What the heck is a military tool? Well, just like any pursuit, the military employs specific tools of the trade to get certain jobs done. If you think you know the military well enough to name each of these tools, take this quiz.
But first, let's talk about the kinds of tools the military uses. We can all agree that one of the most fundamental military tools is the firearm. Fortunately for you, the US armed forces use dozens of different types of guns - from handguns to rifles, to shotguns, to carbines, to submachine guns, to anti-tank guns, to assault weapons - and that's not counting the firearms that are no longer in service or obsolete. With literally hundreds of guns to choose from, we could have made this quiz all about military firearms, but we wanted to mix it up with other military tools.
In addition to firearms, the military uses grenades. But did you know that, like firearms, there are more than a dozen grenade types currently in active service, and more than a dozen more that have been removed from service because they are obsolete? We think we can all agree that the military has a host of tools to do the job.
Let's find out how much you know about military tools.
While the use of mines is pretty controversial, they are still widely used in the military, especially by the US military in the East. These explosive devices are usually hidden under or on the ground and created to destroy or disable enemies, be it soldiers, vehicles or even tanks. As of 2013, the only governments that used landmines were Myanmar and Syria. More and more western countries stop using landmines, simply because these explosive devices continue to kill or injure thousands of people every year, even decades after the conflicts and wars.
Grenades are simple, hand-thrown small bombs. Even though they were invented hundreds of years before, they were first used only during the Napoleonic era. The first, re-invented grenades that appeared in 1914 were hand-made, made of old cans filled with nails, bits of metal, and gunpowder.
The first magnetic compass was invented as a device for divination during the Chinese Han Dynasty. The compass was then widely used in China by the military for navigational orienteering. Gradually, a compass became a must-have tool for maritime navigation as well.
Shotguns were widely used in the military in the 18th century and they are still used today. Shotguns were invented by John Moses Browning, probably the most famous gun-maker to ever live. As many of the weapons he designed in the 18th century, the shotguns of today looks exactly like he intended more than 100 years ago.
Simply known as "the Greaser," this weapon was named after the mechanic’s tool of the same name. The the M-3 submachine gun, invented by George Hyde, was the simplest and most popular firearm issued to U.S. combat troops in the 20th century.
A helmet is an important part of a military ammunition that protects the head of a soldier during combat; however, ceremonial or symbolic helmets (such as policeman's helmet) without protective function are also widely used. Combat helmets have evolved considerably over the years - the first helmets were made of leather or cloth.
Anti-tank artillery was invented as a result of the need to develop new technology to destroy tanks during World War I. First anti-tank guns were used in the 1920s and proved to be especially effective during World War II, when they were widely used by many European armies.
A rocket launcher is a default primary weapon of any soldier in the US. A typical rocket-propelling device used by the US military is made of metal and can hold up to four loaded rockets.
Many rifles are similar to the muskets they replaced in the 19th century. The first rifle, called the Springfield rifle, was invented in Massachusetts in the 1850s. Some rifles, such as AR-15-platform rifles, are among the most popular firearms ever sold, even though they were invented more than 100 years ago.
Military units issue different types of survival knives to pilots, soldiers, and marines. USN SEALS use the Ontario MK 3 Navy Knife, while the US Army Aircrew mostly use ASEK Aircrew Survival Egress knives. Other popular models actively used today include Gerber Mark II dagger and M11 knives.
Barbed wire can be used by farmers to build cheap fences for animals or it can be used by the US military to protect secured properties. Metal wires with sharp edges or points are usually placed atop brick walls for extra protection.
Despite all cutting-edge inventions, defensive systems, new weapons, and technologies that make the news every year, basic military tools such as hand hatchets are still used in the military. The evolution of military technology is an ongoing process, but some things simply can't be replaced.
President Trump boosted military spending this year - his significant increases in military and border-security spending means new weapons, improved military tools, and cutting-edge technologies for the US military. Nevertheless, we couldn't leave out the basic tools like cutting wheels, an ancient cutting tool sometimes used by soldiers to cut metal.
Shovel carriers are generally an important part of the uniform. They fit perfectly over military issue entrenching tools and can be clipped to a load-bearing vest, belt, or pack. They are usually made of durable military camouflage fabric.
Reflective tape helps soldiers to see objects even in total darkness. Thanks to the enhanced nighttime reflective brightness, it can be applied to helmets, clothing, various military tools and equipment used in low light conditions.
The ancient Egyptians developed special tools to make rope in 4000 - 3500 B.C. - the first rope was made of water reed fibers. It was one of the most important inventions of all time. The modern rope as we know it today was developed only in 19th century Europe and North-America.
Modern weapons as we know them today began to appear in 1364, but the first pistols that resemble those that are used nowadays were invented by Samuel Colt only in the 19th century.
Under vehicle inspection mirrors are mostly used by military, security, and law enforcement agencies for visual inspections of vehicles. However, uses for these mirrors are not just limited to the military, security checkpoints, parking lot security, or traffic stops.
Originally, bandoliers were issued to all soldiers from the 16th century to the 18th century. Starting from World War I, bandoliers were issued mostly by riflemen. They are made of cloth and have small pockets for ammunition.
Collapsible linen water buckets were commonly used by soldiers during the Civil War and WW2. Even though it's made of linen, the fibers of the cloth swell when the bucket is filled, so water doesn't leak.
Even simple tools, such as pliers, can be a life-saving, mission-essential gear for a soldier. Even non-active soldiers sometimes have this multi-purpose tool on their belt, just in case.
A set of wrenches - usually, they vary in size and are open at one end with a box/ring at the other - is a must-have military tool. Military wrenches are usually made of high quality materials, such as chromium-vanadium alloy tool steels, and are frequently chrome-plated to resist corrosion.
Shovels were used throughout the history of mankind. While it's not necessarily a military tool and it's not intended to harm, disarm, or kill enemies, shovels are still widely used by the US military, so it still counts, right? Wait... we totally forgot about Shovel Combat, a masterful art and a sacred practice of defense practiced worldwide.
Also known as Swede saw or buck saw, the modern bow saw is great for cutting branches and clearing brush. It's not the most popular military tool, but it's still widely used in some countries.
Gas masks provides superior protection from inhaling toxic gases or airborne pollutants by covering nose, mouth, and sometimes the entire face of the soldier.
Mostly used by fire brigade units, a durable hacksaw is a must-have during emergency fire rescue operations when a door, wall, or other barriers block the way.
A hammer is a convenient hand tool arguably used since 2.6 million BC when stones were used to break and shape other stones, bones, or wood to create new tools. Over the centuries that followed, handheld hammers went through thousands of small transformations to look like they do today.
A simple tool designed for cutting wires is called diagonal pliers or, simply, a wire cutter. They were first used in America in the 1800s, at the same time as barbed wire, invented to keep cattle from straying. Back then, wire cutters were mostly used to build, maintain, or destroy those fences.
A Wire Brush Set issued by the US military is designed to clean small parts and reach tight, hard-to-reach spaces of various weapons. It usually contains small brushes that come in all shapes and sizes.
Screwdrivers can be manual or powered and are usually classified by their tip. While manual screwdrivers didn't change much since the 15th century, power screwdrivers nowadays transformed from a simple tool with a few batteries, a motor, and a tip to powerful "pistol" type screwdrivers that work - and look - more like drills.
It all began with a stone hand axe, mostly used to butcher animals, to dig, cut meat, or to chop wood. Over the centuries, materials were constantly changing and today's metal axe with a wooden handle is the culmination of many craftsman hours.
Gloves were arguably invented and first used by the Vikings. The word "glove" itself comes from Old Norse and literally means "covering for the hand."
A blade, one of humanity's oldest tools, is not as common as, say, a knife, but it can be successfully used to disarm or even kill the enemy. It can be made from metal (usually steel), ceramic, or other durable materials.
Did you know that sometimes a pickaxe handle without the head is used in the British Army? Many soldiers use it as a baton, often unofficially. While it's frowned upon, it's not prohibited.
Flexible steel funnels issued by US military are perfect for transferring fuel or any liquid. It's compact, flexible, durable, and can be used in various scenarios.
There are two main types of respirators: the air-purifying respirator that comes with a filter and the air-supplied respirator with a supply of fresh air. Both of them are widely used by American soldiers.
Also known as Pro-Bar or Hallagan, it is a popular tool used by firefighters and military personal to open blocked doors, break windows, and remove other obstacles.
An entrenching tool, which is basically a collapsible spade, is used by the military for a variety of purposes. Moreover, this handy tool was adopted by experienced survivalists, campers, and hikers.