I wanted to share something that was a personal journey for me as a security professional. It took me months of combat operations to realize that sweat running down my face was not congruent or helpful to what I was trying to achieve.
At the time I was not issued, nor were the PX stores really carrying, anything that leaped out at me as a solution outside of the usual universal gaiters and the cool down bandanas.
Our chaplain was fortunate enough to receive some UCP handkerchiefs with bible verses on them. Although originally intended to be an ironic fashion statement, this quickly stayed within my toolkit for years to come.
Most people think of either gangsters or Rambo when they see any military person wearing a headband or bandana. Unfortunately, I did incur some ridicule.
I thought it was odd that I was seeing sweat absorbent pads built into gloves to wipe your brow yet no one set out to design a ground up headband to wear under a kevlar helmet. However, I believe the older generation helmet may have had a sweat saver add on pad.
I felt that it made a huge difference while we worked in an area known for being insanely hot. I quickly upgraded to the thinnest, low profile gaiter I could find. At this time I would carefully fold it to try and fit under my helmet. This wasn’t an ideal situation either.
I eventually branched out. I had never been satisfied with “good enough” and began looking for an athletic product that would suit my needs better than any “tactical” item could. The HALO headbands, particularly the HALO II model, performed wonderfully.
The HALO headbands required no folding or arranging to fit underneath a helmet, had a great ability to soak up sweat, were light weight and possessed an ingenious shelf to encourage sweat to roll off the sides of your face instead of down it.
In my pursuit of always improving, I tried out the HALO hairband. Unfortunately I felt that this one was far too narrow, not elastic enough and actually gave me headaches. I disliked this one so much I may have tossed it out.
I’ve since purchased two HALO II bands, which come with me any time I’m in a tactical/overt posture. I’ve worn them under a variety of helmets and EARPRO with great effect.
I’m sure some people will think that a headband, on top of an older gen FAST helmet or even simply Peltors or Sordins would be headache city, however, I frankly got tired of wearing other pieces of equipment before I wanted to take the headband off. The headband eventually loses some of it’s elasticity over the years of wear and actually becomes very comfortable.
Yes, I do get called Rambo from time to time, but the utility of this item is worth the ridicule. In my eyes, it’s one of those overlooked patches to a really common problem.