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What does the military allow?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Mullo98, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Mullo98

    Mullo98 Member

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    Not a vet but I do have a quick question or 2. How did y’all bring personal knives/daggers into the service? Did they had to be approved or the higher ups really couldn’t care less? And is this allowed? I always wonder about this.
     
  2. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Most units don’t care about personal knives, as long as it’s not some silly fantasy blade.
    Sometimes there are restrictions on traveling where they have to be packed away with you gear and not on your person.
    I remember on a few flights we carried our 16A2 but were not allowed to carry any knives on the plain.
     
  3. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    There are different rules. When I was active duty originally, knives with over 4" (IIRC) blades had to be kept in the armory. We could draw them when going out for exercises. During this time period, I got permission to carry my 19" OAL kukuri instead of an E Tool (we were issued a machete on our TO&E to clear sight lanes for our aiming poles, so having one large brush blade made sense in Washington State).

    I had a 5" custom forged blade I carried on my first deployment to Afghanistan. I also carried a Spyderco Endura in a "Speed Dialer" instant deployment sheath I wore on my gear.

    On my last deployment, I had a 4" blade made by Valkman, that Sam tweaked and put another handle on for me. I also carried a variety of Spydercos, including an excellent automatic (Citadel?), LW Manix 2, and Manix 2 XL.

    Sam made a variety of "MK I" deployment knives based on my input. They were usually 3.5-4" blades with a single guard, quick access sheath, rust resistant coating, and lanyard hole.

    I'm someplace with very little internet access, so maybe I'll find pics to post later.

    John
     
  4. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Is anybody going to San Antone?
    This is still pretty much the standard in my experience
     
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  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    No one cared. Don't even think it was ever discussed.
     
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  6. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Generally, there was no rule. I served in units where it was common to bring machetes, hatchets, or small axes to the field. The amount of leeway allowed came directly from the Army not issuing knives like it has in the past, so soldiers had to procure their own. The company commander does have the authority to approve/deny certain knives such as swords, axes, halberds etc. The only time I know of where the CO gave a hard no was when an NCO tried to pull a "Jack Churchill" and bring a broadsword overseas. The approval can have some issues as well. I went ahead and bought a Benchmade Infidel at a PX in Afghanistan. I did not know that automatic knives had to be approved by the company commander to be brought back. I was sweating bullets. I had just bought this $300 something knife and may not be able to bring it back with me. Even though I had worked directly for the CO/XO my entire deployment, I was worried I would not have gotten his approval for my new purchase. In the end he did.
     
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  7. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    On my last deployment (2011-2012), there was a notice posted at Camp Marmal from the RC commander (basically 1/4 of the country). Large knives were not allowed to be carried. I have also seen other BCT-level commands dictating no "large, conspicuous" knives were to be carried.
     
  8. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    Depends on time and place and company commander. In Vietnam 1 unit allowed blades 4 inches or less, but nothing was sold in the px. In 2 other field units knives were forbidden for fear the troops would kill each other or their officers. One time before being sent on a short mission in the Central Highlands we broke into an ammo dump and stole some hand grenades but could not find any bayonets. We were searched and relieved of the grenades when we returned to the fire base. I had a junk knife I bought at a road side stand. It would probably stab but so would a sharpened piece of rebar and the rebar would be less likely to break. If I had it to do over, I would have forged a piece of rebar, probaly a couple of them for throwaways.But these were the days before YouTube, knowledge was hard to find. I had a big SAK most of the tour but lost it when I was on a weapons cleaning detail in a warehouse. No proof, but one junkie on the detail was suspected.
    This is not what some people want to hear, but that was 1971 Vietnam in a line unit, Army infantry. Elite units may have been a different thing.
     
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  9. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Now that I read this, I seem to remember something to this effect during one of my deployments. I recall some guys on the first chalk headed back to CONUS who had benchmade autos and the like getting some grief from some national guard MP unit when our stuff was being tossed prior to shipping out, and that they were determined to "confiscate" one or more of these knives. This, of course, is a weird situation if it was issued, as that means that someone signed for the knife, and is responsible- technically making it gov't property (even if the unit never had any intention of asking for it back later- to say nothing of the confrontations that were likely to ensue). I was issued one of these things, but I didn't even bring it. I assume most of the auto knives were issued, but some were probably bought out of pocket. Anyway, the COC sent out an email after for anyone on future flights who had an auto to tag it and each company would put all auto knives in their own company ammo can to be placed on the arms room pallet that had all of the heavy weapons on it, and then when we got back to CONUS, go to the company orderly room and get your knife from the ammo can. Personally, I think it was some guys who never left the FOB trying to assert some authority and get some cool knives for themselves. I hadn't thought about this whole stupid incident for years.
     
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  10. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Never underestimate the ability of troops to adapt, work around, scrounge, or flat out break the rules to get what they think they need. It has been that way since the beginning of time. When your life is on the line, and your command structure isn't providing the logistics support that you need, you can get very, very creative.
     
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  11. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're deployed overseas, you can only bring an automatic knife back if (1) it has an NSN, and (2) you have a memo allowing you to bring the knife back. I believe an O5 or higher's signature is required.

    I gifted my Spyderco auto to an incoming O2.

    John
     
  12. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The level of ridiculous in the military has reached a new level, it seems. Justifying the "importation into the US " of a particular knife from a combat zone based on its placement (or lack thereof) into the convoluted and understood inventory of military equipment and a permission slip from a LTC shows where priorities have gone, as well as the absence of common sense.
     
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  13. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    What’s your point?

    All kidding aside - that’s the military I remember (and I grew up as an Army brat who had lived in five countries by the time I was 12 - then joined up myself in 1968....). That was also my experience in 22 years of police work... Some things don’t change and for every reasonable NCO or official you can expect the next one to be a stickler for every rule (god help us all when someone like that gets to make the rules...).

    Just human nature I guess... By the way, the only advice my Dad gave me when he learned I was going into police work... “Kid, don’t be a prick...”. Pretty good advice.
     
  14. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    I don't recall anyone ever questioning what knives people carried. I remember a memo passed out to all NCOs that we weren't supposed to put any knife on our LBE (because I'm old like that) because it wasn't uniform and we weren't supposed to allow the soldiers under us to do so either. I don't think anyone paid any attention to it.

    The knife I carried more than any other was a Buck Lite. Which was a 110 blade with a plastic handle.
     
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  15. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    That was the OP's first question. Reading this thread, I get the impression that everyone's talking about knives that they carried once they were in service. From what I understand, recruits, when first reporting for basic training, are prohibited from bringing any personal weapons, including knives. I saw a documentary once in which recruits were told to drop all contraband, including guns, knives, and drugs, into a huge waste barrel, and no questions would be asked. That would be their last chance to avoid getting into trouble.

    It would be a shame for someone to report for duty, carrying an expensive or keepsake knife, only to have it confiscated.
     
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  16. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Just brought what I wanted. Stored it with my gear. Didn't ask permission and nobody questioned when I pulled it out. Although I certainly wasn't in a front line unit.
     
  17. PWC

    PWC Member

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    1965 at Travis AFB, CA; I was the 12th person reporting in to the newly formed 60th Arrial Port Combat Control Team. After receiving all my field gear I proceeded to sharpen my bayonet. (I don't even know if they still issue bayonets for M-16s anymore)

    Now I grew up in the 5os and 60s watching The Big Picture and Victory At Sea. Uhra!

    At the first equipment show down, I was read the riot act for the sharpening. Seems it is a slashing weapon, not a cutting weapon as defined by OSHA. Mine was taken and a new one issued with a factory sharpened, sparkly parkerized blade.

    Later I was issued a orange handled switchblade survival knife that required me to carry a card authorizing it.

    Later I bought a 1945 Collins 18" machete with a scabbard that allowed front draw, didn't have to pull the blade length. Nary a word from "management". I kept the 6" in front of the haft knife sharp, and the rest of the blade "hacking" sharp. Still got it, still use it

    After working with the Marines, I received their K Bars. Still got'm still use'm.
     
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  18. guzzi

    guzzi Member

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    Oh my, I remember that orange handled switchblade survival knife and the card authorizing it. It was carried in a dedicated pocket on the flight suit. One blade was a hook like thing made just for cutting risers on your chute.

    My experience with knives was large scuba diving knife that I strapped to my left calf. The idea was if I survived the 7 to 8 mile drop from the sky, I could defend myself from sharks. Man, I was dumb back then.
     
  19. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Someone probably told you something like that, but OSHA doesn't have any interest in the military equipment or servicemen and they don't define any weapon properties.
     
  20. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    My Infidel was signed off by my immediate O-3. I think each unit had their own rules. We were attached to CJTF 101.

    Accurate. Pretty much every base has an "Amnesty Box" where you would drop something you weren't supposed to have. I knew what I could and could not bring to training. The rules on Ft Benning were far stricter. No knives, not even to cut 550 cord. Do you have any idea how ridiculous it is for privates to stand around cutting rope with an entrenching tool against a tree? In any case, there was a little PX where we were allowed to pickup running shoes and latter writing material. I bought this little credit card type tool that has a very small knife in it. I was quite the platoon celebrity for that tiny knife. No more cutting 550 with an etool.

    https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Credit-Companion-Compass-CC1SB/dp/B0001WOKWQ
     
  21. kBob

    kBob Member

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    When I went to basic I arrived to stand in the rain at about midnight with a bus load of other "Useless maggots"

    As I enter the Army as an E3/PFC I was the ranking person leaving the reception station and got my first additional duty literally seconds after dropping my hand...Movement "Officer" As we had a flight with a one and a half hour lay over in Atlanta I was terrified of loosing someone and being held responsible. We eventually made it to Ft. Knox and after a polite conversation with the man standing at Parade rest in the rain awaiting our bus exited the bus and stood on the right guide painted footy prints in the parking lot, glad of my nylon wind breaker and listening to my first Drill Baby Harrange of those on the bus. Once everyone was out of the bus the Drill Baby announced that until further notice I was his platoon guide and spoke with his voice as long as I never contradicted him or pissed him off.

    After getting soaked we went into a large hanger like affair for paper work and then sort of ambled in a wad (no one but about three of us had any idea of marching or formations) to a ware house with tables around the periphery and a box out on the floor.

    We had the concept of contraband explained to us and only a step behind drugs and alcohol were dreaded knives of all kinds. We had it explained that we would all face outward towards the wall and empty our pockets, but we had one chance to dump contra band and would then be searched. We could turn and walk to the box and dump our stuff and be good soldiers or be busted our first hour on post.

    I turned and walked half way to the box. Checked to see none of the recruits were watching held up my demo kit knife and looked the now three Drill Sargents each in the eye and put it back in my pocket. They each bobbed the brim of their Smokey the Bear hats down and up once and I went back to my table. For our first week I was very discrete. Once I got to E-16-4 Basic Training company I was made a Squad leader and at the one week mark was to take my squad to the PX for Kiwi and brushes and such as necessary for a good young trooper and no stopping at the book store for girly magazines!

    I think four of my eight guys had pocket knives on the trip back so I stopped in the little bit of park like woods we went through on the way to the PX and explained the virtues of being discrete.

    None of us were busted for having a pocket knife even though they were quite often seen by the seventh week....but they were totally FORBIDEN.... and for sale in the PX.

    -kBob
     
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  22. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    Every platoon had That Guy who was just always festooned with knives!

    ... I was that guy.
     
  23. PWC

    PWC Member

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    What is a demo kit knife?

    Just like concealed carry; don't brag, don't show, be lo key.
     
  24. PWC

    PWC Member

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    As one who is airborne qualified, I never understood why there was a fixed hook blade knife and lanyard in a nylon sheath on the front parachute riser...

    Here you have a pilot, navigesser, loadsmasher, or other crew member tooling along in a nice dafe environment, and all of a sudden he had to eject or otherwise exit into a totally alien environment. Then you hand him a knife and day cut the 2 inboard shroud lines to make your parachute steerable. But don't cut all the lines on a riser or you will die.

    Talking to people that actually had to use thier parachute to save thier lives, they said they didn't remember to use it, or "are you kidding me....cut my parachute?!".

    The USAF did adopt a 4 line pull release. A piece of red 550 cord that when the pilot pulled, as if trying to do a chin-up, it released the 4 lines and made the parachute steerable.

    Thus the fixed hook blade parachute knoves were with drawn from service. Some riggers added them to thier home made TL29 knife belt pouches.
     
  25. kBob

    kBob Member

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    PWC,
    A Demo Kit Knife is an argument we have here about on a regular basis.

    Basically it is a stainless steel version of the classic Boy Scout Pocket knife with a blade, a flathead screwdriver/bottle opener/ take down punch, a can opener ( that some like and others dispise) and an awl that will close on your fingers if you use it wrong. It even has a little bail on one end.

    Many of us call them Demo Kit Knives because they were a part of an Infantry platoons Demo Kit.... a part that disappeared with great regularity. Some of us that went to demo school had them given to us as sort of a graduation present by the instructors.

    The one I had as a recruit came from my Grand father who was given it at Moody AFB near Valdosta GA and I carried it occasionally in high school and it lived in the personal section (yeah, right) of my lockable upper drawer at the Citadel.

    It was stolen during Advanced Infantry Training so I was happy to get the "new" one a year and a half later at Vilsek. The new one helped me store a spare boot lace that had one end tied to the knife and the other to my belt. Got to keep those boot laces secure, don'cha know?

    -kBob
     
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