It’s true, the Department of Defense (DoD) has banned military personnel from wearing the popular MMA clothing brand, TapouT. This policy was enacted under the recommendation of Dr. James Miller, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
As a former soldier, I understand the need for operational security (OPSEC), and get that when you enter the military you basically rescind your civil rights. This ban on TapouT gear (which includes everything from T-shirts to hats to accessories) in overseas locations might make sense for OPSEC, because you don’t want to alert the locals or potential terrorists that there may be a large military presence nearby. But, come on now, banning the gear for personnel stationed Stateside for fear of revealing a major base? All anyone has to do is look at a fucking map.
And OPSEC is the official reason Dr. James Miller is giving for this ban, citing an informal study that revealed 84% of those wearing TapouT clothing (near a military base) were off-duty active-duty military personnel. OK, official reason, good, right? Not. If that’s all it were, this article would be finished. No, Dr. James Miller is a biased dick with some kind of vendetta or score to settle. Maybe mommy didn’t give him enough attention. Maybe he got his ass kicked throughout high school. Maybe he feels his MMA skills are underappreciated.
Whatever his ulterior motives might be, his not-so-subtle subtext is uncalled for. Let me provide some Dr. James Miller quotes, and a brief comment after each:
“Even though TapouT gear is incredibly tacky, that’s not what this is about. Admittedly, as a mixed martial arts enthusiast, I take personal issue with fat soldiers walking around with ‘TapouT’ on their chest, when they can’t skip rope for five minutes, let alone step in a locked cage against a trained fighter. And to me, whether you’re fat or fit, if you don’t know the difference between an omoplata and a gogoplata, then you just look like a jerk in a TapouT shirt.”
So, basically, if you can’t perform what you’re interested in, you can’t show your fandom. Iron Maiden T-shirt? Take it off if you can’t play scale. NFL shirt? Take it off if you can’t run the 40 in 4 or screen block.
”[TapouT clothing] could give the enemy a big-picture idea of how many military personnel are in an area, where they go in their off time, and what kind of asinine garbage they spend their money on. Basically, if I go to a movie theater and see a bunch of TapouT shirts, I know two things: one, there must be a base nearby, and two, with all these posers around, I’m probably the best fighter there, pound for pound.”
Ooooo, I’m really scared. There’s a Peck here with an acorn pointed at me.
When citing the data from the informal study:
”The working group’s data indicates that 1% of the people interviewed were civilian mixed martial artists, 15% were local douchebags, and 84% were active duty military.”
OK, we’re not sure if Dr. James Miller actually said that or if it was the journalist, but it sounds like him.
”I went to a mall outside of Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a Friday night and thought I was in the middle of aFan Expo. And I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that not one of those guys could throw a switch kick, or counter a basic double leg, or maintain an appropriate range against a fighter with a reach advantage. Also, don’t forget the OPSEC.”
See, OPSEC is secondary in this guys mind.
As I was reading the original article, I couldn’t help but think that there are other OPSEC concerns that could be pointed to as well. But, Miller was ahead of me on that. According to the article:
”Miller said that the working group will be sent out to identify other possible OPSEC concerns, such as skin-tight Under Armour workout shirts worn at bars and restaurants, high-and-tight haircuts, and civilian wives so overweight they make the passenger side of the couple’s Honda Civic dip when they get in.”
Classy. Just classy. So classy, in fact, that I want to be just like Dr. James Miller when I grow up.
Rock Hard \m/ – and love your Service members.