Kit Up!

Shorts in the Fight?


It's typical of Kit Up! posts. You write about one thing, and the discussion takes a hard turn in a different direction.

That's what happened yesterday when we cleared up the status of plate carrier fielding for Soldiers in The Stan. Earlydawn and Adam brought up an interesting point that I thought I'd share with the wider Kit Up! audience.

Back in the British Desert Campaign of World War II, the Desert Rats used to wear heavy canvas cargo shorts as their issued combat uniform. The services got away from that trend for obvious reasons during the Cold War era, but some foreign militaries still issue shorts to their troops.

With the extremes of conditions US forces are operating in -- especially in desert climes like western Anbar and deep south Helmand -- shorts would make like a whole lot more bearable for troops on patrol. Personally, after spending a couple months in the heat of summer in Iraq, I became a huge advocate of shorts in the war zone for all but the most combat intensive missions (I'd never wear them on a helo assault, raid or SKT where I was a pretty confident I'd be hitting the deck a lot).

But still, it's not like the bullets and bombs were that much different back in 1941. Earlydawn brought up a good point: just make uniforms with zip-off legs. I know a lot of Joes and Grunts who'd be much happier on their missions when the air gets steamy.

(See my setup at right...a lot more comfortable than the heavy FR ACUs now in the fight)

Tell us what you think... Retro Tac: Shorts in the Field?online survey

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