Monday, May 14, 2012

Drinking Beer on the Modern Battlefield

When you are off duty of course, and if your issued weapon is from the M16 rifle family post A2 version.

Photo from OpticsPlanet

The OPMOD battle mug. Looks like the final product of some armorer that got bored, I guess it gives you the ability to drink your beverage of choice and a place to put your carrying handle when your rifle is fitted with an optic sight and vice versa. You could also use it as storage for all kinds of things.

It's pretty cool, has that "high speed, low drag" factor, but yet I think for consuming various liquids the ol' canteen cup might edge it out because of it's ubiquity, cost and portability.

Photo from

...but I tend to gravitate towards vintage stuff. When I was in the Corps (back in the mid to late 90s) I used a 70s era cartridge belt. I also stuck with the old ALICE H-harness (All Purpose Individual Carrying Equipment, designed in the early 70s) over the relatively new (at that time) multi-pouch Load Bearing Vest (see Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Relatively new (at that time) multi-pouch Load Bearing Vest

 What I liked about the old cartridge belt was that the clasp was a metal tab that hooked into a metal "loop"(see figure 2) . I was easier to take on and off than the plastic fastener of the modern belts. (see figure 3)

Here is an illustration of the style of harness and cartridge belt I used.

Figure 2. 70s H-harness and cartridge belt

Here's the illustration of the cartridge belt I didn't use, or at least I quit using when I got to the Fleet.

Figure 3. Cartridge belt with the plastic fastener

I was old school. 

The ALICE system of packs and gear was phased out shortly after my enlistment ended. From what I understand it's still in limited use, so it's probable that there are/were some Jarheads running around Iraq and Afghanistan in the old harness... I digress.


  1. i'd be afraid to drink out of it, it might blow my head off!

  2. Can you keep all those gadgets when you leave military service? I bet you wear those things around the house... lol...

  3. well, you get them issued to you so you have to turn them in when you get out, but for some reason you wind up with extra of left over items. they sell that stuff in military surplus stores anyways and yes I do wear them around the house, I carry drinks, snacks and the remote control for the TV in the pouches.

  4. :O :O :O *goes to army surplus store!!!!!*

  5. actually we dont have army surplus stores around here, we barely have an army!!

  6. the internets!

    Around here we have no shortage of stores dedicated to military and tactical accoutrements. Part of it is that I live next to a large Army post, the other reason is that this is the USA.