What soldiers carry in their pockets

Some questions are deceptively simple, masking quite a bit of complexity and some non-obvious answers.

What could possibly be more French than wearing a scarf with your cammies? I don’t think that this is in any sense official, though–I found the picture on the web site of a French army surplus store. Certainly I’m not aware of any military that allows its members to lounge about with their hands in their uniform pockets. Picture source: http://www.lecasquebleu.fr/88-veste-militaire-armee-francaise-neuf.html

Some questions are deceptively simple, masking quite a bit of complexity and some non-obvious answers.  I ran across this one on Quora, a web site where you can post a question, and if you’re lucky, random strangers will answer it:

What do soldiers keep in all those pockets they have?

As you can tell from the responses: (a) there’s no one answer, and (b) people really do devote a lot of thought to this.  Reading through them, you’ll notice some basic themes: (1) the necessities of life, like eating and pooping; (2) the necessities of staying alive, like first aid kits; and (3) the necessities of keeping your mind/spirit alive at the same time as the rest of yourself.  Focussed around those basic themes, you’ll see a lot of variety and creativity–the Turkish soldier who carries sanitary pads to staunch bleeding and catch sweat, as well as women’s nylon stockings (I’m surprised more people didn’t mention those–they’re popular in areas where there are heavy mosquitoes); writing materials; be sure to read the one about the Marine and his stuffed frog…

My own answer reflects those themes pretty closely: What I kept in those pockets

Parts of the cammie blouse in French. Picture source: http://www.projet13.com/surplus-militaire/veste-militaire-f2-camouflage-equipement-1-781.html

So, when you read my posts about the incredible number of needless gun deaths in the US and think about what a naive lefty liberal I must be: yes, I am a lefty liberal, and, yes, I can fire a weapon just fine, and, yes: I am a pretty good shot, actually.

  • le treillis: [treji] fatigues, battledress, “cammies.”

5 thoughts on “What soldiers carry in their pockets”

  1. I was thinking women’s handbags, so all those pockets are worrying: how long does it take soldiers to figure what’s in which pocket in an emergency and pull it out? Anyway, Froggie seems to be the most sensible item.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why you plan this out ahead of time. You want to be able to grab what you need without having to think about where it is. Practicing things until they become automatic is a big part of training in the US military. (Maybe others, too–I’ve only ever been in ours.) Same for anyone in the medical field.

      Liked by 1 person

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