I've always been a big fan of Kwikpoint military translation cards-- you know, those tear-proof little fold out pamphlets that sport cartoon-like illustrations of bomb-stuffed sheep, Dragunov sniper rifles and tribal distribution maps.
I always carried one when I embedded in Iraq, though I'm not sure what good they would have done if I had gotten lost or separated. But I always felt a little more confident with the guide's list of common phrases in English and Arabic. Maybe I could talk my way out of a pinch...
Well, the same company that brought you the cartoon guides for Iraq has now spun around and published a series of them for the Afghan theater, with language and culture guides, IED recognition guides and even an evasion and escape guide for Army aviators.
We also spoke with Kwikpoint military and government sales manager Mitch Sherman who said the services are contracting with him to make user manuals that are a lot more pleasant to peruse than the staid black and white books of the past. He showed me a fold out guide showing Marines how to configure their Modular Tactical Vest and one to teach Soldiers how to best wear the Protective Combat Uniform.