Memorial Day Thanks and Question of the Day.


If you are a veteran, what knife did you carry while deployed?

A blog such as TTAK can only exist because there are brave Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this nation and its ideals. In particular, our ability to speak critically of those who wield power is due to that very sacrifice. A heartfelt thank you to you and the families you left behind.

Technically, this question of the day would be more appropriate for Veterans Day, but I don’t feel like waiting until November to ask it.

Since the dawn of armed conflict, knives have been a part of a soldiers gear. To some it is simply a tool, to others a knife may even be a talisman. But in all cases they are indispensable for both tactical and mundane tasks. I can’t be certain but I would imagine more cans of chow have been pierced by KA-BARs (pictured above) throughout the knife’s storied history than have enemy soldiers. But in my mind this adds to not detracts from the legacy of the knife.

If you are a veteran, what knife did you carry while deployed? Do you still have it? Thank you for your service.



  1. Last Marine out says:

    First I had a private bowie knife, later had a k-bar. and lets not forget the MIA , lost in combat, fate ? had a guy in my unit lost in action.. a great guy. what a price to pay ,the family will never know! and thanks to all fellow vets.

  2. kap says:

    I am partial to Italian stiletto’s, and Filipino Balisong’s, but I Used a K-bar
    Fair Winds and Following Seas to my fellow Vets and may our MIA”s never be forgotten

  3. Sam L. says:

    I was a missileer many years ago; a pocketknife was all I needed. The Buck 110 was out; didn’t like the size, and didn’t need one. Did buy a Gerber Mk II, but never had a need to carry it. I did take my kitchen knives out with me, to sharpen on duty…and make my crew wary.

    1. DrewN says:

      Ha! Everyone in my unit had some variation of the Applegate/Fairbairn and to my knowledge the only time one was ever deployed in anger was to dispatch a couple of cabritos/chivitos for a bbq.

  4. Jon says:

    I served under clinton rules in a little place called Bosnia. We could have NO personal weapons to include a knife. I carried a Spydercon Endura (First Generation), I also had a United Cutlery Delta Survival model and Schrade multi-tool. I had my Ka-Bar is my sea bag but never dared to carry it. I have all but the Schrade still.

  5. 2hotel9 says:

    Buck 110(lost on the Etowah River in ’87) and a K Bar. Usually had a demo pocket knife on me, too. Some officers would get soggy and hard to light when they saw a fixed blade knife on a troop, which is why I started carrying the K Bar in a reversed SoB sheath. BDU shirt kept it well covered, and since even more officers got soggy and hard to light over NOT wearing full uniform at all times no one who did not need to ever became aware I had it.

  6. Skyler says:

    I carried a Randall knife in Afghanistan when I went outside the wire, but I was mostly desk bound there. I carried it mostly out of vanity, but also because it was a gift.

    I also carried my leatherman Fuse everywhere in Iraq, which was much more kinetic than my tour in Afghanistan. Actually, I always have that leatherman pretty much everywhere when I’m in utility uniform. I also had a benchmade switchblade in Afghanistan. I was really getting into knives at that time.

    In Iraq I just carried a K-bar (which was issued to me) as my combat knife, though I was also issued a bayonet for my rifle. I think I had both at that time, the ka-bar bayonet came out later. I probably carried the bayonet more regularly, because you never knew if there would be a riot or disturbance wherever we went, and I wanted to have a bayonet on my rifle if we were ordered to fix bayonets for security. I may have been a staff officer, but every rifle counts in a riot or firefight.

    The leatherman was much more useful, for eating MRE’s, doing hasty wire stripping (I work in communications) or other tool use in a pinch. The big knife was just “in case.”

  7. knightofbob says:

    I never deployed, and I was flightline, so we weren’t allowed to have any personal tools anyway.

    So, aside from the short period when I carried a Boker ceramic, base-model 440C Griptilian that I only retired from EDC duty a couple months ago.

  8. Bowie knives has always been my favourite as it can be used for many activities like in cooking purposes, hunting, used as short sword, survival knife etc . It depends on us as in how we take it. So it is a perfect package. All in One tool.

  9. Mark says:

    That Ka-Bar USMC combat knife is a thing of beauty to me. It speaks of traditions that go back a long way. A knife like this has a hundred uses. You just can’t carry it around in town.

    1. 2hotel9 says:

      Set up a reversed, point upward, sheath and carry small of back, or slightly to either side. Long shirts allow you to carry it a whole lota places with no one knowing. Using the issue sheath you move the strap from the end of the handgrip to against the hilt plate, then punch 4 holes across the frog the width of your regular pants belt and sew cord or a piece of boot lace through them. You want it tight on the belt, pain in the a$$ to slide tight. And practice drawing it, find the sweet spot to carry it either angled or straight up and down and practice.

      It is a very natural movement once you get it. You’ll like it.

      1. I am liking the IWB kydex sheath for my Kim Breed Model 15. The handle sits just up from horizontal. I never figured I would carry a 4.5″ fixed blade, but this arrangement is quite comfortable.

        (I will have a picture in a forthcoming post).

        1. 2hotel9 says:

          I have been eyeballing kydex sheaths for Ka Bar and Buck 110, emailed a couple of companies that do custom work about the Ka Bar. Most are just standard, one direction belt sheaths and all are rather bulky, wide. Just the nature of working with kydex.

          Supposed to meet a woman at the next Pittsburgh gunshow who says she has a slimmer sheath for that size knife and her stuff has spring tension retention, not just a snap strap. I did that with my last iteration by using a strip of stainless steel strap and 2 collared screws. Yea, I’m a mod-er. Never really happy with how most people make, well, everything.

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Memorial Day Thanks and Question of the Day.

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