“Green Zone syndrome” and other gear considerations

Six years ago I had read a short article which gave me immediate and complete answer to all my confusions about modern (to date and later) load-bearing gear novelties.

Over the past 7 years (so the period discussed is 2008-2015 – translator’s remark), among the PMCs and generally among foreign military personnel, widely spread one sickness. It is called just “Green Zone syndrome”. What is it?

The fact is – during military operations, the combat zone is divided into several sectors. Those who are envolved (or just aware of the principles) in personal protection and security will understand what the conversation is about. For the rest, well, in principle, for the sake of clarity, I will explain.

The Green Zone is a zone completely controlled by the military and police occupation forces. For example, in Iraq it is 10 sq. km. in the center of Baghdad. Civilian employees can stay and work in the zone without security or with minimal escort.

The yellow zone is a zone of relative safety. That is, it is safe for armored vehicles (including light ones), as well as for up-armored civilian cars during daylight hours. But it poses a danger to exposed personnel, in the daytime because of the potentially possible sniper fire, and in the dark because of the likely attack of small mobile enemy groups. Civilian personnel move and work in this area only under heavy security.

The red zone is an active combat zone. That is, there is constant enemy combat activity in this zone. The presence of civilian personnel is considered unacceptable. At most as part of a convoy passing through this zone. Although, in fact, military try to avoid drive convoys through the red zones.

Now then, most of the “operators” work in the green zone, with rare visits to the yellow. But with all this, they are considered to be exactly the same participants in combat activities as the servicemen from the “red zone”. At the same time, important to remember that “operators” extremely rarely appear in the red zone. After all, this is not really their focus activity. Most of the appearances of these lads in such zones end naturally, with corpses and burned vehicles.

Therefore, most of the “experienced” fighters have very specific experience. More like the experience of the security guards than the military. But it is they who create the current trends in “military fashion”.

And since the main consumers of “tactical equipment” are the operators, the military can only wrap in weapons and equipment within the framework of the units’ SOP. That’s where the fashion for all these “lightweight” vests, bibs, open pouches, and other bullshit comes from. Those who have actual combat experience look at all this crap with bewilderment bordering on pity.

So if you out of the blue see something that looks ultra-fashionable, and at the same time contradicts common sense, then you know, this is also a tribute to the “Green Zone syndrome”.

Few people can understand that the whole essence of the war does not consist in sending convoys and escorting VIP to quiet places. More precisely, judging from what is being produced, close to zero people understand…

Authorship: Wolf Den

Need to be mentioned, that to the date of writing some really high-cost-low-weight gear already entered the fashion trends, for example, LBT 6094 plate carrier, Crye JPC and a load of another carriers, Down East Inc FASTmag, Ops-Core FAST Bump Helmet, bunch of TAD gear products, BFG Helium Whisper pouches line, and many cool combat shirts, gloves and gun-belts.

Also, in recent few years a meme spread in the Russian sector of Internet, spelled as “tactical shooting standing up”, its meaning consists of leisure shooting in comfort conditions not supposing to actually react any opposite treat. Nailing the problem, I believe. It is negative example, “how it is not to be done”. Term describes behaviour, but clearly points to a kind of gear used.

My view at ideal load-bearing equipment assumes its usage for prone positions and crawling, withstanding dirt, wind and wet snow. Think the worst weather you can imagine – gear must be ready for it. This allows no open-top pouches, only full-flap ones. No elastic retention, only all-round protection. Less hook-and-loop, more replaceable buckles. Less sewn-in elastic webbing, more replaceable bungee cords, and so on. Bad for social media, good for mission accomplishing.

Some decent examples below.

Techinkom x2 AK magazines pouch

Direct Action Tac Reload pouch AR-15

Savotta M05 RK62 pouch

Wotan Tactical double AK pouch


2 thoughts on ““Green Zone syndrome” and other gear considerations

  1. For what it’s worth, despite its total lack of sex appeal most of my woods running gear is 1970s-1990s vintage US GI surplus. It’s still cheap enough to afford, fairly rugged, and you don’t care if you get it grungy in the field. When you get home you hit it with a garden hose and a scrub brush, and hang it outside to dry. The older canvas M-1956 stuff is probably a little nicer in some ways than the Nylon ALICE, but there are people who collect it, and it’s becoming more rare and expensive than it was in the 1980s when my local army surplus store had 17.5 gallon civil defense water barrels full of the stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! Sure pre-MOLLE equipment is good enough, but to be honest, my favourite is MOLLE 1 and 2 era gear (and FSBE and others), they maintain the sturdiness of previous generations and are free of laser-cut and other nonsense of latter generations. And PALs attachment is much versatile than ALICE clips (although Alice pouches can be attached to PALs platform reliable enough with separate clip).
      Also, I believe PLCE equipment alongside with others is good choice.


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