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July 17 , 2008

US Marine Corps Special Operations Uniforms & Equipment 2000–14


This is a companion to the same author’s ELI 190, US Marine Infantry Combat Uniforms and Equipment 2000-2012, which has been described as a “must-have” by a US military professional website that hardly ever notices commercial publications (see: The author teaches at the American Military University, and has access to many serving and former USMC special operations personnel for interviews and personal photographs.

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Somebody asked for the cigars. We had talked long, and the conversation was beginning to languish; the tobacco smoke had got into the heavy curtains, the wine had got into those brains which were liable to become heavy, and it was already perfectly evident that, unless somebody did something to rouse our oppressed spirits, the meeting would soon…

While ELI 190 covered the “general issue” kit, this title describes and illustrates the special operations gear – specialist uniforms, protective armor, load-carrying equipment, small arms, and battlefield electronic devices. The nature of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has highlighted the function of special forces (an emphasis that will increase with the withdrawal of conventional units), and an extraordinarily diverse range of sophisticated equipment has been produced for special operations. It is not generally realized that a special forces operator may have available to him a dozen distinct types of body armor and two dozen different weapons; it is literally true that never before in American military history has so much been given to so few. This book will survey all recent advances in this field during “the long war” that began on 9/11/2001, including evaluations of performance in combat. This emphasis and range of detail is absent from recent books which have concentrated on unit organization and operations rather than equipment, e.g. Fred Pushie’s Marine Force Recon and MARSOC (2006 & 2011).

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