Author Archive: Tracey Mckinney

The development of military backpacks throughout the WW1 and WW2

military backpacks

From its beginnings, a man was looking for a way to carry his gear and supplies with him. That lead to the invention of a backpack, which found its purpose throughout the history. The most notable usage of backpacks is in war times, where soldiers would carry their weapon, ammo and essential supplies of food and water.military backpacks

Military Backpacks, however, have somewhat a different story. Although they were made out of everyday bags and sacks used in travelings, military backpacks were more functional than the ordinary ones. In this article read about a short history of military backpacks throughout the WW1 and WW2. 

WW1 Backpacks

Around 1910, backpacks used for soldiers and troops on the field were facing some major changes, which will define the looks of a modern military backpack till our days. The developers of military gear in the US were concerned to improve the current model (Soldier’s Trunk). Their efforts lead to the invention of a new model, M1910. The main feature of this backpack was his weight capacity because developers found that no soldier shouldn’t carry the weight that exceeds the two-thirds of his own body weight.

However, the new and improved M1910 had one significant flow, too. It entailed only one compartment which wasn’t an enclosed space. The developers used a rectangular canvas which needed to be folded and unfolded every time a soldier wanted to take something out of the backpack. The complexity of the design was such that they invented four-page instructions manual to go with it!

The result? A backpack with no practical purpose and low-efficiency rate. Foot soldiers usually went on long distance marches (sometimes 25 miles in one take), and carrying equipment in such a backpack meant struggling along the way.

WW2 Backpacks

At the beginning of the WW2, the standard military backpack was M-1928. The disadvantage of this military gear was the poor weight distribution. Each time a soldier would climb on the hill or go through the snow, a weight would shift sides. That would throw the soldier off the balance, making his moving difficult.

Military developers came to an idea to make a wired frame which should support the canvas of a backpack. The frame played a supporting role, helping the soldier to keep the weight stable during the march.

During WW2, military backpacks were frequently modified and improved. This period saw the rise of many military gear manufacturing companies. The models distributed were similar in design: the main feature of WW2 military backpacks was side pockets. With the enclosed compartments and side pockets, military backpacks become the soldier’s best friend. The capacity of carrying military gear, first aid kits, and food and water supplies were greater than in previous models.

Military backpacks today

Modern military backpacks have a lot in common with WW2 backpacks, especially in regards to design. Although the materials changed, the idea of having a reliable carrying sack remained the basis of modern backpacks, too.

Typical Food Available for Soldiers Back in WWI and WWII

Food for soldiers back in the day was not always a pretty sight.  With poor conditions and a lack of options, it’s hard to imagine how so many men were able to still fight while being forced to eat the food they were given.  There were no XMRE Meals or fresh water like there is today.  Especially in WWI, soldiers struggled mightily to find a decent meal.  To shed a little light on exactly what went on back then, we decided to take a look at the typical meals for soldiers back in WWI and WWII.

THE TYPICAL DIET OF A WWI SOLDIER

During World War I, a new style of fighting had emerged: trench warfare. For weeks, soldiers were holed up in unsanitary trenches while trying to gain the upper hand on their enemy. During this time, these men got their food in daily rations, and the availability of meat and vegetables varied. For those were positioned on the frontline of the war, it wasn’t uncommon to eat a meat stew and hard biscuit each day. Corned beef and bread were typical WWI staples, although theoretically, troops were supposed to also have vegetables, jam, and butter as well. Unfortunately, these delicacies became harder to obtain as time went on.

THE TYPICAL DIET OF A WWII SOLDIER

During World War II, food for soldiers consisted a lot of canned goods–and for good reason. Canned foods were fairly easy to come by, and they didn’t need to be preserved in a cool environment. Oftentimes, troops could be seen with canned macaroni, Spam, dried eggs and like always, candy was a tasty, popular choice. Being able to keep powdered eggs and milk that were easy to prepare was crucial for keeping a balanced diet for fighters on the front line–even if these supplements didn’t taste the same. Chocolate was also important–the company, Hershey’s, specifically made a chocolate bar for World War II soldiers that had a significantly higher nutritional value and melting point. Unfortunately, with these changes, the chocolate lost some of its beloved flavors and was often used as a last resort for sustenance.

Overall, the diets of a WWI soldier compared to a WWII soldier are somewhat different. World War I struggled to keep their troops consuming a balanced diet with limited supplies of vegetables and fresh meat. With the introduction of so much canned food in World War II, this goal was slightly more achievable, and although dried eggs and powdered milk didn’t sound appetizing, it could easily be followed up with a little candy or chocolate for flavor. Even today, as the concept of what a soldier needs food-wise to perform their best is evolving, nutritionists and dieticians are still fighting to find accessible, healthy options.

Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

All members of the uniformed services, including service academy cadets are automatically insured under Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) for $250,000, unless they elect in writing to be covered for a lesser amount, or not to be covered at all.

Full-time coverage is also provided, under certain conditions, for (1) persons who volunteer for assignment to the Ready Reserve of a uniformed service, and (2) persons assigned to or who, upon application, would be eligible for assignment to the Retired Reserve of a uniformed service and have completed at least 20 years of satisfactory service creditable for retirement purposes but have not begun receiving retired pay.

Part-time coverage is provided, under certain conditions, to members of the Reserves who do not qualify for full-time coverage.

SGLI has no loan, cash, paid-up or extended values.

SGLI is provided at no cost for 120 days following an individual’s separation or retirement from active duty.

For dept of veteran affairs and veterans donations. Visit www.vaservices.org.

Montgomery GI Bill

What is the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty ?
Called “MGIB” for short, it provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for:

College, Business
Technical or Vocational Courses
Correspondence Courses
Apprenticeship/Job Training
Flight Training

Who is Eligible?
You may be an eligible veteran if you got an Honorable Discharge, AND you have a High School Diploma or GED or, in some cases 12 hours of college credit, AND you meet the requirements of one of the categories below:

CATEGORY I

Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985
Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12 months
Continuously served for 3 years, OR 2 years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR 2 years if you entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served 4 years (“2 by 4” Program)

CATEGORY II

Entered active duty before January 1, 1977
Served at least 1 day between 10/19/84 and 6/30/85, and stayed on active duty through 6/30/88, (or 6/30/87 if you entered Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served 4 years)
On 12/31/89, you had entitlement left from Vietnam Era GI Bill

CATEGORY III

Not eligible for MGIB under Category I or II
On active duty on 9/30/90 AND separated involuntarily after 2/2/91,
OR involuntarily separated on or after 11/30/93,
OR voluntarily separated under either the Voluntary
Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program
Before separation, you had military pay reduced by $1200

CATEGORY IV

On active duty on 10/9/96 AND you had money remaining in a VEAP account on that date AND you elected MGIB by 10/9/97
OR entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between 7/1/85, and 11/28/89 AND you elected MGIB during the period 10/9/96, through 7/8/97
Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1200 lump-sum contribution

How Much Does VA Pay ?

The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if DOD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called “kickers”). You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit can be less, in some cases, and longer under certain circumstances.

How Can I Apply?

You can get the application in several ways:

Fill out the form online at VONAPP.
Download forms from the VA Web site.
Call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) and request the form. (You may have difficulty getting through quickly at the toll-free number, especially when school enrollments are heavy. You may have more success by going to the Internet site.)
Contact the nearest VA regional office.
You may also be able to pick up the application from your school or training facility.

For veterans site and veterans organization. Visit www.vaservices.org.

What are the effective ways of self-defence?

When it comes to self-defence, there are several useful techniques that you can take help from. There are different kinds of kung-fu or karate techniques that you can learn to defend yourself. We’re not asking you to be a professional kung-fu master, but there are a few basic techniques that can help you stay secure at all the times.

If you’ve given try to these techniques and weren’t able to learn them, don’t worry because there are other options for you out there that you can take help from. If you think that you are not strong enough to fight against the enemy or you don’t have the potential to learn the basic self-defence techniques then you must take advantage of the different self-defence tools that are available in the stores for your comfort and benefit.

But you need to be very careful when buying such tools that whether they are legal or not. Stun guns are tasers are the most popular tools that are used for self-defence in different parts of the world and they are legal as well.

There are different kinds of varieties available for you if you want to buy one or more weapons for protection. But before making a purchase you need to be able to differentiate between stun guns and tasers and decide that which tool will work best for you in terms of use for self-protection.

Stun Gun

For the purposes of self-defence, you can easily use the stun guns. Having a stun gun makes a person feel more secure. A stun gun temporarily disables the attacker for several minutes leaving him dazed and stunned. In the meantime, the victim can get out of the attack situation.

Following a stun gun strike, the attacker loses all control of balance, his muscles become extremely tense and the temporary paralysis ensues. The attacker losses the muscular control and falls down when paralyzed.

Taser Fundamentals

The difference between a taser and stun gun is clearly manifest as you can protect yourself against the attack from a distance if you have a taser with you but if you own a stun gun you need to get in direct connection with the attacker to take him down.

Most of the people don’t prefer stun gun with a fear that they might get harmed during the direct contact with the attacker. If you’re also one of them and want to stay at a distance when securing yourself against the attacker, then you must choose a taser for self-defence.

There is a wide range of tasers available in the stores these days that you may choose from. We suggest you take a look at the reviews of top rated tasor batons before you go to purchase one for you.

Once you’ve gone through the reviews, you’ll be able to find the best self-defense tool for you.