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Buckshee kit is an interesting thing. Somebody can be in posession of considerable quantities of Buckshee equipment, without ever having bought it, or stolen it. If a store is involved, when questioned, the storeman will insist that he doesn't have any 'Buckshees' but he may have a certain amount of 'working surplus' which is something completely different.

There is a noble art to acquiring surplus equipment, without any paper trail what so ever. The MOD are planning on stopping us wearing Combat 95 kit because it's costing too much. It isn't, it's just that we've all got so much Buckshee 95, that it's breaking the bank.

Soldiers will tend to hoard anything they acquire, whether its useful or not. Soldiers with 7 sets of mess tins; 5 webbing yokes; 27 Straps Futility (always an odd number though!); etc. etc. Absolutely no use whatsoever, but it was buckshee, it must be kept.

The word derives from Baksheesh, Urdu for "money" and used throughout the subcontinent and Middle East to signify a bribe. Once there was a whole body of slang based on Hindi, Urdu and Arabic words thanks to the generations of squaddies stationed in India and other parts of the Empire pre-1947. Now most of it's gone - but buckshee is still going strong. Other examples are Char, Bint, Wallah and Dhobi (as in Hoop Dhobeys).

It should be noted ... Buckshee is a currency all in it's own right similar to barter. No matter what you need, there will always be someone with a buckshee item. Then it's like the old bartering system, Soldier 'A' wants item 1, but hasn't got the requested 'swap' for what soldier 'B' wants. However, soldier 'C' has item required for swap and is diffy the item that soldier 'A' is willing to trade. Believe me, this is a simplified version of what can and does happen though.

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