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ARMY PICKING UP TAB FOR G.I. GEAR

"To keep troops from spending what the Army found was an average of $300 per year on [their own] equipment, the service is now issuing troops everything from improved helmets to seasonal boots," Stars & Stripes reports.ACHelmet2004-06-23.jpg

The service plans to issue the gear to every soldier headed to Afghanistan, and to as many troops as possible serving in Iraq...All troops would get better helmets and boots. Troops with brigade combat teams would get [an] extra kit, such as grappling hooks, door rams, battle axes and fiber-optic viewers.None of this is rocket science, but Ive had soldiers say to me, If my feet are cold, Im not combat effective, said Chuck Fick, spokesman for the Army Materiel Command Field Support Brigade-Europe.Another Kaiserslautern soldier, Spc. Gabriel George, had already purchased a fleece jacket and gloves similar to those he picked up Monday. He was nonetheless relieved the Army decided to hand it out, too.Its better to have too much than not enough, George said. Theres always some sucker that didnt bring his. Im glad about it. Its good stuff.
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