Quantico Tactical

5 Pieces of GI Gear You Don’t Have to Give Up Even Though You Got Out

There are five pieces of issue gear that literally everyone used while they were in the employ of Uncle Sam. Sure, sometimes supply was stingy, but you always figured out a way to get your hands on them. Even though your term of active service is up, you can still get them, thanks to the internet.

550 Cord

550 cord
Named for its breaking strength, Type 3 – Olive Drab, 550 Lbs tensile strength, 400 yard reel NSN (4020-00-246-0688) was designed for use as parachute suspension lines. For its intended purpose, GI paracord has traditionally been procured in just a few colors including OD, Red and White but now, a whole rainbow of hues and prints have been developed to support the 550 craze. Everyone seems to be making bracelets, belts and even slings out of the material, which also makes for a great survival aid. The kernmantle design features a woven outer sheath that can be broken down into 32 strands with a core consisting of seven two-ply yarns. Even a few feet of paracord is a treasure chest to someone in a survival situation. Day-to-day, 550 cord is used to repair or reinforce a wide variety of equipment, including packs, load bearing systems and even vehicle tarps. Used in conjunction with the next item, there is nothing that can’t be done.

90-MPH Tape

90-MPH Tape
It doesn’t matter if you call it Duct, 90-mile per hour, 100 mph or LAPES tape, the PE-Coated Cloth General Purpose Duct Tape, 60 yds Length x 2″ Width, Olive Drab literally holds the US military together. Its uses are limited only by your imagination. Civilians too have discovered Duct Tape and make a wide variety of items with it. Now, they offer it in every color under the sun but if you’re a Veteran, you’ll want the real thing. When I first enlisted 30 years ago, the tape was all a Light Green almost florescent color, but later we started to get Dark Green, then OD, and finally Tan variants. A search on Amazon revealed a wide variety of military colors.

Skilcraft Pen

Skilcraft Pen
More specifically, the U.S. Government Retractable Ball Point Pen, Fine Point, Black Ink, Box of 12 NSN (7520-00-935-7135) made by Skilcraft. You can never have enough of these. Everyone in your corcle will look on in envy, as you sign the restaurant check.

Green Leader’s Book

Log Book
No self respecting NCO would be caught without a Green Military Log Book, Record Book, Memorandum Book, 5-1/2″ X 8″ Green LogBook NSN (7530-00-222-3521). Modified in a wide variety of ways, they are indispensable for taking notes during long, rambling meetings, recording PT scores and keeping track of room inspections. It served you well while you were in, think how awesome it will look, with your name written in big block letters underneath pin-on rank and scare badges, when you pull it out of your Leader’s Map Case during that board meeting. Your significant other will love it when you write down everything (s)he says and your children will be thrilled when you remind them of how many pushups they did during last week’s practice PRT.

Memo Book

Memo Book
Available in two styles (bottom or side opening) the Green Military Memorandum Book / Military Memo Book, 3-3/8″ x 5-1/2″, Dark Green, Side Bound, NSN 7530-00-222-0078 was found in everyone’s uniform pocket, chock full of notes. Think of it as the little brother to the Leader’s Book, it contained relevant notes passed down from the novel-like scribblings in its big brother.


32 Responses to “5 Pieces of GI Gear You Don’t Have to Give Up Even Though You Got Out”

  1. Disco says:

    Nobody needs to know your green book is full of girly pop song lyrics you heard on the radio and want to look up later and epic stick man wars.


    • Airborne says:

      Mine was filled with “notes” from all the bs hip-pocket training. So lots of scribbles and penises, basically.

    • AbnMedOps says:

      The gvernment-issue green Record Book has a big brother: the green Ledger Book (about 8 1/2 X 11). It must be well worth it’s weight in rocket fuel, because I saw a photo of a US astronaut use one to log important stuff on the space station. I guess if wasn’t important stuff, it would have been entrusted to bits and bytes and software crashes!

  2. coyote says:

    What about the poncho liner!! cant forget the poncho liner.

  3. Badjujuu says:

    Three things about the tape: if it’s too hot it sticks to itself and if it’s too cold it doesn’t stick to anything and you can almost always tear perfectly in the middle.

  4. RayForest says:

    I thought I left with enough US Skillcrafts but I’m down to one.

  5. patrulje says:

    P38 or if you are smart the B52; which is the oversized one that the cooks get with the K rations.

  6. Matthew Kime says:

    I found a page in my Dads Military Memo Book (circa 1968-72) where he clearly was maintaining a list of all the women that had the delight of his company romantically.

    There’s a blog post. The sh*t you do in the middle of the night on watch.

  7. Black6ID says:

    The weird thing is as I was reading this I’m actually taking notes in a leaders book with an inkstick. “Imagine if you will….” Insert Twilight Zone music

  8. elliot says:

    Rite in the Rain books.

  9. Dellis says:

    Duct Tape! My dad had 3 basic tools, one was duct tape, a “mexican speed wrench” (crescent wrench) and he was Hispandix so no one get undies ruffled by that…and the third tool was what he claimed to be better than sliced bread, expanding foam! If duct tape and expanding foam could not fix it…nothing could.

  10. orly? says:

    Strange fact:

    The Skilcraft pen had the odd tendency to be used as a makeshift “wrench” for some Navy weapons console lightbulbs.

    They worked so well as if it was the exclusive instrument for their handling.

    I’m curious if they worked on anything else.

    • Nikuraba29 says:

      We used to call them Bic 556, because they happened to make the same size whole on a dog and able target as a 5.56 bullet. Not that we helped a battle buddy or anything on the KD course.

  11. Darrel says:

    There is no knowledge in my green monsters, just shopping lists, inner deliberations, sketches of gear, firearm part choices, leave plans, vague instructions from SNCOs, reminders of who in my platoon to haze, etc.

    I don’t like those new fangled Rite in the Rain notebooks. They effing suck. Sure, they’re supposedly waterproof, but they don’t right well, and they smear, and ounce per ounce, I just can’t justify them

  12. MMT says:

    The accuracy of this article is overwhelming.. I actually have that memorandum book in my pocket right now. Though I usually avoid skilcraft pens if I can keep a Pilot G2 around. As for the rest, it’s never far from reach. Can’t forget the rite in the rain line too