Memorable Imaginary Military Gear: Unforgettable Nonexistent Items

Imaginary military gear has long been a source of fascination and humor within the ranks of the U.S. Military. These nonexistent items, often the subject of pranks or tall tales, have become a memorable part of military culture. From the elusive chemlight batteries to the mythical grid squares, these items have left an indelible mark on the memories of servicemen and women. Let’s delve into some of the most unforgettable imaginary military gear.

Chemlight Batteries

Chemlights, or glow sticks, are a common tool in the military, used for everything from marking positions to providing light in low-visibility situations. However, they don’t require batteries – a fact that hasn’t stopped countless new recruits from being sent on a wild goose chase to find some. The nonexistent chemlight battery is a classic example of military humor, and a rite of passage for many.

Grid Squares

Another favorite imaginary item is the grid square. In military parlance, a grid square refers to a specific location on a map. However, some have taken to sending unsuspecting recruits to find a physical “grid square,” much to the amusement of their more experienced comrades. Despite its impossibility, the search for grid squares remains a memorable part of many servicemen and women’s military experience.

Flight Line

The flight line is a real location where aircraft are parked and serviced, but the “flight line stretcher” is a mythical tool that has fooled many a new recruit. The joke is often played on those working in aviation, with the unsuspecting victim sent to retrieve this nonexistent item from another part of the base.


The BA-1100-N is another classic piece of imaginary military gear. When written out on a requisition form, the item’s name looks suspiciously like “balloon.” Many a new recruit has been sent to supply to request a BA-1100-N, only to be met with laughter.


While these items may not exist, they serve a valuable purpose in the military. They provide a moment of levity in an otherwise serious environment, and help to build camaraderie among service members. So, the next time you hear about a new recruit being sent to find a bucket of prop wash or a box of radar paint, remember that these imaginary items are a cherished part of military culture.