Last year was about movies. This year, it's all about machines.

Next month, Military Times will launch Battle Bracket, with 64 pieces of military hardware squaring off 1-on-1 via online vote. From warships to Warthogs, howitzers to Humvees, carriers to Ka-Bars – it's a full-on assault from all sides, and all services. And we need your help to set the field.

It's not about lethality, speed or cost: We want to hear about items that have bailed you out of battlefield jams. We want the weapon that makes you feel safer the second you see it. We want the ship or the aircraft that you saw on a recruiting poster and went on to pilot or sail with pride.

No rules, but some basic guidelines for submissions:

  • Be specific – make, model, caliber, etc. "Machine gun" isn’t going to cut it.
  • Items should be military-issued, or something so common among service members that it might as well be military-issued.
  • Think outside the gearbox – but don’t make the joke about weaponized MREs, because we’ve already got them under consideration.

Leave your best items in the comments section, on our Facebook page, share them on social mediawith the hashtag #BattleBracket or email Army Times Reporter Kevin Lilley at

. Please submit by Feb. 26. We’ll combine them with our staff picks and launch an interactive poll in a few weeks – March Madness for the military set.

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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