Michael's Dispatches

We Need Better Pants


30 August 2011
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Task Force Spartan

Rip, rend and slash are all in a day’s work here.  Yet I have never seen so many troops with so many pairs of pants that are ready to fall off.


Last week this mortar crew was firing at some people who were trying to kill us.  We have plenty of ammo.  No complaints there.  On the larger bases, the gyms are outstanding.  The dining facilities have ice cream.  Our troops are supremely outfitted and resourced, and so this missive is specific in nature and not a general resourcing indictment.  Generally speaking, we are good to go in Afghanistan, other than never having had enough troops and aviation having been an issue at times and places.  But overall, no complaints on the way units are outfitted.  Five stars.  The outfitting is so good that it’s embarrasing to complain.  My tent has airconditioner.  The showers have hot water.  I live far rougher (other than the bombs and bullets) on some of my vacations.  That’s a fact.  But since we are talking about pants in combat, it’s worthwhile to say something.

Pants-1000Combat operations last week: body bags make okay sleeping bags.

The troops need better pants.  For every ripped image here, I’ve seen many others.  Usually the troops will duct tape their pants together, or sew when time permits.  When your pants rip at midnight and you still have hours to move before sunlight, you might be wearing shorts and sporting bleeding legs before there is a chance to sew.  I saw one troop who had sewn his trousers with parachute cord.  (Must have used a knife for a needle.)


The End

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