This is an interesting concept. Exoskel Urban Climber X2 shin guards look like they would be right at home in a “Mad Max” movie – or on infantrymen climbing through windows and scrambling over walls on a house-to-house search operation.

“Exoskel has been created to assist the user to rapidly ascend urban obstacles. After constantly failing to negotiate obstacles when rushed and weighed down, and after many cuts and damaged lower limbs, Exoskel was developed, according to the Exoskel website.

“Its primary use is to provide leverage while ascending obstacles and negotiating uneven terrain. Armed with teeth to lock on to obstacles in any environment, and lift the user, via the stirrup system, up, over, and on… Exoskel protects the shin when scrambling over sharp and dangerous terrain and stabilizes the user on uneven ground and in awkward positions.”

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Jungle BootThe U.S. Army unloaded a trove of uniform news on the last day of March when it announced it was restarting camouflage testing and introducing a new jungle boot for soldiers.

The Army will test the new jungle boots to replace the Vietnam War-style jungle boots. But of course soldiers have been wearing the desert-style combat boots over the past 12 years as the U.S. has fought in arid climates in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Officials didn’t list which brands the Army would test, and only offered a picture of one of the models under consideration. [click to continue…]


Women CombatSecond Lt. Sage Santangelo wrote for the Washington Post about her experience attempting and failing to complete the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course and the overall process of introducing women into combat roles.

She talked about the rigors of the test while not offering any details on the secretive course that is meant to keep Marines in the dark about what it entails. An accomplished athlete who has played hockey in high school and has climbed 14,000-foot peaks, Santangelo wrote about how she couldn’t finish the first day’s Combat Endurance Test, and what steps could be taken to allow women to pass it.

Santangelo is one of 14 female officers to attempt the course. None have passed it yet. However, Santangelo believes a woman will. She points to the female enlisted Marines who have completed the enlisted infantry course as one reason why. [click to continue…]


U.S. Army leaders told lawmakers today that the service will have to spend less on live-fire maneuver training as a result of the deep cuts to defense spending under sequestration.

Service leaders have been warning Congress for months that these cuts are forcing the Army to cut readiness training. A slightly clearer explanation of what cutting readiness training will mean to combat units emerged during a March 27 hearing before the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.

“It has come to my attention … that in our budget in the area of marksmanship training for our personnel, both active and Guard, that the funding is being reduced by about 60 percent,” Rep Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, who represents the Ohio Army National Guard’s Camp Perry Joint Training Center, told senior Army officials.

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Marine IEDThe Marine Corps is booting counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) responsibilities out of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory and shifting those matters back to the Combat Development Directorate.

Marine officials transferred C-IED issues into the Warfighting Lab in 2004 in order to respond faster to the large number of IEDs killing Marines in Iraq and later Afghanistan. However, with forces moving out of Afghanistan and budgets remaining flat, Marine leaders felt C-IED needed to fall back to the Combat Development Directorate as of Feb. 28.

The Marine Corps isn’t alone in re-evaluating the organizations that had been tasked with protecting troops from IEDs. Many have questioned if the need remains for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which was stood up in 2006. Military leaders announced last year that JIEDDO’s budget and footprint will drastically shrink even though officials said the threat remains. [click to continue…]



Patriot Products AZ, LLC makes a multi-function tool for adjusting many popular weapons optics.

The Combat Optic Tool Optimized is “revolutionary in its adaptability with the majority of the magnified optics currently in use by military, law enforcement, and citizen soldiers/civilians, in particular the new SOCOM Enhanced Combat Optical Sight – Optimized,” Patriot Products officials maintain.

It  has a 3/8s inch and a 10mm box wrench that will work with LaRue Tactical and Aimpoint 3X Twist mounts, as well as a ½ inch open face wrench for Leupold, Badger Ordnance, Warne, and similar cross bolt mounts.

 It has the ability to adjust windage and elevation on Aimpoint  CompM, M2, M3, M4 and Micro T-1 sights, EOTech sights, Trijicon ACOG RCO and RMR sights, as well as adjust the factory mounts for ACOGs and EOTechs.

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It’s amazing that the Army’s camouflage is still in the news after five years. That’s how long its been since the Army first acknowledged that it had to do something about its ineffective Universal Camouflage Pattern.

Crye Precision LLC — the creator of MultiCam – finally spoke out on the Army’s attempts to adopt the pattern for service-use in the form of a chronological account of the Army’s attempts to ”negotiate” with Crye over the price of MultiCam. I talked to Caleb Crye yesterday for my story that ran this morning on

What seems to be at the heart of this issue is Army uniform officials can’t seem to accept that they have to pay more for MultiCam than they did for UCP.

Really? Let’s do the math here. After at least five scientific studies — four by the Army and at least one by special operations forces — MultiCam has outperformed UCP and performed as well or better than many other patterns on the market today. Is it that much of a surprise that vendors are going to charge up to 20 percent more for uniforms and gear printed in MultiCam than they would for the same stuff in UCP?

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