The military usually isn’t the first organization that pops into your mind when someone says “fall fashion.” Just take a quick look around the barracks at the boot Marines and junior soldiers rocking tucked-in polos with undershirts and sneakers for a night out at the local watering hole — not necessarily what you’d expect walking the streets of Madison Avenue. But the times they are a changin,’ and even the biggest brands want a piece of that warfighter style.
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.