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Kit relevant to theatre

Just posted on the pro-boot thread which got my wee brain to thinking. (not that it does too much)  I am serving with a home service battalion of the R Irish, much of whose AOR is urban, yet many of us have been routinely issued with pro-boots.  Several of my "country  cousins" have on more than one occasion expressed mild annoyance at this.  Mainly due to the fact that while my tootsies are ensconsed in all their gortex-clad glory on a street corner somewhere, theirs are curling up with damp inside their assault boots in the middle of a boggy field.  I have witnessed many other similar incidents over the years, in various climates and environments.  Making do on deployment with the old-style combats, then discovering later the Regt Clerk had been issued with windproofs for the duration is one other.
Somebody else is bound to have seen or experienced similar.  
The point I'm trying to make is that items of good kit, as issued are too few and far between.  Are these examples "one-off's" or is there a general problem with the right people getting preference to the right kit?


War Hero
On the bbc this morning!

a Ministry of Defence survey has shown soldiers are buying their own equipment because they have no faith in Army issue items.

The survey found 55% of soldiers and 42% of officers said they had bought additional gear, with rucksacks, boots, torches and jackets the most popular items.

Less than half of all soldiers questioned had any faith in Army gear.

article can be found at:


This sort of thing really p155es me off, I saw a load of sailors the papers today getting on board a ship carrying PLCE bergans.

The Royal Engineers have been issued the combat sandwich bag for as long as I can remember unless you're in one of the more specialist units.

Some still only get 1 ammo pouch issued with their webbing (but draw 9 magazines on OPs) and what the fick is that field jerkin all about, be ok if we had a bergan that we could fit it into along with that bouncing bomb of a doss bag.

When they designed the rucksack, stupid all-arms did they believe that we carried less kit than everyone else?

What a load of sh1t


Back to Foggy's original point about the Pro-Boots. Whilst they have a number of advantages - Gore-tex lining being one of them, they also have a number of significant disadvantages. Here's a suggestion for your country cousins:

The main one is that once you get them wet they will take forever to dry out. Unless you are in the COP or on special duties in NI it is, as I'm sure you will agree, extremely unlikely that you will be out on patrol for anything longer than about 4 hours at a stretch. That said you are likely to be out 3-4 times a day at least when on the patrols part of any operational cycle. This of course doesn't include incidents.

If you're only going to be out for frequent but limited periods I would suggest that you would be much better off without Pro Boots and their Gore-tex linings and instead use either the issue assault boots or another type of boot that doesn't have a membrane in it and which will therefore dry out quickly.

If you do that then you will almost always have a dry pair of boots because your wet ones will be dry by the time you get back from patrol (clearly having tabbed in because the Crabs couldn't be bothered to pick you up) and have finished all the post-patrol admin that needs to be done.

Having done a 2 year residential tour and then an ARB tour I've seen it from both sides of the fence and in my experience Pro Boots were excellent for the  predominantly urban residential tour (keep your feet warm, keep them dry from the odd puddle etc) but weren't much use when totally immersed in the bogs down by the border.


War Hero
My view is that leave it to the individual as everyone has a different view. There are options as you are aware of using the goretex boot or the normal assault boot.

I personally prefer the goretex membrane. Yes... if wet they do take time to dry properly until you can stop to dry feet and change socks, but better in my view to keep water out for longer in the first place, then get wet feet quicker by wearing something that lets the water in quicker.
In full agreement with Bayonet Mouse as to the how's and whyfores of wearing different boots to suit.  I can recall at least one delightful evening when wearing them was more akin to having two soaking sponges tied to my trotters.
Point I was attempting to make however was that the relevant kit, (be it boots or whatever) should be issued relevant to theatre.  Using my own environment and pro-boots simply as an example; the initial idea for inserting a goretex lining into boots is that they would be issued primarily to troops whose feet are more likely to get wet.  In my own example it would be those wandering the rural highways and byways.  The example of matelots having "infantry" bergans while certain elements within the army are issued with combat handbags was another.
The general point is that we have little enough decent, issue kit available to us  Too often it seems to be handed out to those less deserving of it than others.


War Hero
it would appear that units going to the hot sandy place are being issued orders that only issued kit can be worn(ie cbat 95 and boots black leather oven). Until such time as desert kit is issued to all in the unit.

Is it the col's/rsm being arsey or is govt seriously embarassed at the cock up they have made over kit.

Btw the desert kit comming through on the enabling contracts was in fact ordered for Afganistan.


Saw a down-brief from Bde today,
all the Desert kit issued so far is all the loan pool stuff, OPFOR, and Ex Lion Sun.

that explains the state of some of the kit (shite)

however, kit is being produced NOW for issue by the 17th of march,

who says the press dont achive anything.....

can i have a desert windproof please...? ;D
Oh goody, you'll have in time to jump on the C-5 home then ;D


The stores side have a lot of say in the requirment for eqpt.

If you have a QM who is more intrested in gaining an MBE rather than fiting out the unit with what they require then there is a problem.  :-/

If you have good clothing nco`s then they should be able to get on the phone and do some wheeling n dealing.........


There are regulations stating quantites and type of kit you can have , also autherisation will come out when you have a major exercise or deployment to use and abuse the system !  ;D  

So as for not being able to get pro/matterhrn boots in Ireland......if you can get a store full in sunny Tidworth, then i`m more than sure there is some one not bothering todo there job !

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