80's Issue kit. Did it have any redeeming features at all?

#1
Let's face it, when many of us were fresh faced sprogs eagerly transferring our freshly issued 1157 from various bags and packaging into our lockers many (many) moons ago, most of us were agog at the sheer amount and variety of it, and often told by training staff about how valuable and cutting edge it all was. Fast forwards 12 months and you're in Germany, it's winter and you are so cold that the last time you felt your feet was 3 days ago. So, in no particular order my list of the most hated issue items of the 80's:

1. DPM Waterproofs aka the crisp packet. 5 Mins with these on and you've sweated out more fluid to the inside of them than you would have had in a 30 min rainstorm. Forget even trying to be slightly stealthy in them.

2. Boots Combat High (BCH). Evil footwear with a thousand different ways of doing up the laces all in the belief that it will prevent the permanent crippling of your feet. None seemed to work. Also good for turning your feet to blocks of ice in the winter and having the water resistance of a used teabag. Introduced to meet the shortcomings of the DMS boot after the Falklands conflict it was clearly designed by an Argentinian.

3. Combats. They took all the great features of the 70's issue DPM combats such as jacket linings, good stitching and robustness. Then removed them in favour of flimsy badly made material and pockets that would tear at the slightest snag. And why on earth did I get issued a hood for the 70's version?

4. Thermal underwear. A long sleeved vest and long johns that were rated to provide warmth only on a balmy August afternoon. Any time past October forget it.

5. NI Gloves. Looked alley as hell as long as you didn't mind cold wet hands.

I think I'll stop there, apart from to say that apart from lightweights and jersey heavy wool it was all gash and once I'd been issued with CS95, Pro Boots +random other stuff you get on Winter tours it made me realise just how bad it all was. So my question is this, was there any piece of 80's issue clothing that was useful, well made and fit for purpose, and what planet were you on when you received it?
 
#3
... And why on earth did I get issued a hood for the 70's version?
Warry as you like when worn over Crewguard helmets in Recce Troop.
 
#7
I joined up just as these items were coming to the end of their time (thank ****).

It wasnt until I asked on ARRSE how the infantry managed to stay silent while patrolingwith waterproofs on that I found out they didnt wear them.

I thought the green army road slappers were far worse than the boots, not only did they kill your feet, heels, ankles and shins they look gay as **** with army green socks on.

I quite liked the combats I thought they were a lot more rugged and warmer than Combat 95.

Thermal (My ******* arse) underwear, the only use for it was for the training screws amusement for show parades.

NI gloves, were great from sticking between the straps (cheesewire) of your large pack and your shoulders.
 
#8
The tank suit, now that was a crap bit of kit, you sweated in it like a paedo in a playground, it kept the smell and sweat in, and pulled ur nuts up. And wasn't waterproof.
 
#9
Kidney pouches on the 58 pattern webbing were awesome - you could get ******* allsorts in them.

Also, I still use issued long johns today - they're perfect for keeping you warm when you're working (admittedly, if you're sat around doing **** all all day, they won't be very effective.

Erm, army issued sunglasses for comedy value. that's about it really.
 
#11
The green jumpers were warm but it was a pain in the arrse shaving them and at least they got rid of puttees in the 80's.
 
K

Kirkz

Guest
#13
Green Maggot. Still got mine and it's ******* brilliant.
Barrack dress shiny keks, ******* awful things.
 
#14
Let's face it, when many of us were fresh faced sprogs eagerly transferring our freshly issued 1157 from various bags and packaging into our lockers many (many) moons ago, most of us were agog at the sheer amount and variety of it, and often told by training staff about how valuable and cutting edge it all was. Fast forwards 12 months and you're in Germany, it's winter and you are so cold that the last time you felt your feet was 3 days ago. So, in no particular order my list of the most hated issue items of the 80's:

1. DPM Waterproofs aka the crisp packet. 5 Mins with these on and you've sweated out more fluid to the inside of them than you would have had in a 30 min rainstorm. Forget even trying to be slightly stealthy in them.

Never wore them except when static i.e in a fecking wet and muddy trench or on camp stag. Used Ventile smock in the feild or SAS Smock/RM Artic windproof with a black or dark green civvy Roll neck/tee shirt and helly hanson...later on a Norgee.

2. Boots Combat High (BCH). Evil footwear with a thousand different ways of doing up the laces all in the belief that it will prevent the permanent crippling of your feet. None seemed to work. Also good for turning your feet to blocks of ice in the winter and having the water resistance of a used teabag. Introduced to meet the shortcomings of the DMS boot after the Falklands conflict it was clearly designed by an Argentinian.

Was very lucky as I never had any dramas with BCH...other feild boots varied from German jump boots/Jungle boots with gortex liners, even had an old pair of DMS plus plenty of socks changes/foot powder.

3. Combats. They took all the great features of the 70's issue DPM combats such as jacket linings, good stitching and robustness. Then removed them in favour of flimsy badly made material and pockets that would tear at the slightest snag. And why on earth did I get issued a hood for the 70's version?

Issue combats were only for Camp/Guard duty and the odd parade in my Bn. Jungle trousers and SAS/Artic smocks smocks were pretty much universal in the feild, including many Arktis/Para/whatever in DPM versions

4. Thermal underwear. A long sleeved vest and long johns that were rated to provide warmth only on a balmy August afternoon. Any time past October forget it.

Always used a civvy version e.g Brynje string vest type thing and long johns, they even did a zipped roll neck version. Also found the newer long sleeved chinese fighting suit to be a big improvement on the sleeveless version.

5. NI Gloves. Looked alley as hell as long as you didn't mind cold wet hands.

Used them with thermal liners or bought tight fitting leather civvy gloves or something from the local fishing tackle shop.

I think I'll stop there, apart from to say that apart from lightweights and jersey heavy wool it was all gash and once I'd been issued with CS95, Pro Boots +random other stuff you get on Winter tours it made me realise just how bad it all was. So my question is this, was there any piece of 80's issue clothing that was useful, well made and fit for purpose, and what planet were you on when you received it?
Have to say that as young Tom in the 70's, before all the self bought kit was even available or even thought of, we pretty much stagged on with what we were given. Being switched on in the feild meant wearing a sweat shirt instead of an issue shirt. If it rained, we got wet and stagged on, if it was cold/snowed we found something else to wear like extra socks/tights/football shirts/civvy jumpers...and just toughed it out as there was no one who gave a feck, and any whinging was pretty much crushed at source by your section comdr or old sweats tbh.

It wasn't until the Ulster tours started that we began to see the bergans, boots and water proofs that then became general issue.

The 80's were better as the other kit already mentioned, such as smocks and jungle trousers, became easier to source.

Fecking 'ell Speedy.....you weren't even PBI and you're whinging about the kit ;-)
 
#16
Having to use the bum roll for NBC kit even though it was designed exactly 1 cm too tight for that purpose. Particularly enjoyable when pissed wet and using frozen fingers.
 
#20
Bum Roll - Luxury - -we used to dream of having that after 48hr's of NBC and tinned corned beef
Gayers...we'd have two and then construct some weird bungee lattice to keep it all in place.

Arktis then brought out a version that was about 4 inches bigger with a tightening strap at each end. Still a fecking pain though.
 

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