UNCLE CHRIS’ WISDOM
The Greatest Tactical Blog there is.
“ Uncle Chris, I have a question; should I join the Army and be a Ranger to get myself ready for BUDS or go to the Marines and go to the Recon community because they work in the water too?”
Answer: Neither!!! The other service branches are not f&%*ing stepping stones for BUDS. These highly successful units are not some weekend getaway experience so you can find yourself. Tony Robbins (who I love just FYI) would tell you to go f#$% yourself for being so stupid (watch I’m Not Your Guru on Netflix). His advice is really no different than mine. Do some research; watch the documentaries, and speak to the recruiters at all the branches. Be careful, they do not care about you or your future; they have a monthly quota to hit. It’s like a sales goal at a used car lot, they will tell you whatever you want to hear and make you believe that the job you are signing up for was really your idea. Do not sign anything unless it is exactly what you want. You will be doing this job for 4 years at a minimum or at least 3 years if you fail selection.
As a small child I watched the movie First Blood with my father (I was in second grade - Thanks Dad, nothing like quality parenting!). Seeing the American Flag on Sylvester Stallone’s OD Green M-65 field jacket not only had a huge impact on me and what it stood for; but this movie and image is the catalyst for my wanting to join the military.
This jacket was a movie prop; the Army never had this as a regulation.
Delta Force 1980 boarding a cargo plane for Operation Eagle Claw
Today's world is plagued by violent acts. We as a law abiding society need the ability to defend ourselves, families, friends and innocent people. Most people do not have any real training, have never been in a gunfight or a loud non-permissive environment where chaos, confusion and casualties are and everyday reality.
I am often asked “What should I do to prepare for BUDS?". Great question, it can be answered very simply. NOTHING. Nothing you do will prepare you for BUDS. BUDS sucks, it’s filled with challenges testing your mental and physical commitment to a process designed specifically for you to not succeed at it. Training your mind, in my opinion, is more important than the physical aspects of BUDS. You will need to have both and understand that BUDS is like the game of golf. You cannot beat it, you can only play it. What I mean by that is, there is no great or best run time; you cannot run fast enough ever. Same goes for the swims, the obstacle course etc.…For example, say you go out for a 4 mile timed beach run and you beat everyone and finish in 25:42. Great right? Well, the next time you run that, say you get 25:58. You will be crushed by the instructor staff for going slower than they know you can go.
I am constantly bombarded about this subject by young hopefuls wanting to join the military. Some do not believe that I did both and I am lying. There is nothing better in this world than a disabled veteran with 3 combat tours, being called out by people who are either in high school, never served or worse, literally couldn’t even qualify to join the military due to being overweight. But I digress, yes it is possible to serve in multiple branches. The question I ask most often is why? If you want to be a Marine join and be a Marine. If you want to be a SEAL, join the Navy and become a SEAL. If you are already in the Marine Corps, do not get out. Screen for MARSOC, build your operational reputation there. If you leave the Marines and fail out of BUDS there is no going back.
Cleaning tactical gear should be a part of your daily habit, whether you’re training or working. The saying “take of your gear and it will take care of you” is very real and very true. Nylon gear, by its very design and construction, is engineered to be extremely abrasion resistant as well as having a limited ability to repel water, dirt and mud. However it’s like anything and has its limits and should be taken care of. Most people are just lazy and after use, throw it on the ground, in the back of the car/SUV and never think about it until they use it the next time. Gear stinks, why because your sweat is trapped in the fabric and stays there to rot like it would in an unwashed arm pit. Inspection of your gear is critical, you should know your personal kit like you know yourself, other than your mind and weapon it holds the key to your survival in combat, carries all of your mission critical gear and should be treated with the respect it deserves.
Armor carrier size and plate size are not always the same. You may have a larger build and need a large plate carrier but choose to use a medium set of plates. The most common size of a ballistic armor plate is 10.5” x 12”. If this is enough to cover your vital areas (as pictured below) then the plate size is right for you. Do not use under sized armor plates because you want to save weight.
This is a great question and has so many different answers. First off what are you using the carrier for? Full blown combat missions? Active shooter situations? Home defense? Airsoft? Or do you just want something hanging in your garage so you can tell the neighbors wife you used to be an operator? Either way, I will try and address all of these options.