Procurement: December 13, 2004


:   Soldiers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan have been acquiring their own kit to go with the U.S. Government Issue stuff. But where do they go to get the stuff? While outdoor stores like Galyans and Sports Authority are one place where they can make these purchases, the place most of them go is to online stores and the shopping is done from the comfort of their home.

Online shopping, at any place from Brigade Quartermaster, Cheaper Than Dirt, US Cavalry, and Sportsmans Guide, among others, will often give someone a wide selection at a better price than a local store, and one can do comparison shopping with a few mouse clicks (often by opening multiple browser windows). The delivery can arrive as soon as the next business day (if the order is placed early enough) thanks to Federal Express or UPS. Often, these commercial products have outperformed the gear the soldiers are issued. Camelbak-type systems for drinking water are one example (the system is now issued by the Defense Department to troops), having outperformed the venerable canteen.

What else is available at these online stores? Gloves, GPS units (often lighter and more advanced than units issued by the military), elbow and knee pads, knives, underwear suitable for hot weather, watches, sunglasses, and other necessities for the field. These stores often will provide the best gear on the market faster than the procurement system will, and they will be delivered right to the soldiers home. The commercial gear that proves most popular in the field often will be adopted for use by the military until it, too is outclassed by what one can find on the web. Harold C. Hutchison (

Sources mentioned:

Cheaper Than Dirt: http://www.cheaper than

U.S. Cavalry: http://us

Brigade Quartermaster: http://www.action

Sportsmans Guide: http://www.sportsmans


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close