Army Memoranda Books

I’m a big fan of pocket notebooks. Especially ones that look nice.  Cold Splinters has directed our attention to these fine army pocket notebooks that you can pick up at several online army surplus stores. They look just like the memoranda books my grandpa used to carry around.

Quick question for those who are serving in the military: are these still issued to soldiers?

Buy at The ArmyProperty Store.

Found via Cold Splinters

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin August 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Yeah, we still get these in the Seabees at least. They’re pretty sturdy notebooks.

Sam August 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

There certainly are. Our supply closet was never without various sizes of these notebooks (this was about 1 year ago).

Harry August 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

When I hit the link for the armyproperty store, Web of Trust says they have a poor reputation for trustworthyness, reliability, and privacy.

Tj August 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I have one in my pocket right now…serving on active duty in the Navy

Mark August 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I’ve found ‘em in local surplus stores next to the weather proof pens and the weather proof notebooks. Got one in my BoB and my day pack.

Chip Autry August 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I’m a Captain currently in Kuwait, and I actually have one, NSN 7530-00-222-0078, Federal Suppy Service, sitting on my desk as I was reading this article. It accompanies me in my pocket every day. I have hundreds in my suppy room right now, so yes, the Army still uses them.

Matt August 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

My buddy mailed me a case of these things some years back when he was in Baghdad. I absolutely love them and am glad to see that they’re still available.

Pat August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Pick them up at our local base “serve mart” kinda like our “office depot” on base – would never be caught without one…

hughes August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

gotta have a pocket brain with ya.

TommyG August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I have started a cult of Field Notes among people I know. I will have to look into these, as well.

Chuck Yeargin August 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I have two or three on my desk at my Coast Guard office….

Gabriel August 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I used to carry them in service…. Post military Ive switched to Moleskins…

Bob August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Love ‘em. Still have a couple left after I left active duty last year. Don’t know what I’ll do without them. Why has no civvie supplier popped up with these?

Steve August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

It’s not just the Army that uses them… they are all over not only the military but the federal government as well! There are even gear manufacturers out there who make slip-on nylon covers for them.

LT Andrew August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I’m an Army 2nd Lieutenant deployed to Kuwait right now. Got a box full of these suckers sitting on my supply shelf in my office. I probably burn through about 1 a week. They’re great. Writing stuff down can really separate the men from the boys in life.

raj August 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I first encountered these while stationed in Antarctica. They are referred to as “green brains”. I also discovered them in the basement of the Admin building at the National Park in which I work. I have one on me at all times. I have developed quite a system for their use. I would like to find some of the aforementioned nylon covers.

PFC Millsap August 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Our supply room has these for us at will, also you can find them at any clothing and sales store on post.


Roger Tigner August 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

There used to be the equivilent brown “THINK” pads that were the staple for IBM

Dave Winkler August 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm

These aren’t basic issued items, but as you can see many supply rooms have them on hand to pass out on request. I find them to be too flimsy though. That’s why I opt for the larger hardback light green notebooks like these:

Larry Scroggs August 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I spent over 20 years in the infantry and have used up hundreds of these. Indispensable for five paragraph operations orders. We kept them in plastic bags when out in the field. I still run across some I used in the past when I go through my old military bag. Brings back some good memories.

Robert August 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I’m in the Air Force and we use them a lot in aircraft maintenance.

Also, buying these supports AbilityOne/Skilcraft which hires a large number of blind and disabled people.

Levi August 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I have one of these full of aircraft maintenance codes in my desk, from back in my Marine Corps days. As many times as I folded it over, jammed it in my pocket, or ripped back pages out, it hasn’t fallen apart. I’ll show it to my son when he’s old enough to understand that I did indeed once have a cool job, along with my training jacket and 3-ring laminated flight manual.

Paul August 5, 2011 at 2:26 am

It’s not just the military, I work for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and I was given one as soon as I arrived at my port. If I see an officer looking particularly confused, it’s a good bet he left his “little green book” at home that day.

Liz August 5, 2011 at 3:34 am

I was my division’s supply petty officer in the Navy, and we went through them by the dozen-packs. There are two sizes of top-flips, and I think two sizes of side-flips, so it was all about preference really, and what was in stock. We called them ‘Will books’… you wrote EVERYTHING in them. If it didn’t get written down, it didn’t matter. I usually had two; one small top-flip for my primary duties, and one larger side-flip for my supply duties.

Alan Poling August 5, 2011 at 4:25 am

RAH, try Brigade Quartermaster for a cover for these suckers!

JMiller August 5, 2011 at 10:40 am

An inspectable item, as they say: to be on your person at all times. 1452d Trans Co NCARNG

Daveb August 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Yup, I used them in the Air Force, and still use them in my other government job. They are a staple of the federal supply system.

Mike Alexander August 6, 2011 at 4:49 am

Been carrying one of one size or type since I enlisted in 2000. I always make sure my team leaders and most if my soldiers have one as well as something to write with. Start with the small things to instill good habits and the guys you trained then will be a huge asset years down the road.

Brian August 6, 2011 at 10:59 am

Still issued in the USAF as of 2008. My flight chief was never without his, and he had a ton of other stuff written down and laminated (response alarm order lists, etc) but he always had one around.

I never used these particular ones myself because the supply people didn’t like me (I made them work) but I used the Rite-in-the-Rain notepads, which can be thought of as the ‘second generation’ model in that they are waterproof. Handy in my job and no plastic bag required for when it’s pouring down rain. Same idea.

Joe August 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I used them for twenty years in the Army… I called them “my brains in my pocket” because I had written down everything important that I needed. I ended up carrying several full books in my pockets just so I had the info when someone asked me. which ever book I forgot to bring is the book that had the answer that I needed that day. DOoooooooOOo !!!!

Joe August 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Used in a sentence it went like this; OK, let me check my brains in my pocket so I can give you that NSN for the new MWO swashplate bolt.

Shawn August 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm

When I got to Iraq one of the first things we were issued was one of these. I still use one day to day in my duties.

Jacob August 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm

We usually use the “Rite in the Rain” notebooks now in the Army. The paper is waterproof. I’ve used them in rain, snow, dust, and extreme cold and they never fail. These look like a great pocket notebook though!

James August 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I work for my local government but seeing as I work in Scotland, we don’t get awesome things like these..Curses!!

I need a pocket brain, it will make up for the empty shell that sits on top of my shoulders.

Ray August 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Last usedone of these in the first Gulf War. I’m glad to see they are still around.

Mike August 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Don’t know about the Army, but they’re common in squidland. When I worked with the Marines we used a waterproofed version.

Joel August 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I retired from the Air Force last year and had my paper brain in my pocked at my retirment ceremony. I ran across you link searching for an online supplier.

Joel August 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm

That should say, “I ran across your link…”

2LT Greg August 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Yep, we still have them. They’ve got small ones that fit perfectly into the shoulder pockets of ACUs, and they’re great for jotting down notes as you run around during your day for important stuff to write down in a larger leader’s book when you get back to your office/cubicle/ table.

Shawn W August 18, 2011 at 6:52 am

LOL I actually have mine sitting in front of me right now, every day it seems I’m using it to add something new to my bucket list or jotting down info I want to refer to later such as this website. You can thank the memoranda notebook for reminding me of this site.

Ben August 20, 2011 at 1:19 am

Dad was in the Army when I was growing up and he used to give them to me to use in school… used one as a log for the hall pass we used in 8th grade…

Katherine Chavez April 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

We have these in aircraft maintenance (USAF) to write all our T.O. references in. They rock. We’re out right now, and the new guys are hurting!!

Scott June 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Was never without my wheelbook during 20 years’ U.S. Navy service. Still carry one as a Coast Guard civilian. Our supply rations them out, three per order.

Scott June 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Was never without my wheelbook during 20 years in the Navy. Still carry one as a Coast Guard civilian.

stephen October 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm

still in use today we are even using them in antartica supporting the National Science Foundation as civilians

Gordon Rottman December 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I still have one from Vietnam. I think the covers were thicker back then.

PJ Garrison April 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Hey, I remember these!

I ran across them all the time when I was in the army (94-96). The old-timers swore by them, and would occasionally issue them out to us. I still have a few kicking around with my old gear.

While I typically carried around the cheap spiral bound notebooks, I always liked these better.

mark October 10, 2015 at 6:59 pm

I had one when I was in the Navy. Memo book (paper brains) in one pocket, pocket protector (with tweekers ) in the other. I was a geek before it was cool….I guess.

Dee February 1, 2016 at 6:35 pm

My Mom got caseloads of these when she worked for the USMS and used them faithfully for over 20 years. i still have a few that have seen much better days and they are still all there and not falling apart like a lot of the newer notebooks do. I much prefer these to moleskine notebooks because the binding stays true.

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