war "futurists" they think they are and to please defense contractors who will hire them after they retire to get fat paychecks. None of their sons/daughters are getting killed/maimed in Iraq. They want to get by the crisis in Iraq with the bare minimum of reorganization into better armored tracked vehicles so after the war they can go back to their light infantry wheeled truck narcissism with a "Jessica Lynch" underclass driving them their supplies in unarmored, unarmed trucks so they can act like kings.

The Rhodesians, South Africans* and Israelis beat the command detonated landmine. The key is to AVOID the blast by cross-country mobility and/or v-hull shaping to vent the blast effects. Details:


A tracked AFV is 28% more space/weight efficient than a wheeled truck like the Stryker...we can ill afford to squander this potential armor protection away just because some light infantry narcissist trucktards want to look different and "sexier" than the "heavy" parts of our Army. A light tracked M113A3+ Gavin at 10.5 tons empty (to be exact) plus add-on armor is far more cross-country mobile and protective than a road-bound, 20-ton Stryker truck because the Stryker's weight ISN'T ARMOR PROTECTION ITS COVERING OVER AIR VIA A LARGER BOX SITTING ON TOP OF WHEELS, SUSPENSION, STEERING AND DRIVETRAIN. Its not about the QUANTITY of a vehicle's weight its about its QUALITY--its composition, how dense and well shaped it is. A Gavin track hull is 1.5 to 1.75 inches thick; the Stryker truck hull is only 1/2 inch thin and gets lots of band-aids in the form of ceramic tiles and the bird cage. Start off with the better tracked "cake" before putting add-on armor "icing" and you get more protection that starting off with a bloated but thin metal box rolling on weak wheeled suspension and air-filled tires.

Furthermore, wheeled trucks are road-bound damning them to constant road ambush and cannot go cross-country at will to avoid ambushes in the first place. When hit, air-filled rubber tires burn, immobilizing and setting the rest of the vehicle on fire.

2. "IED" is a BS term to hide the fact that the Army/marines should have been ready for the non-linear battlefield (NLB) but were not because they are off in their own little Radio Shack worlds of mental gadget "situational awareness" and garrison routine doing vanity sports pt in t-shirts, shorts and running shoes and brain-dead time-wasting instead of studying, THINKING and working tangibly on their professed profession.

3. The Pentagon/Army thinks it can pick/chose where/when it fights when enemy has a "vote"; this is not WW2 in high-tech form with us flooding areas with our troops and pushing the enemy to only our front so we can have a Jessica Lynch underclass driving around in unarmored, unarmed support trucks. The car/truck and roadside bomb has been in use for years in the middle east (remember the marine barracks being blown up in 1983?) and obvious to anyone studying the military profession, which the Pentagon/Army/marines have not been doing as they mow lawns, conduct parade ceremonies and push paperwork. What's inexcusable is the Army budget for the coming year BUYS MORE WHEELED TRUCKS WHEN CLEARLY THEY ARE OBSOLETE ON THE NLB. Removing all the grotesque electronic gadgetry programs, what durable goods are we buying?

10 x Bell Model 407 Jet LongRanger helicopters ($70 million) TARGETS
23 x "F" model CH-47 helicopters ($469 million) TARGETS
41 x BlackHawk helicopters ($510 million) TARGETS
28 x Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) ($108 million) TARGETS
3, 196 x Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) trucks TARGETS
2, 065 x High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) 360 up-armored vehicles and 1,705 heavy-chassis HMMWV trucks. TARGETS
240 x Stryker trucks TARGETS

More cannon-fodder platforms for the enemy to incinerate. This is BS from an Army brass that doesn't want to FIGHT and WIN, just perpetuate the BS status quo. No wonder why the Army is never combat-ready and is getting its ass kicked in Iraq.

The only sensible thing in the budget is the Armor Systems Modernization, $3.1 billion a lot of which is 399 BS fuel-hog, inefficient turbine engines for M1 Abrams heavy tanks we don't need.

The STORY HERE IS THE UNITED STATES MILITARY'S GROUND FORCES need to get EVERYONE out of trucks and into multiple-armor layered, v-hull shaped to deflect blasts, compact, cross-country mobile tracks--to include resupply versions if we want to survive and prevail on the NLB. Like the Rhodesians/South Africans* and IDF has had to do. There can no longer be a Jessica Lynch "support" underclass--everybody fights and everybody works" must be our ethos. The Pentagon still doesn't want to admit that the world is not "Radio Shack" mental gadgetry but is dominated by physical, HIGH EXPLOSIVES. Iraq should have made them change their outlook on war, and they are still persisting in their RMA fantasies at the cost of our troop's lives and limbs.

* Caveat 1: the Rhodesians/South Africans could get away with V-hull shaped wheeled trucks because they live in firm soil arid areas; the U.S. Army does not have that as an option; we have to be able to fight anywhere in the world to include where wheels can't go like swamps, mud, marshes, rocks, urban rubble riddled areas etc. so we need v-hulled tracks not more flat-bottom, flimsy Humvee/Stryker/FMTV wheeled trucks.

1. Get the right TRACKED Armored fighting vehicle for mobility in Iraq

Up-armored M113A3+ "Super Gavin" in Iraq

PLAN A: Get M113 Gavins and Save your own life: the Army won't

The Army has THOUSANDS of M113 Gavin tracks sitting in storage that could be used as non-linear warfare vehicles and the ARMY REFUSES TO SUPPLY THESE EN MASSE TO REPLACE TRUCKS IN IRAQ TO DRAMATICALLY REVERSE THE SITUATION IN IRAQ.

Request war-tock/in-storage M113A3 or M113A2 Gavin light tracked AFVs: this is your own life. Don't be a weak co-dependant afraid of "making waves". If you are DEAD you will not have an Army "career", you'll be DEAD. Use the following National Stock Numbers (NSNs) and request through your chain of command these life-saving vehicles:

M113A2: 2350-01-068-4077
M113A3: 2350-01-219-7577

The M113A3 Gavin is the better vehicle with spall liners, external fuel tanks and a much more powerful engine. However, the as-is M113A2 Gavin is far more protective and mobile than the up-armored HMMWV truck will ever be.

Its the Army's fault because our senior leaders are anti-tracked vehicle afflicted with the wheels 'n computer sickness I described earlier. Below is a form letter we've written to help several Soldiers run up through the chain of command pleading for M113 Gavins which lists the specific locations of M113s in CENTCOM, other war stocks and where they are in storage in CONUS. (e-mail us for these facts).

Sample Letter to your Chain of Command (where M113s are in CENTCOM etc.)



SUBJECT: Immediate M113 vehicle plus-ups for xxxxxxx deployment to Iraq


1. I request ____ x M113 light tracked armored fighting vehicles [M113A2: NSN 2350-01-068-4077 or M113A3: NSN 2350-01-219-7577] and ____ x M2 .50 caliber heavy machine guns be supplied to my unit in addition to our existing equipment in light of our new mission as provisional infantry. These equipments are in Army war-stocks and I request in writing an answer to this request. If FORSCOM receives this request I am confident it will be supplied to my men to accomplish the mission and save lives. The following explains why this additional equipment is needed.

2. Why is our Army accepting daily casualties in Iraq, Soldiers in Arlington Cemetary and walking around Walter Reed missing limbs when we have thousands of 11-ton M113 thick-skinned, tracked armored vehicles sitting in storage that could prevent these deaths and maimings? We have strong national backing behind the troops, but we're slowly pissing away national will (center of gravity) to casualties we didn't have to sustain. The current thinking for remedying casualties is to don more heavy gear, operate in larger units, buy more up-armored HMMWVs, put Stryker into the fray and slap make-shift armor kits again on vulnerable rubber-tired vehicles. EXPENSIVE, slow-to-field, doesn't protect the majority of our troops. NOT A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS. The solution for the non-linear battlefield where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time is not more Balkan-style "presence patrols" in inadequately or unprotected HMMWVs/Stryker wheeled vehicles. We are taking dozens of casualties simply "driving to contact". Even up-armor HMMWVs cannot sustain an RPG. What can? Is cheap? What'll work---Now?

M113 Gavins---tracked armored fighting vehicles.

3. Our Army has thousands of 1.5" to 1.75" thick-skinned, 11-ton, metal road wheels, steel-tracked M113A3s are widely availability in war stocks to include CENTCOM and older M113A2s are unused storage here in CONUS (attached excel spreadsheet) and can be made land mine/RPG resistant. This information is compelling and should be forwarded with our request to FORSCOM.

M113s in war stocks (Army Prepositioned Sets)

[M113 Gavins in war stock data write to us if you are a Soldier who needs it: itsg@hotmail.com]

4. Cost to to add underbelly and RPG protection to M113 is small; less than $78,000. Much of this add-on armor is already in the supply system.

M113 Gavin RPG resistant applique' armor

Rafael has Passive and Reactive armor for the M113



M113 Gavin underbelly armor

Belly Armor Kit / Cage No. 80212, P/N 4240277

Chapter III: Growth of U.S. Armored Forces in Vietnam www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/Vietnam/mounted/chapter3.htm

"To reduce mine damage to M113's, "belly armor" kits arrived in 1969. When this supplemental armor was applied to M113's and Sheridans, it protected them from mine blast rupture, saved many lives, and gave the crews added confidence" M113 Gavin Gunshields

NSNs Track Commander's Cupola Shield Kit, Machine Gun / 2510-00-121-8990 Shield, Protective / 2510-01-006-4587

TC's cupola gunshields + side gunshields for the two troop hatch MGs

The NSN number for the complete Gun Shield Kit including the cargo hatch side shields is NSN 2590-00-121-8990. AMDF price is $11,708.00. Check the Army supply system for availability(?) If the "system" doesn't have the shields (likely) the DSC bids for someone to make them like they did in 1999: 25 - SOL:SHIELD KIT, MACHINE GUN (10/29/99) http://www.fbodaily.com/cbd/archive/1999/10(October)/29-Oct-1999/25sol001.htm COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY ISSUE OF OCTOBER 29,1999 PSA#2465 Defense Supply Center Columbus, PO Box 16595, DSCC-PBAB, Columbus, OH 43216-6595 25 -- SHIELD KIT, MACHINE GUN SOL SP075000R2737 DUE 121799 POC For Information Only, Point of Contact -- Carol Black Phone:614-692-1346 Fax: 614-692-1577 NSN: 2590-00-121-8990, YPC99201000244. Shield Kit, Machine Gun. Made in accordance with Army drawing 11660854 and all current related data. Full and open competition applies. Quantity is 52 each to be delivered within 150 days after date of award to Richmond, Va. All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered. See note(s) 12 and 26. Copies of this solicitation are available at the address above or by faxing 614-692-2262 or e-mailing: incoord @ dscc.dla.mil and will not be available until 15 days after this notice is published in the CBD. Requests should include the company name, address and solicitation number(s). The small business size standard is 750 employees. Technical drawings/bid sets are available from DSCC-VTCD via one of the following medias: internet at http://abiweb.disc.dla.mil; facsimile at 614-692-2344; e-mail at drawings @ dscc.dla.mil or by mail at Defense Supply Center Columbus, ATTN: DSCC-VTCD, P O Box 3990, Columbus, OH. 43216-5000. Requests should include theRFP number, opening/closing date, NSN, Purchase Request number (e.g. YPC), Buyer's name and your complete name and address. FEDERAL, MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL SPECIFICATIONS CANNOT BE PROVIDED BY DSCC. Proposed procurement contains a 100% option for increase quantities. This is an unrestricted acquisition. While price may be a significant factor in the evaluation of offers, the final award decision will be based upon a combination of price, delivery, past performance and other evaluation factors as described in the solicitation. Estimated issue date is 18 Nov 99. Posted 10/27/99 (W-SN395719). (0300) Loren Data Corp. http://www.ld.com (SYN# 0194 19991029\25-0001.SOL) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 25 - Vehicular Equipment Components Index Page However if you don't want to waste months playing with DSC because your men are getting shot at in places like Iraq/Afghanistan, United Defense, the maker of the M113 Gavin can deliver 44 kits in 20-22 weeks. Their price would be around $8,000 per kit, saving you about 4K per kit. Understand that cost does not come into play when we are talking about the safety of our troops but $176,000 buys a hell of a lot of beans and bullets...or better yet more gunshields!

POC: Mr. Tom Reuter
United Defense
M113 Field Service & Spares
(800) 235-0015 Ext: 825
cell @ 256-453-7049

5. M113s are simple to operate and maintain. You could train a Soldier in a week quite well. You don't have 1 DA or civilian contractor per company running around like in SBCTs. The class IX is already in our supply system. The M113 is a multi-purpose vehicle: CSS, INF, ENG, MED. If you want to understand urban ops with a permissive and non-permissive environment blurring, and how to operate in it, look at Israel which operates thousands of up-armored M113s and doesn't lose a man a day in combat operations like we are in Iraq. Things Israelis know:

a. Tracked "Tanks rule"!
b. Tanks rule only when working well with infantry
c. Helicopters are great killers: but fly high, fly irregular patterns to avoid shoot-downs. The Longbow is great for precision interdiction. Paint them light tan or gray so they are harder to detect, track and hit during the day time.
d. HUMINT and Civil Affairs "Hearts 'n Minds" are decisive.
e. Snipers are far more crucial than home station training, manning, employment lend them to be
f. Muslim culture: if it looks bad ass- it is bad ass! Current enemy thinking: "Attack it if it has wheels, if it has tracks, leave it alone, it will shoot back and kill you"
g. That ugly, primitive, simple tracked IDF M113 still is ubiquitious and highly successful: it's heavily armored, it dismounts SOF and infantry, engineers to achieve decisive effects

Are we willing to lose more men than the Beirut barracks to IEDs and RPGs because our leaders are too worried about careers or the funding of Stryker to ask the hard questions of a caring Combat Commander: Why can't I have M113s? They are sitting in storage awaiting a use. Would we rather have me and my men die than weld or strap plates to the side of my HMMWV or wait for expensive and inadequate kits? A Ford Explorer SUV has better armor!

SSG Paul Johnson, 1-505 was KIA in Iraq from an IED.

He didn't die right away.

He died after a few minutes from burns. His HMMWV was blasted and burned. An up-armored M113 would have kept rolling and he'd be alive today.

6. HQDA PAO spokesman, Major Tallman recently stated in a DEFENSE WEEK article "that no ground commander has requested M113s". This is not accurate,

WE and many others ARE REQUESTING more M113s to fully equip our Soldiers with armored mobility and a means to aggressively fight back behind gunshields. Our men are going into harm's way and do not need to be put off with bureaucratic excuses about "MTOEs" and "TRADOC procedures"; we need the tools we require to accomplish the mission and get our men home alive and well.

If combat commanders knew M113s were available even more would request them. However, there is no reason why upgraded M113s couldn't be supplied immediately to us as a "test case" that could be expanded to be applied to the rest of the Army.

7. Iraqi Freedom Key Facts to Date

* 250 Soldiers killed by RPGs and IEDs in unarmored 3-ton HMMWV, 10-ton FMTV and thin-skinned 20-ton Stryker trucks or on foot that could have been saved had they been in up-armored M113s

* 6,000 Soldiers wounded and maimed from all types of attacks, specific causes not known, but at same ratio as KIAs would likely mean 1000 Soldiers could have been saved disfigurement had they been in up-armored M113s

* Rebuilding up-armored but still thin-skinned 4+ ton HMMWVs will require two years which at current casualty rates will mean 250 more dead and 500 more wounded by next June's planned major troop reductions

* Up-armored HMMWVs severely stressed by weight their engine and suspension systems are not designed to handle will be even more road-restricted than current HMMWVs and will incur drastically higher operations and maintenance costs negating any desired cost advantages

* M113A3 tracks and engines can easily accept the extra armor/gunshield weights necessary to attain land mine/IED and RPG protection without excessive O & M costs

* Enemy is not targeting up-armored HMMWVs with weapons mounts, it's not accurate to assume up-armoring will protect our Soldiers when we know vehicle is too light to not be tossed into air by land mines/IEDs and cannot be armored to protect against RPGs

* If we up-armor all our HMMWV trucks at a cost of $250,000 each, the enemy will be forced to discover that they are NOT adequately landmine/IED and RPG protected and incur more friendly casualties despite 2 years and $239 million dollars. Enemy has already targeted armored HMMWV's vulnerable windows and killed two Soldiers in a recent bomb attack.

* Up-armoring M113s will cost just $78,000 per vehicle and make them far more protected from land mines/IEDs and resistant to RPGs than any existing Army wheeled vehicle and this can be done in a matter of weeks. It takes TWO armored HMMWVs to move 1 9-man rifle squad, so actual cost is $500,000.



6-ton M1114 UPH $250,000

Vulnerable Windshield
4 windows at shoulder level easy to throw grenades/bombs into
4 doors at shoulder level easy to throw grenades/bombs into
4 air-filled rubber tires that burn
Only 2 tons maximum armor, not everywhere
Only front/rear gunshield for top gunner
Entire vehicle can be overturned by a mob

11-ton M113 Gavin $78,000

No Windshield
No windows
No doors (1 solid metal door in rear ramp not necessary to enter/exit vehicle)
No air-filled rubber tires that burn
Rolls on metal road wheels, steel tracks with rubber pads
4 tons of armor possible IN ADDITION TO TROOPS/MISSION GEAR
Gunshields for everyone ready to fight
Mobs hard-pressed to turn over
Bomb resistant
RPG resistant


Kevlar spall liners inside M113A3 Gavins


1.5 inch thick aluminum alloy armor ALL AROUND. Front is 1.75 inches thick.


Peel 'n stick Aztik ceramic tiles that can stop .50 caliber bullets at 3000 FPS = 800 pounds


Spaced or Explosive Reactive Armor to defeat RPGs/ATGMs = 2,000 pounds


Troop stow racks that can pre-detonate RPGs = 200 pounds


Gunshields for troops and TC


Sandbags 32 pounds per bag

LAV-III/Stryker cannot afford 5,000 pounds of bird cage and its ceramic tiles are defective. Thin 1/2 inch steel cannot accept recoil forces of ERA. 8 rubber tires burn easily. No gunshields. At best 3 layers of protection.

M113 Gavins can have 7 layers of protection rlling on far sturdier metal roadwheels/steel tracks. Reason is tracks are 28% more space/weight efficient than wheels by DESIGN. Its counter-intuitive, but true. Tracks can have more layers of armor than wheeled vehicles.

* The up-armored M113s are far more cross-country mobile than any wheeled vehicle to fully traverse the entire desert-urban terrain of Iraq to render more effective pre-emptive convoy security clearing of land mines/IEDs and small-arms/RPG ambushes

* M113s have a lower center-of-gravity than Army wheeled vehicles. M113s can swim and at least float if they should drive into an Iraqi river or marsh saving Soldier lives now being lost in roll-overs.

8. There may be built-in resistance to upgrading M113s within those that prescribe to the former CSA's wheeled vision but their private agendas should not matter when we can and should save lives and limbs with upgraded or even as-is M113s. It would be highly embarrassing to the Army that Soldiers were killed/maimed just because a mere ______ more M113 armored vehicles were denied a commander headed for combat.

PREVENTABLE CASUALTIES: Iraqi Coalition Deaths by Cause using imperfectly revealed data (rough work in progress)

789 confirmed coalition deaths, 686 Americans in the Iraqi war as of April 15th, 2004

What CENTCOM admits: 686 U.S. dead, 2,132 wounded and did not return to duty



Small Arms Fire/Grenades 200 deaths/789 = 25.34% of all deaths or 1/4th of all deaths

Land Mines/Improvised Explosive Devices 142 deaths/789 = 18% of all deaths or about 1/5th of all deaths

Vehicular and other Accidents: 109 deaths out of 789 = 13.81% or 1/8th

Rocket-Propelled Grenades: 48 deaths/789 = 6.08% or less than 1/10th of all deaths

Mortars/Large rocket bombardments: 25 deaths out of 789 = 3.16% or 1/33 of all deaths

1/5th of all our dead is by Land mines/IEDs and RPG attacks...another 1/4th killed by small arms fire, hand grenades, mortars and large rockets....over 50% of all our war dead. We must ask some hard questions:

1. How many would be alive today if instead of driving around in unarmored HMMWV and FMTV trucks they were in M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs with gunshields, belly armor, peel 'n stick composite tiles, spaced applique' armor?

2. How many would be alive today if they properly sandbagged their albeit inadequate wheeled vehicles?

ANSWER: Potentially 130 people alive instead of dead from land mines/IEDs. Another 48 from RPGs if they had been in M113 Gavins with RPG resistant applique' armor.

Another 2 alive if their M113s had belly armor.

Plus a Soldier put in for the Congressional Medal of Honor might be a living hero had he been behind a modern TC's gunshield like the IDF uses on his M113 Gavin.

Basically 189 people would be alive today if we had upgraded M113s and used them more extensively than HMMWVs, FMTVs and other unarmored trucks in Iraq. But during the 4 years of the General Shinseki era (1990-2003) we ignored the entire M113 Gavin fleet and did not up-armor them, install belly armor or gunshields etc even though cost estimates are just $78,000 per vehicle to make them RPG and highly bomb-resistant. Instead, we wasted $9 BILLION on 600 inferior Stryker trucks at $3.3 million each which haven't done anything in Iraq; the hard fighting was and is being done by some well-equipped troops using M113s, M2/M3s and M1s (what the Shinsekiites used to call the "legacy" force) but the majority of our 134,000 troops in Iraq struggle on foot and in 10,000 HMMWV trucks at a horrible human cost.

3. 225 Soldiers have been killed by small arms fire, grenades, rockets and mortar attacks while on foot or in un or poorly armored vehicles, 1/4 of all the dead.

How many of them would be alive today had we upgraded the thousands of war-stock M113 Gavins and supplied them to use to protect themselves from garden-variety AKM bullets?

4. How many of them did not have rifle-caliber Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) on because we squandered billions on Stryker armored cars?

5. How about a small gunshield on the end of their individual weapons?


ANSWER: Adding these 225 potential lives saved, 414 people could have been saved and alive heroes today had we been better prepared for the non-linear battlefield---52.47% or over HALF OF OUR WAR DEAD COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED.

6. How many wounded and maimed could have been avoided?

ANSWER: potentially thousands, we don't have the specifics on how all our wounded/maimed were injured.

7. How many of the 109 people who have died in vehicle and other accidents could have lived had they gotten adequate sleep if we were in a more realistic adult military that actually discovers lessons and learns from them instead of the current dumb macho PC yes-man culture where everyone is afraid to tell the emperor he is naked?


ANSWER: 13.81% or another 1/8th of all our war dead. Add that in to the preventable deaths above and you have 523 lives that could have been saved or about 70% of all our war dead.

9. Upgraded M113s would have a "home" in our Army after Iraq for non-linear war

The Stryker armored car purchase is very expensive at $3 million per vehicle and only affects 5 brigades out of 33 in the active Army. If a larger number of M113s were upgraded to get the majority of our troops out of trucks in Iraq, there is an easy "home" for them in the current/future force post-Iraq: supply them to the Delta Weapons Companies and Scout platoons in our light/heavy Divisions who now use inadequate HMMWV trucks for anti-tank and security missions. M113s are fully C-130 air-transportable, combat-loaded to include parachute air-drop. Furthermore, Light Sapper Combat Engineer units with HMMWV trucks transformed to upgraded M113s would be able for the first time to breach under armor using rocket line clearing charges and greater safety. Their brethren, Heavy Division Sappers use old M113s now and need upgraded M113s, too. These M113s could be fitted with hybrid-electric drives, band tracks and the full C4I digital networking features now only resident in the 4th ID and a handful of Stryker wheeled brigades, transforming the rest of our Army to "Future Combat System" capabilities.

10. Specific Requirements


11. POC for this memorandum is (xxx) xxx-xxxx

unit XXXX



There are 1, 775 Gavins in combat in Iraq now. Time is of the essence. The Army over the years has refused to attach the spaced armor they are supposed to have. We do not have to wait any longer! There are 1, 600 old M2A0 Bradley fighting vehicles (BFVs) here in the U.S. that have thin laminate armor skirts that are of no use to them since these beat up and rotting BFVs need to be completely refurbished and fitted with thicker skirts to hold explosive reactive armor (ERA) tiles since the skirts are bolted directly to the BFV hull without separation to pre-detonate RPGs. These old BFV skirts sitting at Red River Arsenal and on decaying BFVs in other locations can be cut and fitted to Gavins for only the cost of installation. These "A0" kits can be sent forward to Iraq for Soldiers to attach to their Gavins themselves. The A0 armor kits can remain in Iraq when units rotate out to help the incoming units prevail in combat.

1. To get A0 armor kits for your Gavins, have your unit send up an Operational Needs Statement (ONS) through your chain-of-command to get the BFV skirts sret aside.

2. Contact UDLP (now known as BAE), maker of the mighty M113 Gavin and alert them of your combat need:

BAE (formerly UDLP) Larry Clark (703) 312-6127

The A0 kit also includes extra armor plate for the front glacis of the Gavin!

Note the separation for the skirt to act as a "strike face" for incoming enemy fires. Most M113 Gavins come with mounting provision bolt attachment holes or they can be added easily.

Notice how the BFV skirt is cut by high-pressure water cutters to fit the compact M113 Gavin.

Notice the extra front armor plate attached to the Gavin's front.


Realizing the Army may not provide you the correct light tracked AFV for Iraq, the next best action is to NOT USE small 3-ton HMMWV trucks at all. Use only 11-ton FMTV type trucks and heavily sandbag them like the Rhodesians/South Africans learned not to drive small land rovers (See "Taming the Land Mine" by Peter Schiff). The Army being a blind obedience and stupid outfit might place you in a situation where you have to drive in an unarmored HMMWV truck. I wouldn't. I would refuse, if you are DEAD nothing follows. If you are such a weak, co-dependant that you will not stickup for your own life, who will? What are they going to do to you? Send you to Iraq? You are already there. Even if you are in a heavier FMTV truck you will need lots of make-shift protection to survive a command detonated landmine (IED) going off, RPG and small-arms fire hits. FM 55-30 Appendix O gives directions how to sandbag and steel plate harden trucks.

Reading "Taming the Land Mine" by Peter Schiff, you realize Rhodesia/South Africa have already experienced how land mines can devestate small utility trucks like Land Rovers and HMMWVs. Their first response was to STOP DRIVING SMALL TRUCKS and use only larger trucks that can be heavily sand-bagged until they could develop V hull shaped armored vehicles. We should do the same in Iraq until up-armored M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs can be delivered:

a. Park and DO NOT DRIVE any unarmored HMMWV or civilian truck/car; do not offer enemy a target to attack. Only use HMMWVs that are gun trucks. If you have no other vehicles but HMMWVs there are hardening suggestions below, but frankly ALL HMMWVs should be parked. Even the so-called "up-armored HMMWVs" fail to protect our Soldiers. Details:





b. Close cab doors on FMTV trucks and create sandbag/MRE case filled with dirt/sand wall. Open top ring cover even if you don't have machine gun ring mount and post a Soldier with a light, medium or heavy machine gun to provide 360 security and immediate return fire capabilities. Even if its just a Soldier with a M16 rifle/M4 carbine have EVERY FMTV truck showing an armed sentry in the cab. Enter/exit from this top circular opening out the back truck bed. When driving under an overpass, throw old flak jackets around the circle cover over the hole until you pass the danger area. Place sandbags around the fuel tank. Place watercans and sandbags on floor. The water will dissipate the heat and shock wave of an explosion as the Rhodesians/South Africans found out. They suggest putting water in the tires via a schrade valve.

EVERY VEHICLE IN EVERY CONVOY WITH AN OBVIOUS ARMED SENTRY. Let enemy know we will fight back from EVERY vehicle.

c. Lead FMTV truck does not carry troops or cargo; just driver and sentry/gunner. Truck bed is full of dirt to absorb blast. Dirt can also be used to put out tires on fire to keep level of lawlessness down.

d. Paint ALL vehicles TAN, to include the absurd dark green helicopters that are now regularly shot down because they are easy to spot, track and fire at during the blue-sky day time. CARC Tan paint can be brushed on if you wear protective clothing/respirator: Tan 686 33446 NSN 8010-01-276-3638 1 Qt Can


If we were doing NLB transportation right everyone would be in an up-armored M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicle.

Since we are not, and many of our people are dying and getting maimed because they are not fighting from behind a thick armored hull rolling on metal roadwheels and tracks with rubber pads, they have to wear body armor and hope for the best. One way to arm HMMWV trucks is to bolt a M197/M6 pedestal mount to the truck bed. However, this exposes the legs and lower torso, face, neck, arms of the gunner employing a weapon from this pedestal. He will also likely be thrown from the vehicle in a blast.

The least we can do for these heroic Soldiers is fully protect their bodies by supplying them an EOD bomb suit and a small gunshield.

Gunshield for gunner operating weapon mount on top or the stand alone pedestal

M113A3 type gunshield could be retrofitted to HMMWVs

We have known since the 1963 battle of Ap Bac that gunners exposed torso out firing weapons from vehicles are prime enemy targets; if they can be stopped they can win. We put shields around the M551 Sheridan light tank to form a "crows nest" why not for the HMMWV and FMTV? The new MP up-armored HMMWV web page shows a gun shield fitted but doesn't mention it in the text. ????? Or is this yet another example of peacetime non-chalance? The O'Gara and Hess web page shows the U.S. Army M1114 Up-Armored HMMWV with only the rear hatch armored to protect the gunner's back. The U.S. Air Force's M1116 Up-Armored HMMWV has a completely armored gun position depicted below.

We have also learned that this HMMWV gunshield can also be fitted to the M197/M6 pedestal mount:

HMMWV Gunner Shields w/LVOSS, NSN: 2510-01-498-4996 PN: 57K4470

The NSN above is for the .50 cal M2 HMG gunshields.

Military Sales - John Mayles
Direct Line: (513) 881-9899
e-mail: jmayles@ogara-hess.com

O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt
9113 Le Saint Drive
Fairfield, Ohio 45014
(513) 881-9800
(800) 697-0307
fax: (513) 874-2558

Obviously it will be extremely hot in this suit in Iraq. So do not wear the full covered helmet for air to circulate and wear a camel-bak to constantly drink water and Brigade Quartermasters COOL AID micro-cooling vest underneath (see details at bottom of this web page).

Is this less than ideal?


Is this an outrage?


You get what you pay for.

You chose to be a weak, co-dependant in the Army and to not fight for your own life and the lives of your men by not insisting M113 Gavin light TAFVs were supplied to you. When you are willing to FIGHT for the right vehicles for the mission and your men then you will not be forced to do absurd measures like turning men into armored turtles because they have no armored vehicle to ride in while thousands sit in storage. We could do with a hell of a lot less chest-beating about our physical courage in combat with inadequate equipment and in its place have a lot more MORAL COURAGE to get the right gear/vehicles so the parameters our men fight under set them up for victory not death and maimings. But being in the All Volunteer Force U.S. military is all about ego and "sucking up" to others and wanting them to "respect" us; we need the approval of our masters so our comfortable middle class pay and benefits keep coming in and our self-worth to remain propped up by lemming behavior.

Desperation Armoring for Light Infantry in Iraq

"There's a good picture of the item if you go to the site. However it won't make up for a lack of tracks and gunshields. Where are the bullseyes???"

--Emery Nelson

from the April 28, 2004 edition -

Why U.S. troops have new shoulder pads

A new combat trauma registry that tracks casualty patterns in Iraq may spur development of new gear.

By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

FALLUJAH, IRAQ - For military medics, the lesson that matters most from Lt. Jeff Copeland's U.S. marine convoy is not that it was ambushed three times by Iraqi insurgents on a single run.

The key point for them: How and where were the two U.S. casualties wounded?

As U.S. troops struggle with ongoing violence, a newly established U.S. Navy Combat Trauma Registry is charting casualty patterns in hopes of improving troop protection. The number of U.S. dead in April has reached 122, with nearly 900 troops wounded.

Already, specific dangers for U.S. forces - roadside bombs and urban warfare - are prompting swift innovations.

The military, for example, has rush ordered thousands of Kevlar shoulder guards and blastproof sunglasses. The reason? Ask Lieutenant Copeland, a U.S. Navy combat medic officer from Gainesville, Fla., whose first taste of combat came two weeks ago. Two of his marines took shoulder injuries from bullets and shrapnel. "He's done, he's gone home - he can't shoot," Copeland says of one case. New Kevlar shoulder guards might have protected the marine and kept him on the battlefront.

Monday, Fallujah remained relatively calm as marines prepared for joint patrols with Iraqi forces later this week. But in Najaf, U.S. forces killed 43 Shiite militiamen in a gun battle and destroyed an antiaircraft system belonging to the insurgents. Spanish peacekeeping troops also completed their withdrawal from positions in Najaf and Diwaniya.

At Camp Fallujah, seven miles east of the city, new forms arrived this week that will allow surgeons to log details of injuries and answer questions about their cause, and armor used.

Using a prototype form until now, U.S. Navy medical corpsmen at the Bravo Surgical Company here have detailed more than 190 trauma cases.

The new forms can be filled out on computer; some medical officers nearer the front line will hold voice recorders. "All we have is this huge database from Vietnam that ... needs updating," says U.S. Navy Capt. Eric McDonald, chief surgeon for the 1st marine expeditionary force. "We're trying to answer those questions - which glasses are better, which armor, which vehicle is better - in a scientific way."

There has been close cooperation between the U.S. Army and the Navy, which traditionally provides medical support for the marines. "If you watch Roman Legion movies, that is where we are getting to," says Navy Capt. John Siefert, a doctor from San Diego, Calif., referring to Kevlar shoulder guards and lower skirts on flak vests.

"I've seen mockups of the future warrior, and they look like [Star Wars] storm troopers," says Cmdr. Ben Ernst, medical director of the unit, from Chillicothe, Missouri.

Trauma centers in U.S. hospitals today are a direct outgrowth of Army medics coping with combat trauma in Vietnam. Improvements since that era - including forward surgical teams much closer to front-line action - have trimmed front-line death rates.

In the 1991 Gulf War, ceramic armor plates were used only by Special Forces; today they are standard issue.

Parallel to the budding Navy effort, the Army has been pursuing the first stages of its own trauma registry. The birth of key innovations in Iraq, in fact, began over the winter, when the Army's 82nd Airborne controlled this area.

It was Lt. Col. Kelly Bal, an orthopedic surgeon with the Army's 82nd Airborne, who first detected the pattern of wounds to exposed shoulders.

Colonel Bal jerry-rigged a Kevlar groin protector from a typical armored vest to fit around the upper arm, says McDonald. A prototype saved a Soldier. The Army quickly bought 6,000, some 2,000 of which are now being used by marines. The marines have ordered 25,000 more shoulder protectors.

A similar story surrounds the wide use of Wiley-X sunglasses with ballistic lenses and padded frames, and toughened goggles - a direct result of blast wounds to the eyes from IEDs.

"Ideally, we would travel in hermetically sealed bubbles ... but we don't drape ourselves in this stuff [because] everything you add is a benefit, and has a cost," says McDonald. Shoulder protectors may hamper a marksman and add a heat burden. Some ballistic glasses tend to fog in heat.

Experts are also working on a better earplug that permits frequencies like voices while protecting against the noise of a nearby grenade blast. Surgeons here also expect more coverage of neck and lower abdomen areas. "The future is mining that database," says McDonald, "to find the places where benefits [of new measures] outweigh risks."


Got Camo? Tired of being a Target?

2. Body Camouflage--Army ACUPAT camouflage flunks in combat--Multi-Cam to the Rescue

Above is how the multicam TRU should be sewn up with khaki name and organization tapes and rank to appear as "kosher" as possible to 1SGs and so the Soldier is seen not as a PMC contractor/mercenary. What should matter most is being CAMOUFLAGED and hard to hit. Art Criss of Commandos in Columbus, Georgia has made multicam ACU-style patrol caps in lightweight, multicam rip-stop to match the MC ACU top and bottoms. An official Army ACU patrol cap maker, SEKRI has made them in multicam (606) 528-7490 or mark.soles@sekri.org.

Pictures are below.


Authentic Rip-Stop MC Patrol Cap $15

EXCLUSIVE! Authentic Rip-Stop Multi-Cam U.S. Army Patrol Cap on eBay:


BEWARE! DO NOT buy the non-rip-stop multicam Propper patrol caps from places like VT Barre Army Surplus! They are not made of the same lightweight, rip-stop material of your MC ACUs and will stick out like a sore thumb!

Multicam (MC) Emergency Camouflage for the Deploying Soldier


Why multicam works best in all environments, mix/match with desert camo accessories, they work well together

MC Patrol Cap $15

EXCLUSIVE! Authentic Rip-Stop Multi-Cam U.S. Army Patrol Cap on eBay:



MC Helmet cover $14
MC TRU shirt $55
Patches/Sewing to match ACU style $20
MC TRU pants $55
MC knee pads $27
MC IBA cover $440
MC patrol cap $6 (when available) and/or boonie hat $16


Min $188 (you'll have IBA ACU cover torso)
Max $629 completely covered in multicam


Crye Precision sells the following grades of fabric:

330 Denier Cordura
500 Denier Cordura
725 Denier Cordura (currently out)
1000 Denier Cordura (currently out)
MULTICAM HT NYCO (Think MCCUU Trouser Fabric - currently out)
MULTICAM LT NYCO (Think MCCUU Jacket Fabric)
MULTICAM NYCO Ripstop (Think ACU Uniform material)

In addition; the CB buckles and hardware can be purchased through another retailer, The Supply Captain (www.supplycaptain.com); all I'd need would be someone with some modest skill with a heavy dury sewing machine and some heavy duty threading and we'd be in business.

(Sure beats trying to get someon in Hong Kong to make them, but then you'd have to deal with a "Minimum of 100 sets per order" requirement.)


MultiCam KEV Helmet Cover

Now the most innovative uniform on the market is teaming up with the most innovative camouflage on the market!

MultiCam is a single camouflage pattern designed to help the wearer hide in varied environments, seasons, elevations and light conditions.

It was designed to address the real-world need for concealment in different environments, with one basic kit of gear.


Takes on the shade of the surrounding environment by adapting to varying local lighting conditions, the pattern blend in well in many environments, elevations, seasons, weather conditions and times of the day.

Since only a small portion of the human eye perceives color, the brain does a lot of "filling in" for the eye. MultiCam takes advantage of this principle and helps the observer to "see" the pattern as part of the background.

MultiCam relies more on a blending effect than a contrast effect to disguise the wearer. This effect allows it to perform in a wide range of environments and keeps the pattern effective even at close distances.

~ Made of 50/50 Vat Dyed Nyco Rip-stop Material


MultiCam Helmet Cover - MICH

Now the most innovative uniform on the market is teaming up with the most innovative camouflage on the market!

MultiCam is a single camouflage pattern designed to help the wearer hide in varied environments, seasons, elevations and light conditions.

It was designed to address the real-world need for concealment in different environments, with one basic kit of gear.


Takes on the shade of the surrounding environment by adapting to varying local lighting conditions, the pattern blend in well in many environments, elevations, seasons, weather conditions and times of the day.

Since only a small portion of the human eye perceives color, the brain does a lot of "filling in" for the eye. MultiCam takes advantage of this principle and helps the observer to "see" the pattern as part of the background.

MultiCam relies more on a blending effect than a contrast effect to disguise the wearer. This effect allows it to perform in a wide range of environments and keeps the pattern effective even at close distances.

~ Made of 50/50 Vat Dyed Nyco Rip-stop Material

Multicam Tactical Response Uniform (equivalent to ACU)

Multicam IBA carrier

http://tacticaltailor.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=278 Product Details

Please Note: Large size IBA Carriers are temporarily out of stock. We expect to have additional stock on or around 9/13/07.

We took the issue IBA carrier and designed our own armor carrier based on recommendations and requests from our customers. Add comfort and functionality while maintaining the requirement that you wear your issue armor. Our IBA is not an armor system, we carefully designed it using Interceptor soft armor and SAPI plates so it meets the stringent government requirements. We also took the many complaints we heard about the IBA and designed our vest to improve them. Modular webbing covers the front and back, adjustable shoulders help prevent your vest from digging into your neck in the front and pushing your MICH down over your eyes from the back and aids in removing the armor in an emergency. The integrated cummerbund secures the back panel to the torso, distributing the weight more evenly across the shoulders and back, reducing fatigue. Adjustable sides ensures proper fit, regardless of clothing layers to meet your mission requirements. Velcro panels on the front and back allow attachment of nametapes or patches and double as modular webbing. Also features field repairable buckles, drag handle, and hydration loop on shoulder.


Available Colors: ACU, MC

Price: $400.00

(253) 984-7854

order through custom shop


Tactical Tailor
2916 107th Street South
Lakewood, WA 98499



Multicam Kneepads



List Price: SKD Price: $27.50 Availability: Y


MultiCam Uniform Boonie Hat

Now the most innovative uniform on the market is teaming up with the most innovative camouflage on the market!

MultiCam is a single camouflage pattern designed to help the wearer hide in varied environments, seasons, elevations and light conditions.

It was designed to address the real-world need for concealment in different environments, with one basic kit of gear.


Takes on the shade of the surrounding environment by adapting to varying local lighting conditions, the pattern blend in well in many environments, elevations, seasons, weather conditions and times of the day.

Since only a small portion of the human eye perceives color, the brain does a lot of "filling in" for the eye. MultiCam takes advantage of this principle and helps the observer to "see" the pattern as part of the background.

MultiCam relies more on a blending effect than a contrast effect to disguise the wearer. This effect allows it to perform in a wide range of environments and keeps the pattern effective even at close distances.

~ Made of 50/50 Vat Dyed Nyco Rip-stop Material

PROPPER FAILURE! Wrong Multicam Material Patrol Cap

Barre Surplus now offers Propper MC Patrol Caps but they are in heavy non-rip-stop fabric and don't match MC ACUs in rip-stop lightweight material!

(800) 448-7965

MC Patrol Caps

Sadly as you can see above, the Propper MC patrol cap looks like crap and doesn't match the MC fabric used in the MC ACU. Ugggh. Don't waste your money buying them unless you are desperate for some kind of MC patrol cap and don't have to contend with asshole 1SGs and SGMs.

Completing the transformation from Army ACUPAT ACUs that don't work to MC that does...

How to Custom Order your own MC Patrol Caps with the "proper" MC material:


Returns and Exchanges

At Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries, our concern is your satisfaction with both our service and our quality products. For this reason returns, credits and exchanges are allowed with some restrictions. You can exchange items within 10 days of purchase for any manufacturer's defect, damaged merchandise or for any error on our part (e.g. wrong size, color, style, etc.). Please note that we reserve the right to inspect the item and/or order before issuing a new item.

Returns, credits and exchanges are not allowed for any of the following reasons:

Merchandise in your possession for more than 30 days

Items that have been used, worn or washed

Returns, credits and exchanges are allowed in all other circumstances with a 20% restocking fee.

Send returns to:

Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries Inc.
201 Opportunity Dr.
Corbin, KY 40701

Please use care in sending items back to us, preferably shipped and packaged in its original container. We cannot accept damaged items. Note also that shipping and handling charges are not refundable. For questions about our returns policy, call us at (606) 528-7490 or e-mail us at jim.page@sekri.org

Interceptor Body Armor (IBA): No Enough--what about your arms and legs?

If you get issued at the Mobilization Site an old PASGT soft body armor vest in woodland camouflage with or without a desert camouflage cover before deploying which will not stop rifle bullets. Buy your own IBA in the proper desert camouflage color and use the PASGT to line the door of your truck you are riding in.

If you get issued a woodland camouflage IBA once in Iraq, use the old PASGT flak jacket to further harden your sides by tying it to your truck door frame with 550 cord or sit on it.

IBA Details:


Want to see video of a Soldier wearing IBA take a center chest hit from a sniper rifle? Full story with link to video captured from insurgents:


However, your FACE, ARMS and LEGS are still not covered. TACARM offers ballistic protective knee and elbow pads that fit into you ACU to help solve these weak areas!




3. Helmet Clear Ballistic Riot Shield

The enemy sets off explosions when we drive by in wheeled vehicles. A friend of mine died recently in Iraq after a blast went into his exposed face while riding in an exposed HMMWV truck. Had he been wearing a riot control ballistic face shield he would have likely lived. In the Army there is a certain tyranny of having to look like everyone else. This is your own life. If I were riding around in a vulnerable wheeled vehicle I'd have the clear ballistic riot control shield on my helmet. If too cumbersome for the mission on foot, I'd have two helmets, one with the clear ballistic shield when driving in vulnerable wheeled vehicles and another one without that I'd put on before getting out.

Layer 3: Helmet Ballistic Shields

This is where we make decisive protection improvements: fit a clear ballistic protective shield to your kevlar PASGT or ACH/MICH helmet. The Paulsen Helmet Shield NSN 4240-01-430-1983 flips up or down and can protect against small .22 sized bullets/fragments and fully covers the eyes, face and neck. I'm convinced that if CPT Blanco was wearing this shield he would be alive today. Yes, it would be "chalant" to wear helmets with full face shields when in open trucks, but its high time we stop trying to look cool and start doing what it takes to STAY ALIVE. BE ADVISED WILEY-Xs WILL LIKELY BE BLOWN OFF THE FACE IN EVENT OF A BLAST. THE PAULSEN HELMET FACE SHIELD IS A MUST.

Subj: Re: Order more quick clot? Emergency Face Protection
Date: 1/20/2004 4:07:43 AM Eastern Standard Time

We are already ordering quik clot. Their answer to face shields is ballistic eye protection, like the Wiley-Xs which blew apart and were laying on the seat of CPT Blanco's HMMWV. Like I keep saying, they have checked the block and that is all they will do until someone else dies and makes another block to check.

I meant to tell you earlier, do not send anything after 1 February; our mail is being shut down on 5 March. After all, it's only morale, and we don't need that between 5 March and 11 April, right?




4. Wiley-X ballistic protective eyeglasses/goggles or shooter's glasses

Most Soldiers don't need to wear magnification eye glasses. Those that do are issued cheapo weak brown plastic prescription glasses ("Birth Control Glasses" or BCGs) which offer only marginal protection and cannot be worn under the field protective mask. On top of this we have 134,000 Soldiers/marines riding around in 10,000 HMMWV trucks in Iraq with vulnerable windshields, windows and doors. This must all change immediately.


Car bombs can go off at any time, its too late to place the helmet riot shield down then. At the bare minimum, every Soldier should wear ballistic eye wear AT ALL TIMES when in non-linear combat in places like Iraq. They will probably be blown off the face, but its better than nothing. If you need a prescription lens the Wiley-X is a ballistic protective combination eye glass and dust goggle. If you don't need a prescription you can wear ballistic protective shooter's wrap-around glasses. The issue sun, wind, dust goggles DO NOT come with a clear ballistic lexan lens. Another option is to buy large ballistic protective goggles but you cannot wear them at all times 24/7/365 like Wiley-X or shooter's glasses. Details:



Brigade Quartermasters' Wiley glasses/goggles saves a Soldier's life!

"My name is 1LT Aaron Southard, I have been deployed to Iraq for some time now. Before I deployed I purchased a set of X-1s from Brigade. I have loved these glasses, their performance has been unmatched. But recently I came to respect the safety of these glasses. Two months ago, my convoy was attacked with a roadside bomb, three members of my team were killed, and another seriously wounded. I sustained injuries to my left hand and arm, I was evacuated out of theater for recovery. I recently returned to "finish my job". While I was a home, my unit shipped my X-1's back to me. I noticed a pencil eraser sized hole in the left lens. More than likely that lens saved my eye sight and possibly my life. I just wanted to take the time to personnally thank you for a piece of equipment that more than likely saved my life. I will forever continue to use these glasses for the rest of my military career, thank you."

1LT Aaron Southard

5. Camouflage Cover for large tactical goggles on your helmet

Do not provide the enemy a reflective aim point when not using your large goggles.


You do not want to ruin your helmet camouflage by strapping on a shiny Sun, Wind, Dust Goggle (SWDG). At NTC we as OPFOR could target and kill BlueFor from miles away because of the glint reflection from SWDGs on the helmets of their TCs and Drivers. While the ultimate solution would be a Tennabraez-type glint shield until this is available, a Cover home-made or store-bought will suffice as some of our men have realized in Afghanistan where long-range target acquisition and avoiding it from the enemy is vital.

What's absurd and ridiculous is that our Soldiers in COMBAT against the enemy are having to use socks and cut t-shorts to cover their SWDGs when not in use because the Army "system" will not supply them a cover unless its "perfect" and has been tested to a ridiculous degree. They have never heard the adage and wisdom; "Perfect is the enemy of good enough". So our troops are cutting t-shirts. Others that don't are getting shot at and wounded and killed.

Soldier having to improvide a cover for his SWDGs....

There is available right NOW, "Off-the-shelf" two SWDG covers that will do the job made by Eagle Industries and offered by Brigade Quartermasters that should be bought by the thousands and issued IMMEDIATELY to every Soldier in Afghanistan and who could fight in the desert for "Desert Storm II".

Eagle Industries SWDG Cover UNLINED (Do not buy lined version! Doesn't wrap well around SWDGs!)



Goggle Cover WITHOUT Lining (GC-U)
Retail Price: $10.95
Color: Black, Olive Drab, Tan

Protect one of your most valuable pieces of equipment with Eagle's new goggle cover (patent pending). Our goggle cover will keep your lens scratch free and eliminate unwanted shine and reflection. Eagle's unique design and quality gives our goggle cover the versatility to fit a wide variety of sizes. The following features make our goggle cover a must have.

-Constructed with 420 denier water and abrasion resistant pack cloth.
-Cinch down bungee cord with barrel locks allows for an adjustable snug fit.
-Elastic sides allow for direct attachment to goggle adjustment strap.


Brigade Quartermasters



Developed by a U.S. marine to extend the life of his protective goggle lens and eliminate glare when they're not in use. Simple but effective Goggle Sock(tm) fits easily over virtually all goggle styles in minutes and can be deployed or stowed in seconds! Reversible style matches helmet cover so you'll be ready no matter what part of the world you're in. Elastic at each end ensures foolproof fit.

Choose from Woodland/Desert 3-Color and Woodland/Black reversible versions. Made in USA.

Shipping Weight: 0.31 lb / 0.14 kg

Description - Item No. Our Price Stock Qty


6. Quik-Clot

Too many Soldiers have bled to death in Iraq. We must have every Soldier carrying a packet of Quik-Clot and a compression bandage in his BDU trouser pocket. Details:


7. Camel-Bak Drinking System

Wearing all this protective gear will make you sweat and you need to hydrate constantly via a drinking tube.


8. Power Inverter and battery charger with AA NIMH batteries

Power inverter connected to what should be parked, not used HMMWVs can generate 110v AC to power charge Nickel Metal Hydride "AA" batteries to keep your Night Vision Goggles, flashlights in operation as well as laptops, DVDs and other devices to keep morale up.


9. Extra pair of jungle boots

Army sometimes fails to issue ANY desert boots or just one pair for a 365 day tour in Iraq.

Items 9-20 are inputs from a Soldier now in Iraq.

10. Creature Comfort Items

Creature comfort items (war= 90% boredom; 9% mission; 1% contact) such as an MP3 CD-RW player and all the songs you can cram on several CDs, a portable DVD player and several movies, books galore, esp. expendable ones you can leave behind, anything to entertain your brain.

11. Weapon Optic with magnification

I purchased a 3-9x32 power scope and rail system mounts (Weaver 1") for my M4 and zeroed it at Udairi Range in Kuwait. Better for longer ranges than M68 or iron sights.

12. Frank Masely's gloves (WELL worth it)

MASLEY Enterprises Inc.
"Technical Handwear Solutions"
2207 Concord Pike PMB 190
Wilmington, DE 19803-2908
Tel: (302)427-9885
Fax: -0813
E-mail: masleyent@aol.com
Web Page: gsaAdvantage.gov
(Type in "MASLEY" in the search field)

13. M3A Captain Ernesto Blanco Combat Life Saver (CLS) pack


14. Helmet cover with NODs mount cover


15. Rowe SERE survival kit


16. Kosmo MOUT lifeline

The USAF's 820th Security Squadron and the U.S. Army's 25th Light Infantry Division "Tropic Lightnings" have equipped all their men with Kosmo lifelines. The Tropic Lightnings are headed for Afghanistan soon. www.geocities.com/skedco2000/kosmolifeline.htm



Real Soldiers need real rescue means and the Kosmo Mout Lifeline is it! Designed by Bud Calkin of SKEDCO and U.S. Army Special Forces Major Andrew Kosmowski, the compact Kosmo MOUT Lifeline is a Soldier's lifeline in urban and field operations. This is must-have equipment on every Soldier.

"Kosmo" has many other important tactical uses:

Primary use of dragging a wounded Soldier from the line-of-fire without exposing another to danger
"Last Chance Rappel Device"
Use Several for a makeshift Tag line for litter hoisting (weak Link included)
Full body or seat harness
Safety line for water operations or cave clearing
With minor modification may be used as a land mine clearing aid

Now in service with deployed OEF troops. Click on the Product Review link for more information on uses and methods.

Kosmo Mout Lifeline features a 30 foot cord with a screw link on one end which is attached to a loop to the Soldier's tactical vest or load bearing suspenders behind the neck. The other cord end is clipped by a carabiner to a loop inside the pouch. The pouch has a belt loop that is sewn to the pouch at the top and attached with Velcro at the bottom to attach/detach quickly from the Soldier's load bearing vest or suspenders or belt. Another carry option is to use the outside of the pouch's "loop" Velcro for attachment to "hook" Velcro on a ballistic "flak jacket". There is "hook" Velcro on the front of the pouch in case the vest is equipped with "loop" Velcro. The flap at the top uses Velcro to secure the closure. The carabiner with the Lifeline cord attached is clipped into the loop inside the pouch. The Lifeline is stuffed (not coiled) into the pouch. A sliding plastic cordlock ball on the cord keeps the Lifeline in the pouch when the screw link is attached to the Soldier's load bearing equipment top and the flap is closed. Patent Pending. Kosmo MOUT Directions:

Open the flap of the pouch.
Pull the screw link and about 16-18 inches of cord from the pouch (to the knot) leave the plastic ball inside the pouch.
Close the Velcro flap to secure the ball inside.
Attach the screw link to the loop or center webbing at the back of your vest and close the screw link.
Attach the pouch to a Velcro patch on the front of your ballistic flak vest or run the belt loop through the suspenders or vest shoulder strap's webbing normally used to clip a radio handset
Close down onto the Velcro on the pouch bottom.
To deploy- Extract cord from the case, ball and throw.
Item SK-750
Made in the USA by Skedco..

Shipping Weight: 0.62 lb / 0.28 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty

SKEDCO MOUT LIFELINE, OD - MLK0102 $59.99 $46.99

17. Tactical Tailor chest rack, etc.

18. PUC Materials

I would also bring PUC materials (Personnel Under Control) such as large zip ties, sand bags for blindfolds, collapsable batons, etc.

19. Slingshot and/or pepper spray pellet-shooting paintball gun

"Bring a slingshot. The little bastards love to throw rocks, for which we cannot answer as we would love to (.50 Cal would be a good start), but according to the MPs I have spoken with, slingshots are perfectly acceptable and rocks are a-plenty...helmet face shields will also protect our faces/necks."

U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division NCO in Iraq

Maybe a better solution would be instead of shooting rocks back at the Hajis we shot PAINTBALL PELLETS WITH PEPPER POWDER at them? A whif of that stuff would go a long way towards letting them realize throwing rocks at Soldiers is NOT FUN and give us a way to defend ourselves without being the "ugly American invaders".

I contacted pepperball (877) 887-3773. Its possible to sling-shot their pepperball pellets, but its safer (wear your large tactical goggles just in case the pellets burst while in your sling shot) and more reliable to shoot them through their $260 pistol--which I don't think is too much money even for individual Soldiers to buy. Pistols offer rapid fire to subdue several people and longer range, better accuracy than sling shots.



I like the pistol, its smaller and could subliminate itself into current Soldier's web gear:

Part Number: PS-SA10

The SA10 is powered by a 12-gram CO2 cartridge and holds 10 rounds. Projectiles and air fill equipment are sold separately. The SA10 comes with three fill tubes and a maintenance kit.

Semi-automatic 12.25 inches
2.55 pounds Factory setting of 300 to 380 feet per second
0 to 30 feet 150 feet for area saturation
6 rounds per second 10 rounds

And I like the thigh holster because troops in Iraq are wearing IBA vests and its sexy and hooah! for them (morale boost).



Part Number: PA-HLST-T

20. Benedryl cream

The sand fleas are unavoidable, but their sting can be dulled with the right stuff.

Don't worry about sundry items for more than a two- to three-week stock. People from home send it in droves.

21. Graphite lube for your weapon.

CLP Oil causes them to gunk up (see Jessica Lynch's story in Newsweek). Have had no complaints with Graphite. Have zeroed, qualed, and engaged Haji using no oil since September.

22. Cool Aid Helmet Insert


No More "Helmet Head" Pain!

The radical Cool-Aid(tm) Thermotux military helmet cooler insert is the first accessory for the PASGT type Kevlar(r) aramid fiber helmet that not only COOLS, but also CUSHIONS the helmet harness. It greatly reduces fatigue and sore heads caused by the suspension system. Cool-Aid(tm) uses evaporation technology to cool the scalp. The insert features special chambers partially filled with a water absorbing polymer. These polymer particles absorb water, expand and fill the chambers attached to the mesh cap. Just soak it in water for a few minutes, insert in your harness and you're ready to go! Cools for several hours on just one soaking. One size fits all! THIS IS A MUST ITEM!


One of the biggest factors in a Soldier's ability to be effective in a combat environment is the potential to overheat. As every Soldier knows, the Army has been great about coming out with new technology to keep them warm, but until now no one has developed affordable products to keep you cooler in hot environments. All Soldiers know from personal experience that there is nothing more uncomfortable than having to wear helmets for more than about an hour. It becomes extremely uncomfortable with the heat that is trapped and the harness system that actually causes the wearer considerable pain in the scalp area.

How the Cool-Aid(tm) Works

Through the natural process of evaporation, Coo-Aid cools the scalp of the wearer providing a degree of cooling comfort. In addition to the cooling effect provided, the soft pliable chambers protect the wearer from irritation and chaffing caused by the harness and hatband in the headgear. The Cool-Aid can be sprayed or soaked with cooler water to replenish the cooling effect as often as necessary. For an extra blast of cooling you may refrigerate or freeze the Thermotux(r) Cool-Aid after it has been soaked. Made in the USA..

U.S. Army SSG William "Cliff " Vaughn had the idea and ThermoTux perfected it and has a Patent Pending on this unique and functional idea.

Assembly instructions are included.

Kevlar(r) is a registered trademark of E.I. duPont de Nemours and Co., Inc.

Shipping Weight: 0.18 lb / 0.08 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty


23. Cool-Aid Vest Insert


Wear the ThermoTux(r) Cool Vest at work or any time the heat has you running for cover!

Traffic control, guard duty, security work, riding, running, cycling, construction, and other activities in heat and sun conditions take a toll on the person and performance. The COOL-AID Vest makes hot and dangerous working conditions safer by effectively cooling the upper body to reduce skin temperature. When worn beneath Body Armor, you get much needed cooling relief and the added value of more cushioned comfort. Easy to use, just soak the Cool Vest in water and you're ready to go! No awkward "blue ice" packs to mess with!

Best of all, the Cool Vest cools for several hours on just one soaking. For an extra blast of cooling you may refrigerate or freeze the Cool Vest after it has been soaked, or soak it in cold water. If no body armor is worn, the cooling effect can last hours at a time. If worn under body armor, the Cool Vest must be either be exposed to the air or soaked in water every 30-40 minutes to maintain its efficacy.

Why use a Cool Vest?

Research by the U.S. Navy has shown that using a cool vest minimizes heat strain during exercise in hot air, hastens recovery from heat strain, and attenuates heat strain during subsequent exercise. In other research, workers exhibited a 22% increase in productivity. Participants experienced a reduced recovery time when using the vest during and after completing a task. Recovery time was reduced even when the vest was donned after completion of an activity. Build-up of core body temperature was slower while the test subjects were wearing the cool vest.

Many athletes compete in hot climates with little time to acclimatize. Research on this population documents that cooling vests provide significant thermo-regulatory advantage to athletes exercising in hot weather. Performance during some sports can be enhanced if body heat is minimized prior to the activity or during times on the bench.

Notice: The ThermoTux(r) Cool Vest will enhance your comfort but cannot protect you from the effects of high heat environments without additional sensible precautions, such as adequate fluid intake, to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Constructed of high-absorption, non-toxic materials, and works through evaporation.

Sizes: S - M - L - XL - XXL

Shipping Weight: 0.43 lb / 0.20 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty

THERMOTUX COOL VEST,BLACK,S - THV10302 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,BLACK, M - THV10303 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,BLACK, L - THV10304 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,BLACK,2XL - THV10306 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,TAN, S - THV10602 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,TAN, M - THV10603 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,TAN, L - THV10604 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,TAN, XL - THV10605 $54.99 $49.99
THERMOTUX COOL VEST,TAN,2XL - THV10606 $54.99 $49.99

24. Water soaking gel bandana



The Arctic Cool(tm) Kool-Off neck cooling product is designed to reduce core body temperatures fast, thus helping to prevent heat stress at work and recreation. The bandana tube contains safe, water absorbing polymer crystals to give hours of cooling relief from hot temperatures. Just soak the KOOL OFF item in water for about twenty minutes. Through evaporation and air circulation it will stay cool for hours. It helps cool the neck and major artery blood flow, which keeps you more comfortable.

Arctic Bandana is a very effective neck cooling bandana. They are about 40 inches long and can be used as a neck cooler or a cooling head band. A great item for sports too- hiking, biking, golfing, etc. KOOL OFF with an Arctic Bandana!

To activate the hundreds of cooling polymer crystals, and to re-activate the coolant, just soak it again. KOOL OFF products can be used hundreds of times. So "KOOL OFF" when it gets hot!

Shipping Weight: 0.12 lb / 0.05 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty



September 08, 2004 - Keeping Cool is Hot

Title: Keeping Cool Is Hot
Date: July 12, 2004

It's so hot in Iraq right now that Soldiers are pleased if the air conditioner can get the temperature below 90 degrees. But what really cheers them is care packages stuffed with heat relievers. Powdered water flavoring is more popular than the latest Xbox game or NASCAR magazine. "Soldiers do a little happy dance when they open up a package and find powdered Kool-Aid," says Army Lt. Col. Dan Epright, posted in Baghdad. He keeps cool with one of the hottest new gadgets, a bandanna lined with a thin, gel-filled tube. Store it in a fridge--if there's electricity--for a few hours, and it becomes a cool ring of air for an entire shift. The handheld, battery-powered fans popular last summer bowed to the new-and-improved battery-powered fan and water-mister combo. And, of course, wearable CamelBak hydration systems are a must. Ingenuity helped Larry Edwards and the Soldiers of the Mississippi National Guard's 223rd Engineer Combat Battalion beat the heat. They soak a sock, slide a bottle of water inside and let physics take over. Evaporation off the sock draws energy in the form of heat out of the bottle. When the sock dries, the water is cool. Soldiers on the go request tuna fish packaged in the new foil pouch; it's light and doesn't require a can opener. The heat is also bad for troops too busy to brush their teeth. To zap their petri-dish mouths, they like Carefree Koolerz gum containing xylitol, a bacteria killer. Certain other relief agents are verboten in Islamic society: don't bother sending your favorite GI alcohol, pork or porn. It's hot enough without them.

Copyright (c) 2004 Newsweek, Inc.

25. Swamp Cooler for your M113A3+ "Super Gavin"

Use an AC power inverter from your 12v M113 Gavin batteries to power a "Swamp Cooler" from Air-N-Water.com. Suggest location behind driver's seat.


BFC2200 - Cools large areas up to 250 sq. ft. - Portable Swamp Cooler - Made in the USA


With the Essick Air BFC2200 portable swamp cooler, you won?t break the bank?you won?t even break a sweat! This swamp cooler is easy to operate and highly mobile for portable cooling in spaces up to 250 square feet. The BFC2200 filters the air as it cools, making it perfect for eliminating office irritants or creating a healthy environment for children or allergy sufferers. Energy-efficient and highly economical, the unit costs only two cents an hour to operate!

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26. Balmex Rash Ointment with Zinc Oxide

Eureka! cure's athletes foot/jock itch, too at a fraction of cost of Tinactin etc.!

27. Bucket Commode-in-your-armored vehicle

You can create a portable commode ("Porta-Commode") by lining a plastic Kitty Litter bucket with a trash bag and cutting a 9-inch hole in the lid; use the litter to absorb the waste after you use it

Brigadier Richard Simpkin in his books called for toilet pans in the SEATS of armored fighting vehicles to better enable 24-hour continuous operations. His suggestion lives on in the commode built into one bench seat position in the British Warrior infantry fighting vehicle. If you have to leave the vehicle in the middle of a fight to relieve yourself you might lose more than your body waste but your life and limbs to enemy fire.

His idea is a good one except you don't want to be sitting on top of a toilet while fighting. You need the vehicles' commode PORTABLE and in a corner of the interior as far away as possible from everyone in an enclosed mini-room. The stretched hull M113A4 MTVL Gavin would be ideal for a small potty/shower roomette at the vehicle rear.

Here is a size comparison of the Porta-Commode with a real commode = exactly the same height from the ground and the hole is even a bit larger = you should be "already trained" to use it!

Until such time that we can get a smart AFV interior by design, we can however improvise a portable potty using the Brigade Quartermaster's kit and a trash bag lined 5 gallon bucket strapped securely inside. If you have a large plastic bucket of kitty litter, you can cut a 9-inch wide hole in the lid to enable its use as a commode. 550 dummy-cord this lid with a hole to the bucket. After you go, you pour some KITTY LITTER to cover and absorb your waste. Use a second kitty litter bucket's intact lid to seal the Porta-Commode air-tight after you use it.

Here, Mighty Wiesel, the Combat Cat guards his kitty litter cache from anyone who would take it away! Meow: "Keep your grubby paws off my litter, human!"

Dummy cord the intact cover lid to the pail, also. Extra boxes/buckets of kitty litter on the outside storage racks of the AFV hull act as extra sandbag-like armor protection.

Obviously, after using the tank commode, a bottle of waterless Hand Sanitizer gel should be there to sterilize your hands.



Outfit your 5 gallon pickle or paint pail with this potty seat with lid for contained relief. Portable toilet is useful in just about every place when there is no plumbing, no water and no toilet. A real must have item for disaster conditions exist. This is an ideal item for hunt camps and jobsites, as well as possible temporary interruptions of municipal services. Bucket shown is not included with this item

Part of your disaster preparation should include deciding where you're going to go if there is an interruption of your water supply. No, not where you're going to go to ride it out, but where you're going to GO! No water means no flushing, which definitely has some negative connotations. For suburbanites and apartment dwellers, communing with nature is not an option due to lack of privacy, and even if it were, many of our loved ones are firmly in the habit of sitting comfortably with the Brigade catalog while taking care of business.

Shipping Weight: 1.00 lb / 0.45 kg

Description - Item No. Our Price Stock Qty

What about bigger commodes?

Here's a video clip of the "porta-john" Garrison Army in action:


a. Its a short video clip of a prank done to a lower-ranking Soldier. Notice that the video mocks roll-over training when this is an accident type that kills and injures dozens of Soldiers each year. Rather than get off your ass and look for ways to improve roll-over safety like finding some passive retraint harnesses, this smart ass makes a video clip with a high school-esque prank as its punchline. This shows that American Soldiers do not take the job seriously when they mock it. It also shows they are not spending every second of their time to get more combat-ready. This reminds us of Exum's book where his light infantry narcissists with so much time on their hands since they belong to a BS rifle and rucksack force structure do childish pranks.

b. Some may say harmless pranks build esperit de corps. We're not against having some good-natured fun, but knocking a port-a-potty with a Soldier inside is not "good natured". Human waste bacteria and the chemicals in the potty are not things to trifle with. A good natured prank would be one that makes the person laugh a bit HARMLESSLY. This was not a harmless prank. If you had feces and porta john chemicals splashed all over you, how would YOU feel about it? The tendancy would be not to laugh but to be angry, find the three who did it and beat the crap out of them. Also note, that the victim of this prank is probably someone of lesser rank that the 3 who conspired to do it to cannot defend himself within the Army snobby rank bureaucracy. Furthermore, consider how this prank would build a lack of trust and a desire for reprisal pranks. The raw intent of this prank to have fun at the expense of SOMEONE ELSE LOOKING/FEELING BAD is at the center of the dehumanizing narcissistic U.S. military mindset. Its classic "fuck-you" zero-sum thinking, is it a wonder we brutalize enemy prisoners? The U.S. military's current values and ethos clearly are not things that make people grow up into adults but actually perpetuate adolescence with a make-believe garrison world of "mother may I?" and petty back-stabbing.

28. Read BEFORE going to Iraq: Dr. Norman Dixon's "On the Psychology of Military Incompetence":


Dixon's masterpiece explains why military service is soooo attractive to weak co-dependents and narcissistic egomaniacs full of anxieties about themselves and life. Conservative estimates are at least 50% of the people in the U.S. military are mentally ill with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) who make daily life on active duty intolerable with petty BULLSHIT.

In fact, if you are hunkered down with the REMFs at Camp Victory the BS garrison Army "lifestyle is in full-swing:

Garrison American Army in Iraq (video, pics, reporting)

29. Read AFTER you get back from Iraq: Dr. Jonathan Shay's "Achilles in Vietnam"

Feeling angry and sorrow after a period of military service is not being weak or overly sensitive. Things were not always this way in the U.S. military. Before the Korean War, training was straight forward. We had a draft, we had an influx of ADULTS who just wanted to get the job done and a minimum of this egomaniac, petty backstabbing coming from the "lifers", the selfish, weak people who now populate our volunteer military.

Dr. Shay will explain how in war, in order to keep the faith of your own fighting men, the army MUST remain a moral and fair outfit, termed "themis". A warning light should flash! BUT THE AMERICAN MILITARY IS CONSTANTLY INJURING ITS OWN SOLDIERS EVEN BEFORE THE WAR WITH CONSTANT PETTY INJUSTICES!!


You got it.

There is so much ill-will in our egomaniac military, is it a wonder all we can do is either round up civilians and rough them up or hunker down in Iraq?

Anyway, tthe book refers to the Trojan War where Achilles for winning a battle gets a pretty bride (they didn't have dating services back then!) of a captured enemy woman. His Commander-in-Chief, Agammemnon "pulls rank" and takes Achilles' wife from him. Achilles is very and justifiably angry and loses faith in his army and becomes a superman in battle, killing everyone in sight in a bezerker state. Dr. Shay then explains how this Achilles like loss of moral justification took place in VIETNAM. Voila! "Achilles in Vietnam".

It looks like he needs to write a sequel book, "Achilles in Iraq", huh?

We never learned our lessons from Vietnam, contrary to popular mythology that Desert Storm got the "monkey off our back". The main lessons that you must have ADULTS who THINK and can ACT ON THAT THINKING with practicality and not egomaniac petty careerism has not been learned.

It all dates back to after the Korea war, we had a lot of our guys captured and they ended up "brain washed" by the enemy who played "mind games" with them. In a wrong response, we started the MIND GAME basic training afterwards that continues to the present. During basic training, your drill sergeant will say things like "this barracks is FILTHY!~ clean it now!" knowing damn well its spotless. Running a white glove over a locker one time even then no dirt came out! So what does he do?

He took a bucket of dirt and tossed it into the hallway to make our barracks dirty!

The excuse for all of this mind game basic training was it would somehow "harden you in case the commies captured you".

We totally disagree.

All it does is teach you that you are feces and not to trust people in charge of you who are playing "pay your dues" games.

Now that everyone sees what we mean, imagine a human organization going to WAR where everyone is constantly playing "drill sergeant" and ordering others around to be assholes. With our volunteer military, we have let people with blinders on who don't care they are being abused that want the middle class income and narcissist tyrants who want to dehumanize others take over! Warriors are a less than 1% minority. This is why we have 9/11 attacks and our nation's security is at risk.

Our advice to returning Iraq/Afghanistan veterans is to accept the fact that we are in corrupt military organizations and not expect much of anything from them, yes hold them to the fire and fight for vindication but don't hold your breath. If you lashed out at your loved ones, we'd chalk it up to GIGO---garbage in, garbage out. Shrug it off. You didn't know that as a human being being constantly dehumanized (garbage in) would result in some "leakers" (garbage out) of pent up and justified human emotions. Emotions are not for the weak they are for the strong. The emotion of LOVE saved this nation one dark day in 1863 when Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain rallied 120 mutineers and held off the confederates at Little Round Top and saved our Union. And LOVE today will turn your actually highly successful tour in Iraq/Afghanistan into whistle-blower actions so we can alert the American people to the fact that we are not being defended and to clean the slate and start over with a military culture based on ADULT practicality.


ACHILLES IN VIETNAM : Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (Paperback) by Jonathan Shay "We begin in the moral world of the soldier-what his culture understands to be right-and betrayal of that moral order by a commander..."

SIPs: berserk state, many combat veterans, combat trauma, character damage, arming scene (more)

CAPs: Metaphor of Social Power, National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, Carl von Clausewitz, Viet Cong, Persian Gulf War (more)

(28 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


Shay works from an intriguing premise: that the study of the great Homeric epic of war, The Iliad, can illuminate our understanding of Vietnam, and vice versa. Along the way, he compares the battlefield experiences of men like Agamemnon and Patroclus with those of frontline grunts, analyzes the berserker rage that overcame Achilles and so many American soldiers alike, and considers the ways in which societies ancient and modern have accounted for and dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder---a malady only recently recognized in the medical literature, but well attested in Homer's pages. The novelist Tim O'Brien, who has written so affectingly about his experiences in combat, calls Shay's book "one of the most original and most important scholarly works to have emerged from the Vietnam war." He's right.

From Publishers Weekly

Shay is a psychiatrist specializing in treating Vietnam veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress syndrome. In this provocative monograph, he relates their experiences to Homer's portrait of Achilles in The Illiad. War, he argues, generates rage because of its intrinsic unfairness. Only one's special comrades can be trusted. The death of Patroklos drove Achilles first into passionate grief, then into berserk wrath. Shay establishes convincing parallels to combat in Vietnam, where the war was considered meaningless and mourning for dead friends was thwarted by an indifferent command structure. He convincingly recommends policies of unit rotation and unit "griefwork"--official recognition of combat losses--as keys to sustaining what he calls a moral existence during war's human encounters. The alternatives are unrestrained revenge-driven behavior, endless reliving of the guilt such behavior causes and the ruin of good character. Shay's ideas merit attention by soldiers and scholars alike. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

See all Editorial Reviews


Product Details

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Scribner (October 1, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN: 0684813211
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.0 ounces. (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: based on 28 reviews. (Write a review)
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #102,605 in Books
(Publishers and authors: improve your sales)
Other Editions: Hardcover | All Editions

Inside This Book

First Sentence:

We begin in the moral world of the soldier-what his culture understands to be right-and betrayal of that moral order by a commander. Read the first page

Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs): (learn more)

berserk state, many combat veterans, combat trauma, character damage, arming scene, unexpected deliverance, prolonged combat, indignant rage, berserk rage, this veteran, trauma narrative, surviving comrades, respect for the enemy, modern soldier

Capitalized Phrases (CAPs): (learn more)

Metaphor of Social Power, National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, Carl von Clausewitz, Viet Cong, Persian Gulf War, Trojan War, Graves Registration, North Vietnamese

Citations (learn more)

This book cites 46 books:

Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman MD on 4 pages

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien on page 183, Back Matter (1), and Back Matter (2)

Chance and Circumstance: The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation by

Lawrence M. Baskir in Back Matter (1), Back Matter (2), and Back Matter (3)

The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World by Elaine Scarry in Back Matter (1), Back Matter (2), and Back Matter (3)

See all 46 books this book cites

49 books that cite this book:

From Melos to My Lai: War and Survival by Lawrence A. Tritle on 6 pages

From Melos to My Lai : Violence, Culture and Survival by Lawrence A. Tritle on 6 pages

Post-traumatic Culture : Injury and Interpretation in the Nineties by Kirby Farrell on 6 pages

Why They Kill : The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist (Vintage) by Richard Rhodes on page 297, Back Matter (1), and Back Matter (2)

See all 49 books citing this book


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Spotlight Reviews

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

Please care for the warriors..., February 5, 2002

Reviewer: Joy Marchand (Salem, MA USA) - See all my reviews

As a student of the Classics, I did not read this book in order to understand the war in Vietnam and I'm fairly certain that the author is not trying to explain, condemn, or justify the conflict. What the author does, and masterfully, is to explain how a person's character can change, most often for the worse, by experiencing the various traumas of combat. In order to do this, he compares the experiences of Vietnam veterans with the experiences of Achilles in Homer's epic, the "Iliad". It is my understanding that his motive is to convince the powers that be, as well as the general public, to rethink their treatment of soldiers sent to war so that we might prevent the occurrence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's also my understanding that he chose to use the narratives of Vietnam veterans to illustrate his arguments because there has been more data collected from these people than any other combat survivors before. So this book is about how to properly care for the warrior, before and after battle, so that less might fall victim to psychiatric disorders upon returning home. It is simply amazing and wonderful to see how the words of the past, in this case Homer's Iliad, can help us in the present. This book, among other things, teaches us to value the entire canon of human writings and shows us the continued relevance of even the most ancient of texts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:

Write an online review and share your thoughts with other customers.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

We are not alone., June 26, 2005

Reviewer: Allen J. Caruselle "VagabondStar" - See all my reviews

As a marine recently returned from his second combat tour in Iraq, I have found this book to be immensely helpful in understanding the changes that have taken place in my life as a result of traumatic experience. While the vietnam war may be 30 years gone, the lessons of those who have experienced war first hand are as timeless and relevant today as they ever were.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

The true use of art, December 31, 2004

Reviewer: B. E. Huizenga "O. of H.F." (Chicago, IL USa) - See all my reviews

This book uses the story of Achilles in Homer's Iliad to talk about the kinds of experiences which can damage soldiers during combat, sometimes to the extent of creating that state of permanent trauma which we call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I cannot over-emphasize the value of this book for a citizen during wartime. Shay shows how Homer's art is something close to a chart of the various destructive forces which attack a soldier's spirit and character, and thus gives us some glimpses into how to protect them from these evils. There is probably no higher goal which art can realize than this, the protection and healing of the minds of our fellow citizens, but it cannot do so without the constant enactment of its truths by people like Dr. Shay, and any of us in a position to help those in danger.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Why does it seem new?, November 16, 2004

Reviewer: Stratiotes Doxha Theon "Stratiotes" (Richmond, Missouri) - See all my reviews

Why is war-related trauma so prevalent in a post-Vietnam era? This book explains why. Lessons we especially need to learn today as we welcome today's warriors home.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Odysseus cried..., July 16, 2004

Reviewer: Doug Todd (Warm Springs, AR United States) - See all my reviews In "Healing and Tragedy" (Chapter 11) Shay says that "Healing is done by survivors, not to survivors" and he is right. He also speaks of the healing power of narrative and says, "The ancient Greeks revered Homer, the singer of tales, as a doctor of the soul. In the Odyssey, Homer paints a (self-)portrait of the epic singer whose healing art is to tell the stories of Troy with the truth that causes the old soldier, Odysseus, to weep and weep again. (Odyssey 8:78ff)"

Something like that seems to happen to Combat Veterans when they read this book. Shay is neither the bard telling the story nor the warrior who lived it, but he takes the stories of those who were there and presents them in such a way that, reading them, "the old soldier weeps and weeps again...".

The truth is here. Another reviewer has viewed some of the stories with a measure of skepticism -- and there are some "red flags" in some of the stories -- but that is the nature of "War Stories" and those who know what "the facts on the ground" were can see therough all that to the essential truth that Shay so eloquently presents.

I bought this book because it was recommended to me by readers of my own book, "Aftermath: A Song For Tyrone..." and I am glad I did! I wish I had read it years ago!

If you are a Veteran -- or if there is a veteran who means a lot to you -- or if you just want to understand more about war and what it does to the soldier and to those who love him and to society in general -- buy this book! Buy it -- read it -- give it as a gift!

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

BULL'S EYE, June 27, 2004

Reviewer: A reader

Shay's 'Achilles in Vietnam' is the best, most realistic book I've read about combat PTSD; it plumbs the depths of anguish and the consequences of torture (combat) on soldiers. Shay essentially, fully captures the forces occurring within a combatant's system, during and after battle (if imbrued with moderate to severe chronic PTSD). Want to know the possible result of war on young men that you inadvertantly finance through your tax dollars? Read this book. Those young men may now be living on the same block as you, ready to launch into deadly combat at the slightest twig snap, if not treated. We've heard advice to Bush before invading Iraq--'break it and it's yours.' Ditto for veterans 'broken' physically or mentally. You sent them. Want to now understand the consequences?



An Army officer in Iraq writes:

Just thought I'd give my 2 cents on this. Saw a comment on the list a few days ago and couldn't let it go. It has to do w/ the necessity of A/C in a combat vehicle or battle box. Just for the record, IMHO any building or structure that we expect Soldiers to live and work in, at least in Iraq, really ought to be air conditioned if it's at all in our power to make it that way. It shouldn't even be an option at this point, when we're the greatest nation in the history of the world, spending a billion dollars a week here and have found a way to fund all manner of costly CMO stuff. We've got guys in this IN/AR TF who are in their early 20's, in Olympic-quality physical shape, and have been in the desert for 6 months now so they're fully acclimated... and are still at risk of going down hard for heat injuries, every time they go out the wire. We've had guys take out thermometers with them on missions just for shits 'n giggles, and come to find out, it's already hitting 144 degrees in the crew compartment of a Bradley (or tank or M113) when it's still only 105-110 outside. Can't wait til July. For guys who have never experienced the joys of pulling a 6-hour mission during mid-day in 20 pounds of full Interceptor Body Armor with SAPI plates (or double that when you strap on your ammo / water / commo gear), I urge them to go hop in the nearest sauna w/ all their winter clothes on and spend a few hours PT'ing... then come back and say A/C in a combat vehicle (or battle box or whatever) isn't all that necessary. Do we really want joe to start opening up windows, undoing his vest or hanging outside the hatch, because he's dizzy / puking / starting to go into heatstroke? It turns into a Force Protection issue, just like having a heater in your vehicle in Korea during winter. I'm all in favor of sucking it up... but the shitheads are already making life "challenging" enough w/out us deliberately adding to our own misery.


An Army Major writes in:

DATE: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 02:17:58 -0000
Subject: Some more things that got me torked from Army Times

"Why are Soldiers involved in crowd control not equipped with helmet mounted face shields? Or riot shields? We have SOPs for these things so everyone wouldn't need to be equipped with them if its a money issue. We can issue face shields to mechanics to prevent eye injury when working with batteries. Why not to 11Bs to protect them from rocks, pointed sticks, fingers. At least get them all dust goggles. I noticed that only 2 Soldiers had dust goggles in the picture on pg 20. And they were on top of their helmets, doing no good.

Shields could be kept in a vehicle with the reaction/reenforcment squad out of sight or at the rear rank. If a crowd popped up and started getting edgy then the react force grabs shields moves to the front and becomes the first rank. With riot shields that can be used to persuade people to move vice the 'Poke em with the M-4' method. This way their bodies are protected from thrown objects and fist, the protestors aren't inflamed by a gun poking some old guy, no chance of accidental discharge or a civilian snatching a M-4. The show of force is still there since the Soldiers behind the shields have their M-4s ready.

If I was king every unit that went on a snatch raid would have both shields and helmet face shields. At a minimum they should have ballistic goggles. I don't like goggles much because kids that wear glasses can't use them comfortably. They kill peripheral vision.

Its the article on the NG 39th BCT training up at JRTC."

1ST TSG (A): Brits thinking ahead in Iraq: riot control shields on helmets

Yahoo! News Photos - Iraq


A British Soldier aims towards protesters during a demonstration by job seekers that turned violent in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra. The U.S.-led coalition's plans for the handover of power to Iraqis were in disarray again after an influential cleric urged the United Nations (news - web sites) to reject a new interim constitution, and security degenerated amid a fresh surge of attacks.(AFP/Hani Al-Obeidi)

A British Army Soldier runs in flames from a petrol bomb thrown during a violent protest by job seekers, who say they were promised employment in the security services, in the southern Iraq city of Basra March 22, 2004. According to witnesses and Iraqi police at the site, 2 Iraqi police officers and at least 2 British troops were injured in the disturbance, which occurred in front of central Basra's Ashar police station. REUTERS/Atef Hassan

Legendary tanker, Ralph Zumbro writes:

A/C for tracks, YES, may not be needed for BattleBoxes


Find a way to duct the vehicle's combustion air intake from the crew compartment, and a way to allow air from outside into that crew compartment...Will take field modification, but works...For the record, I spent June 1967 to June 1968 in RVN in an M-48A3, in that climate, in combat...I know the heat, capn. The engine air is around 300cu ft/min going through there

I am RIGHT NOW cooling my RV in 100+ Arizona with an Australian made swamp cooler purchased from Home Depot....draws 100 watts which is supplied through my big inverter from solar cells, aslsorated at 100 watts....the system works BUT you have to have less than 20% humidity for effeciency. Given these conditions, a swamp cooler will work on the Battle Box, and switching the vehicle's combustion air intake to the crew compartment will take us the rest of the way. IT CAN BE DONE."