Did/Do you carry in the military? Story time... ;)

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Well, this has been an interesting thread to read. :)

I did 20 years Air Force, started as a C-130 crew chief, then moved into the C-130 Flight Engineer career field.

Picked up a Camper SAK as was going through FE training, and that knife was dummy-corded into my flight suit knife pockets for the next 16 years. Added a black oxide Leatherman PST about four years after getting the SAK, and it was either on the flight suit waist strap or in a pocket as an addition to the SAK. During Desert Shield/ Storm, our aircraft commander bought each of the crew an Explorer Stubby. Turned out to be an incredibly useful little knife. Still have all three.
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Over the 20 years, I picked up knives here and there. Most came and went. A few stayed with me and were used off and on. Two I really liked and still have, are an original Cold Steel Tanto and an Al Mar SERE 30002-A. The CS should have some TLC to the edge. I spent some time working on the Al Mar, it was suffering from a bit too much pocket carry. Still has some staining on the blade steel, and I need to spend a little more time with some flitz on the pivot pins to remove the last tiny bit of surface rust, but it looks pretty good considering its age and that it was carried and used. The markings on the micarta won't be coming off without some time on a buffer, and I doubt I'll do that.
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As for doing anything different? Might not get the Tanto, cool-looking very solid knife, but I could think of a better fixed blade for the aircrew thing.
 
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I had many different carry knives when I was in. There was the issue M9 bayonet for sure. Heavy beast that they made us tie down to prevent use and loss. Got in trouble for sharpening mine and a few others. I also carried a Western boot knife. It clipped on my LBE right behind an ammo pouch. Then there was a Gerber Parabellum which had a large black pouch and lived on my LBE. In my pocket I’d carry a Spyderco Hunter, Gerber Magnum LST, or a Benchmade Balisong. Once I discovered the Leatherman tools, I had one with me whenever I had pants on :) I always found it ridiculous that even though I was in the Infantry, command hated and banned edged weapons. Oh they taught us to believe “ Kill! Kill! Kill! With ice cold steel!!!!!!” But we’d catch a lot of flack for actually showing up with knives in view! That’s why my stuff stayed hidden/disguised :D Here are the Western and my Leatherman :)
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I have the non-blackened version of the Western, with the Rosewood handles, same sheath. That was a decent knife for the money IMHO.
 
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I was a Boatswain’s Mate in the late 80s to early 90s. Not issued anything by the USN, but once I was a rated seaman aboard a destroyer, was authorized to open carry a brass framed locking knife and a marlinspike in a handmade leather rig. Once you made E-4, you were also authorized to burn the crossed anchors into your rig’s leather.

First carry was a Case Hammerhead. Second was a Case Mako. Finally, I went with the winner, which was a Buck 110, field modded by a Machinist’s Mate to have finger grooves customized to my grip.
 
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So that is why some of the Model 61 Soldiers had a hollow rivet!
This explains a lot. Thank you for sharing.
Another use of the knife is to strip the bolt of the Stg 57. Put a section of the cleaning rod in the hole of the mainspring, push the fireing pin forward, and then pinch it between the awl and the cap lifter/screwdriver, and remove the pin holding the transfer bar to seperate the bolt. A swiss soldier can keep all his kit when he is demobilised/retires so I can still play with my Stg57 (modified to semi-auto) or take it to the local range whenever I want.
 
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I join the Army as a Infantryman in 1997
Carried lots
In Iraq 2003-2003 I started with a Tops Steel Eagle Tanto point no teeth. Later that Year I had a Chris Reeve Green Beret
In Iraq 2008-2009 I have like 12 fixed blades and few folders to rotate. I remember having a Bob Dozier Mod Ranger, I custom from Luke Swenson, Custom from Martin Knives (ED & Newt), Peace Keeper from Bryan Breeden. But the one I carried the most was a standard Randall Model 14
 
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Not from the military myself, I'm in the police, but I use to train military staff for CQC fighting. I had to explain them why a knife isn't that good in CQC and how an expandable baton would be way better. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I've convinced a lot of them... but I still think it's one of those things that could save your life one day.

When adrenaline kicks-in, the blunt force of a baton >>> knive cuts, even with a big tacticool knife.

I also tried to teach them why you should never engage in CQC if you have ANY other options. CQC is the latest of the last resort even if you outnumber your target. It can get very messy and the outcome will always be way more random than you'd like.
 

StoneAndSteel

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I had to explain them why a knife isn't that good in CQC and how an expandable baton would be way better.

While it might be more immediately debilitating, it's a one trick pony: it's a club. A knife has a million uses.

It's also my understanding that police, at a tactical level, generally ramp force up from the the least violent means necessary to to the most to subdue a citizen. Combat arms will often start from their primary (a rifle) and then go down as they must. If a marine/soldier/airman/sailor is using a knife to kill an enemy something has gone terribly wrong.
 

PheonixKingZ

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When I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1987 I had been carrying an Old Timer 34OT, for about 3-4 years as a young kid working on farms. Once I got done with boot camp, that’s the knife I carried...until I lost it one day!! I was a bummed out, because I really liked that knife. I went to the PX and bought a Victorinox small Tinker. I used some 550 cord and fastened it to my belt loop on my utilities so it wouldn’t get lost. I carried that knife through the rest of my time in the Corps and almost exclusively up until a few years ago. It was responsible for feeding many Marines in the field. Not by harvesting anything to eat, but opening the MRE poucheso_O I never quite understood how someone could get through the military, especially in the field, without some type of knife.
I also had a Kabar I would carry in the field. Mostly because what Marine wouldn’t want to have a Kabar with him??

I still have the Kabar and small Tinker, the 34OT pictured here was a replacement my Grandad gave me about 23 years ago.

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I have that same Old Timer also, cool!

It seems like a lot of military personal uses to carry SAK’s. Very helpful and not that expensive, even in my short experience. :)

(Also Spyderco? ;))
 
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When deployed in 2005 I was issued a Gerber multitool, love it, still have it. We had bayonets that were left in a toughbox in our CP. Our 1SG thought we would probably hurt ourselves more with a bayonet than any use we would see from them. He was right, of course.

Funny story for deployment. We took a commercial flight to Kuwait, prior to boarding, a flight attendant listed items that were not allowed, lighters, matches, knives. Now we were all just issued the multitool and a bunch of guys had fixed blades on their vests. Oh yeah, we also were carrying our M4s, M16s, M249s, M240s, even a few M203s. No ammo of course, but still funny to say no knives to a group of soldiers.
 

sabre cat

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I have that same Old Timer also, cool!

It seems like a lot of military personal uses to carry SAK’s. Very helpful and not that expensive, even in my short experience. :)

(Also Spyderco? ;))

Yeah, a SAK makes a lot of sense.
Decent steel, super easy to sharpen, and not very expensive.

A multi-tool and a Cadet or Pioneer would work. At least with what little experience I had.

I like the Gerber MT, myself. If they only had better steel.
 
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While it might be more immediately debilitating, it's a one trick pony: it's a club. A knife has a million uses.

It's also my understanding that police, at a tactical level, generally ramp force up from the the least violent means necessary to to the most to subdue a citizen. Combat arms will often start from their primary (a rifle) and then go down as they must. If a marine/soldier/airman/sailor is using a knife to kill an enemy something has gone terribly wrong.

If you are in combat, things went terribly wrong already. All you can do is try to be ready for what ever the other side hands you.
 

junglefighter

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junglefighter junglefighter - love those great classic lines! What model is that?
Daniel,
It is based on the Randall 14 that Bob Appleby did for me a few years back.. I carried my original Randall 14 while a police officer, but put that in retirement and asked Bob to make me a clone of it so I could carry it as an edc when in the bush.. Now that I am retired, it is used as an edc on a rotational basis due to the upswing of incidents here..
 

Dav(id)03

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Oct 29, 2020
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We’re you
I served in the Marine Corps infantry from 2004-2009.

I did a rotation guarding nuclear missiles for the first couple years, during which time I carried a partially serrated Kershaw Blackout. When I got to a deploying unit, they gave us all Gerber Mini Gators if we wanted one. They didn't hold an edge very well and were basically junk. My Lieutenant ended up giving me a Benchmade AFO (the original model) and that's what I ended up carrying for the rest of the deployment while in Ramadi. As far as combat knife we were all issued the Ontario Marine bayonet if we had a rifle with an exposed bayonet stud. If we carried a SAW or M16 with an M203 attached we were issued the Ontario version of the Kabar. I personally carried a standard Kabar that I bought at the PX before deployment, and carried it through two combat tours in Iraq.
We’re you with 3/8 by chance
 

Dav(id)03

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I bought a crkt m-16 at the px in area 52 at Camp Pendleton, stolen by a ginger, probably..Creepiest dude I’ve ever seen...

I bought a 940 from mainside after that one weekend. I carried that knife from 06-17. Tour in Iraq, jungles of Okinawa job sites in Chicago...been thru everything and never had an issue. I left it in a bar that burned down near my home. A true loss. Bought a new one but have never used it...
 
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StoneAndSteel

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I guess I should have answered the OP's question instead of getting distracted. Like some guys have mentioned, some command teams get nervous about fixed blades. For a long time I carried an ESEE Izula II because it had a killer warranty, and was stupid easy to sharpen, it was cheap and I was poor--a perfect fit! Then the wrong command decided that fixed blades were scary and I reverted to Spyderco PM2/Para3 when I was in garrison. But in the field I loved carrying my Swamprat RMD and no one ever said anything; by then I was milking the "rank has its privileges" card.

Eventually I learned by that in the field that tools essentially become communal property. If you're the only one whose knife is still sharp, your knife is the one that gets used for group tasks. So you need to either have a knife with an awesome warranty because some douchebag is going to abuse it when you're not looking, or you need to have a cheap knife whose edge retention is poor so your knife is the first to lose its edge. I went with the former (and never told the guys how much I spent on the knives I wouldn't loan them).
 
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