What does the term “military style” mean?

Sometimes speaking about things they have little to no direct knowledge of, politicians and activists employ the intentionally vague phrase “military style” when describing items that look like they’d be part of a soldier’s arsenal.

The term’s close variation, “assault-style”, essentially carries an identical meaning and is used in the same way.

The precise meaning of either term isn’t exactly clear however, given that the military itself doesn’t use this kind of language to describe its equipment.

The military doesn’t use “military style” gear? Really?

Well actually, they do, but it’s just that it’s never referred to as such. It would kind of be pointless, somewhat akin to saying that NASCAR drivers use NASCAR style vehicles. Well, of course they do.

OK then, what traits does something need to have in order to be considered military style?

Since the term is somewhat amorphous, it follows that the required attributes for something to be considered military style aren’t concrete either. However, most everyone agrees on these two basic characteristics: that the item in question should be scary looking, and it should either be colored black or adorned with a camouflage paint scheme.

What are some common examples of military style items?

Well, according to this definition, here are a few:

  1. Black hats. Remember, black is the very definition of military stylish.
  2. Pneumatic staple guns. Many believe that no person legitimately needs to staple things with the kind of speed, precision, or power that these tools possess.
  3. Sharks. Sleek, terrifying and deadly. Plus, some are even painted black.
  4. Camouflage face paint. Doesn’t matter how fun it can be to use.
  5. Any redneck truck painted in camo colors that seamlessly melds into the dense underbrush it was haphazardly driven into.

There are others, naturally, but these were just a few items we came up with.

Is it bad for something to be thought of as military style?

Yes. But mostly for those who keep such things in their possession.

Why are some people so against anything with this moniker attached to it?

There’s considerable debate about this. But we think the unspoken assumption that inanimate objects are capable of being anything other than morally neutral has something to do with it.

Does anybody need anything military style?

Nope. There are plenty of regular civilian style items available for use. Sure, they might not be as potent or flashy as their military style cousins, but that’s just something we all need to get used to.

If you happen to be important enough for your very own personal security detail, you get to live by a different set of rules, though. In that case then, it only makes sense to equip your protective forces with the most powerful pneumatic staple guns and black hats that money can buy.