People buy Army and Navy goods both as collectibles and for everyday use. There are more than 1,000 stores in the United States that specialize in military surplus apparel and related gear. Some of the most popular items include backpacks, military issue blankets, combat boots and other footwear and outdoor gear. Collectors also shop in these establishments for Marine Corps equipment and supplies, and items worn or used by members of city and state police forces. When shopping for these products, it will be helpful to know the meaning of the following terms.
Surplus – Army or Navy surplus refers to any goods that are resold when no longer needed by the military.
Army/Navy Surplus Store – A place to shop for military equipment, supplies and apparel.
Camouflage – A special type of military clothing designed to blend in with a soldier’s surroundings.
Duffle – A drawstring canvas bag traditionally used by sailors to carry personal articles.
Badge – Usually made of cloth, a badge on a military uniform identifies rank, office, or membership in an organization. Some badges are also presented as an award or honor.
Medal – An award, often in the form of a cross or a star, given to a member of the military for outstanding service or achievement. Many military medals are prized by collectors.
Tent – Unlike the traditional canvas tents used for camping, an army tent can be large enough to hold a dozen or more people. Made from sturdy all-weather canvas, these tents may originally have been used by the military as a command post or aid station.
As a categorical term for products, that of army and navy goods designate items presented as having been originally created for a branch of the military. Customers can purchase surplus supplies of equipment in this form at stores devoted to the consumer category. Many army and navy goods come in the particular form of apparel. Other kinds of goods originally created for the military and later dispersed as surplus materials can also purchased at such establishments. People typically shop at stores of this kind in order to furnish accessories to outdoor activities like backpacking and camping.
People looking for such goods might gear their shopping either in accordance to the product's original source or the specific type of product purchased. In addition to such basic categories as the army and navy, such products could also be furnished by specific sources like police departments or the U.S. Marines.
As to the latter category, applicable products could include jackets and such various rough weather items of footwear as boots. In keeping with the associations inherent in the army and navy surplus field, such products are commonly decorated with a camouflage visual design. Beyond such items, purveyors might also provide such accessories as blankets, tents, and duffle bags. On a more controversial note, army and navy goods might carry associations with the experience and danger of combat. Medals, patches or badges referring to the wearer's military experiences, for example, might appear in poor taste to others. The purchase of army and navy goods should be both practical and made in good judgment.