NO Gear and NO Idea
For as long as I can remember troops have supplemented their issue with kit that they have bought themselves. There are a number of reasons – take for instance the issued Beret, no cunt wears one apart from the odd Bootneck or RAF store-man. No one ever complains about buying a Compton Webb then shaping it until it pisses off even the most lenient of RSM’s before shoving the cap badge so far round the side of their head a craning giraffe would not see it. So fashion plays a part, then there is the kit issued which is of no use to man nor beast. The Waterproof which has no water resistance quality whatsoever and can be heard when worn to a distance greater than any two enemies have ever been apart. Then there is the stuff which by the time it gets commissioned is out of date or there is no use for it, an example is the Saxon which was to replace the four tonner but next minute was being driven over start lines as no twat knew what to do with them. Meanwhile the four tonner had a small makeover and continued as ever.
I wholly agree that where kit life saving it should be bought and issued without question. (Body armour) SF are fairly good at this but it is easier to equip a small unit on a relatively small budget as compared to kitting out an entire force on an expenses sheet which has to be agreed by all and sundry dealing with huge purchases..
The procurement system is in part to blame as they always seem behind the curb. They never ever seem to have an angle on what is required as the troops in the know are out there doing the business while those doing the behind the scenes stuff are basing there decisions on what information is filtered down to them. Which by the time it hits the design making desks it too late.
My advice wrong or right is if you have not got something you need right away and have the means to sort it out do so. Complaining you spent a whole trip without a decent pair of boots when you walked passed silvermans on pay day is bollox. And the excuse that my Sgt. major wont let me wear it is tits too, once your in the field fuck him, it’s your life on the line.
All that said the whole thing contributes to what makes the Brits a superior fighting force. I would sooner go into battle with a troop of lesser equipped thrusting brit soldiers than a company of pampered over looked after whining foreigners.