Things to take to College for ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Marine4Life, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Marine4Life

    Marine4Life Member

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    I'm sure that there are countless things that midshipmen and cadets realize that they need as soon as they get to college. What are some of the less obvious things that students in ROTC should bring. I've come up with Brass-O, and iron and ironing board but can't come up with much beyond that.
     
  2. dakoteyah27

    dakoteyah27 Member

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    Don't know about ROTC, but as far as Army, if you go to the field then 550 cord(Parachute Cord), 90mph tape(OD Green Duct Tape), and a pocket knife are ESSENTIAL!!!! Rule of thumb.... If your out in the field more than a week bring baby wipes.

    Just and old guy's $0.02
     
  3. semperfi

    semperfi Member

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    My son is NROTC-Marine option. He needed rubbing alcohol to take the shine off his dress black shoes. He also asked for a hair cutting kit because he has to cut his hair (shaves his head, actually) each week. I picked up the Remington Studio Style professional clipper at Best Buy for about $30 - it has a lot of attachments for fades and has a neckliner so that you can achieve a straight cut across the back.

    Bring some Tide To Go instant stain remover sticks. They work great on summer dress whites.

    You will be issued a number of uniforms (camo, dress, working) and you probably won't have a lot of closet space. My son took a couple of Wonder Hangers which we picked up at Walmart. One hanger lets you hang up to 6 garments in the space of 1.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    I always wondered if Tide To Go really worked - they even advertised it for military uniforms.

    I also just went to the Wonder Hanger's site and took a look at the video. Does it really work that well? Doesn't wrinkle clothes?
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Also take cotton balls and a lighter for your shoes, unless you are going the easy route of corframs. You use the lighter to melt the wax into the shoe for a higher shine. If you are going to wear corframs then bring windex wipes to clean them.

    Our DS also has a tide to go stick in his backpack for days he has to wear the uniform...he found that out real quick when someone accidentally spilt on him with their coffee cup.
     
  6. semperfi

    semperfi Member

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    It works well if you keep treating the stain. DS had someone spill coffee on his cap and the Tide stick completely removed the stain.

    The Wonder Hanger does seem to work well. He hung his "working" clothes (camo and khakis) on one, and casual polos and pants on the other. That saved a lot of room in the closet, allowing him to hang his dress clothes without being crowded.

    One more thing - cardboard! Bring a piece of cardboard that you can cut to fit inside the top of your officer's cap. Cardboard is also used to pin on the inside of your uniform, behind the name badge. It helps the badge stand out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Don't forget a mini ruler. You will need it to center your name badge.
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Please don't buy into the "trick" of using a lighter. It does more harm than good. There's no trick to a shine except lots of work with tiny amounts of polish and the right cloth. When you burn the grease out of the polish it will accelerate the cracking of the layers on the shoe and you'll dry out the leather. Avoid that ****ty Kiwi Parade Gloss. It's not worth it. If you like a super shiny top coat use Lincoln Wax as a light finish coat. Lincoln wax is rarer so take some with you. Also, don't use edge dressing. Scrub your sole edges and swipe with polish.

    Just some points from a decade of shining.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Maybe Scout you just didn't get the knack or you had different shoes. Bullet did it for 20+ yrs, and even on his flight boots. He never had a problem of cracking the leather. He always did have to replace them, but that was to wearing out the sole of the shoe/boot and nothing else.

    That being said, I do agree with Scout, if you try to do this on your own without instruction from someone who knows the exact timing of when to remove the heat you will do damage to the shoe.

    Polishing shoes will be long and tedious this is why cadets opt for Corframs. However, the det will never give you top grades because Corframs only require Windex. Additionally, anyone who has ever worn them will tell you they are basically plastic shoes, if you go to school somewhere hot, your feet will sweat all day long.

    Most cadets will use Sunday night as their shoe polishing night. An old white undershirt also is great, because as Scout mentioned you will want shoe edger. You will need the shirt to place them on to not mark up the floor.

    The other thing to take with you is a bag of SAFETY PINS. They come in very handy when a jacket button falls off as a quick fastener. Additionally, if you are like our DS, he wears white t's under his polo's, but no v-necks. He is the typical college kid who goes through all of his clothes before doing laundry. He learned from an AFA cadet a few yrs back that a crew neck t can in a snap become a v neck with a safety pin.

    For parents that are military, I would suggest to also hit the Military clothing store during the summer, especially if your child has "fit issues". BUY FROGS!

    For example, our DS is 28 X 32 in pants, the det had issues finding him service pants. He landed up with floods because they couldn't find him 32's in his size. We also bought extra PT gear since they wear the same.

    Also, you can get him service uniform shirts (at least for the AF)...trust me, it doesn't hurt to get them because they will not wash them as often as you think. The ring around the collar is insane, and yes, even SA cadets put off cleaning their uniforms.

    When you go home for a time period that allows dry cleaning, take the uniform with you. Ask the dry cleaner to use HEAVY starch. The first time you wear it will feel like cardboard, BUT, when you wash it some starch will remain and it will only take a few seconds to iron it out because the creases will be there to follow.

    Also for fall semester buy a can of Niagara Spray Starch and a Can of Niagara Sizing. Sizing goes on first, it allows the material to relax. Lightly iron, do not start making seems, you just want to iron out any creases that are in places they should not exist. Cool the shirt on a hangar. Spray the starch and now press for seems. If you want to make it like dry cleaning, let the shirt cool after the starch press and spray again. Believe it or not if you hit the steam it will create a knife crease like the dry cleaners.

    The wonder hangar maybe great, but I would suggest for the shirts to be placed on wooden hangars. Plastic hangars have a habit of making indentations if improperly hung. Jackets and ABUs don't have the same problem.

    Our DS did not buy wonder hangars. He did have a small closet, but his dresser allowed him to fold the majority of his shirts, thus he had room in the closet. Additionally, he took only seasonal clothing with "what if it get's cold" backup. If you are going to a school that you know the weather(heat) is not going to drastically change before you go home, than plan accordingly. For example, you are going to go to VMI and are coming from CA. You know you will not come home before T-DAY, in this scenario Wonder Hangar is something you should look into, because you will need shorts, t-shirts, pants, and sweaters. If you are going to Texas A&M, then you won't need winter gear before T-Day, thus, your closet will not the Wonder Hangar.

    Finally, as an ROTC student you know you will NEED more room than the typical student. If you are a guy, think about your closet as a GIRL. If you are a GIRL, will sorry, but you need to start thinking about what you can pitch or fit under your bed.

    Not only will you need room for your ROTC crap, but you should start thinking about getting something to keep it in. FROGS get lost very quickly, and if your roomie is not ROTC it is highly unlikely he has an extra frog to give you to pin on your name tag. If you go with a bin that closes, nothing will get lost...remember the shirt needs to be stripped before laundry and that is how frogs get lost.
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yeah, that's it. I'm sure I just couldn't "figure it out." Don't know how I've made it this far...:rolleyes:

    go to any of the shops off post that do boot and shoe polishing. You won't find any burning boots. Why? Using a lighter is a cheater shine that doesn't last. It will shine up FASTER, but the polish won't shine as long if you take the grease out of it, and the grease is also what protects the leather. Taking the grease out will also make the polish "fog" much faster in the sun because it's already lost all its wetness from the burning. If you don't care how long your shoes and boots last, put the flame to them. Maybe you can get away with that in ROTC when you wear the low quarters sparingly. When you wear them 6 or 7 days a week, they need all the TLC you can give them. I can still wear my ten-year-old low quarters for dress functions...though they're on their 3rd soles now.

    tpg is, as usual, spot-on. Small dabs of polish, tiny circles, repeat for several hours over several days. And Lincoln knocks the stuffin' out of Kiwi.
     
  11. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    I don't have the new ACU/ABU boots (I do have the old black BDU ones), but I thought the new ones didn't require polishing/couldn't be polished.

    I don't know first hand, but that's the impression I've had.

    It wasn't until that last sentence that I figured out what the hell you were talking about with frogs :rolleyes:

    I wear AF Blues for Civil Air Patrol, so when you said that I got the picture (I hate taking everything off and putting them on again, and I've had mini-SAR missions in my room looking for those damn things...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yeah, I was wondering too. Everyone I've ever met calls them dammits, even my brother (USAFA grad).

    And no, you can't polish the new boots. You can clean them though, which more folks should do.

    The polish is for low-quarters and, for those of us who still wear them, jump boots for a dress uniform.
     
  13. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Scout, thanks for clearing this up. It rears its ugly head periodically.

    Had a couple of prior enlisted in my plebe summer platoon. They broke out they lighters and our squad leader, a prior Marine, set them straight real quick.

    I always thought elbow grease was more important than they type of polish I used but what the hell does a squid know.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Haha, thanks. It's almost as though with the time I've spent actually in the military, I might know a thing or two about how to do simple things like shine a set of jump boots and other such cerebral tasks. :rolleyes:

    You may be a squid, but I put more stock in the USN when it comes to starch and polish than our blue-suit brethren. You guys have the Marines there to give you an azimuth check :wink:

    Anyhow, back on topic...another good thing to have for field problems is a set of dental tools. They're dirt cheap and there's no better way to clean a bolt carrier. I don't know which ROTC the OP is attending, or how much NROTC or AFROTC even do weapons training, but at some point everyone's going to have to clean the inside of a gas key or extractor assembly, and those tools will take hours off the job.
     
  15. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    What kind of dental tools. Is there an actual kit to get?
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    You know that tools that the dentist uses on your gumline that make you try to shout "Mother******!!!" with your mouth open? Those are the ones.

    Google "dental pick scraper" and you'll see a bunch. Hooked ends are more versatile.
     
  17. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Brake cleaner? What kind of horrible example are you trying to set?! :yllol:

    Next you'll tell me that a 50/50 mix of simple green and kerosene in a rubbermaid tub is a quick way to dunk-clean a SAW receiver and bolt carrier group... :thumb:
     
  18. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    Haha, oh yes, how could I forget those :rolleyes:
     
  19. semperfi

    semperfi Member

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    I'll have to pass this along to my Marine option - I recognize three of the four ingredients :)
     
  20. semperfi

    semperfi Member

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    Niagara Spray Starch and Sizing is a great idea. We'll be sending him off to school in the fall with both!

    You can use wooden hangers on the Wonder Hanger. Our DS didn't have a dresser and went to school in NY, where the temperature varied widely from September to December. He needed clothing for seasons that varied from hot to very cold. The Wonder Hanger was a benefit because he could hang all his hot weather gear on one, and the cold weather gear on another.
     

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