Let us start with a couple of assumptions. The first is that everyone has one or more things that they carry around with them that they would prefer to not have in their hands at all times. Next, the DFACs do not allow in any kind of bag. Not backpacks, purses, rucks, briefcases or AAFES bags. Nada. Finally, stopping to eat on the way to and from work is easier for many people than adding in either return to billeting or an early stop in the office in the morning and vice versa in the evening.
All of this results in the need for pockets. Lots of pockets in which to tuck things.
What things? Well, ID card is first and foremost at least on this post. Can’t get a meal, onto a computer buy something at the PX or signed in for a flight without. Eagle Cash card is right up there for a lot of people. Wallet if there is some reason why you want to drag around extra junk. Hat, gloves, sniper (oops – reflective belt), notebook, pen, tourniquet, eye protection seem to be the minimum along with cell phone for many. Oh! and keys, we can’t forget the keys.
I am excluding weapons – leg holster, belt holster, shoulder holster – it is not taking up pocket space.
There are those nice to have things – paperbacks, cameras, iPods, tissues, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, eating utensils, snack, flashlights.
The good thing about ACUs is that they have lots of pockets. There are pockets on both upper arms. There is a pen pocket on the left sleeve along with two angled chest pockets. Trousers have two rear pockets with button flaps and two angled front pockets. Then we come to the useful ones – cargo pocket on each thigh and cargo pocket on each lower leg.
In contrast – the PT jacket has two zipper pockets in the front and the pants have two front pockets.
Heading out the door tonight into the teeth of the wind and blowing dust- I pull the damn “shoot me” belt from my fleece jacket pocket where it has been keeping company with my keys. Camera is in the right front pocket along with my laundry claim sheet. Hat and gloves are stuffed into the sleeves. ID card, phone and other misc small cards are in the angled front pockets, notebook and flatware package in one cargo pocket while I have a handkerchief, two paperbacks and my iPod in the other cargo pocket.
Starting to sound like a pack mule? Starting to look like one as well!
I would love to sacrifice the bumpy outline for something a bit more svelte – but where would I put all my stuff?