Have you ever dreamed of walking into a room and having everyone fall silent at the mere sight of you? Do you want to elicit uncontrollable emotions in other people just by casually tucking your hands into the pockets of your tacticool sweater?
Then this hoodie might be for you.
This $48.99 U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six hoodie from Gearhumans boasts “high-quality polyester but feels as soft as cotton — guaranteed,” at least that’s what the post on the e-market claims. The company offers several different looks, from the aforementioned hoodie to a long sleeve shirt, and a t-shirt, each with body armor, mag pouches, a radio, and other bits of gear digitally printed over it.
Please note that this clothing does not qualify as personal protective equipment. If you try to reload while wearing it, you’ll look like an idiot who’s awkwardly pawing at your chest, and people will assume you just have a bad rash. (A friendly note for new readers: This article contains a fair amount of sarcasm and a pinch or two of outright belligerence.)
A brief rundown of the hoodie’s specs: According to the company, it’s made of “lightweight and breathable insulating material against cold and wind,” and comes with synthetic fibers that “have membranes adhering to body heat, helping to avoid cold.” Wow, I don’t know about you, but when I choose a sweater I always gravitate toward the one with “membranes.” The design will “never fade if you machine wash cold and hang dry,” the blurb continues, before doubling down on that claim: “Will not fade… EVER!” It’s also supposedly “printed on our sustainably made fabric.”
Surely we can take them at their word, after all, online markets with a questionable approach to trademark law are well-known for their quality, and probably have a great track record when it comes to customer service.
I mean, just look at their Marine Corps Dress Blue sweater, which even comes with a Purple Heart, in addition to other medals. That way you can at least be comfortable while getting chewed out by an angry first sergeant.
Now, I could go on a long rant about the commercialization of all things ‘mil-spec,’ or how the sweater is indicative of the borderline obsession Americans have for special operations. Or how that infatuation with SOF is only skin deep and doesn’t take into account or give credit to the brutal conditions under which those service members operate at home and abroad, from the grueling training cycles to the frequent deployments. And that using that service for a quick cash grab ignores the incredibly high costs that come with that chosen path, from the very real dangers they face overseas, to concerns over burnout among operators, due to having a small subset of the military shoulder an ever-increasing share of the national security burden. That’s to say nothing of the recent high-profile scandals that threaten to besmirch the legacy of the many operators who served honorably (and quietly) during America’s longest period of sustained conflict. But I’ll spare you that. You’re welcome.
Instead, let’s imagine what an advertisement would look and sound like for this piece of tacticool swag.
[Takes deep breath and switches to the narrator voice used in commercials for monster truck rallies and aerosol deodorant for men]: Do you want to look like an operator — from a distance — but without all the pesky deployments to war-torn countries as you wage a clandestine war against America’s enemies? Do you long to (pretend to) serve in a secretive community where you’ll be called upon to make incredible sacrifices, with little credit or fanfare — except when those details make their way into a best-selling book, or two, or 12, or feature in major films and television shows created by out-of-touch corporate giants. Do you want to look at home on the (Airsoft) range, while still being comfortable, like you’re back on the block? Finally, do you want to be laughed at mercilessly?
Then, once again, this hoodie might be for you. While you put that on, the rest of us will just be over here wearing normal clothes.