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VanQuest Javelin V-Slinger 2.0

Firearm Ownership: 3 Things You Need To Know

#TBT

Triple Aught Design: Fast Pack EDC

5 Things You Should Know Before Joining the Military

Posted In:
Gear | Law Enforcement | Military | Review | VLog

Posted In:
Gear | Law Enforcement | Life | Military

Posted In:
Law Enforcement | Life | Military

Posted In:
Gear | Law Enforcement | Military

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Military

So today I wanted to tell you about the Javelin backpack. I have had it for a while now and I can say that it isn’t a bad backpack. It’s perfect for an EDC (Every Day Carry). It’s a good minimalist day pack used mainly as a commuter or a tactical office bag. So today I wanted to tell you about the Javelin backpack. I have had it for a while now and I can say that it isn’t a bad backpack. It’s perfect for an EDC (Every Day Carry). It’s a good minimalist day pack used mainly as a commuter or a tactical office bag. 

The Javelin is a sling style pack that goes over a shoulder and has a cross body strap that helps secure the pack in place. 

The front panel has MOLLE webbing on it and some of the MOLLE webbing has velcro to attach a name patch or a morale patch to it. Behind those is a pocket with a vertical zipper. It’s not that bad of a pocket and will fit small items like pens, note pads, index cards, etc.

The whole front panel is also a pocket that has some small organizational pockets and can carry a few more items than the front vertical pocket. Above that pouch is a smaller one great for storing sunglasses or maybe a gerber with a lighter and a couple of other smaller items. 

The Main Compartment

Alright, so here is the main compartment. You can store larger items in here but not too big. It will hold a 12-13 inch laptop and maybe some other flat items like a notebook or a light jacket. It does come with a divider.

On the flap part there are 3 pockets, 2 larger pockets and a smaller pocket. On the panel that is on the back side also has a flap to store a laptop or tablet and keep it secure. 

Hydration

There is a small hydration pocket on the part that is on your back. It is large enough to store a 3 liter bladder.

Side Pocket

On the side, there is another pocket that has more organizationally optimized storage. Pen sleeves, and other small ladder style pockets will help you organize your administrative gear. 

Overall

Overall I would give this bag a 7 out of 10. The bag is made of some high quality material and has some pretty cool features. The stand alone hydration pocket is great for keeping your other gear dry and allowing your bladder to not be punctured by your gear. The downside is the bag is pretty small. Yet with the nature of the bag, you can easily swing this bag infant of you to get to your gear without taking the bag off. 

Check out my review video below!

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.- 2nd Ammendment, U.S. Constitution

Whether you live in Arizona or not, some of the things I will go over today should help you as a gun owner. I just happen to live in Arizona where the topics below specifically apply. Some of the laws are the same if not similar in nature to other states; unless you live in California, New York, or Chicago.

First and foremost, the most important thing that EVERY gun owner should know is weapon safety. Whether you own a rifle, a handgun, or a rocket launcher; these weapon safety rules will apply. A good ditty or way to remember them by is Treat, Never, Keep, Keep.

  1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  4. Keep you weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
  5. Know your target and what lies behind it.

Those are the safety rules the Marine Corps specifically uses, although the 5th one is spoken and not written down. Every branch either uses those or has a similar version when teaching a firearms course. It is imperative to know and implement those rules as a gun owner.

It is important when owning a gun to be proficient at shooting. What would be the point in owning a gun if you couldn’t even hit the broad side of a barn when shooting it? Being a proficient shooter does take some athleticism. Not the same kind as for other sports like football or wrestling, but athleticism nonetheless. The ability to draw your weapon, align the sights, smooth but quick pull of the trigger, and accuracy are all things that a good shooter is proficient in. The only way to get better in those skills to practice, practice, practice. Even professionals in sports practice before games.

Keanu Reeves - Training for John Wick

There are many ways to practice getting better; you can go and pay for a class, research techniques and try them out, or go with friends that know the fundamentals and can teach you. You can also do just target practice, moving drills, speed reloading drills, scenario drills, etc.

This section is super important, however, not as important as the first two! The reason I say that is because weapon safety for gun owners is hands down the most important. If you own a gun in your house and you happen to live alone, the rules apply for your own safety. If there are others in the house, they should know the rules as well as they will be around the dangerous tool. If you have children, they also need to know the safety rules; however, it would also be a safe practice to keep your guns in a gun safe. The reason proficiency is more important than knowing gun laws is because you can have safe gun practices down and know the laws, but if you have an intruder in your home, that doesn’t matter if you miss when you do shoot. That goes back to the know your target and what lies behind it. If you miss, and you happen to live in an apartment, the bullet can go through the wall and into someone else.

There are some laws regarding guns that are pretty much universal. For example, it is illegal to walk into a bar with a gun. The reason for that law is that a loaded gun in the hands of an impaired individual is a bad mix. It is very similar to drinking and driving. You could end up in a bar fight and if you are impaired, your judgement might be to pull your gun and start shooting. Another scenario, for those who might be a designated driver, is that you may not pull the weapon but in the middle of the fight the gun is taken from you and is now in the hands of an impaired individual. That more than likely wouldn’t happen if they were stumbling around drunk, but it can happen, more so if the individual only had 2 or 3 shots, beers, whatever.

Arizona, specifically, no longer requires a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit. In Arizona, you are not able to register your firearm; “The State of Arizona does not require citizens to register their firearms with the State. It also prohibits local jurisdictions (i.e. Counties, Cities or Towns) from requiring licensing or registration of firearms or ammunition. See ARS 13-3108.”

There are many laws regarding gun ownership and use. I highly recommend anyone who wants to get a gun, take a CCW course. A good course should be 16 hours. I have seen some on Groupon ™ that say $29 for a four-hour CCW course. That should only be for a renewal or re-familiarization or for anyone moving to Arizona and want to get an Arizona CCW that had one from another state. The CCW course should go over some laws, maybe a few scenarios, and a firearms qualification. Hint: If you go through an Armed Security Training course in Arizona, download the CCW packet and fill it out. Your instructor should be able to sign off on the 16 hour Armed Security course for the CCW application and mail it to DPS with the appropriate documentation i.e. fingerprints and money order. Kill two birds with one stone.

Lastly, if you want to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state, google (your state) revised statutes. For my fellow Arizonians, check out our ARS Title 13, Chapter 4. You can also check out this PDF from the Phoenix website that has a brief FAQ.

Credits and References

So 2 years ago around this time, I started working armed security for my current contract. I had a small idea of what to expect as I heard about the contract through my supervisor on a different contract. I was told about how there are sites on this contract that you get to see some action and you actually get to do stuff instead of being a glorified receptionist like that contract was. I was excited and a little nervous to start this new endeavor, as I had never dealt with people in that capacity before.

First Month…

When I first started, I worked at the courts. I met some awesome co-workers as well as met some of the city staff who were really nice. I was super excited to get to wear my duty belt, which had most of the things Police carry. I had my gun with extra rounds, handcuffs, pepper spray and a Police radio. Now to preface this story, I only had military experience and no experience whatsoever in Law Enforcement or Department of Corrections. All previous contracts I had worked all said that if I left my post for any reason I would be fired. So the courts were almost at closing time, and I received a call from a courtroom from a Judge saying that a man, insert description, was leaving the court house and I needed to stop him. While getting off the phone, I saw the man already halfway out the courthouse. I panicked and looked at my co-worker who didn’t really know what was going on, as he hadn’t heard the phone call. I quickly tell him the situation and the guy was already out the door. I quickly get on the radio and request Dispatch to send units to assist and provide the description. There was another site on the contract that is right next door to the courthouse and the Security Officer at that site heard the call and started searching the transit center. We could not locate this guy.

Perspective…

A few months down the road, I am now working at a community center. This site has more of the homeless population than most of the other sites. I actually tried to help some of the ones I could and provided all the information I could to help them out and possibly get them into some housing. I probably spoke to about 35-40 separate individuals.  I heard a lot of their stories of how they became homeless, some of the stuff they do for money, what some of their goals were. Some people would say it is a humbling experience.

Change in Perspective…

I honestly can’t believe how much this contract has changed me. It has changed my outlook on people, life, and has given me valuable experiences that I have used to build some good habits.

Have you ever heard that over time cops become sociopathic and the difference between cops and criminals is that cops don’t act on their urges? Working in this line of work, I can relate to that and understand why and how Police Officers can become desensitized to various aspects of the job. I myself, whether it’s good or bad, have become more desensitized to aspects of the job. Out of the 35-40 people I spoke with, only 2 actually took my help and got themselves into housing. I have very little empathy for a lot of the homeless population after having spoken to many more since then and can tell when the person is just smiling and nodding and when they are actually looking for help. My high school coach once taught me, if it hurts more to suffer than to change, you’ll change. In many of these cases, it seems to be true.

Change in experience…

I have been on this contract for two years now. I can say that I have learned a ton of information and picked up many good habits. I have learned how to have a tactical mindset as my contract allows me to work closely with the Police. That mindset helped me develop those good habits like watching hands when dealing with someone, if someone is sleeping and I have to wake them up approach from their feet so I would possibly get kicked instead of stabbed if they are hiding knives or scissors, positioning myself to where it is more difficult to be approached from behind and if I have to leave my back exposed I will have to rely more on my situational awareness. I have become more proficient in my communication as well as more articulate in my justifications to my decision making. I have developed my decision-making skills to be better than when I first started.

If I were in the same situation now as I was in my story of my first month, I would have done things differently. I would have ran after him and tackled him to the ground. If I was unable to catch him, I would have been able to relay to Dispatch that I was in pursuit of a person a judge ordered to detain and articulate why I left my post (because there was at least one Security Officer there). Then I would have been able to better provide direction of travel as well.

Overall Experience…

I am so thankful that I have been able to work on the contract I am on now. I have gained so much more good than I have bad. I have used this experience to better myself on my military side as well as implemented things from the military onto this job and overall have become a better person for it. When I train new Security Officers, I do my best to instill in them the need to develop their situational awareness as well as their tactical mindsets because it will help them do this job better as well as help them in their future endeavors.

So today I want to talk about a pack that I found a while ago. It’s called the Fast Pack EDC by Triple Aught Design. This pack is awesome! I actually really want it, I just don’t have the dough to fork over for it right now.

So the pack looks like this

This is the Coyote Brown model. The Coyote model is currently out of stock, however in an email today, TAD did email me saying that they expect to have more in that color in December of 2017. They have multiple color variations as well as a smaller version called the Fast Pack Litespeed. Now, one of the things that draws me to this pack is how modular it is. There are so many ways to customize it to suit your need or the mission. There are two parts to the pack. There is the main pack itself, and the tail flap. The pack itself has a velcro panel on the front and underneath that panel is a MOLLE webbing system used to attach accessories. When the tail flap is attached, there is also MOLLE webbing on the outside of that flap.

The main pack has two side compartments, an admin pouch, a dry bag compartment, and paracord lacing system on top with strap attachment system on the bottom. To show you how modular this pack really is, here is a picture.

Triple Aught Design (TAD) really has some innovative features on this pack which makes it stand out from it’s competition. The paracord lacing system on the top can be used to attach a sleeping system as shown in the picture above.  The bottom straps can be used to attach a sleeping mat.

The removable tail flap can be removed or used to store a kevlar helmet; or if you unbuckle the top two buckles, you can let it hang, insert a rifle, and use compression straps to attach the top part of the rifle.

The side compartments on the bottom both have what TAD calls flashlight caves. They are almost as deep as the side compartments and allows you to hide flashlights or whatever else you want with easy access to it while being carried. Inside the flashlight caves are D rings to attach a lanyard to a flashlight for retention purposes.

As I don't have this pack yet, I haven't done a review on it. However I will attach a link towards the bottom of this post. I highly recommend you check out Triple Aught Design and see what else you might like.

Check out my Pinterest Pages here!!

If you want to check out a review on the pack check out the video from Ian "Primal" Talbert over at masktactical.com.

If you want to buy the pack, check out Triple Aught Design! 

Recruiters are not allowed to lie.

If you are serious about joining the U.S. military, talk to a recruiter. That is the first step to get everything rolling. Just be smart about how you do things and be cautious. Recruiters are not allowed to straight out lie to you but nothing says that can’t omit details or embellish things. When I was talking to a recruiter, I wasn’t lied to. I just didn’t know the questions to ask when I talked to the recruiter. For example, does everything (food, uniforms, gear, hygiene items) come out of your paycheck when you’re in boot camp? If you go Reserves, do you still get free medical, dental, and vision? Is the G.I. Bill the same for Active Duty and Reserves? What happens if I fail a portion of training in boot camp, combat training, or MOS school?

Get everything in writing.

In order to fly you need to be an Officer. Both Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers can both fly. Warrant Officers cannot fly fixed wing aircraft (planes) but Commissioned Officers can fly both fixed wing and rotary (helicopters).The Marine Corps does not have a medical field. Being a Marine myself, I know we rely on the Navy to take care of that role. We have Corpsmen. They actually have to go through Navy boot camp and a more expedient version of Marine Corps boot camp.

There is Active Duty and Reserves. If you choose to do Active Duty, you have more opportunities to choose from (based off the needs of what branch you choose and your performance). If you go Reserves, you are limited to whatever the Duty Stations have to offer but you should be able to choose the Duty Station in the state you enlist. Commissioned Officer is a whole other beast that I won’t go into right now. For example, I live in Arizona. I had the option to go to Tucson or stay in Phoenix. I chose Phoenix as it was closer and it just so happened that both Duty Stations had exactly the same MOSs to choose from.

If you are promised a bonus, make sure to get it in writing in your contract.

Lastly, I mentioned that some things are based upon performance. What I am talking about is the ASVAB test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) given to every recruit, boot camp, combat training, and MOS school. Your ASVAB score will determine what MOSs you’ll be able to get. If you fail a portion of training in any part whether it is boot camp, combat training, or MOS school; you are now in breach of contract. The branch you chose could end up making your new MOS anything they want or are in need of.

Be physically fit.

Physical fitness is one of the standards that every branch has. No matter if it’s the Coast Guard, the Navy, the Air Force, the Army, or the Marine Corps. Every branch has a standard for physical fitness. I know the Marine Corps the best as that is the branch that I chose, so my examples will be from those standards. There are four physical fitness standards in the Marine Corps. There is the PFT (Physical Fitness Test), the CFT (Combat Fitness Test), a Swim Qualification and the Height and Weight standards. Other branches have their own version of the PFT but for the most part, the Height and Weight Standards are pretty much universal. For the Marine Corps, the PFT consists of Pull-ups, Crunches, and a 3-mile run. To max out your score, depending on your age, you need approximately 20 Pull-ups, 105 Crunches, and an 18-minute 3-mile run time.

The CFT consist of an 880-yard sprint in boots and camouflage pants, ammo can lifts, and what is called the Maneuver Under Fire drill. The Maneuver Under Fire drill is a suicide drill from football or basketball on steroids. For more information on both the PFT and CFT visit: http://www.fitness.marines.mil/PFT-CFT_Standards17/

The Height and Weight standards are there to ensure that you have not been slacking. Think about it. Would you want to go into a firefight where you possibly might get injured and your battle buddy can’t drag you out of harm’s way? That is the reason the Military is really the only organization in America that can discriminate on a person’s height and weight, as there is a pretty good reason for it. For more information on the Height and Weight standards visit: http://www.fitness.marines.mil/BCP_Standards/

If you can pass the Marine Corps PFT, CFT, and the Height and Weight standards, you should have no problem joining any branch you choose.

Document everything.

Any time you are injured on Duty, go to Medical to get checked out and have it documented. When I was in boot camp, I had pneumonia twice and I had my knees kicked backwards. I had to go to Medical for the pneumonia both times as I could not perform at all in boot camp. I was written a Light Duty chit (note) and got to have a day off to recover with medicine. For my knees, I told my Senior Drill Instructor and I did not go to Medical. He himself put me on Light Duty due to the way that it happened and it wasn’t documented. When I got to my Duty Station, I made sure to document it with the Corpsmen there.

The reason I highly suggest documenting everything is for the fact that upon getting released from duty, you can file your claims with the VA office (Veteran Affairs). If it is not documented the VA will not cover it.

Embrace the suck.

Military wide, they have many crappy extra duties that just suck. It’s plain and simple and there isn’t any escaping it unless you reach a high enough rank. You have firewatch, hurry up to wait, working parties, Duty, etc.

Firewatch came from the inherent danger of warfare where there is a possibility of being attacked at night while everyone is asleep. In theory, it makes complete and total sense to have people on duty at night watching over Marines, Soldiers, Seamen, and Airmen while they sleep. In boot camp, I have stood many firewatch posts. It gives one time to think about things and go into in depth analyzations.  When you realize that you are awake while everyone is asleep, on a base that is guarded by MPs (Military Police), in California, which is in the continental United States…  Firewatch seems kind of pointless and just a way for your Drill Instructors or your squad leader to mess with you and your sleep. Don’t be discouraged though. It’s training for when you are actually in a combat zone.

Another thing that can really suck are working parties. Working parties (a group of Soldiers, Marines, Seamen, etc.) are snatched up to do miscellaneous tasks. A few weeks ago, I was in 29 Palms, California for training and I was snatched up into a working party to separate trash. Yes, you read that right. We had to go through about 3 weeks’ worth of trash to separate out the cardboard, plastics, Aluminum, general trash, and MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) heaters. It doesn’t sound that bad until you open a bag and smell the opened MRE food trash that has been sitting in the heat.

Hurry up to wait is prevalent in the military from day one. Drill Instructors hurrying to get the entire platoon to Medical or Dental or whatever place we needed to be just to stand by waiting for hours on end. I have spent at least 25% of my career waiting. That comes from the leadership not wanting to look bad by having others wait on them. I have stood in many formations, many times for 2 or more hours waiting to be told I can go home. If you do join, you’ll inevitably hear the phrase, “15 minutes prior to 15 minutes prior.”  If you don’t, you’re wrong.

I know I sound like a disgruntled enlisted Marine, I’m not gonna lie I actually am, but don’t let any of that discourage you. If you dreamt of enlisting or commissioning into the military then this is more of a heads up. Use this to better guide you to make the military work for you. If any of this discourages you, you probably shouldn’t join the military. It just isn’t for you, that’s all. My reasons for being disgruntled have nothing to do with working parties, firewatch, or standing by for no real reason. I am proud to have served and will continue to do so until January when I get out. I love being a Marine. I just hope to educate the future generations that will precede me.

Credits

Thanks to YouTube for allowing me to find these videos. Also I would like to thank Public Domain TV for the PFT video, Melvin Rodriguez for the CFT video, Conrad Stodgell for the Momma Dog video, Maximilian Uriarte over at terminallance.com for the POST video, and last but not least Alkohol2011 for uploading Tyler Satterfield’s EAS Song.