The other day we went to a warehouse to draw our RFI. RFI is the result of Donald Rumsfled who said that the military didn't have time to design, test, and equip the force and decided to go with off of the shelf items that Soldiers need for deployment.
And it was like Christmas at the Army store. Everything we got was new in its packaging. It was modern - with some of the latest technology included. It fit - or at least you stayed there until it did. It was free - thanks to the American taxpayer.
We exited the warehouse with a new duffle bag full of cold and wet weather clothing and a new ruck sack full of a dozen attachable pockets of every shape and size and utility.
I am feeling my age because it is all a little confusing to a Soldier who came into the Army and was issue two ammo pouches, one canteen, one field dressing, a pistol belt and a set of suspenders to hold it on my waist. The young Soldiers have their gear configured within 30 mintues whereas me and my peers are still fumbling with the cloth helmet cover.
At least we now look like every other Soldier you see pictures of. In other words, we are not getting sloppy seconds that someone else wore for 12 months in Iraq or Afghanistan, or something that the Active Duty troops got tired of using.
The troops look good and spirits are high.