Clothes for Iraq

Clothes for Iraq

This is a discussion on Clothes for Iraq within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey everyone, I'm headed to the sandbox in a few weeks and could use some help. I am a DoD Civilian headed to Iraq and ...

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Thread: Clothes for Iraq

  1. #1
    Member Array movingshrub's Avatar
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    Question Clothes for Iraq

    Hey everyone,

    I'm headed to the sandbox in a few weeks and could use some help. I am a DoD Civilian headed to Iraq and policy prohibits me from wearing anything camo. With that being said, I could use some advice in terms of clothes to purchase. I was looking at the taclite pro pants from 5.11. I wasn't really sure in terms of shirts/polos. Also, I'm looking for desert/hot weather boots and could use input on that as well.

    Thank you.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Moisture wicking shirts if you can. Grab a good hat and good sunglasses. Boots, I just used my Bates steel toes. Good luck.
    TSgt. Lickey

    It takes a college degree to break'em;
    and a high school education to fix'em!

  3. #3
    Member Array darkstar11's Avatar
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    Converse boots with the composite safety toe ( they meet the same standards as steel), they are light weight and comfortable and under-armor (sp?) shirts or something similar. Also the pants from 5.11 are a good choice, I used to wear them for work all the time. Also good luck and come back safe.
    Last edited by darkstar11; July 6th, 2009 at 03:39 AM. Reason: additions
    Libertas Vel Mors

  4. #4
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    Array OPFOR's Avatar
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    What will you be doing? Outside work or inside? Most of us here doing protection don't wear boots, but rather some sort of robust "sneaker" or hiking/walking shoe from Merrel, Colombia, etc.

    For pants, 5.11s, Tru-Specs, or other solid, rugged pant that is relatively light weight is ideal. Jeans tend to be hot, and don't have the flexibility or pocket space that most folks need.

    Shirts - it depends. If you're going to be outside a lot, you'll need some lightweight long sleeve shirts (and/or a TON of sunscreen). Columbia and a bunch of other folks make good quality stuff; though the better manufacturers are relatively expensive. Wicking t-shirst, lighter colors (tans are obviously popular), and other considerations for extreme heat and LOTS of brutal sun are in order.

    Polos and such will depend on the job. You can certainly get away with them if you will be inside most of the time, but they aren't great for long periods in the sun. They're relatively hot (even the "sports" versions that are lighter weight), and don't offer protection for your arms.

    If you will be woking outside with your hands, some good, light gloves are in order. Anything metal that stays outside becomes untouchably hot after about 11AM in the summer months.

    Goggles are worn by some folks due to the ever present dust storms, but unless you live in it (or are an upgunner) you can probably get away with sunglasses. Same thing for some sort of dust mask - a lot of the "civilian" foks here wear surgical or construction-type dust masks, "headovers," or similar devices when the dust kicks up (which it does quite often).

    The good news is that, if you're near a major US base like the one at BIAP or Balad, you can buy all sorts of appropriate civilian attire in the PXes (including 5.11s, Oakley boots, and similar type stuff) so if you get over here and find that you forgot something that you really need, you can get it almost immediately.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  5. #5
    Member Array movingshrub's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answers so far. I'm headed to Basra. I don't know anyone else who has been there so I don't know how stocked the PX is at that location.

    Unfortunately, I don't know how much of my time will be spent inside/outside. I volunteered for civlian deployment so I was assigned to a random job that relates to housing. In regards to shirts, one of my friends suggested the breathable shirts from columbia with the vents in the back. However, I've talked to some other civilians who have deployed before and they claimed to have worn jeans and polos. I don't really want to go that route because it just sounds like it would be miserable to wear in the hot weather.

    With that being said, I am leaning towards some 5.11 pants, a few polos, and a few long sleeve columbia shirts. I was looking at some of the sun hats from Outdoor research.

    Would something like Outdoor Research Transit Sun Hat? work for a sunhat in theater? I don't want to be the goofy civlian!

    In regards to boots, I know I'm issued one pair of steal toe boots. I have no experience wearing the army issue stuff so do you all think I should stick with those or find my own footwear. Thanks again for the input everyone.

  6. #6
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    +1 on the 5.11 hot weather pants and shirts.
    L.A. Police Gear has some of the light weight pants and shirts on clearance right now.

    Tactical Nylon Hot Weather pants

    Tactical L/S Hot Weather Shirt

    The only boots that I have worn in Iraq are the GI issue desert boots.
    I like Magnum brand boots for normal daily wear but don't know if they have anything cool enough for desert duty.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    If you're going over to work on housing do you work for KBR?
    TSgt. Lickey

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    and a high school education to fix'em!

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    From my post of a few days ago. Most is NOT camo.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...r-vendors.html

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Danner Boots...never regret them worth every penny. Woolrich Elite pants and 5.11 or equal moisture wicking polos. If wearing armor some Under Armour Cool Gear is a necessity.
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    New Member Array Hogie34's Avatar
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    Go to BDU.com . It's the Propper website. They are the big contract supplier to the military. They have their own "tactical" pants that I believe are an improvement on the 5.11 style. They got rid of the stupid Dring strap on the back pocket and redesigned the back pockets . They are also half the price and actually more durable and true to sizing.

    They also carry all the hot weather undergear you would need. Boots too.

    SOCOM gear venders that Siafu pointed out has a huge selection but waaaaaayy over priced for the same stuff.

  11. #11
    Member Array sp2022's Avatar
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    For pants go 5.11, but I wear Carhart cargo pants they are great for me. For under armour not good if you get hit with some thing hot it will melt right into the skin. light cotton material is the safe bet. Boots a nice light columbia hiking shoe. Not desert boots if you can not help it. Think less weight, an be sure to drink lots of fluids.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Be careful of 5*11 stuff or ANYTHING that smacks of tactica-KEWL clothing. Wouldn't it totally STINK to be mistaken for an operator from BLACKWATER by some Jihadi and he suddenly wants to ventilate you? 'Course now the Blackwater guys are better known as the Knights who say XE (zee)!!! Remember Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Anyway, I'll bet they won't let you carry a gun and if you get mistook for Blackwater or US Special Ops it could get sticky and very .... ummmm red.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  13. #13
    Member Array sp2022's Avatar
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    if you get mistook for Blackwater or US Special Ops it could get sticky and very .... ummmm red.
    In that case to be safe you should wear overalls, rubber boots and a straw hat. LOL

  14. #14
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    As for shirts, I would go EOTAC Discreet. Very lightweight and very well done. They come in colors other than Ninja so you can blend.. or at least not look tacticoool.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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  15. #15
    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    I am currently in Camp Ramadi; I would say 75%+ of the civilians here wear 5.11 gear or some other make, you will fit right in. I also have some blue jeans (I was cautious about being "Tacti-Cool), jeans tend to bind and are hotter than the tacticals. I avoided anything with polyester because of some tests with some of the wife’s old blouses, even 30% poly will shrivel, melt and burn when exposed to the heat of a gas grill and the heat of an IED was my main concern. However I found out virtually all personnel movement is by air, mostly C-130 from Kuwait to a larger base in Iraq then helo (CH-46) to your assigned base, nobody moves by ground. If I had it to do again I would go with the poly blend for the shirts, I kinda like the heaver cotton pants, they seem to keep the heat out, the shirts too but seem to be a little hotter, I would like to try a poly blend shirt to see. The war has wound down (for now) and here at Ramadi I am told there hasn’t been a mortar or rocket attack in months so the fire/heat danger from explosions has pretty well passed.

    If your work will be mostly inside then polos are worn by most people, I have some 5.11 long sleeve tactical shirts, with the roll up keeper strap and they work pretty good. I staff the on base phone system so I am inside and rolled sleeves are fine, then if I am going to be outside I can roll the sleeves down for sun protection, and to keep the sand off when the wind blows. I ordered from LA Police Gear and they sent 2 ball caps (1 theirs and 1 5.11) and ball caps are worn by most civilians. As for being mistaken for an “operator”, civilians (at least here at Ramadi) are confined to base, even the Turks at the bazaar I know won’t go outside the wire. There are some civilian “operators” providing convoy security, they are from New Zealand and Australia and wear tan Nomex flight suits.

    At the more remote sites most open areas are covered with loose gravel, I prefer a boot for the ankle support in the gravel; I bought Herman Survivors in black because again I was trying to avoid looking like I was trying to be “military”. You can’t keep black boots from looking like crap in this sand and dust, go for something in tan with the rough side out like the military desert boots, it just works better.

    You will probably go to Benning for 1 week, then Ali al Asaid in Kuwait for about 1 week before going out to your assigned base. You will carry everything you bring several times in your travels, along with 1 duffel full of body armor, sleep system (2 sleeping bags with compression bags) and Kevlar helmet issued at Benning (not too bad at Benning but from Kuwait on it is, to the terminal, on the plane stack bags in the way of your feet, off the plane to the terminal, terminal to the helo and bags under foot, off the helo to the terminal) most people had 2 duffels and a carry on. And that is if you are lucky enough not to have delays in transit due to sand storms (very common) otherwise you will lug it all from transient housing to terminal a few times before you get out. My advice, box much of what you WANT for shipment once you arrive on base, and only carry what you NEED for 1-1 weeks, there are washer dryer combos in the barracks at Benning CRC (and single was packets of detergent at the little PX so you can do laundry before heading to Kuwait.

    Ali al Asaid housing is in tents (air conditioned) with bunk beds with no linen so you may want to take a couple sheets and a small pillow (the issue pillows at Benning are pathetically thin so you will want the extra pillow there too, memory foam pillows compress nicely) for use along with an issued sleeping bag.

    If there is anything else you want to know PM me, biggest danger here now in bordom.

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