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Happy 4th of July from RDDUSA

As you celebrate this wonderful day with your grilled hotdogs and flame broiled burgers, please remember that this wonderful freedom that you enjoying in the form of celebration with friends and family isn’t free; it was bought with a price.

That price comes in many forms. Most notably is the blood and lives of those Americans who have fought and died to protect your right to lie poolside on such a glorious day and celebrate the happiness of living your life away from the tyranny and usury that is so prevalent in other societies under other government rules.

And so, I ask ,as you go camping this holiday season, or even if you’re just pitching the old military surplus tent in the back yard for your grandkids to play in… do so with a silent prayer on your lips and in your heart for those men and women who have taken up arms in just such an environment. In such an environment as this to live and sometimes die so that collectively we might all enjoy the right to enjoy the free capital lifestyle that has made America the greatest nation on the planet and many other nations much greater than they would otherwise have been.

I write this with the knowledge that as we progress forward that many lives must be placed in jeopardy, much more blood must be spilled, and more must be given from each and every one of us to maintain that which we have. Our sons and daughters will serve and fight and protect us all in these coming, uncertain days. My very own son, my first born, leaves for service in the Marine Corps in October of this year. He does so with gladness and anticipation; eager to defend the rights and liberties of this great Constitution. And with that in mind, we wish you all a very happy 4th of July.

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Renewable resources: 2 ways that military surplus is circumventing the energy crisis

On a recent trip through Indiana I happened to come across a field of high density turbines which are used to harness wind for a renewable energy source in the form of windmill farming.

One scene in particular struck me as epic and I had to stop and snap a picture. In the background of the photograph one sees a high density turbine, in the forefront there are power lines. In between is a decrepit old barn with the advertisement for “Mail Pouch” still barely visible on it, the testimony of days gone by. Back in the middle of the century there were no billboards you see, and companies would advertise their products by paying to paint their logos on barns by the side of the road. I interpreted this scene as “The old and the new” while in between, the rotting wooden hulk represents their effect on the nation’s culture.

The fact of the matter is that our culture is influenced now by the need for sustainable energy. Gone are the days of the high horsepower engines and the seemingly endless pools of fossil fuels. Today we need to focus on the possibility that the population is going to increase while the resources decrease. Luckily the U.S. Military is working on several different methods of doing just that. Here are 2:

  1. Solar panelled tents. With todays technology, electricity is a must for the different weapons systems that are being utilized by the military. It is for this reason that research and development is being done to create a tent that will reduce and eventually eradicate the need for fuel powered generators.
  2. Motion generated electricity. There is a personally worn body brace that creates electricity from the movement of a soldiers body. While this brace will not produce enough electricity to be able to power a laptop, it will generate enough power to recharge a cellphone or a pad of some sort, which are now powerful enough to do everything from communications to operating personal drone devices for surveillance.
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Re-appropriation: 3 ways you should gather supplies beyond buying them

First of all, I want to stress that by “re-appropriation”, I do not mean “theft”. There is no need to steal, not in America, not in this day and time.  There is too much abundance and wealth spread out throughout the entire nation.

We are a great nation of prosperity and with that prosperity comes great waste. My old buddy The Wildman, once decided that he had done all of the work that he ever planned to do and went about trying to live off of doing what he loves, hunting and fishing. The problem was that he lived in the city; however, there was an advantage that he enjoyed… a river ran through it. Therefore he was able to live pretty comfortably by re-appropriation. Here are three methods of re-appropriation.

  1. Craigslist style ads. There’s lots of free stuff out there, so don’t be shy about looking for it. There are many generous people in the nation who have so much that they are not above sharing with those less fortunate than they. Some of the Free Items on social media sites are valuable too. Take advantage of other’s generosity.
  2. Roadside trash. I have seen many items of great value set along the side of the road, discarded property waiting for the trash-man. Some have said that this is an illegal activity; however, the Supreme Court has ruled, (in California vs Greenwood), that when a person discards an item then it becomes public domain, so… enjoy!
  3. Dumpster Diving. As stated before, discarded items become public domain according to case law. That being said, there are a few things you should consider. One is that trespassing is still illegal, so if the dumpster is on private property, you might find yourself crossways with the law. Another thing to consider is trash pickup time. You don’t want to get caught up in the trash when it gets dumped in the compacter.
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Military surplus news: 2018’s MRE change

Photo courtesy of the US Army

I’m so excited by the newest addition to the military MRE selection for 2018 that I nearly can’t stand myself.

In a move reminiscent of the daily lunch option at Preble Shawnee Consolidated High School in rural Gratis, Ohio, the military is now offering  an opportunity to have pizza for lunch out in the field as a MRE option.

In a recent news article in KITUP magazine the cat was let out of the bag:

 

The pepperoni pizza entrée has been added to the 2018 Meals, Ready to Eat menu and should be on its way to the field soon.

The pizza MRE will include cheddar and jalapeno cheese spread, Italian breadsticks, cookies, cherry-blueberry cobbler and a chocolate protein drink powder.

“You know, for a pizza that has to last for at least three years … it’s pretty stinking good,” said Jeremy Whitsitt, deputy director of the Defense Department’s Combat Feeding Directorate.

“Whenever we have sampled it with people, the primary comment that comes back is, ‘Hey, it tastes like the pizza I had last night that I put in the fridge,’ he said.

“I think that is a great compliment when you think about bread, sauce, cheese and meat — all have to survive in the same pouch together for three years without going bad, or getting stale or moldy,” Whitsitt added.

The pizza is made with a high-heat-tolerant mozzarella cheese and a process that controls moisture levels, pH and oxygen levels to ensure a three-year shelf life, he said.

However, it’s difficult to predict when units will see the new pizza MRE, he said.

“I can’t tell you when troops will see it because that’s all dependent on what their stock is and how quickly they eat though their older stock” of MREs, Whitsitt said.

Defense Logistics Agency officials said it will be available to most troops in about 18 months, according to a May 25 Army press release.”

The good news for us is that these babies will be hitting the surplus line soon enough and we can enjoy our youthful dietary measures all over again.

 
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The CMP; 3 things you must know about the 1911 surplus program

If you’re like me and are a big fan of the Colt 1911 frame .45 handgun, then you are probably fairly excited about the prospect of the Federal Government opening up the coffers and offering the surplus Colt 1911 military grade sidearms that they have been hoarding away for over 100 years.

According to an article recently posted on Apple News, there is going to be a brief window to purchase these things, and there are going to be some pretty harsh restrictions concerning them.  As with the old M1 Garand rifles, these 1911s are going to be offered through the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and they are going to be offered at a fairly steep price based on grade. So, basically it seems that these old workhorses will be offered as a commemorative item as opposed to a utilitarian item… a keepsake if you will.

Here are three highlights that you should know about the program:

  1. Order form packets will be posted on the CMP website June 4. The CMP makes it quite clear that it does not want to be contacted with questions before June 4, nor will it take any orders before Sept. 4. “PLEASE DO NOT CALL, LEAVE MESSAGES OR EMAIL THE CMP 1911 CUSTOMER SERVICE/SALES DEPARTMENT (which will be functional 4 June 2018),” the site states.
  2. The CMP site also lists the prices for the 1911s based on their condition.

    — Service Grade pistols will cost $1,050. These pistols “may exhibit minor pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.”

    — Field Grade pistols will cost $950. These pistols “may exhibit minor rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.”

    — Rack Grade pistols will cost $850. These pistols “will exhibit rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips may be incomplete and exhibit cracks. Pistol requires minor work to return to issuable condition.”

    There is also an Auction Grade, the price of which will be driven by the auction, and the pistol’s condition will be described when posted for sale, the CMP site states. It was not clear when the auction will be held.

  3. Customer names from complete order form packets will be fed into a computerized random number generator on Oct. 5. It will provide a list of names in sequential order through the random selection process, the site states. Customers will be contacted in the sequence provided by number generator.

    Customers will have the opportunity to select their grade of pistol — Service, Field or Rack — from available inventory at the time of order notification, the site states.

    The CMP will perform a NICS background check to ensure the customer is eligible to purchase prior to shipment to a “storefront” federal firearms licensed dealer, according to the website. The customer must receive a “proceed” from NICS prior to shipment of the pistol to the dealer.

    For more information, please go to CMP’s 1911 Information webpage.

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Military tent camping product review: The Hanging Cupboard

Whenever I go military tent Camping, I always seem to end up with my stuff piled on top of itself, pell-mell in a backpack. Getting what I need out of it can be a horrendous chore, and what normally happens is that I end up with an empty pack and my stuff scattered hither and yon all over the campsite to find what I need at the moment.

The good news is that for your next military tent camping adventure, you can have a nice portable hanging cupboard that will double as a backpack. According to the guys at Cabela’s you can:

Keep your campsite’s cook shack organized and clean with this weatherproof, collapsible cupboard. Extends to 30″, yet collapses to less than 2″ high for easy packing. Lightweight, water-resistant 400-denier nylon shell features three 22″L x 10″D shelves for food, camp equipment or other gear. Six divided outer pockets provide quick access to utensils or other necessities. Hangs from a tent frame, tree, R.V. or anywhere you need a portable pantry. Straps also make for easy rigging to a rope, so it can be pulled high in the trees at night, safe from marauding woodland critters. (http://reviews.cabelas.com/8815/516773/creek-company-hanging-camp-cupboard-reviews/reviews.htm)

This cupboard is perfect for a military tent because the hanging strap can be used off of the inner frame of your tent and is therefore off of the ground, easily accessible, and neat and tidy.

If you’ve never camped in bear country then I can’t stress enough the importance of having your gear, especially anything edible and/or tasty, up off of the ground. The reason for this is that bears are like raccoons in the fact that they will get into everything, number one, and number two, they believe that everything belongs to them. The best way to combat this issue is to get your gear up off of the ground.

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4 great uses for a surplus bag

I read recently that an military surplus army bag makes a great camera bag. Well, huh? I guess that makes sense considering the fact that military equipment is designed to be ultra functional and practical. But there are many uses for a military surplus bag that goes beyond a camera bag. let’s be honest though, the military surplus bag looks cool as hell and there is little else that can just say “adventure and ruggedness” like the rumpled canvas of a coyote brown or OD green military surplus bag. I have had several uses for my military bags over the years. I use one, for instance, as a possibles bag whenever I go hunting with a black powder rifle. I like it much better than I like the stiff leather purse I bought at the second hand store years ago, simply because it is much more functional. These things are great and are multi-functional, the best thing about them is the fact that they are so in-expensive that you can have an assortment on hand for in the event that the need arises to have one. Here are four examples of great uses for a military surplus bag.

Photo By: petapixel.com

Photo By: RDDUSA

Photo By: RDDUSA

Photo By: RDDUSA

  1. As an herbalism bag. I like to hunt for tubers and mushrooms. I also like to go out during certain times of the year and gather flowers, roots, and leaves for different medicinal purposes. A good military surplus bag , especially one like the Australian soft bag, fits easily around the shoulder and neck, and offers a great way to save what you gather without getting in the way or taking up needed pack space.
  2. As a relic bag. I also love to hunt for relics. By relics I mean arrow heads, artifacts, treasures, etc. I find these types of bags to be perfect for underwater excursions as well. I also carry two or three military surplus bags with me whenever I am on a military surplus tent adventure, especially one with the entire family where I am usually the person who ends up packing everyone else’s gear.
  3. As a medical kit. I always try to carry some occlusive dressings, two or three tourniquets, and some combat gauze just in case I get into some trouble in the form of miscreant contacts, bear attack, or I run into a nest of sasquatches. Not common, but not totally unheard of either.
  4. As a shell bag. I had mentioned that I used a military surplus bag as a possibles bag, but another function I like one is for use as a bag to hold my shotgun shells when I am skeet shooting or dove hunting. This is much easier to handle than to try to juggle a box of shells, or to hold them loosely in my pocket.
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