If you’ve been looking for tactical clothing, you’re bound to have seen plenty of tactical shorts for sale; every major manufacturer has at least a couple of styles in their selection. What you might be asking yourself is what they’re for. Is anyone seriously going to pick shorts for operational use?
It’s actually been done in the past. In the Second World War, both the British Eighth Army and Rommel’s Afrika Korps wore shorts as part of their standard field uniform. It made sense. Both armies usually wore heavy wool uniforms that were extremely uncomfortable in the desert and, for most of their long campaign, they weren’t even fighting each other – the climate was their most dangerous enemy. Their shorts wouldn’t meet modern standards for combat clothing though. The trend is towards exposing as little skin as possible, because staying covered up minimizes the risk of flash burns from an IED attack. That’s enough to rule out tactical shorts for actual operations. Whether you’re patrolling or securing a base, you need to be ready for attack at all times and shorts just don’t offer enough protection.
You won’t spend all of your deployed time on duty though, and you need something to wear when you’re relaxing in the FOB or camp. Sports gear is popular, but it’s often made of synthetic fabrics that present a real fire risk, and it can leave a lot of skin exposed too. Working out of an office? You need clothing that’s practical and comfortable, because being uncomfortable all day is going to damage your effectiveness and possibly your health. In a hot climate? Shorts can be ideal and, if you’re going to be wearing them, a tactical style is the clear winner.
Tactical shorts are going to be more robust than sports gear, and made of safer fabric. They’ll be as fire resistant as any other tactical gear and cut for comfort and ventilation. They also look a lot smarter and, for a contractor, looking professional can be a useful credibility boost. Some military personnel will tend to ignore someone who looks like a scruffy civilian, but if you’re smartly turned out you automatically appear more serious.
You’ll also find tactical shorts are a lot better at carrying stuff than civilian styles. You’ll have more – and larger – pockets, plus loops that will fit your duty belt. Pick a set that matches your duty pants and you benefit from a familiar layout as well. If you have the same pocket arrangement then you can stow your gear in the same places, which makes it a lot easier to find stuff when you need it.
Tactical shorts aren’t just for work, either. Taking a break somewhere hot? They’re perfect casual wear, thanks to the same combination of practicality and comfort. For summer hiking, they’ll give you freedom of movement, great ventilation and plenty of pockets for your small gear. In short (groan…) they’re versatile garments with a lot of uses, and you should definitely have at least one pair in your clothing arsenal.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.