This Army of One business is well illustrated by the wide variety of pistol holsters and rifle slings in use. Back in the day, when dinosaurs ruled the earth and tanks had piston engines, uniformity was the rule and there was always some anal retentive captain or sergeant major around to hassle you about your privately owned non-issue gear. Now they sell it in the PX! Most troops here are armed at all times, even the Air Force. Lots of aviators here, so lots of pistols, but very few pistol belts. Thigh rigs and cross draw shoulder rigs are all the rage. The cross draw shoulder holsters position the muzzle of the pistol diagnally under the toter’s arm, thus covering anybody who happens to be behind them. Eating chow while looking down the barrel of a 9mm is pretty much an every day occurrance. I had a shoulder holster when I was tanking. It put the pistol directly over my left shirt pocket and smashed my cigarettes, but it kept the muzzle pointed DOWN.
I like thigh rigs on crack troops. Reminds me of garters.
Very few soldiers seem to use the issue sling. Everybody wants a two point sling so they can diddybop down the road with their carbine over their shoulder, across their back, muzzle down, with their hands in their pockets and their shoulders hunched over. These people even run PT with their weapon slung across their back. This army has apparently forgotton the double time at Port Arms.
Field jackets are scarce. DCU ECWS are occasionally in evidence, but most people wear black North Face fleece jackets as an outer garment. They even have a store here full of North Face stuff. Back when I was being all I could be, I would not have gone far wearing a field jacket liner without the field jacket.
Times have changed.