Many Combat Injury-Immediate First Aid Kits (CI-IFAK) include a Sharpie marker in their contents.
This marker has a number of potential uses. It can be used to write tourniquet information on a casualty, mark an individual that has been administered morphine, or to fill in a casualty report card.
This role does not require a full-sized pen. Something about half the size would be sufficient. Is it worth creating a shorter pen to save just a couple of grams?
Our service-people are overloaded as it is, so saving a little weight where possible is prudent. When we consider whole companies and battalions being transported, saving a little weight for each person becomes a significant saving in fuel.
Creating a new model of Sharpie for this particular application also allows some useful new features to be introduced:
• The hue of human skin ranges from pale pink to dark brown. The colour of the “Sharpie Skinwriter” should be one that shows clearly on any tone of skin. This would probably be a light or medium shade of blue.
• The Sharpie Skinwriter would be approximately half the length of a standard Sharpie.
• Given that the user may be gloved and have their hands wet from blood, rain, snow etc, the cap and body of the Sharpie Skinwriter would be designed for easy manipulation under such conditions.
• Rather than grey, the body of the Sharpie Skinwriter should be made of a colour that allows it to be easily seen within the contents of the IFAK, even in diminished light levels. Medical/daylgo green is a possible choice.
My girlfriend took a look at this blog and presented me with this non-brand pen below. It is apparently used by tattoo artists.
It is 9 cm loa. The ring on the top could be used for a cord-pull loop, making it easier to remove when gloved. The barrel could do with some checkering to make it less slippery.
I have passed this idea on to the makers of Sharpies. Let us see if something comes of it.