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Behold! A Vintage Woobie Jacket From The Vietnam War
Even back in ‘Nam, the beloved poncho liner was a favorite among troops — or at least among one.
To whoever made this: Thank you for your service.Smithsonian Museum Of American History
Yes, that’s a fine looking woobie jacket, from the sewn dragons, belligerence oozing from the text on the back, to the powder blue lining. It’s a shame we don’t know more about its history. What we do know is that the National Museum Of American History acquired the jacket this year, according to Miranda Summers Lowe, a curator with the Division of Armed Forces History at the Smithsonian.
Much like the origin of the term woobie, little is known about how this vintage tacticool jacket came to be, just that it exists and it’s amazing. However, we can speculate on a few things.
By my powers of deduction, I'm pretty sure whoever made or commissioned this jacket spent some time in Saigon...Smithsonian Museum Of American History
It was likely made, commissioned, or purchased by a service member who was deployed to Vietnam between 1971 and 1972, and if I were a betting man, I'd say Saigon — if for no other reason than that this text reads like a love letter from a grunt to the shit:
When I die I’ll go to heaven because I've spent my time in hell.
Originally issued to U.S. Marines and soldiers in Vietnam as part of a set — a wet weather poncho for the rain, and a liner for the cold nights — it was the poncho liner "that would steal troops’ hearts," as Angry Staff Officer previously noted for Task & Purpose.
Made from recycled parachute material, soft as all hell, durable, and camouflaged — so it’s tactical and comfy — it’s not a stretch to imagine some salty short timer deciding: “fuck this issued jacket, I’m going commando, the woobie way,” or something along those lines. After all, our phantom Saigon stylist isn’t the first to look at a woobie and speculate on how to improve upon perfection.
The definition of "tacticool."Smithsonian Museum Of American History
With the way tacticool garments and mil-spec civilian gear are flying off the shelves, it’s odd that clothing outlets continue to hawk the military’s most despised gear — from combat boot inspired kicks to glow belts. Yet we still haven’t seen the military’s most beloved issued item on the shelves at major civilian retailers. Can you say woobie hand towel? Woobie watch cap? Woobie winter coat? Woobie undies?
Oh no. What have I done?
While the U.S. military wants to keep roughly 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban's deputy leader has just made clear that his group wants all U.S. service members to leave the country as part of any peace agreement.
"The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand," Sirajuddin Haqqani wrote in a story for the New York Times on Thursday.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."
A video has emerged showing a U.S. military vehicle running a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria after it tried to pass an American convoy.
Questions still remain about the incident, to include when it occurred, though it appears to have taken place on a stretch of road near the Turkish border town of Qamishli, according to The War Zone.
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.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
Survival expert and former Special Air Service commando Edward "Bear" Grylls made meme history for drinking his own urine to survive his TV show, Man vs. Wild. But the United States Air Force did Bear one better recently, when an Alaska-based airman peed in an office coffee maker.
While the circumstances of the bladder-based brew remain a mystery, the incident was written up in a newsletter written by the legal office of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on February 13, a base spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.