Get Prepared, Build a Go-Bag, Stay Ready—Just in Case
You’ve all heard of the guys building bunkers and stuffing their basement with canned food. As if in the event of a natural disaster or economic collapse they’ll be fine for a couple years eating creamed corn and sucking puddle water through a purifying straw. And maybe those guys are right. Maybe when the world comes near its end we’ll all be kicking ourselves for not stockpiling plastic silverware and astronaut ice cream and whatever else those dudes got in their bunker. Maybe when nuclear war breaks out we will envy the paranoid family who hoarded hot dogs and saw it all coming.
Of course those preppers we joke about are the extreme. They are the people who wake up each day waiting for an asteroid to hit. But there is something to be said for realistically preparing for an emergency. You can get some supplies in order for a hurricane or temporary loss of power or medical event and not go as far as digging a hole beneath the swimming pool.
Here we’ve collected a handful of our products that can fit in a go-bag and be on standby in the event of an emergency. This list of products isn’t designed to keep you safe in the event of the next civil war (we’re working on that list), but rather to give you a few handy options if your family does ever fall on scarce times.
Start with a Good Tactical Bag
We’ve got your deployment bags, your 3-day assault packs, some with integrated hydration, and your advanced medical packs—but for our purposes here we probably just need a simple backpack. Our Everyday Pack is compact, lightweight and has a large, single compartment for all the preparedness supplies we’ve listed below. (It also has a nice little front pouch if you need something for class. But first disasters…)
Next, Choose a Good Flashlight
The Streamlight ProTac 2L Tactical Flashlight will do. Designed with professionals in mind, Streamlight is a law enforcement favorite. It delivers super bright light in a compact package and comes with a number of settings. The LED technology is also easier on batteries.
You’ll Want a Medical Kit
Emergency food is great, but you’d be surprised how many people prepare for a disaster like it’s a picnic. What you want is a good medical kit. The Red Cross (should our theoretical disaster hit) will be busy and you want to be sure you have supplies on hand to care for your family members.
Our Quick Detach Medical Pouch was built alongside G-Code®. It fits on a tactical belt and is made for fast access. The double zipper allows you to simply pull and the pouch unfolds to grant access to the first aid supplies inside.
Our Quick Detach Medical Pouch is made in the USA and Berry Compliant for those who serve. But it’s also a great, compact addition to any disaster preparedness setup.
[video callout] Learn more about our customizable medical kits.
If things get really bad you want to have important documents in your emergency supplies. You want all the important proof-of-life documents you might need to restart. This might require a fireproof box or something more substantial than a bug out bag. But for now, we’re not talking about the exact end of the world, not the Revelation. More just a hiccup in the order or things. A simple vast economic collapse where you need things like a few Petzl Carabiners, a Leatherman Surge, and some good rope. Maybe a couple ballistic helmets for the kiddos…
We’re being a little facetious, of course. We hear of so many people preparing for the End Times we got to wondering if it’s survival supplies we’re going to need or a bulk supply of 5.56. Should we fill our basement full of 5-gallon water jugs? (Experts recommend 1 gallon of water per person per day you’re hunkered down. FYI.) Or if the bad times come and the world goes nuts is it ammunition we’ll need?
Those are sad thoughts for another day. For now let’s keep our disaster prep lighter. Let’s picture a disaster where everything slows down for a spell, the cellphones all die in one great, awesome zap, and we’re left with our canned beans and the people we hold dear to lay out under the stars, all the lights across town dead, no longer infecting the sky, and we were the ones wise enough to snag a few Softie Snugpaks when they were online at Tactical Assault Gear —while supplies last...
The Best High-Performance Tactical Pants for Law Enforcement
If you’re a law enforcement professional, you need gear that will keep up. You have too much to worry about to lose focus because your uniform is uncomfortable or something breaks because it wasn’t up to the task at hand. That’s why we’ve made it a point to stock quality tactical pants for operators of all stripes, be it cops on the street, operators overseas, EMS professionals, or weekend warriors who protect and want to hit the woods for some quality time away from the world when they take a rare break from service. Below is a round-up of the tactical pants we offer. We’ve included some professional opinions to help you make a choice that’s right for your mission, so you can get what you need and get back to your job.
What are the best tactical pants on the market?
You’ve probably heard of the 5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants, maybe Oakley Standard Issue or prAna Stretch Zion. Each of those brands makes a quality tactical pant that professionals trust. We’ve worn them and believe in them. But we carry a couple other products that we thought did the same job as those pants at different price points.
The first is a line of tactical products from First Tactical. First Tactical is a brand designed by and for operators, law enforcement professionals and EMS personnel. Their entire mission is to speak with people who wear the products every day and constantly improve the fabrics, fits and functionality to ensure the perfect mission-specific products.
[video callout] We spoke with First Tactical’s team at SHOT Show.
First Tactical makes a number of different tactical pants.
First Tactical Velocity Tactical BDU Pant
First Tactical took their Specialist Pants and feedback from the field to bring this new product to market. The key innovation in the Velocity Tactical Pant is a new lightweight design.
The Velocity Tactical Pant has double micro ripstop polyester and cotton blend fabric. It’d be pretty hard to break this stuff regardless, but then they added a Teflon Shield stain repellent finish and a mechanical two-way stretch. The stretch is there for public safety workers who needs to be agile, move quickly, and also be comfortable for long periods of time. These are high-performance pants that you can move in athletically, yet they are durable and will stand up against any mission. You can trust triple needle seams at all critical points to keep your pants together no matter how hard you push them.
These pants have side cargo pockets, internal knee pad access, a comfort stretch waistband and breathable, mesh pockets. It’s like these guys thought of everything, down to the buttonholes and pant leg bungee to secure your uniform to your boot.
Available in black, khaki, navy blue and olive green, the Velocity Tactical Pant helps you complete your battle dress uniform in comfort, function and style.
First Tactical Defender Pant
While the Velocity BDU pant is an affordable, quality option, the next level up in the First Tactical line of professional clothing is the Defender Pant. At a higher price point, this pant is built to perform and offer a professional look some departments demand of their personnel on patrol.
The Defender Pant has 28 specialty pockets that allow for customized setups and expand for oversized gear, magazines and equipment. Storage is one thing, but the real victory the Defender Pant brings to professionals is increased comfort and mobility. It used to be for durability you sacrificed movement, your more rugged products were rigid. That’s no longer the case. With articulated knees, running gussets and venting in all the pockets, the Defender Pant promotes movement and keeps you cool on the go. These are perfect for our friends down South who constantly battle the heat or for anyone doing a tour in warm weather settings.
[video callout] Check out First Tactical CEO Dan Costa talk about their approach to apparel design.
But I’m a Crye Guy...
Some folks want a complete kit that fits perfectly together. They like one brand and they want everything to match. For few brands are people as loyal as they are with Crye Precision. People say, “5.11 is cool, First Tactical sounds great, but I’m a Crye guy.” We know what they mean.
That’s why we carry a couple Crye Precision tactical apparel options so you can match your Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC), Combat Shirt and AVS 1000 Pack to your tactical pants. Because look good, shoot straight, right?
Crye Precision Combat Pant G3
If you’re a loyal Crye customer, you know their Combat Pant comes at a higher price point than most other products on the market. But you’re paying for quality that was made here in America.
The Crye Precision Combat Pants come in a couple different Multicam colorways and your standard black. They are designed to be the highest quality assault uniform pant on the market with a padded waistband and hi-mobility stretch panels at your knees and back for optimum performance. Knee pads are sold separately, but these pants have spots for them. They also have dedicated pockets for your knife and flashlight. Rear zip pockets and large thigh pockets offer professionals and operators options to completely customize their patrol setup.
Crye Precision is dedicated to making quality products for our country’s fighting forces, so you know their signature tactical pants are built to stand up to any test and the harshest environments. As a proud retailer of Crye products, we’re happy to offer some of the lowest prices on Crye gear anywhere on the web—all to help those who serve stay ready.
Choosing the Right Tactical Pant
We only carry quality tactical pants. We don’t carry a discount option. That means choosing the right pant for you often comes down to fit, function and price. Take an in-depth look at the pockets, think through the gear you’ll run, then get a pair home and try them on. We want to help you find the right gear you need to complete your mission, so let us know if we can be of any help.
Some things are easy to detect — like a poser in uniform. You can spot them a mile away. Other things are like ocean tides and can shift without warning. Whether you're a civilian in the wild or a soldier in the field, it's impossible to anticipate every situation. But the difference between not knowing and survival is preparedness. Check out these four gear-based survival hacks. All you need are the right tools and a little savvy.
1. Need a fire? Use your knife. Cut the bullshit.
Get a knife that can do double or triple duty. Pocket knives are great, but heavy duty knives that hold up outdoors and have other features- like fire starters, make things like matches inconsequential. Magnifying glasses are cool and so are batteries, but as a gearhead you're less likely to carry those on body. Stick with a fixed-blade like the SOG Series SEAL Strike knife that can harvest kindling and start the fire all on its own.
2. Put the shirt on your back to good use.
Boiling water for purification isn't always an option. Collect safe drinking water with a t-shirt or bandanna by soaking up rainwater or dew from various plants and wringing it out into your canteen or water can, it takes some time but if you're far from a freshwater source and without a way to boil water, it's your best bet to stay hydrated and a hell-of-a-lot better than drinking your own urine!
3. Bite the bullet and make a whistle.
If you're in deep brush or heavy terrain, help potential rescuers hear you before they spot you by using a bullet cartridge to make a survival whistle. All you need is a casing, a rock for sanding and sawing, and some patience. Check out this video for a how-to tutorial:
4. Use water and wire to find your true north.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, that much you know. But at high noon and surrounded by trees, hell if you know which way is which without a compass. Make your own using water, some wire, and the earth's magnetic field. This tutorial shows you how:
Got other survival hacks? Share them with us in the comments.
SOG Seal Strike Fixed-Blade Knife
SOG takes what it learns from the field and packages it right into their products. The SOG Seal Strike is the newest member of the fixed-blade knife family, but there’s nothing infantile about it. It’s a heavy-duty companion whether you’re outdoors or underwater, boasting a AUS-8 stainless steel and partially serrated blade. Born from real-world deployment experience, its ergo non-slip handle grip keeps it stable when the going gets wet. Features like a fire starter, a built-in sharpener, and a window breaker at the base of the handle ensure that you’ll be at the ready, no matter what lies ahead.
We got some Marines together to talk about gear. We call the video series Talkin’ About Gear. Get it? Anyway, check it out. In this first video, we discuss discuss the 2-point Adjustable sling.
Here, you can learn more about using our E&E bag as a quick-release med kit in the field.
You saw our Sustainment Pack featured on The Loadout Room. Hear what these guys have to say about the versatile bag.
TAG always has a BLAST at SHOT Show, and this year was no different - IT’S VEGAS BABY!
Getting to meet the Operators & LEOs that use our gear on a daily basis just reminds us why we do what we do.
We also love having the opportunity to introduce our NEW Gear for 2017...
&&& Show-Off some of our existing gear that you might not have seen yet…
Not-to-mention, getting to highlight some of our new Vendor Partnerships with GREAT Brands like Crye Precision.
All-in-All SHOT Show 2017 was a success and we hope to see you all there in 2018!
P.S. - Check Out More Videos from SHOT 2017 on our YouTube Channel!
What is the best plate carrier for me?
This is a very common question. I have always deferred to this question; what are you using it for? Do you need it for work, play, home protection or so you feel better having it in case something catastrophic happens and you want to be prepared? My answer is the same. PAY FOR THE BEST. Why? Because if you really need it, your life or someone else’s life is at risk and you are now holding a weapon in your hands. Plate carriers are more than just a convenient way to carry a few magazines. It holds the only thing that will save your life from multiple ballistic threats, which cannot be stopped by soft armor alone. You do not want to leave it to chance or buy something cheap because it looks cool but in reality is not used by the professionals.
What size should I get?
Size your carrier correctly by first buying the right sized armor plates. 10” x 12” is the most common size sold today. If looking online this will be a size Medium plate. If you are larger you need to use a large plate. Buy the carrier for your plate size, not body size. The cummerbunds on all the brands I will recommend are fully adjustable and come in multiple sizes. This is how you size the carrier for your torso circumference. If you then plan on adding soft armor to the sides and wearing internal magazine pouches I would highly recommend bumping up one size for a proper fit. I personally use a medium plate carrier and a large cummerbund set for this reason.
What Armor Plates should I use?
This is a great question and one that has been debated since man first hand-hammered metal and hung it around his neck. This is based solely off of the projectile threats you will most likely face. For decades, the military has gone overboard and created threat requirements for armor that will stop armor piercing 30.06 rounds. When has this round ever been shot at an American in combat….well, NEVER. So now the government has spent millions of dollars over-engineering armor our troops really don’t need. Currently, they are working to change the scope to defeat actual threats in an effort to reduce the overall weight of the armor issued. I will leave it up to you to decide what threat you are trying to stop. Here is your dilemma, do you buy level 4 stand-alone armor plates (which are cheaper and require no soft armor behind them) to reduce your financial costs, while weighing significantly more, OR do you buy Level 3 In-conjunction armor, which is lighter but requires soft armor behind it, defeating less threats and costing a lot more? I carried over 40lbs. of light-weight equipment when I was active duty, so in reality one component may be lighter but as a whole you are not going to be light. Armor, gear, water, medical equipment, batteries, ammunition (depending on caliber and how many you carry) and your weapon all adds up to be anything but light-weight. If you can combine all the above (minus your weapon) into a system that weighs less than 25lbs. you will be in great shape.
What should be on my carrier?
I recommend a minimum of 6 magazines (5 on gear 1 in gun) 28 rounds per magazine (5.56) for 168 rounds. Pouch for a GPS/radio system, water system (usually, 70-100 ounces), medical kit (within reason do not go overboard with a massive medical kit), an admin pouch for a multi-tool, pen/waterproof paper etc. You can and should wear your pistol on your pants belt along with your pistol mag pouch. Depending on mission type (military) and how often you are in and out of vehicles I would also recommend wearing your medical kit and (2) hand grenade pouches on your pants belt. Remember, just because you have free space it doesn’t mean you need to make up a reason to add more pouches and weight! Carry what is needed to do the job, do not “What-If” yourself into carrying 10 pounds more kit than you need. Now, for companies that I think are the best in the industry. My opinion is formed from using products from most if not all of them, years of seeing bad products fail in the field and not work as advertised, company experience, quality of raw goods used to make the gear and company reputations from within law enforcement and military units respectively. Most importantly, I base it on long lasting gear that has a combat proven reputation for not failing when needed the most.
S and S Precision - Plate Frame – Retail Starts at $423.00
Crye Precision - Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC) – Retail Starts at $248.00 (ONLY $229.99 on TAG!)
TAG (yes I founded the company, so there will always be bias) - Vanguard Plate Carrier - Retail Starts at $299.00
First Spear - Strandhögg SAPI Cut Plate Carrier – Retail Starts at $441.32
London Bridge Trading - 6094 Plate Carrier – Retail Starts at - $442.92
TYR Tactical - General Plate Carrier – Retail Starts at $339.95
Regardless of what brand you choose, BUY QUALITY. Train in
your equipment often enough that you can comfortably shoot, move and communicate in it effectively for an extended period of time.
MOLLE is a latter locking attachment system, more commonly referred to as “basket weaving.” You take any pouch place it where you want it and begin weaving the straps in and out. If you have pouches with tuck tabs (also called soft snaps) once there is roughly 1.5 to 3” inches hanging out, you will tuck the plastic tab back in under itself locking it into place. If you have an older style snap system there will not be any excess length. You will simply weave the 1” strap until you can snap it down. The video below give you a good look at how both systems work:
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.
Saltwater exposure: Empty your entire loadout from your kit. If you are constantly working in salt or fresh water, your gear needs to be rinsed in fresh water (yes, even after fresh water exposure) and left to hang and dry. All of the equipment in your gear needs to be taken out and cleaned individually and wiped down. Anything with batteries should have the batteries removed and wiped down inside and out and left to air dry as well. Saltwater destroys everything, nothing is safe. There is no such thing other than gold, titanium or carbon fiber that is safe. The Navy has tens of thousands of sailors whose sole job is ships preservation, basically 80% of what they do is keep the rust from destroying the ship. There is also nothing from my experience that is 100% waterproof at all times. Eventually “O” rings and seals fail, get pinched or rot and loose waterproof integrity. After your nylon kit is dry hit it with a nylon bristle brush to get the dry salt off of it.
Muddy Gear: Empty your entire loadout from your kit. Again fresh water rinse, you have to try to your best ability to wash off the environment you were just in. Hang dry and use a nylon stiff bristle brush to get off the heavier caked on mud, this can also be done during the rinsing process.
Sand: If you are working in the desert, your gear is exposed to the harsh sun exposure and constant beating from sand, gravel and rocks. Your biggest enemy is the smell from your sweat in this environment. Everything stinks and eventually smells like ammonia. Because water sources are extremely limited unfortunately, you will more than likely have to wait until you are home to clean your gear properly. So the best thing to do is literally brush off your gear with a nylon bristle brush, and let it air dry every day. Lay your armor carrier our exposed so the inside front and back that touches your body has a chance to air out. Empty your kits contents, wipe it all down. Turn your gear upside down and try to get the loose gravel and sand out. You will never get it all out (trust me).
You are doing all of this to help preserve your gear from the abrasion happening from the inside of the pouches and pockets. The thin “shiny” side of your nylon that you see in your pouches is polyurethane. That is what gives nylon its ability to repel water, as well as add to its abrasion resistance. If that gets destroyed and starts to crack and break apart, it’s the start of the pouch being destroyed, from the inside out. You will never get rid of the “gear smell” you can only minimize it and protect your gear to last for years of use. Bottom line, be a professional and take care of your S@!T. There is order to everything: 1) Team gear 2) Personal weapon 3) Personal gear 4) Self…your comfort, hunger, family, wife, girlfriend and mistress are always last. The people you are spending time with instead of taking care of your gear will not be with you when you’re getting shot at.
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.
If you want to lose 2 pounds, eat some oatmeal for a few days and take a good Sh@t, or take 6 magazines instead of 7. The armor is designed to withstand the impact and effects of high velocity handgun and rifle rounds. Most importantly it is designed to keep you alive and in the fight. I have always believed that you should stay as light as possible with as little armor needed. In combat, movement is life. If you are slow and all of your available energy stores have been depleted because you have been carrying too much weight, then you have just diminished your capabilities. If you are not at your best and able to fight then you have just let your team down, making the entire unit more susceptible to whatever the enemy is throwing at you. My personal choice is large plates depending on cut and manufacturer. I may wear a medium; if I wear a medium plate I use a medium plate carrier because it fits the plates. I then put on large cummerbunds. I like the ability to adjust my carrier for cold weather gear, wetsuits, water exposure suits, chemical suits, internal radios, side plates (if needed) and mags. Test fitting and training in your gear is the best way to know if your plate carrier is set up correctly. Do not wait until you have to use it for real to find out it doesn’t. Again you have a personal responsibility to your team…they are your family by choice, it’s your duty to show up prepared and ready to fight so they come home to their families.
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.
This would suggest that you are a professional and want the lightest weight products with the best construction to survive years of abuse in a kinetic environment. Plus you definitely need a bit of cool factor to go along with this…I mean why on earth would you be in special operations if it wasn’t Fu#@ing cool to begin with. There are many companies around that fall into this category that I would personally use, been issued and used in combat many times. Eagle Industries, Crye Precision, Tactical Assault Gear, S&S Precision, London Bridge Trading, First Spear, TYR Tactical, Velocity Systems and Blue Force Gear. All of these companies use the highest quality raw goods and hardware with superior construction. You will not have any issues with quality when choosing any of their products. Typically it boils down to a personal decision on product design, product features you are personally looking for, brand trust, brand loyalty as well as customer service when you are working with companies at this level. All of these companies have been at the fore-front of issued gear to all branches of service since 9/11, have outstanding reputations in the tactical industry with battle tested products.
TAG Gear for Combat Missions. Image Courtesy of Straight 8 Custom Photography
Nothing can be scarier. Innocent civilians being attacked by a gunman or multiple gunmen, typically in highly populated area like schools, office buildings, malls and movie theaters. The assailant(s) is(are) looking to inflict the maximum amount of damage before law enforcement arrives to stop them. Most of these end the same, with the shooter(s) committing suicide or being killed by law enforcement. Because these attacks are sudden and with little to no warning, responding officers do not need and most often cannot afford the best gear in the world. Not because the situation doesn’t warrant it, but more often than not, the departments have limited budgets and are trying to fill an immediate need to equip people who literally are already paying for their own gear. Unlike the military, many state and local police departments do not require that the gear and equipment the police use is made in America. The responding officers are already wearing the daily duty gear, so they literally need an armor plate carrier and a few magazines for their patrol rifle. Here is a list of companies that meet such a need - Blackhawk, 5.11 Tactical, Condor Gear, all make gear overseas and have decent price points. However, if you want to use American made gear that is not going to break the bank of either you or the department, some great deals can be found FROM a few companies that have simple carriers to fill this need. First Spear, Tactical Assault Gear, Point Blank and Blue Force Gear.
Do you need a full combat load out for home defense? That’s up to you as the home owner especially if you want to go full retard and try and talk your wife into the fact that you need 4 grand worth of nylon to protect her…be my guest. Personally I prefer a simpler approach. Spend that money on a quality handgun or shot gun and the rest on training. You need basic things like a flashlight, pistol with a laser aiming device or a good light attached to the shot gun. If you have the time to put it on maybe an armored plate carrier or something with soft armor only. If someone is going to break into your home, it’s coming without warning. Your reaction needs to be swift, violent and without hesitation to protect your family. Your primary concern is to get to your kids and other family members to ensure their safety; a shootout with robbers is not the priority. If it cannot be avoided be first, shoot to kill and then dial 911. Do not be the person who calls the police first and waits up to 7 minutes for law enforcement to arrive and gets killed waiting because you have a sh$#@ty signal. Protection of your family is first, getting on the phone is not even a close second.
This is a tough one. Some folks just want to go out have some fun and experience what airsoft was intended for. Their need for the most expensive gear in the world in non-existent, they want basic products that will do the job. Basically the game is the experience not the gear. Then you have the “milsim” types who literally buy and use what real operators use. They pick different units they represent and spend thousands of dollars on authentic kit FROM companies listed above. For this type of airsoft player they will only use what the units were issued for the time period they are representing. What I’m trying to say is I can offer no advice about gear to “milsim” people. Why you ask, because the basic rule is you can tell them nothing, and even though they have literally never served a day in their life…they will spend all day banging away on a forum somewhere telling the world they are right.
Professional Wannabe SEAL
All you need to pull this off is get a couple pieces of gear FROM any company and a little coaching FROM Uncle Chris. It doesn’t really matter because anyone stupid enough to believe your dumba$# won’t know the difference. Now get some pins and patches off the internet for the unit you wish you tried out for and make your own little shadow box for the house. When girls, family and friends come over use words like, SOCOM, JSOC, SEAL, Team n Shit, Sniper, Frogman, these are all sure to impress your intended target. When pressed for details like how long did you serve the best way to respond is 8 years. Do not talk about BUDS, if you do make them watch BUDS class 234 on the Discovery Channel. Tell them you were not picked to be on camera because you were such a stud that you were pre-selected for classified programs, so your identity couldn’t be compromised. Never and I mean never say SEAL Team 6, or DEVGRU. This is an elite unit within the teams and there is no way in hell anyone would ever believe you had the wherewithal, intestinal fortitude, commitment and courage to go to that level (better to just avoid that altogether). When asked about being a SEAL, be sure to name drop people like Marcus Luttrell, Chris Kyle, Mark Owen, Chris Heban, Chris Osman, guys who have been in the public eye, yet have zero chance of ever talking to someone you personally know. Make sure you say stuff like “when I was down range”, “before I came home”, “last time I was at the VA they said”, and my personal favorite “man, I just wish my ex didn’t throw my stuff out during my last deployment, I would love to show you my pictures.” Make sure you buy our books and wait in line for hours at the SHOT show for an autograph and picture, if you do there is no way they won't think you know and served with all of us. If you talk about your “service”, remember to never commit too much into the lie. It’s very important to leave your victims wanting more so they can tell their stupid friends to help perpetuate your lies until they become truth. Now, no matter what never mention Stolen Valor, it draws too much attention to what you’re doing. Never ever mention Donn Shipley, because he will for sure bust your ass and ruin all of your hard work. Under no circumstances should you ever find yourself at a range shooting a real gun around your victims. Trust me they are expecting a miracle when you shoot. Even amateurs will see immediately that you are no professional and this needs to be avoided at all costs. But if you do find yourself outside, and not in your moms basement licking the glass windows, you have to say “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” Not because you have ever been around a battle field, an explosion of any kind or even have a clue what it smells like…you say it to draw the victim in closer and build more trust. If you have to touch an assault rifle (which again, I caution you against) you need to use classic military words like sight alignment, sight picture, squeeze the trigger, DOPE is always a good one. No one around you will know what it means (even you) but they won’t actually ask you either because it’s so cool, and let’s be honest who the f!@k are they to question you anyway. Now this is where the suspense builds before your fake flashback happens in public. Start to reminisce about your M4, how it had a 10” barrel, with a suppressor and a Surefire light on it and an EO Tech before they were recalled and banned for use. Never commit to the number of enemy combatants you have killed, just let your victims assume that you are just a couple away FROM breaking Chris Kyle’s record. Once the shooting starts the sweat FROM your lies should be enough to let people think you’re having “issues” being around the sound of gun fire and when the sweet smell or cordite hits your nostrils, inhale deep so you tear up. This is where you lower the boom. Tell everyone you are having some “problems” and need to sit in the truck for a few minutes. Whatever girl comes over to you to ask “what’s wrong?”…well that’s your future baby’s mama. At this point you are fully committed. The right gear no longer matters, you have won.
MOLLE (pronounced molly, yes just like the drug) is an acronym which stands for Modular Lightweight Loadbearing Equipment. Now over the years since this invention everyone has seemed to forget about the gear being lightweight. The military keeps buying more and more gear adding it into larger and larger kits for special operations units. As I like to say, “I have on 65 pounds of lightweight gear.” The point is that regardless of manufacturer or materials, weight is weight. It’s the total modularity of pouches for the individual user and more options for mission configuration, which makes this system dominant over permanently sewn pocket systems.
A common mistake that people make is referring to the 1” webbing sewn onto vests, plate carriers, full armor carriers and belts as MOLLE webbing. In fact, this layout is actually called PALS which stands Pocket Attachment Latter System. Over the years this system went from having a strip of plastic sewn in between 2 layers of 1” webbing with a snap closure to a single layer of webbing with small plastic tuck tabs to keep the pouches and pockets on. The future of this attachment system will be very lightweight rubberized products like Hypolon laser cut into single pieces, all but eliminating 1” nylon webbing. All major manufactures will need to eventually switch to this as a permanent attachment solution or be left behind in the non-stop ever changing nylon landscape.
CloseUp of PALS on TAG's Skeletal Vanguard Plate Carrier