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Wearing Military Gear That Makes Sense

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As a civilian--and especially as veterans--there's a line of comfortable and effective that divides "military regulations" and "ridiculous civilian attempts at military fashion." Although many people who are interested in military gear have at least some desire to follow regulation for accuracy, it's important to know that field work and combat situations allow for some bending of the rules to make the job easier. If you've never served, or haven't had experience with certain types of clothing and utility equipment, here are a few ways to gear up and explain your situation to anyone with questions:

Coveralls Are The Best

One uniform seldom seen in public--although often shown in movies in dark operations rooms or flight decks--is the US Navy coverall. This is a mechanic-style uniform with a single, long zipper that goes from the top of the inseam to the chest.

These uniforms are the most comfortable standard issue uniform in the military branches, seconded only by a baggy-fitting set of battle dress uniforms (BDUs). They're quick to put on, and for inspection or cleanliness purposes, there's not much that needs to be arranged. Unlike uniforms requiring ties, ribbons, medals, or scarves, you just need to make sure that the belt buckle lines up with the placket (the middle flap, where buttons would go on some shirts).

Standard working conditions require an undershirt, underwear, coveralls, belt, socks, and boots. A ball cap, bucket hat, hard hat, or helmet is worn for head protection. The standard color for all ranks is a blue coverall with ranking insignia, while flight crews wear green coveralls, and firefighters have the option to wear red coveralls. There are a few other area-specific variants.

It's important to know that many military service members work in hot, rough conditions. During extreme conditions, ranking leadership can allow relaxed uniform standards, allowing service members to pull down the top part of the coveralls and tie the sleeves around their waists. This skips a troublesome, bicep-choking step of rolling up sleeves.

Decent Boots Are Hard To Find

The term "combat boots" is a bit misleading, as there are different types of boots for different terrains and encounter specifics.

What most media outlets know as a combat boot prior to the 2000's and the GulfWar/War on Terror era of American military conflict is the black-colored combat boot. These boots are useful in grassy field and forest conditions but could use improvement with olive-drab coloration. 

"Standard issue" boot should be what you're looking for if you want to fit a specific, black boot style. These boots come with various types of features, such as steel toe plating (not present on all military-issue boots), or the ankle supports on flight boots with stretching material along the bottom of the calf muscle.

What many service members know as a combat boot is a desert tan boot that fits desert operations. This is, of course, not a permanent change and merely reflects the needs of the largest campaigns in the military. Outside of desert conditions, black boots or other types of boots are used for specific job codes and operations. Desert combat is simply the main task; there are hundreds if not thousands of high-risk, unspoken situations that still use other boot types.

Contact a company like Bargain Center for more information and assistance.