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Urban Outfitters Is Selling The Military’s Most Reviled Piece Of Gear
I’ve written a lot about civilian businesses hawking overpriced tacticool swag over the years, from mil-spec sneakers and kicks to dress blue knockoffs and buffalo jackets to a pinstripe vest that’s more pocket and magazine pouch than article of clothing. But I never thought I’d see the day when the one piece of military gear most likely to get you an ass-chewing for not wearing, would go for $30 at a trendy clothing outlet.
Thanks to Stars and Stripes’ Chad Garland, I know that nightmare has become reality:
The Reflective Physical Training Belt, made by the military surplus store Rothco, is now available at Urban Outfitters for $30.Urban Outfitters
The Reflective Physical Training Belt, made by the military surplus store Rothco, is now available at Urban Outfitters for $30 — though as Garland points out, this doesn’t account for the additional $5 standard shipping cost, or the fact that you can find cheaper reflective belts online, or at your base PX.
For those who served in the post-9/11 era, we know this little strip of neon yellow, green, or orange awful by other names: reflective belt, PT belt, glow belt, “belt, high visibility,” or, most commonly, as “that stupid piece of crap I have to wear so I don’t get screamed at by an overzealous SNCO during PT.”
As Angry Staff Officer previously pointed out for Task & Purpose, the reflective belt entered the military in the 1990s as a way to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries among troops working out after hours. But as the Global War on Terror ramped up, it brought with it more than a decade of asinine rules. When, where, how, and what color of reflective belt to wear became just another regulation — and one that seemed to change depending on who was in charge. In time, wearing a reflective belt, or getting chewed out over one, simply became a fact of military life.
Now, I don’t expect the typical civilian shopper to be aware of any of this, or the seething rage this piece of gear inspires. But if Urban Outfitters wants to cash in on the military vibe, why not make it authentic? Personally, I hope each belt comes with a downloadable smartphone app that screams at you for being “out of regs” if you step outside without your Reflective Physical Training Belt.
H/t to Chad Garland for not only spotlighting this PT belt on Urban Outfitters, but for pointing out that you can buy it on base, or online elsewhere for a fraction of the price. (Though really, why the hell would you?)
An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told AL.com Thursday.
The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.
"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told Military.com on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."
Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.
"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."