Tactical gear — packs and clothes that are 90% pocket, camouflaged, and covered with straps and buckles — are all the rage among civilians right now. This should surprise no one given American society’s years-long love affair with “military-style” anything, but this trend has become especially egregious in recent years. Just take a look at how prevalent MOLLE has become.
But what should surprise people is this little ensemble from designer Junya Watanabe’s spring and summer men’s collection, which had its spot on the runway as part of this weekend’s Street Style fashion show in Paris:
This is clearly designed for the guy who just started his gig in high finance but wants to impress his colleagues by being a silent, albeit loudly dressed professional. It’s either that or he takes his everyday carry to the extreme and needs the extra pockets for all those other tacticool nicknacks he’ll never use.
Now, I’m not going to dive into some snooty professional vet rant about who should or shouldn’t get in on the fetishization of all things military; that’s not my place, and I don’t really care all that much. Sure, I could pose a theory on what this trend might be in response to — something to do with, say, a critique of militancy as trendy and hip, or the tension created by flooding schools, offices, and streets with equipment originally designed for war and violence.
But I won’t, because that’s stupid — almost as stupid as a pinstripe tactical vest with a dozen or so magazine and grenade pouches (or in this case, business card and smart device holders), but not nearly as stupid as seeing it paired with pinstripe shorts and a coyote brown cap that was probably pilfered from Jacques Cousteau’s closet.
That said, if you took one look at that photo and thought “Oh man, the fellas at work will totally stop ragging on me if I show up wearing that,” or “you know what, I always wanted to dress like a fashion-forward mall cop,” or even “man, I wish there were more options for my entourage,” then you’re in luck:
A competitor performs push-ups during the physical fitness event at the Minnesota Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition on April 4, 2019, at Camp Ripley, Minnesota. (Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Sebastian Nemec)
Despite what you may have heard, the Army has not declared war on mustaches.
The Army W.T.F! Moments Facebook page on Monday posted a memo written by a 3rd Infantry Division company commander telling his soldiers that only the fittest among them will be allowed to sprout facial hair under their warrior nostrils.
"During my tenure at Battle Company, I have noticed a direct correlation between mustaches and a lack of physical fitness," the memo says. "In an effort to increase the physical fitness of Battle Company, mustaches will not be authorized for any soldier earning less than a 300 on the APFT [Army Physical Fitness Test]."
A U.S. Army Soldier assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, consoles a fellow Soldier after sleeping on the ground in a designated sleeping area on another cold evening, between training exercises during NTC 17-03, National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, CA., Jan. 15, 2017. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tracy McKithern)
The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) is the largest official database of U.S. military media available for public consumption. It is also an occasional source of unexpected laughs, like this gem from a live fire exercise that a public affairs officer simply tagged 'Fire mortar boom.' In the world of droll data entry and too many acronyms, sometimes little jokes are their own little form of rebellion, right?
But some DVIDS uploads, however, come with captions and titles that cut right to the core, perfectly capturing the essence of life in the U.S. military in a way that makes you sigh, facepalm, and utter a mournful, 'too real.'
The U.S. military does not need Iraqi permission to fly close air support and casualty evacuation missions for U.S. troops in combat, a top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS clarified on Tuesday.
Army Col. James Rawlinson clarified that the Iraqis do not need to approve missions in emergency circumstances after Task & Purpose reported on Monday that the U.S. military needed permission to fly CAS missions for troops in a fight.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.