History of Glow Sticks in the Military

A historical look at the evolution of glow sticks and their initial roots within the US Military

Today, Military Glow Sticks are used worldwide by all military branches, law enforcement, Search & Rescue, public service departments, and well-prepared individuals.   Glow sticks offer a creative, well constructed, small and lightweight solution for many difficult scenarios that the military, rescue workers, and everyday families, like yours, have to overcome during times of strife and natural disasters.

Interestingly enough, the invention of what has evolved into Military Glow Sticks has an equally bright story also Made In the USA.  As you are aware, the military and tactical use of glow sticks in military operations is hardly a new concept, in fact- you might say the military invented it. In 1962, researchers at China Lake Naval Weapons Center in California began to develop a series of "non-fire-producing chemical compounds with the properties of long-lasting luminous intensity and efficiency in extreme temperature conditions." This invention defined in layman’s terms might be called, "glowing stuff."

The final outcome of their efforts consisted of two liquids that were stored separately and glowed instantly when mixed. Originally solely the Navy used the invention for emergency lights, man-overboard float lights, target marking, helicopter landing zone marking, night parachute or para-drop operations, and other similar applications.   Gradually, the military began using glow sticks in other arms of military service and passed the technology over to public service departments to aid law enforcement, firefighters, and search & rescue teams.   

The latest technology innovation,  Infra-Red Technical Light Sticks, are used to increase the safety and success of military night operations. Infra-Red Technical Light only works with IR or NV imaging systems like night vision equipment. Invisible to the naked eye, these light sticks emit a distinct thermal image, providing a tactical advantage for night operations. They also emit no heat to further avoid detection. These light sticks allow military and law enforcement to clearly mark night targets and greatly improve shoot to kill ratios. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to carry for our brave men and women in combat zones.

Since 1962, the military has found a variety of uses for glow sticks including non-tactical military ops, safety, and night operations. Glow sticks are now put in standard issue military safety kits as well as being used as an effective way to mark objects or areas at night in non-tactical situations. Various color glow sticks are used to maintain personnel movement safety, marking equipment and trails, or when silently indicating the severity and importance of a marking. For night operations at a greater distance, the light sticks are often used with magnets attached to the base to stand vertically on any metallic surface and provide a full 360-degree visibility through the scope on your weapon.

Glow sticks, also known as light sticks, were standard issue for military personnel in the Gulf War, and current usage within the Department of Defense, is about 15 million units per year.   The statistics on individual purchase and usage are not as easily determined, but are definitely becoming more widely recognized as a safe and cost effective solution for emergency preparedness.  Keith Russell, Cheerio Adventures, has implemented the use of glow sticks in lieu of flares for vehicle emergencies.  The Wakulla Sheriff's Department in Crawfordsville, FL, recommends after a hurricane has passed to only use glow sticks indoors for light to prevent open flames from candles starting a fire.  Very likely the remaining wind and limited fire response personnel under those circumstances would leave your home devastated.

At Military Glow Sticks we understand the importance of high quality construction, reliability, and long lasting products when your life might actually depend on it.   We have developed the highest quality, longest lasting and brightest Military Glow Sticks available anywhere.  We focus on making and delivering the absolute premium, highest rated Military Glow Sticks for sale to all private individuals, local and state government agencies, non-profit rescue organizations, as well as the Military and Federal Branches of the United States Government.  So whether you are preparing your own family for a natural disaster or supplying a National Guard unit to help those affected by one, you can feel completely confident about purchasing products from Military Glow Sticks.