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Why is not wearing underwear called “going commando” style? I would think a commando would appreciate the support and reduction of chafing that briefs provide.

— Chafing at the Bit in RB

The elves go commando at their weekly backyard badminton tournament. They appreciate the ventilation. Grandma’s threatened to stop doing their laundry if they don’t cinch up with some undies, but so far they’ve charmed her into it.

Actually, Chafing, you’ve probably been reading too many issues of GQ. Commandos (aka Special Forces) aren’t out looking for fashion colors and luxury fibers. They want comfort and practicality. Commandos are supposed to wear what the military tells them to wear. Absorbent cotton briefs, mostly. But wet-underwear chafing is a major problem when you’re walking miles through the commandos’ typical landscape: jungles, swamps, deserts, lots of damp or blazing-hot places. Nobody wants to suffer the chafing from an extra layer of clothes soggy from swamp water or sweat. The best solution isn’t designer skivvies, it is no skivvies at all. (No undies also makes peeing and pooping easier when on the trail or hunkered down in some mud pit, trying not to move and give away your position.) According to a Vietnam vet friend, it wasn’t just the Special Forces that went commando in that humid environment. The term became popular during the Vietnam era, but some historians say the practice dates back to commandos in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

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