You would think that being stationed on a Marine Corps base gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling of safety at all time but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, concealed carry on base is strictly prohibited and to be honest the nearest armed Marine with live ammo is a call and a drive away usually with the exception of maybe one duty officer with a condition 3 pistol. keeping that in mind I have to build my EDC around a myriad of not only base regulations but extremely restrictive California laws.

Things like not being able to conceal carry a fixed blade knife and the long painful process of getting a CC permit here seems like an attempt to turn everyone into a target and a sheep. Like most active duty service members I refuse to fall into that category. Here is my EDC while I am at work. Keep in mind I wear cammies every day and I’m never more than 150 meters from my truck which has a stocked medical kit in it.

Marine Corps Active Duty EDC

For a belt I wear a spec ops riggers belt that I’ve had for several years. There are plenty of better riggers belts out there but higher command usually gets scared when it comes to anything that isn’t sold at the local Post Exchange.

On my belt I always wear a fixed blade knife of some kind. In this case I have an ESEE 4 knife in a custom Kryptek Kydex sheath a buddy made for me.  I do switch it up sometimes with a Benchmade Nimravus, a Gerber Infantry, or a Gerber Ghoststrike. These blades are for self-defense purposes since I am not able to carry a gun (a knife is the next best thing).

I also carry a tactical folder for everyday use as a tool. The most carried for me is the above CRKT M16-14ZSF. I’ve had this knife for years and used it in every training environment I have been to and it is still running strong.

An active duty Army Rangers EDC (everyday carry) when off duty

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My wallet is a custom kydex job I made a couple of years ago. I got tired of carrying a large wallet so I made this minimalist wallet that holds cash and 6 cards at most.

My phone is an outdated Samsung Note 3 but it works well and doesn’t blow up in my pocket so I don’t plan on trading it in any time soon.

My truck key fob is set to allow me keyless entry so I can quickly enter my vehicle without pulling it out of my pocket and it is set to unlock only the driver door when I touch the handle. Also has a remote start.

For eyepro I am currently using the Gatorz Magnums (review soon to come). Before I got these I usually wore Oakley desert Fuel Cells because my M-frames push my cover up in a weird position.

Last but not least I always have on me a Skilcraft B3 pen that has black, red, and pencil settings.

Marine Corps Active Duty EDC

Everything else I see fit to bring along with me like my gym clothes or my laptop is carried in my trusty TAG duffel bag that I’ve had for years. It is designed to stow a casualties gear during a CASEVAC and has holes all over it to allow blood to drain. Works excellent for letting my gym clothes’ odor escape as well.

Due to geographic location and on base restrictions we are sometimes put at a disadvantage when it comes to carry possibilities and self-defense. We have to always adapt and overcome to allow us to be as deadly as we can. No matter how much gear we carry, it can never take place of the best EDC tool you have, your mind. Constantly assess possible threats, exercise hard targeting, and don’t allow yourself to become a victim because you aren’t allowed to carry. In another article I will show my EDC for when I am home and armed in the great state of Texas.


Author – Wes Nanny is currently a Sergeant in the Marine Corps until January. At which point I will be transitioning to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas. I served 8 years as an Infantry Team Leader and Squad Leader. I deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010-2011 with 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment. After that I went on to the 15th and 31st MEU’s. I attended numerous schools like CLS, TCCC, Assault Climbers Course, Combat Hunter Trainer Course, HRST Masters Course, Infantry Squad Leaders Course and Raid Leaders Course. In my spare time when not with my family, I like to climb, shoot, and hike. I stay current on firearms and gear of all sorts. Additionally, I’ve done some side work with custom kydex for the last two years.