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The foot-glove banned by the military.

Yeah, these things. For a long time shoemakers have known that the best configuration for a shoe sole would be a bare foot. Which doesn’t hold up as well on jagged rocks and hot or cold concrete etc.
 
So Vibram made shoes that mimic the human foot as closely as possible and they really are good shoes. One would think that the Army, which spends a whole bunch of time and money treating feet and ankles injured by marching or simply standing in the regular boots, would welcome something that would give you a tactical advantage. A HUGE tactical advantage.
 
Well, there’s Military Tradition, you see, and Military Tradition dictates shiny black boots. They finally “got religion” on that score when they discovered that Polished Black Boots show up bigger than shit on infrared imaging. They were spending beaucoup d’argent on camouflage fatigues that didn’t show up on Infrared cameras and (ahem) rifle sights but making the soldiers wear what amounted to great big signs screaming “Here we are, shoot us!” Actually it took them about a decade after that was leaked to the general public and two decades after the Army knew about it. It’s like the British tradition of wearing bright red shirts with a freakin’ white “X” right over the prime target region of the human torso. The U.S. Army with one-quart canteens in battle zones where the temperature is hotter than Texas and dry dry dry and you need to drink a quart every half hour or so.

The British discovered their error sometime in the 5th decade of their losing campaign to secure the north-west boundaries of The Raj, aka Afghanistan. They discovered Khaki, which is a generic Indo-european word for “dirty” or “the same color as the dirt so the enemy can’t see you very well nor have a big freakin X on your target zones with which he can fine tune his rifle sights”

The U.S. Army allowed the camelback water pack to be used, but not issued, in Iraq. You had to buy your own.

A Confederate General, name of Pickett, gave his name to another Big Goof at Gettysburg when a massed infantry charge against large numbers of repeating rifles ordered by none other than the esteemed Robert E Lee. The only cadet ever to graduate West Point with exactly no demerits. Military Genius.

Charges like that had been cut down already in the Crimean War a decade earlier. The Charge of the Light Brigade being a spectacular example. Nobody seems to have learned anything because Military Tradition says you have to uphold the Old Ways especially if they don’t work and even if it’s going to get you KILLED or just badly fucked up.

In World War One men were ordered to basically form ranks, march into concentrated fire from belt-fed water-cooled machine guns making much noise about God and King! or Gott Mit Uns! and they still teach Boy Scouts to use the words “Do my duty to God and Country”.

The routine became so predictable that one British “charge” consisted of the men actually marching with shouldered arms and the commander kicking a soccer ball. They buried them in the same neat arrangement in which the German machine guns mowed them down and they buried the soccer ball with the commander.

But it would have been “cowardice” to break tradition so people died by the millions rather than stand up and defy their orders.

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