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Screengrab via Banana Republic

Easily one of the most iconic uniform items in the military, the Marine Corps’ dress blue jacket is the recipient of a rich, if oft-embellished, history. But now the two centuries-old standby is getting a $200 upgrade... and prime real estate on mannequins and coat racks at a major retailer.

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Photo via DoD

The wonderful thing about the U.S. military is that it’s everywhere, and not just in terms of global deployment. The armed forces have saturated popular culture for decades, from our favorite TV shows and movies to the latest video games, and that’s never been truer for the post-9/11 generation which came of age amid twin wars abroad. 

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Photo by 511 Tactical/YouTube

The kilt was made for combat. Before the ceremonial Scottish garment was seen as merely a “skirt for men,” the Tartan fabric wrap was standard military dress among Scottish (and some Irish) regiments as far back as the 16th century, a thick, reliable swath of knitted cloth engineered to defend weary troops against the elements. Even “Mad Jack” Churchill, the British army officer infamous for fighting through World War II with a longbow, bagpipes, and Scottish broadsword, donned his dress kilt during the early days of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 1948.

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Photo by Bowen Knife Company

Imagine this: After a raucous evening out with friends at your favorite watering hole, you stroll home, only to encounter a heinous goon dead set on relieving you of your wallet and valuables. It’s not an impossible scenario, sadly: The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most recent batch of national crime data indicated there were 300,000 robberies in 2015 alone. Violent crime has been on the decline in the US for decades, but the casual mugging is still a sad reality for many Americans.

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