I fear I am turning into a "Geardo"

So as some of you might have noticed me mention in passing, I’m in the US armed forces, specifically the Air Force (and as one of my drunken room mates has just reminded me: Contrary to popular belief, Airmen are not, on average, significantly more intelligent than Soldiers or Marines. At least based on my experience.)

Anyhow, I think I might be turning into a Geardo. I recently bought a new chinstrap for my helmet that I can fasten, tighten, and loosen all one handed, instead of having to use both hands to tighten and loosen things. I even got the little three inch long extension strap to let me fasten the thing over my gas mask without nearly choking myself unconscious again.

Meanwhile, after talking to a couple of the guys, I have decided to purchase a single-point Gear Rig Sling, basically something that will strap my rifle to my kevlar vest so that the weapon will hang by my side when I’m not using it, rather than having to figure out how to get a three-point sling off and on while wearing a helmet with assorted junk clipped onto me.

I considered buying these cool ballistic helmet pads that are supposed to disperse force and hold their shapes better than the pads they issue the helmets with. Nevermind the whole thing about wearing hats that other people have worn, and my doubts that I’m the first person to wear this helmet. In any case, I decided to hold off on that for a while at least.

So yeah, I think I’m turning into a Geardo. I don’t think it’s getting out of hand yet, but I can’t help but remind myself that I haven’t actually ever deployed to the mid-east and I’m already starting a collection of this stuff. Thoughts? Suggestions on more cool/useful stuff to buy? It is worth noting that I tend to be the same way about computer stuff and camera stuff.

Yeah, you need to fix yerself right now, my Chair Force friend. I am in the Navy, deployed, and I know of which you speak. There is always the geek who shows up with all kinds of “gucci-gear” that he will never use. Knives all over his body armor, extra crap in his leg pockets, shit lashed all over his 3-day pack, stupid add-ons to his weapon. My favorite was the admin weenie with the knee pads.

Your buddies need to perform an intervention right quick! I recommend a thorough beat-down with foam baseball bats to beat the nerd right out of you.

That said, the single point sling is great. Get that.

You need a good multitool. I personally favor the locking SAKs, but a proper geardo would just about be required to own the M4-centric Leatherman MUT.

Lots of folks seem to like the Leathermen, but I’m fond of the Swiss Army knife myself (the genuine ones, by Victorinox or Wenger, none of those Chinese knock-offs!)

That said, a Swiss Army knife is kinda hard to use if I’m wearing gloves, unless I want to chuck it at someone’s head, which it is pretty well suited for.

I do have to admit, I keep eyeballing the “Ranger Shiv” on this website, it’s simple, sturdy, minimum frills, the guy who makes them claims it is thick enough to be used as a prying tool in a pinch, and it’s something I could actually grab and pull out while wearing gloves if I needed to. I’m not picturing as something for disemboweling my enemies (that’s what the rifle is for), but it does look like it’d be a handy tool while I’m working outside or camping. I mean, OK, I’m basically an admin/radio guy, but I do help set up tents once in a rare while.

Otherwise, the only “high speed” stuff I’ve bought so far are a couple of flashlights, which are handy for anyone to have, military or not, and once I’m back home, the wife and I plan to start depositing them in different parts of the house in case of a power outage.

I am also thinking of dropping $30 or $40 on a MOLLE pouch first aid kit, on the justification that, well, it’s a first aid kid we can always use it on campouts. As an alternative, I might just spend $10 on an empty MOLLE pouch, and another $10 on a Johnson and Johnson 9001 piece first aid kit and another couple bucks for a roll of field dressing and make my own kit. I gotta admit, that last option sounds tempting.

Swiss army knife?

When you deploy, you will be issued a MOLLE “blow out” kit, so no need to purchase one.

The Vicorinox knives are better than the Wengers. I own a few of each. I have been issued Gerber and SOG brand multitools. I continue to use my personal Leatherman Wave and I turn in or give away the others.

Seriously, wait until you are actually deploying before spending this money. Only then will you know what you need and don’t need.

Rrrrrrrrico… Suuuuuave…

Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said you were turning into a Gerardo.

So a Geardo is the military version of a mall ninja?

Victorinox and Wenger are one company now.

Doing a quick search online… I’d have to say not quite, but probably from the same genus as the mall ninja. Basically, guys who buy a lot of cool gear they may or may not actually need or ever use, given their jobs. The consensus of most of the sergeants who I ever ended up chatting with about gear said that one should remember that for any of the gear to be useful, you have to lug it around with you, and past a certain point, it might just become too heavy or bulky to be worth it.

The Gospel.

Some noncoms will get worked up over their men carrying too much non-issue gear. Their mindset is that you will be issued what you are going to need for the mission and that smarter guys than you spent a lot of time and effort figuring out what that is. They can get rather emphatic if they think you are not carrying or ditching something that could be mission critical in favor of your BigAzz Bowie®. They also worry that what you buy for yourself may actually prove inferior to the low bid GI item and hinder you when your services are most necessary.

A chin strap and a single-point sling, and you think you’re a Geardo? That’s like a guy who adds a pine-tree air freshner to his car saying that he is on his way to “Pimp My Ride” fanaticism.

You mean I didn’t sufficiently pimp out my Pontiac Grand Am? :eek:

I recognize the tendency in myself, is all. My wife has a strict policy that I don’t buy camera stuff without clearing it with her first, because she knows how much camera stuff I’ve accumulated already. Other than that, I tend to buy little gadgets to link up with my computer/iPod, which I may or may not use very often in real life (that barcode scanner is super handy for cataloging your DVD and book collections, but not very often afterwards, incidentally).

What’s your AFSC?

Become a flyboy and the Air Force will pay for all your cool-guy shit.

(Thank you for the Christmas list for my active duty little brothers and sister)

My sweet baboo is a Marine. His most frequent requests are for flea collars. Dog sized so he can wear them over his boots. Being a Marine, he didn’t “faint with happiness” when he got the thin, kevlar body underware I found. He didn’t send “gushing” emails either! I’m now lieing, he even bragged to his Mom about them.

I do have a vested interest in protecting his special parts, afterall.

Does the (Ch)Air Force have a high demand for combat ready soldiers, specifically with single point slings and special helmet pads?

Calm down Rambo, they’ll tell you what you need.

Hah, no, I’m a second-class citizen in one of the ground-based career fields where we wear the heavy camo uniforms that we’re not allowed to put patches on (I’m not bitter, nooooo…) :smiley:

Thus far, aside from my first issue in Basic and my clothing allowance, they have paid for a pair of steel-toed boots and some winter gear (fleece, paper-thin rain jacket, thermal underwear, gloves, cap, and socks).

Oh, and chow hall food. Does that count? :smiley:

And like I said, I’m making a conscious effort to limit this to stuff I’ll actually use. I’ve spent some considerable time lugging around an M-16 and wearing a helmet with chem gear, so I picked up a couple of things to make both more comfortable/less fussy. I decided not to get the helmet pads after all.

Now, if I decide to get night vision goggles and an ACOG scope, dope slap me please. :stuck_out_tongue: