I always find items of equipment modified by soldiers fascinating. Whilst officially the army frowns on such changes, unofficially, it has been going on for centuries and even today soldiers wish to make changes to issued equipment to make them more user friendly or even just to make them unique and a bit ‘ally’. Today we are looking at an example of the PLCE ammunition pouch that has been modified by a soldier to change the method of securing the top flaps:
Here the ‘Spanish’ fasteners used to secure the top flaps have been replaced with DPM tabs with a press stud:
The rear of the tab has Velcro on it for added security and the Velcro on the front of each pouch has been extended:
The Spanish fasteners that were originally fitted to this pouch were not universally liked, with some complaining that they were difficult to fasten with gloved hands or in the dark, the use of these tabs would certainly make it easier to secure the top flap. Otherwise, the pouch is untouched and the fasteners on the rear to attach it to the rest of the equipment are unaltered:
This particular pouch was manufactured in 1994:
When the changes were made to it is unclear, but they are well stitched and the press studs fitted well, suggesting that this was done by a tailor rather than being knocked up by the soldier himself. Many regimental tailors and local craftsmen overseas offer their services to soldiers to modify bits of kit, the cutting down of hat brims in Afghanistan being one of the most recognisable. Modification of equipment is less common, but if a soldier’s life depends on his equipment, it is not surprising that some wish to customise their webbing to optimise its performance in the field.