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Would you stake your life, right now, on the condition of your equipment?
NEWS | Dec. 9, 2022

Soldier Support: Don't Buy Knockoff Army Items

BLUF: Knockoff ACUs and other imitation Army items are bad news.

Soldier wearing sunglasses
Photo by Lesley Atkinson
This article was originally published in PS 772, p. 1.

Buyer beware!

Today, you can buy imitation military gear from Army surplus stores, sporting goods stores, catalogs and websites. Though some products may look like authentic Army issue, chances are they don’t meet Army standards. They may not work as well or last as long. They may even pose a health or safety hazard.

Beware of products such as these:
  • Commercial heaters, including unvented kerosene or propane heaters. They don’t meet Army specs. Some models emit carbon monoxide gas that can kill you. Some tend to leak or tip over. Choose instead a heater from the family of space heaters (FOSH).
  • Eyewear not approved by the Army. Even if it’s a well-known brand, it won’t offer the protection a combat Soldier needs. Go online to Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier for the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL). All eyewear on the APEL offer ballistic fragmentation and ultraviolet protection. See the list HERE.*
  • Knockoff Army uniforms. They may look like the real thing, but they’re fake. Because they don’t meet Army specs, they may not meet appearance or durability standards. Seams might fail, fabric rip, colors fade. When the knock-offs wear out, the Army isn’t obliged to support or exchange them. You’re better off getting a genuine uniform through Army supply channels.
So steer clear of products that don’t have Army approval. They’re usually inferior and don’t pass muster. Often they’re not supported with TMs, repair parts, maintenance procedures or PMCS. Now that’s enough to make any buyer beware. 
*Note: URL updated from original article. 
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