It goes by many names: Deuce gear, TA-50, or 782 gear. Whatever the nickname, load-bearing equipment is some of the most important kit carried by infantry, special operations, and anyone else whose job is to fight on foot. Since the advent of modular lightweight load-carrying equipment and the accompanying pouch attachment ladder system in the late 1990s, the commercial and government gear market has rapidly grown, particularly since the onset of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Tactical nylon” companies are not just producing innovations in load-bearing gear, but uniforms and footwear as well. Here’s a few areas where troop gear has gotten better.
The Army recently announced that soldiers will begin to wear a new version of the Army combat uniform. Colored in a new camouflage called the operational camouflage pattern, this pattern will still be called OCP. The Army is confusingly repurposing the OCP acronym, which originally stood for Operation Enduring Freedom camouflage pattern — the term for the commercial Multicam pattern produced by Brooklyn-based Crye Precision that the Army began to issue to troops heading to Afghanistan in 2010.