• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Australian Issue Kit

I've noticed that the Aussies, whether in the UK or on Ops, seem to only wear issue kit. (Especially the boots.) Unlike the UK, "can't wear it if it was free" gang.
Is this because Digger kit is superb, or is the Aus Army a bit **** about blokes supplying themselves?

Hope you b'stards can drag yourselves away from the beach barbie long enough to answer this one...
Aussie kit has gotten a lot better over the last decade but that is not the main reason really. The message from the SNCOs etc was to only wear issue kit when I was there as that was the only stuff 'you could get through the system' so to speak (particularly relevant I suppose on ops). Whilst the message on GP boots was pretty strong I do remember guys buying their own webbing and taking that bush with them, with no one really batting an eyelid. I think culturally it is different too in that the Aussies expect to be issued with almost everything and not really have to spend their own dosh on important kit.
Re Boots, Chief of Army issued a directive last year authorising wear of certain Altimas, Bellevilles, Bates & Crossfires ... these can be worn on OP or EX in lieu of the issued boots. If these break on OP they WILL replace from the system, but it will be the issued set.

Re webbing, there have been a series of trials of various chest rig and vests, but all seem to come to naught. Many folks buy their own kit, but that depends on the local policies - some COs and RSMs approve, some don't.

The Army Reserve is currently back to "issued webbing only" thanks to some blank-ball contamination incidents.

As Lighthorseman stated, the issued stuff now is vastly better than the stuff issued 20 years ago when I was a newbie - that crap hadn't changed since the Vietnam war.
I joined in the early 90s and still remember kit like the 'Smock, Tropical', which we all referred to as 'Smock, Psychological' it was that sh*te. The 'Jumper. Howard Green' was another that I remember, as the only piece of Cold Weather clothing we were issued for both barracks and in the field! Those were the days when the Australian Army was in the doldrums and a poor third to the Navy and Air Force, when 'Defence of Australia' was the dominant policy.
Timmypig said:
Re Boots, Chief of Army issued a directive last year authorising wear of certain Altimas, Bellevilles, Bates & Crossfires ... these can be worn on OP or EX in lieu of the issued boots. If these break on OP they WILL replace from the system, but it will be the issued set.

Cheers Timmypig,
looks like a wide choice of Yankee wellies for the blokes to choose from then! More seriously I'd been hoping that a hot, arid country like Aus would have had the boot/kit situation weighed off. Not buying boots from people allergic to walking. Has Hard Yakka gone bust, or something?
Thank God for AltBerg.
I'm guessing rounds were found stuck in a non-issue pouch.
Regular Army can wear own gear - to a degree. This is very much CO/OC driven. Generally personal webbing is accepted, however there are **** idiots who try and implement the 'issue only' policy to the letter.
msr said:
How did webbing cause this?
Most of us would argue that that it didn't ... plainly the inspections prior to the activities in question were lame and ball ammo not picked up. Initially the ban was on a certain type of elasticised pouch, which CAN under certain circumstances catch a loose round and make it hard to pick up in a slack check.

I suspect the blanket ban is to cover the Army's arrse from a legal stance.

Cynical, moi?
Our kit isn't too bad, but like Nige said there are some tool Hierachy who do drive that policy too far.

I've never had a problem with the Terra boots, but then again I don't wear them that often (I use Fireants as I'm required to have the steel caps.). I haven't had to buy much, just an ALICE pack to replace the god-awful AusPack and a double webbing comforter.

A lot of it is each to their own really.
What are the issue boots like nowadays? They used to be sh1t (Terra's, made by Redback), weighed a metric ton when wet and were prone to picking up stones by the dozen, but it was policy to make guys wear regardless. Every now and then they'd do a new update of them (iirc it was the mk 7 or something like that when I left).

A lot of blokes grumble about them, but how much of that is the desire to look all Gucci in some Altimas, and how much is genuine gripe?

The one gripe I have is that they stretch a great deal, and what fits really nicely at the Q store is too loose 6-8 months later. Otherwise I'm happy enough with mine. My field pair will probably need replacing soon, after 2 and a half years (I'm a Chocko); I know lots of blokes who over the same period are on their third or fourth pair after all old ones have fallen apart.

msr said:
Timmypig said:
The Army Reserve is currently back to "issued webbing only" thanks to some blank-ball contamination incidents.
How did webbing cause this?

The story passed down was that unissued webbing "plat a crap" stylee was being used that had elasticated pockets. A live round was trapped in the elasticated pockets and was not picked up end ex in the clearance. It then somehow miracuously made its way into a blank mag put in the elasticated pocket on the next blank firing excercise and someone got shot.

Pretty sure there has been some elaboration on this story, but that's what was passed on to us. Therefore no un issued vests to be used until Further notice, as quite obviuosly the webbing/vest is to blame and not the lack of proper clearance!!!!!!!!
Always really liked the terra boot, my only big gripe is their lack of durability, I find I was going through a pair every 6 months when I was playing infantry.

No huge drama on exercise and courses, but I can imagine your boot falling apart mid-operation would be a right pain in the arse - hence a lot of movement towards non-issued boots on operations.

I believe its a fairly smart move, boots, like packs and webbing, are an incredibly personal thing, and need to be as unique as the person that wears them. A blanket solution might make an army look brilliant on a parade ground, but cost capability in the real world at the sharp end when bits of lead are being chucked around at other human beings. Tbh, soldiers should be issued or allowed to use the best available kit possible. Not the gucciest, best looking, cheapest or for that matter most expensive - the best.

Why? If its the individual's comfort, health and life on the line, why the fk not!

Back onto Aussie issued kit - I've found it a huge mis-match of good and bad, excellent and rubbish. Tbh, the kit does what it needs to do, and fills the requirements it needs to require. Get away from the particular specific needs of today's operations, the suite of issue kit will allow a soldier to fight and survive on the battlefield effectively. He may not be terribly comfortable or happy, but he will not be ineffective. It is hard to justify much more with taxpayers money. But if the soldier wants more, he should be allowed to do so, and have it deducted from his tax.
I'm a bit unchuffed to hear that you Convicts are as poorly kitted out as us Poms. I always looked at the Diggers as being ahead of the UK in many ways, especially in looking after the blokes.
Being a lateral transferee, I can confirm that Diggers are generally better looked after than Toms.
Kit wise, it is much easier to get hold of items such as webbing as the Stores are better provisioned, plus you have the option of buying your own gear (either Issue pattern or Customised) and putting it on your tax return. Even items such as sunglasses can be claimed for, although trainers can't (?).
Issue boots are fine, they do wear out a bit quicker, but they are comfortable and replaceable free. Mind you I am with Cav and don't tend to walk too far...
Diggers do have to put up with a bit more bullshit overall though - applying for leave is an art form here.
Here's the reason for my post. I'd heard that Diggers can buy kit and claim it back on tax. But I scarce believed it. Surely here is the final solution for pi$$ poor kit issue. Just buy your own (and a spare if req'd -eg boots) then hit the tax man via your unit pay clerk.

It's not my idea. I saw a very angry soldier "suggest" it to some MoD creatures. Too tall a pill for them to swallow? Or can us Poms do likewise?
I think it would require MoD and Treasury to agree on the regulations, anything requiring treasury to receive less tax will have a hard job being approved I fear.

Latest Threads