Matthew Cox

"U.S. Army Soldiers participate in close arm combatives during the Ranger Course on Ft. Benning, GA., April 20, 2015. Soldiers attend Ranger school to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat stimulated environment. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nikayla Shodeen/Released Pending Review)"

U.S. Army officials announced today that eight out of 16 female soldiers who started the first co-ed class of Ranger School have made it through the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week.

Only 57 more days to go. Check out the Military.com story here.

Whether you like this effort or not, these females deserve a lot of credit for taking on this challenge. There are a whole lot of people out there who want to see them fail. They may not make it, but at least they have had the guts to try.

The Army released a video of the first week. Check out it.

{ 3 comments }

natick3

U.S. Army scientists are working with a new database of the human body to ensure uniforms and equipment fit female and male soldiers better.

The Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, completed the latest comprehensive anthropometric survey of soldiers, called ANSUR II, in 2012.

The ANSUR II 3-D Shape Database uses three-dimensional shapes and contour data to improve the fit of clothing and equipment for warfighters. It incorporates the latest Army anthropometric survey data and 3-D whole body scans, providing a searchable platform for the data and the 3-D shapes.

The previous survey was completed in 1988.

The 2012 survey set out to address changes in Army personnel body size and shape, and the resulting data showed that soldiers have increased in overall body girth since 1988. The new study also set out to document the sizing needs of the increasing number of women serving in the military.

[click to continue…]

{ 8 comments }

titan-a_surface7
SureFire’s potent new Titan key-chain light is now available.

This little task light throws out 125 lumens. It’s a little pricy, but I want one.

“The groundbreaking Titan is the world’s first professional-grade key-chain flashlight,” SureFire officials maintain. “This ultra-compact, dual-output feat of engineering boasts a proprietary faceted reflector that shapes the light from its high-performance LED into a broad, smooth MaxVision Beam at both 125 and 15 lumens—astounding levels for a finger-sized light.”

[click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }

m300-z68-bk_beam
Surefire M300 Mini Scout Light’s are now available. The compact weapon light runs on a single 123A lithium battery and delivers 300 lumens for your carbine or rifle.

“Its LED-generated white light is focused by our patented TIR lens to create a high-intensity, far-reaching beam crafted for close- to mid-range engagements,” according to a recent press release. “The Mini Scout just might have the perfect balance of size and power for your long gun.”

[click to continue…]

{ 3 comments }

69ad7e2e-56d8-4a6b-9956-e77bc04f61ba

This is an interesting little gadget if you are into survival gear.

“The Grip-S, by SOLKOA Survival Systems, is a pair of adaptive handles that can do more field-expedient improvisation for you than any other multi-tool on the market,” according to an April 2 press release.

The Grip-S design comes from requests made by special operations aviators for evasion and escape purposes and general survival use, according to the release.

It’s machined from tough, high-grade 6061 aircraft aluminum and can hold standard flexible wire saws, any universal reciprocating saw blade and any round or hexagonal tool up to a quarter inch in diameter. Accessories are simply attached to the Grip-S handles using the supplied set screws.

[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

IMG_6456

I covet Arc’teryx gear, but I wasn’t in love with the Atom LT Hoody the first time I wore it a few months ago.

It was a frigid December morning in Virginia. The high-30s thermometer reading felt below freezing in the 17 mph winds.

This might be a good time to admit that I hate being cold. I don’t mind winter as long as I have the right combination of snivel gear.

Anyway, I was not happy each time the biting wind gusts passed right through the new jacket’s thin, stretchy side panels. I quickly regretted choosing a polo shirt as a base layer.

[click to continue…]

{ 7 comments }

524467_10151037131325794_826185292_n

Rob Curtis, long-time senior photographer for Military Times, is now the new, Staff Features Editor for Recoil Magazine.

This is a pretty big win for Recoil, a tactical firearms mag launched in 2012. Rob has become one of the most knowledgeable small-arms and gear writers in the business.

I have known Rob for about 16 years. For 11 of those years, we worked together at Military Times. We had our first real-world assignment together in June 1999 when the U.S. Peace-Keeping Force went into Kosovo. Four years later, Rob and I found ourselves together again during the start of the ground invasion of Iraq in 2003. We swallowed the same dust in an all-day street battle, shadowing soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Karbala.

Since then, Rob and I have worked together, argued like brothers and competed against one another covering weapons and gear used by the U.S. Military. He has also been a mentor as I still struggle to learn photography.

Rob is a skilled photographer and videographer, but he has also branched out and developed as a writer. He was the driving force behind the creation of GearScout at Military Times several years ago. Some of the leadership was skeptical of the concept at the time, but Rob has built the site into a respected source of behind-the-scenes gouge on the military small-arms and gear industry.

[click to continue…]

{ 7 comments }