That’s pretty accurate.

I despise a barracks thief. You learn quick to take whatever you don’t want stolen and sleep on top of it. The Army – and the Marines, I assume – berate you about locking up your stuff. They’re obsessed with it. So, everyone goes and buys Masterlocks… some guys repurpose the locks from their luggage, etc, on the cheap and use that…

But what is little known about Masterlocks – and what they won’t tell you – is that there are only a finite number of ways to configure a lock and key. Masterlock knows this, so they split them up. They send half to the East Coast and half to the West Coast. In the military, you get folks from everywhere thrown together. Which means some keys and locks will interchange. And the scumbags know it. So, they go around with their own keys trying everyone else’s locks when nobody is around. Sooner or later, they’ll find one that’s compatible. Which is precisely why I don’t use Masterlocks if I can help it. I have a few series 5200 locks that I liberated. Those are freakin’ awesome and I highly recommend them… if you can find them. (Feebay)

Or, they use the Mark I Combat Boot. Got a Masterlock? Not a problem. Take your boot, flip it around and bash the lock straight down using the heel. Make sure you hit it on the side that actually locks. Chances are, it will pop open if you hit it correctly and hard enough…

Speaking of keys – I don’t know if the military has switched out to swipe cards 100%, but back in the day you used a key to get into your barracks room. Misplacing the key and/or locking yourself out of your own room was sort of a big deal. You got dinged for it. So, we learned quickly how to break back into our rooms. Go down to the hardware store and get one of those smallish pry bars. The ones less than a foot long. They’re thin enough to get between the door and the jamb. The door doesn’t go anywhere, but the jamb flexes out of the way and the door will pop open. It’s actually faster than using your key and doesn’t damage anything… they came in right handy.

History channel ran some disaster/survival thing last year. Some ex-Marine running around in New Orleans in the destroyed areas doing the survival thing. Or maybe it was Detroit. I disremember exactly where. But he said one of the best things to carry in your gear was a small crowbar/pry bar. My reaction was: “Dude, we were doing that sh*t 20 years ago… “.

One thing he did do that’s a good idea that I shamelessly stole was carrying a chunk of spark plug. The white bit, not the other end. That white bit will go clean through a car window with little effort. Don’t know why. Don’t care why. All’s I care about is that it works and having the means to smash out a car window with little effort might be a thing I have to do come SHTF….

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1