When you sign your life away to Uncle Sam, you also sacrifice the right to decide what clothes you put on your body — that is, except for one unseen item all service members are granted freedom to choose, or in some cases, discard entirely: skivvies.
A recent Tweet elicited numerous responses from outspoken active duty personnel who proudly endorsed opting out of undergarments for a host of reasons.
Service branches are known for distributing some pretty nightmarish standard issue underwear during basic training.
“The cheap, tan, will make you chafe boxer briefs that they issue you is all you are authorized to wear,” Army medic Luke Chelcun writes on Quora. “Anything else they don’t issue you is considered contraband once you get to your training company.”
Luckily, after graduation comes freedom to choose, and for many, that means taking the liberty of going commando.
“I was just debating this last night,” Twitter user @SNAFU_SGT wrote in response to the query.
“I wore boy shorts under my uniform yesterday and the amount of sweat in this heat... not worth it. Commando we go.”
She’s one of many who voiced reasons for their decision to debrief. Another soldier joked that he didn’t need underwear because he’s covered in ... other ways.
“I stopped wearing underwear in 2006 when I realized I am protected under the constitution of the United States of America,” wrote user @BRBNimg.
But not everyone enjoys the freedom provided of going au naturel.
Some voiced some very legitimate concerns about what can happen if you get caught in theater with your pants down, so to speak.
“A safety brief from flight school had a picture of a dude who wasn’t wearing underwear and was in a survivable accident with a flash fire,” responded user @Shanahanistan. “Ever since that day I wore cotton underwear until I retired.”
Do you have a preference for wearing or ditching skivvies? Take our poll or share with us your best and worst skivvy-related stories.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.