While the dagger proved critical to assassinations and close-in fighting throughout ancient history, it still served a purpose on the high tech battlefield of today as the "combat knife". The combat knife is the warfighter's last line of defense and can also serve as a personal ally of sorts when attempting to survive apart from his/her squad or Forward Operating Base (FOB). For the United States Navy - and the United States Navy SEALs for that matter - the Ontario Mark 3 Navy (MKIII) combat knife fulfills this purpose (it is also known by the name of "Ka-Bar"). The Mark III - in its current form - has been in US military service for over 50 years and is American-made by the Ontario Knife Company of New York - in business since 1889.
The heart and soul of the Mark 3 is its fixed 6.5-inch blade which is designed to stab, slash and cut. The main edge and clip edge are plain while the spine sports a series of saw-like teeth. The two edges meet at a defined point at the tip of the blade which is capable of easily managing canvas or even leather. The blade is manufactured of 440A stainless steel with a black oxide finish so as to not showcase any glint. The grip handle is well patterned for a sure hold and, like the included sheath, is of a molded high impact plastic. The handle also sports a flat face for smashing. A short strap can be affixed to the base of the handle through a provided loop. Construction is such that the knife may very well last a long time, if not outliving its owner, and - due to its intended use at sea and underwater - is specifically engineered from materials that will not suffer from the corrosive effects of the sea. Overall length is 10.75-inches with the blade being of .165" thickness.
Beyond its expected uses, the Mark III can prove a soldier's best friend when used as an ad hoc mallet, anchor or prying tool...essentially limited only to the imagination and circumstances at hand - though within reason of course.