What are Army Pants?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 December 2019
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Army pants are pants which are specifically designed for military use. They are also known as fatigues, Battle Dress Uniforms (BDUs), and cargo pants. Many people like to wear army pants and other army gear for a variety of reasons, and numerous retailers make army clothing available to general consumers, including surplus stores and commercial manufacturers who design army pants specifically for civilian use.

Several features set army pants aside from regular pants. The first is extremely rugged construction, which allows the pants to withstand hard use. Army pants are also often made from materials which are easy to clean, and they may be waterproofed to make them useful in wet climates. Typically, army pants also feature a large number of pockets, which are used by soldiers to store supplies which need to be readily available. They are also made in a very basic cut, with a simple sizing approach which is designed to ensure that pants can be quickly and easily distributed to people of all sizes.


Soldiers are of course required to wear army pants in the course of their work, since these pants have been created with military applications in mind. Many soldiers wear them while not on duty because they are comfortable and they confer a certain sense of status, as well. Law enforcement personnel also utilize army pants while on duty, because their design also lends itself well to law enforcement use. Many emergency responders like emergency medical technicians also like to wear army pants because the numerous pockets can hold useful tools for the field, ranging from scissors to bandages.

Other civilians wear army pants as a style statement, and also sometimes in specific situations in which these pants are useful. Hunters, for example, wear army pants as part of camouflage outfits and to make hunting supplies like ammunition, knives, and so forth readily available. Many scientists such as geologists, foresters, biologists, archaeologists, and so forth also wear army pants, especially in the field, making use of the pockets to store their tools. Among certain communities, army pants are also a stylistic choice, conferring a certain desired look upon the wearer.

As one might imagine, army pants come in a range of materials from cotton to nylon, and also in a range of colors. When army pants are required as part of a uniform, they may be issued by the organization requiring them, or very specific guidelines may be issued to ensure that everyone blends in. People who are choosing to wear such pants for work or recreation generally have a wide range of options to choose from, including genuine military issue BDUs from surplus stores and pants which are inspired by military designs with a few unique features like a more flattering cut for women.


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