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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

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NOT A NEW PRODUCT THREAD! Just the facts here please! If you want to discuss the pros and cons of a specific figure over another, how your brand is better than another brand or how you found a picture on google which is definitive proof that Rangers wear slippers please take it to the new product threads and argue among the fanboys. Ground rule, be polite. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Opinions supported by facts have more weight than, ”Well, I “think” it should be this way because it’s cool.”

Hi Guys;

Been inundated with questions about what grunts are wearing in Afghanistan both here and on chat. Decided I would share for those interested in doing research. I make it a point not to comment in new product threads because of the negativity that often follows when I share what I've learned. So to avoid being banned or suspended for defending myself I’m starting this thread for guys to get and share info. If you want to stir the pot please take it to the new product threads. If you come here to start crap and drama it’s obvious to the mods who’s starting what.

Everyone is welcome to share so the community has a source of info for accuracy for those interested in that. Encourage you to include your sources if you can so the reader can weigh the credibility of the info you are sharing.

Now to answer the most common questions.

What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan? (Grunts typically applies to CONVENTIONAL Infantry though I personally expand it to include those troops that make their living outside the wire in direct support of Infabtry units like combat engineers, medics, dog handlers etc.)

Multicam in an ACU cut is what is issued along with a couple of combat shirts. The current issue is four uniforms and two shirts or at least it was according to SGM (Ret) House of the Army’s Rapid Fielding Initiative office as of Sep ’11. Soldiers augment issue with personally purchased gear. It’s few and far between where conventional troops will drop $300 on a crye battle uniform.

MC helmet cover (just like the UCP version but in MC).

Plate carrier vs. IOTV?

Combat troops (those that typically leave the wire) are issued both as of sep’11 discussion I had with PEO Soldier reps. The plate carrier is much more popular according to my clients. Not everyone is infantry though or for one reason or another (shortages, chain of command, vehicle vs. foot patrol) you'll see the IOTV in use on occasion. Often it will be stripped to essentials (no throat or collar pads) and maybe just the groin pad which is a PAIN if you have to climb.

ACU vs. MC kit in Afghanistan? When for what? Confusing!

YES! Starting around Aug ’10 the Army started issuing OCP (Army acronym for MC) to conventional troops deploying to Afghanistan. If you were already there you were likely not to get a set. Venivicivici shared he didn’t get or see MC in OEF until he was relieved by the 101st. I had deploying troops to include the 48th BDE (Ga Nat’l Guard) in my shop that had been issued MC in Aug’10. Why the partial issue/confusion? Many just don’t realize how big the Army is at times. The decision to issue MC isn’t made in a vacuum. Decisions hadn’t been made on pouches, vests, manufacturers etc. When decisions were made quantities didn’t exist and so units were prioritized, some given partial issues, some got nothing etc. Bureaucracy at its best but in defense you have to centralize decisions for organizations as big as the Army. Like we saw when the Army switched to coffee stain kit and later UCP. Looks like It wasn’t until mid ’11 that there were enough MC and late ’11 until troops got issued both plate carriers and IOTVs. Before then the issue of plate carriers was haphazard and included four different types of plate carriers.

Ammo pouch observation.

Seems to be about a 50/50 mix between two mag ammo pouches and shingle/racks. Soldiers are issued both now. They weren’t always so you see a mix. Advantage to shingles is it’s easier to get in/out of vehicles/aircraft in shingles. Less profile. It also helps getting into the narrower doorways of Afghanistan. On the downside they suck up a lot of space on your vest. It’s a personal preference thing. Recent vets might have some more insight. I was told that the Rangers prefer the shingles for the reasons I describe so the thinking is sound and the conventional guys often mimic or learn the same lessons that the operators do.

If this thread/post has been a help please say so. It’s not worth my typing this up if folks don’t care. It also demonstrates that there is an interest in this kind of info as folks participate in the hobby. I encourage any OSW member to PM me but if the mods allow this thread to exist separate from the new product threads this may be a way to share info without the drama of whose brand is better or” I just want to be different or cool” which is FINE. There’s no need to feel threatened if your search for “artistic expression” isn’t exactly the same as most ground truth.

Additional input about weapons, sights (vvv shared some good info in chat last night about sights) is welcome especially if it's bsed on experience or discussions with those that have done it.

Regards,

Will
 

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CTRL+S.
I'll second that I'm surprised that - before the presumptive release of the upcoming CD grunts - that the only times a manufacturer has done an ACU cut uniform in multicam were in VH releases and the SS 10th SFG. It makes me REALLY happy that two big name manufacturers are tackling grunts this year. Hopefully this is the start of a new trend, given the USMC grunts that SS released.
 

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Lets Go Blues
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Will GREAT INFORMATION! I think its a good idea to have this thread or threads like it when a new figure comes out to discuss accuracies and inaccuracies. I think it would be a great help. As I said before to you, I want to get one of these figures(actually both!) and send her one to her unit and I think it really helps when the figures is right on the money. Is the weapon and setup of the M-4 on the CD figure accurate? My friend uses the M-4 but I never asked her what her set up is. Also comms gear. Do they not have, I guess headsets? I dont know if thats the correct terms for it or not. The boots on the figure with the M-4 look off, the ones on the gunner look dead on to the real like Danners. I havent seen a grey set of Danners like that before. Anyways I am finished with my questions haha
 

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Personally I'm very interested in this kind of discussion and it's something I enjoy but it may not be for everyone and that's perfectly fine, there's plenty of room for everyone on this forum.
I agree with MK-23 (I don't know you but you always come across as a cool guy) that it would be nice to see this kind of thread to accompany the (extremely important) new release threads so we can get down to the 'nitty gritty' (I don't know if that's a term used outside the UK but it basically means to get stuck into the detail)
My only concern is that this kind of thread very quickly can become aggressive and harsh words are thrown around so it's important to acknowledge all opinions and nobody should be excluded from expressing opinions even if they are somewhat 'controversial'
So basically what I'm saying is that this kind of thread is a great idea (and I would love to see more 1/1 military photo threads on this forum) but if an opinion or thought is shared that might not be accurate or 'well informed' than that person should not be chastised by other forum members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
CC - Not going to weigh in on a specific figure release for all the reasons I already described.

Multicam in an ACU cut is always welcome. Punisher might be able to weigh in but as I understand many SF guys use ACUs in MC because they don't get enough Crye combat uniforms.

Mk23 - Like I said. Not going to weigh in on a specific manufacturers new release.

Good question though. How are troops running their M4s? The M68 is going to be the most popular hands down for a conventional troop. There are two versions out. The newest has a longer battery tube. Someone mught know the specific nomenclature or post pics. Other sights one might see are ACOGs and Eo Techs. In reality that depends on the unit. Some commanders have discretionary funds that hey may dedicate to purchase additional sights for issue to leaders and designated marksman for instance or to give each squad some magification capability (speaking to the ACOG specifically). Its also not uncommon for troops to buy their own sight out of pocket. So one is going to see a lot of CCO, ACOGS and Eo Techs o the battlefield..

The PEQ2 has pretty much gone by the wayside. PEQ 15 is the way to go. Some input from vets would help but from my clients the conventional guys in Afghanistan got the emphasis for PEQ15 issue late '09 around the time of the surge. By early '11 they were pretty much gone in OEF. Chatting back and forth with Matt is leading me to believe black PEQ15s are quite common now. Not so a year ago. Most operators seem to be sporting the tan PEQ15s though again. Punisher might be able to weigh in or I'll aask next time i chat with him.
 

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I think this is a good thread idea and agree that this kind of discussion is best left out of the new product threads. For better or worse, the figure sets don't represent what (US) soldiers necessarily wear day-to-day.
 

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motivated and dedicated
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Nice! Awesome thread, sir. It cleared up alot of questions.


"Fanboys" lmao love it.
 

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The current issue is four uniforms and two shirts
A buddy of mine was WIA in Afghanistan last month and is at BAMC. He got a pass and came out to stay with us this weekend and said they were issued four jackets and five trousers. They were told the trouser crotch area tears easily, thus the extra pair.

He's with 4th Bde/4th ID.
 

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A buddy of mine was WIA in Afghanistan last month and is at BAMC. He stayed with us this weekend and said they were issued four jackets and five trousers. They were told the trouser crotch area tears easily, thus the extra pair.

He's with 4th Bde/4th ID.
That reminded me of a news story from last year. The Aussies had the same problem.
 

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Glad to see this thread, Major Rod! I have missed your posts and insight whenever there is a product announcement thread. I for one really appreciate someone with actually knowledge sharing what they know. Not that every figure need to be accurate or anything, but it was nice to have a little info so I could inject a little realism into my figures from time to time. Just having that option makes the hobby way more fun!
 

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Very interesting! I don't know much about US modern forces (and they change all the time) so it would be very convenient to perhaps list the different items for each kind of trooper (Army and USMC have different stuff, don't they?).

I'll begin with the skeleton - feel free to copy and fill in anything new:

US Army Infantry soldier 2012
Boots:
Uniform (pattern and type):
Gloves:
Vest:
Helmet:
Helmet attachments:
Pouches:
Grenades:
Other equipment:
Weapon(s):
Holster:

US Marine Corps Marine 2012
Boots:
Uniform (pattern and type):
Gloves:
Vest:
Helmet:
Helmet attachments:
Pouches:
Grenades:
Other equipment:
Weapon(s):
Holster:

Now, one thing I thought about but omitted was a column for brands supplying the items in question in 1/6. I think it might also be prudent to add a notes section for each type to add information about when changes were done, and how common certain types of equipment are (for its time of course). For example, someone told me it was very common that USMC used privately purchased gloves, pouches and all kinds of stuff which I think is important.
 

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To answer the blk vs tan LA5 or PEQ15 as some call it...
The blk version was the older model which was replaced by the tan version. On the exterior there is no real difference, the differences are internally. Im going to place an assumption as to why the blk version may be common on the conventional side possibly due to SOF turning theirs in and it is then reissued to the regular grunts. SOF continues to be roughly 2 to 3 yrs ahead when it comes to equipment, and other higher budgeted tiers tend to be another year or so ahead of the green berets equipment wise. I hate giving assumptions but In lew of solid facts common sense weighs in more heavily.

CRYE uniforms are now issued to army SF BTW, as is the opscore helmet.
 

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Lets Go Blues
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Doh! Sorry Will, I should have read your first post more clearly! Thanks for the info again. Really helps when you are trying to put together an accurate figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Longhorn - nice tidbit. Was he issued any combat shirts?

Warge - Good format. Now comes the work to fill it in!

Punisher - Interesting! Just to clear up my confusion. I thought the LA5 and PEQ15 were different with the LA5 having a visible light. Am I confused? I do a lot of stuff for the Rangers and they've never asked me for black PEQ15s. Good nugget. Older SF Black, more current tan PEQ15.

Ref the crye, I knew you guys were issued some sets but are you getting enough? My interface with Special Forcessoldiers left me with the impression that many augment their issue with ACUs in OCP. Are we past that point? Is it now more common for ODAs to be in Crye than in OCP ACUs?

Thanks for taking the time to share. In the middle of it is always the best source.
 

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No visible light on either, both have a visible red laser option, the tan VBL light is what comes in the SOPMOD 2 kit with the tan LA5.

CRYEs are going straight to teams on the rotation right now, and those refitting in the rear are getting sized and back filled. Same goes with the helmet. ACUs in OCP are just as bad as ACU just a much better pattern. The trouser crotch rips out, Velcro wears out, and the OCP version is more stiff due to the pesticide treatment, which makes it feel more hot in many guys opinion.
 
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