Since those of us in Iraq basically wear the same pixelated uniforms day in and day out for an entire year, there are very few ways Soldiers can really show any sort of individuality. No casual Friday, no wacky tacky tie day, no 37 pieces of flair, and whatnot. The only way that I can think of to show just an iota of individualism is by, of course, picking the color of your own reflector belt. Indeed, it’s become a bit of a morale booster for troops to pick whatever colored reflector belt they want. Well, only just a bit of a morale booster, as you still have to live down the ignominy of wearing something that’s usually given to 2nd grade crossing guards.
Anyway, we’ve talked at length about the idiosyncrasies of reflector belts in the US military. To recap, many females will pick the pink reflector belts, as well as the occasional dude who likes to make the subtle point that reflector belts are for girly-men (but in all seriousness, wear your reflector belt). Based on this picture that I took at the Post Exchange today, it now looks as if they’ve even gone so far as to produce black reflector belts, perfect for Emo Soldiers.
There’s probably something to be said about the fact we in the military are endlessly fascinated with shiny objects such as reflector belts, but such is life.
Focus: Reflector belt stories.
Appendix: Great Moments in Reflector Belt History. Indeed, the author of this piece is quick to point out that, had General Stonewall Jackson been wearing his reflector belt that fateful night when he was accidentally shot by his own troops, the Civil War might have turned out differently.