Fad Man in Iraq

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The tendency of some troops in Iraq to add patches and other unofficial adornments to their uniforms, and to carry non-standard gear, has gotten on the nerves of other troops.The annoyance is greater when the troops seeking to make macho fashion statements are those who spend most, if not all, of their deployment inside the forward operating base or FOB, rarely venturing outside the wire.

A kind of backlash has occured. At the the Haditha Dam, where Marines, sailors, and soldiers are assigned, a satiric drawing has appeared of Fad Man with the caption ‘Dressing for Success On the FOB.’ It is followed by a critique of various doo-dads. Among them:

‘Nothing says ‘I’m a walking safety hazard’ quite like wearing a bad...knife on your belt. Fad Man will only end up cutting himself while he’s playing with it.’

And, ‘Nothing says ‘I’ve got money to burn’ quite like sporting a $150 brand-name protective eyewear. Sure, they’re just like the standard issue $7.95 models but these are ‘laser protective.’ You never know when the insurgents will start using lasers.’


— Tony Perry, at Haditha Dam, Iraq