BEIJING, Jan. 23 -- A combined arms regiment under the PLA's Xinjiang Military Command adjusted some items in the personal package carried by the service members for field training. Although only a few simple items have been replaced, this move has attracted wide attention within the regiment. And all this was triggered by an ordinary soldier.
The regiment conducted a combat readiness assessment in the hinterland of the plateau at the end of last year. At the end of the assessment, some non-standard items were found inside the Corporal Sui Rongqiang's military surplus shoulder bag, a standard military accessory used to store personal belongings during the field training, which included of Corporal Sui Rongqiang was found out to contain several non-standard items: a compressible mouthwash mug, a quick-drying towel, a foldable toothbrush, etc.
Someone pointed out that Cpl. Sui did not carry the standard combat equipment to participate in the training. He had violated the training regulations. "As the time goes on, the battlefield environment is changing. Now that some items have been out-dated, why can't they be substituted?" responded Sui doubtfully.
Cpl. Sui likes outdoor sports. He knows a lot of outdoor supplies that are functional and convenient to carry. Why not replace the personal items uniformly distributed with those outdoor products, which will not only reduce the weight of the bag but also provide better maneuverability? So, he put several outdoor products in his bag.
However, the small adjustment in Sui's bag has trigged heated discussion in the company he was assigned to. "There are relevant regulations on personal belongings, which shall be strictly enforced," objected some soldiers. "These items have not been tested on battlefield. Will they work in war?" At the same time, some soldiers also showed strong support. "These items are small in size and useful on the battlefield. We could make use of them as long as they are conducive to improving combat effectiveness," they said.
With the heated discussions going on, service members of the company began to sort out the flaws of the uniformly distributed standard items. Not easy to dry when wet, the towels will mold when put in a shoulder bag and damp other items. Not waterproof, the notebook will be damaged easily in rainy days or during combat swimming. Big and not portable, the mug waggles in combat running and hurts the waist when the soldier is lying down or climbing.
The company commander Captain Li Shuai agreed with the service members. As there have been clear regulations on personal belongings, he summarized the opinions and suggestions, and reported to the regiment.
The opinions and suggestions of the company quickly attracted the attention of regiment leaders. After repeated comparisons and demonstrations, the regiment decided to adjust the items in the bag according to the needs of actual mission and the climatic environment in the mission areas.
In the end, several new items appeared in the shoulder bags of service members, such as a retractable silicone bowl, a quick-drying towel, a combined flashlight with high-energy batteries, a multi-functional pen, a waterproof notebook, a flint, and so on. As the standard mug is made of stainless steel, it can be used for boiling and cooking in addition to tooth brushing, so it remains in the bag for now.
"The bag is more convenient and practical after the adjustments. With its weight being reduced by 0.5 kg, we could take more bullets into combat," said the regiment commander Zhou Bin.