Needed/useful kit? (different than comfort thread)

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by antphilip, Aug 5, 2004.

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  1. Hello all,

    I'm going to admit my complete ignorance and ask for some help.

    I'm currently in training with the TA to become an officer and as such we're doing the usual things you'd expect, platoon attacks, orders and estimates, TEWTs etc.

    What doesn't seem to be told to us is exactly what we will need in the field. I've picked up on a few basics, nyrex folders etc for paperwork. But are there other things that come in handy when you're out there trying to do the Platoon commander role?

    I'd rather go prepared now than do the weekend/s and it all go completely wrong because i haven't had the kit that I needed.

    All advice and suggestions are appreciated.
  2. For what it's worth:

    1. Go minimal. Do not carry extra weight you do not need. Most of us who have been through all of this have carried countless nirexes, and other bits, around on various ops/exercises, and they've never been out of our webbing /bergan. Bear in mind, that along with your pl sgt, you will be doing more cutting about than anyone in your pl (if doing your job properly), so do not over burden yourself.

    2. Nirexes can be handy, but they are bulky / heavy. Waterproof paper in a well flagged TAM (or whatever we are calling it today), and a waterproof notebook are sufficient. Do not worry about templates etc, they are in the TAM.

    3. If you want some binos, unless you can get a pair with grats, which also have a good exit pupil diameter, of 4-6mm, you're better off with the issue monsters.

    4. A good means of reading at night, AAA maglite covered with pinhole, should allow you to read a map. Have another AA maglite.

    5. A watch which will glow in dark. Traser ( think they may have changed their name) will do.

    6. Take your prismatic, they are heavy but are good. HAve a silva as back-up.

    7. Have a look at the comfort thread in detail, speak to your fellow Pl Comds and see what has worked for them. Your comfort in the field is of paramount importance (and I'm talking not of comfy cushions, but waterproofed / easily accessible and you know where everything is, most used items easiest reach etc). If you fcuk up on your admin, and aren't fully functional, you're a liability to your men. So the most impotant advice is to get your admin squared away.

    Will post more later
  3. Toilet paper - put it in a waterproof bag and keep it in your notebook

    Nail varnish removal pads - use sparingly, but great for cleaning up your TAM if you insist on using perm marker pens.

    Personally would recommend that you get a china graph pencil(s) - great for marking up fabloned maps and TAMs etc , without the hassles of pens and them not working in the rain!! + you can rub it out with your fingers / rubber

    BIN the nirex (or if you must have it keep it in your daysack). You are better off speaking nicely to the PSI and begging/borrowing blank inserts and spending the time putting them alongside estimates etc.

    Definately forget the junior generals folder - you will only look a twat + you seriously do not need it.

    Most of the handouts you will get re orbat / kit check lists should be fabloned and kept in your notebook or better yet put them in your TAM. You will just waste time and space trying to find them in a nirex. ALWAYS Have a copy of the leadership functions handy for when you are at RMAS - they often ask you to show it or quote from it!!

    Have a couple of pencils sharpened at both ends + a rubber.

    Get a decent whistle - very handy for signalling re-org if your radios etc are screwed (bit old fashioned, but useful all the same)

    Spend the time preparing your model kit - get the coloured ribbon / string, write up the various cards (and weight them) but make sure that any symbols or writing on them can be clearly seen / understood by people who may be looking at it in the dark or from 1 - 1.5m away.

    Have a pkt of fags handy - cheap, quick morale boost for the lads (if they smoke)...

    Do have a set of spare batteries for your torch - otherwise it can get very embarassing...

    Do heed DM's advice about weight and carting the kit around - go through your pockets and webbing etc and make sure that everything you are putting in them is a necessity - if it ain't put it in your bergin or leave it at home.
  4. Waterproof notepad in a decent cover to keep your battle stationery together.

    Fablon both sides of your map. I used permanent pens with the eraser pen option - ensure when you fold your map the markings are innermost and don't rub off in your leg pocket/smock.

    Roger all the above. I'm a fan of Tracer type watches - I don't liek the backlighting ones that shout your location out to all observers with II...

    Buffalo shirt and windproof smock a winning combination.
  5. Agree with the windproof smock. Essential. Best bit of kit I ever bought. Keeps you warm, dries quickly. Ideal.
  6. msr

    msr LE

    Or actually paying for it: you can get blank, TAM-sized, waterproof paper from Lansdale. Tel 01784 460793, they sell it in packs of 30 sheets.

  7. Don't wish to rain on the parade and I might seem unhelpful but this strikes me as a clear indicator that PO's should serve time as a rifleman for a year so they can learn how to administer themselves in the field, see how their own leaders manager (well or not) and they can then decide how many useless articles they wish to end up carrying about.
  8. Thank you everyone for the top tips and hopefully any more to come, it really is appreciated.
  9. bit of a cheat ,here beg borrow or steal the Coy laminator for the "fabloning" everyone is talking about , dont forget to take the laminating wallets as well beats trying to fablon when you have had no sleep/time. Talking of "comforts " a small fm radio is a real boost ,you can get a really little one with headphones for about a quid these days, and dont forget the comfy teddy just for laughs.Good luck
    As THEY say
    Scouse g
  10. You can get waterproof TAM paper that is already punched to fit in the tam from HM supplies across the road from the factory. Saves any messing about trying to get the holes the right distance apart with a normal punch. They have a website but cant remember the URL try a search on google.[/quote]
  11. If doing the regular Sandhurst course, you do spend a year as a rifleman / LSW gunner, Sect 2IC et al. Then another 3 months at Brecon, doing the same. Most Pl comds therefore have had a good deal of time to have sorted their lives out. But better go with as much edge as you can, that way you aren't 'learning' at 20 mins to departure on the 4 tonner.

    I think that Antphilip is after the extra bits and bobs for the Pl Comd, which a year as a rifleman isn't going to teach you.

    I echo Grownups, do both sides of your map. Permanent pen is the only thing which will not wear off as quickly. If it is pissing with rain, your map will blur eventually, no matter what you have written on it with. And nothing, not even chinagraph will stick to a map when wet. Best threrefore to keep it dry. Ideal for this are resealable bags. But fablon first.

    As for resealable bags, buy loads of them, they are super handy for pretty much everything, and you can bin them without any grief (unlike ortlieb bags).
  12. The shop at the Sausage Factory sells them too. You'll be issued a TAM there to use too.