Every day I see an Officer or NCO walking around Iraq giving shoulder holsters a bad name by wearing them like a 12 year old going trick-o-treating. How you can screw up wearing something as simple as a shoulder holster be-founds me. I mean, all you do is put one arm through the big hole then repeat.
It’s bad enough that I have to stand in line at the chow hall with the barrel of your Beretta sticking out of the back end of your shoulder holster pointing directly at my face or chest. But it makes my eyes bleed every time I see an otherwise squared away looking soldier walking around wearing the suede shoulder holster + ACU combo.
For those of you who don’t know: In Iraq most Officers and NCO’s are issued a pistol instead of a rifle, probably so they won’t accidentally leave their M-4 propped against their desk next to the “T” body armor stand (with an inch of dust on their kit) when they make a PX run.
And inevitably every one of them will buy a cheap-ass locally made suede shoulder holster from the Hajji Bazaar. Besides looking completely ridiculous when worn over ACU’s – they can’t seem to figure out what the adjustable straps are for, so they just wear it at whatever length it was adjusted to when they bought it.
So how many wrong ways are there to wear a Shoulder Holster? About a dozen but here are my two favorites and the most commonly seen in Iraq:
Stupid Way to Wear a Shoulder Holster # 1 – Sagging Past Your Hips:
One of the most common sights is seeing one of these engineers wearing a shoulder holster that is so loose it bounces in and out off their hip. One would think the constant banging of a pistol on your thigh would make you realize that perhaps you were not doing something right. Apparently not.
Stupid Way to Wear a Shoulder Holster # 2 – Wearing a Shoulder Holster Backwards:
No I’m not joking here, a minimum of at least 5 times a day I see some Mil guy or gal walking around with their shoulder holster on backwards. What they do is loosen it up (apparently this group of scientists has figured how to use the adjustable straps) so it droops all the way down to their waist, then they adjust it so the pistols grip is facing up – basically making a bastard hanging hip holster from a shoulder holster.
The fact that they put in so much work and thought to wear a shoulder holster the wrong way astounds me.
More Stupid Human Shoulder Holster Tricks:
Mil folks also have to wear a lanyard connected to their pistols, just close your eyes and imagine someone walking around wearing ACU’s with a shoulder holster and a phone-cord looking lanyard hooked from their pistol to the back-side of a shoulder holster with the cord flapping against their back.
I have also seen them wearing their shoulder holsters inside-out, with the leather strap on the back twisted up so badly it looks like a drill-bit and my personal favorite; walking around with 2 mags in the shoulder holster mag pouch and no pistol.
Fun and Games with Shoulder Holsters:
The only upside to this is me and my boys have made a game out of it – remember playing “Punch-Buggy” when you were a kid (for the younger folks here: When you saw a VW Beetle you would punch the person next to you in the arm and yell “Punch-Buggy”).
So now whenever we drive around base and see some Full-Bird Colonel walking around wearing a shoulder holster with it bouncing around his knees we smack the shit out of the guy sitting beside us and yell “Douchebag”
If you are an Officer or NCO in Iraq and you are currently wearing a shoulder holster than for the love of god learn how to properly wear one because you look like a damn fool.
Or even better – just buy a drop leg holster (don’t worry, it won’t get in your way when getting up and down from your desk chair) and forgo the ACU Miami Vice look.
Founder – Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and canvassing the internet for pictures of sexy girls holding guns