Army PT belts are being sold for $30? Why stop there!

Eric Dehm
August 16, 2018 - 11:48 am

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson


12 years into my Navy career, I was preparing to head to Afghanistan as an "Individual Augmentee." This meant that I would serve in an Army billet, wear Army uniforms and be taught how to Army good at Fort Dix prior to deployment.

It also meant I got to operate the most important item in the United States Army's arsenal: the PT belt aka "glow belt."

It's a magical piece of equipment that has single-handedly saved the life of EVERY soldier who has ever been deemed worthy of wearing it. It repels cars the way DEET repels mosquitos and, were it not for the belt, we might not have an Army at all. Honestly, I'm amazed I lived as long as I did without one and even now, seven years after getting out, I feel like I'm tempting fate by leaving the house sans glow belt because I respect and revere it that much.

It appears the cat is out of the bag and Urban Outfitters has figured out how great they are. As MilitaryTimes first noticed, the fashion retailer is now selling them at $30. To make it clear, that's $30 for one belt, not a box of them. That might seem outlandish but, as any Command Sgt. Maj. will tell you, it's actually an amazing deal.

After checking the calendar and realizing it wasn't April 1st, I moved on to putting together a list of items some enterprising company can sell to civilians who want empty their wallet for that "real" military look and feel to impress everyone.

1. Blank Firing Adapter

U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. William A. Parsons

Buy two and wear 'em as earrings! Or use them for those times when you want everyone to know you're basically just carrying a really big cap gun. The BFA is a lovely addition to any firearm, particularly if you're looking to add some color to the generic, and very blah, matte black finish of  an M-4. Fun fact: ConnectingVets Matt Saintsing tells me the BFA was on his packing list for an Iraq deployment, because... uh because it was? Suggested retail price: $75

2. Navy OBA

USCG photo by PA3 Veronica Bandrowsky

Improve your steampunk cosplay game while terrifying children and animals! Until adapting the SCBA (a SCUBA rig for above water use) the Navy and Coast Guard used a canister loading, lever-operated front-worn device called the Oxygen Breathing Apparatus (OBA.) Its location and bulk made it difficult to accomplish simple, but important, tasks like tucking your socks into your boots which any Sailor worth their salt will tell you, makes you invulnerable to the effects of fire. Despite being quite outdated, the OBA was in use up until the early 2000's. Suggested Retail Price (confirmed by PBS's Antiques Roadshow*): $3,500

*No, not really. 

3. Extreme Cold Weather Boot Inserts

When you're in cold weather and already wearing boots designed for that weather, and thick wool socks, you might think to yourself "Hey, why not add a layer of mylar, or whatever these things are made out of, that both makes my boots less comfortable AND doesn't seem to make too much of a difference in how warm my feet are?" Remember: the boldest fashion statement is one that nobody can see. Suggested Retail Price: $100

4. MOPP Boot Covers

USAF Photo

I predict rubber will be THE hot fabric this year... of course, anyone who's put on MOPP gear can tell you it's always been hot. While the cold weather boot inserts aren't visible, people will notice the clunky rubber boots that you wear over your other boots. And don't fret, as they become more and more popular no one will even notice you walking like you're wearing dive fins.

5. F-35 Lighting II (Joint Strike Fighter)

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jensen Stidham

The supersonic fighter jet everybody has (even Australia!) but nobody seems to want. Here's your chance to look cool sitting in the cockpit of the latest and greatest air asset in our inventory while a team of mechanics tries to figure out why it won't fly! Suggested Retail Price: $20 OBO

I've got a bunch more, but I'm not giving all the gold away for free. Urban Outfitters, or perhaps their competitor Suburban Clothiers, knows where to find me.

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