Decommissioned military base for sale: New Mexico town with an abandoned military base for sale for $11 million

New Mexico town with an abandoned military base for sale for $11 million

New Mexico town with an abandoned military base for sale for $11 million |

New Mexico town with an abandoned military base for sale for $11 million

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Be the boss of your own town

Ane’s Paris Photography

If owning your own village sounds like a dream come true, then this unique real estate listing could be just what you’re looking for. On the market for a cool $11 million (£8.2m), this small town and abandoned military base has a fascinating back story and plenty of potential. Click or scroll on to discover the secrets of this important American community and take a look around…

Fort Wingate

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Nestled among a unique red landscape some seven miles east of the city of Gallup, New Mexico, Fort Wingate was founded in 1867. Situated along Interstate 40, the former military base and its small surrounding town have a long and complicated history.

An important territory

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration / Wikimedia (Public Domain)

Before it was a military base, the site was the ancestral homeland of both the Navajo Nation and Zuni indigenous tribe. They’d lived on the land for centuries until the United States military forcibly took the land from them at great human cost. While a treaty was signed in 1868 allowing the Navajo to return to their homes, they had to remain within a restricted area and their reservation became home to Fort Wingate. 

Storied history

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Fort Wingate remained active and operated mainly as a police base for the Navajo reservation, before being decommissioned in 1912. Following its retirement, it was used as a detention camp for refugees fleeing the Mexican Revolution, then repurposed as an ordnance depot and an Indian school.

Time to change hands

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Fort Wingate has been in the current owner’s family since 1946, but it’s now up for grabs. Mark Price of Realty ONE Group, the town’s listing agent, told the New York Post that the owner has managed the town for decades, acting as the fire chief, the police and the landlord. “The current owner has lived there his entire life. He has never been outside the lines of the town and the family now wants to spend the rest of time traveling”, explained the realtor.

Remarkable ruins

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The property encompasses 18 acres of land and signs of the village’s indigenous history are still present today. Across the acreage, you can see 400 ruins created by the Navajo Nation and Zuni indigenous tribes, which have remained remarkably intact.

Abandoned base

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Now a national historic site, the abandoned military base is still standing too and comes complete with the sale. Over the decades, the site was home to a regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers, an all African-American brigade, and the Navajo code talkers, Fort Wingate’s most important contribution during the Second World War. The code talkers were able to stump Japanese forces thanks to a code they created based on the Navajo language. 


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Later, during the Second World War, Fort Wingate became a key military base along Route 66 and was used as a transport corridor for troops and supplies. Thanks to this, the settlement became a bustling hub that encouraged economic growth in the area. Stores cropped up, serving visitors, military forces and locals, many of which are still present in the town day and are included in the sale.

Unique opportunity

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The listing offers much more than just the former barracks and a few stores though. It comes complete with parade grounds, a clubhouse dating back to 1883 and a row of officers’ quarters that from the early 1900s. The potential for this historic piece of real estate will be endless for the village’s lucky buyer.

Mayor of your own town

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There’s even a gas station that appears not to have been touched for many years. The settlement still bears other intriguing reminders of its past, too. There’s an original trading post, RV parking, a maintenance shop, numerous storage buildings and a convenience store – with this listing, you could become mayor of your own town!

Commercial spaces

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Formerly known as Fort Fauntleroy, the estate also served briefly as a mail station. However, the post office, which is located inside the village’s cafe, is still in use. A school is also situated just outside the settlement too, so there are plenty of amenities nearby to draw families to the town.  

Space for work and play

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This huge building is one of the largest on the 18-acre site. Known as Bear Springs Plaza, the building is home to a once-thriving café and store, which could easily be revived by the new owner of the town. So, if you want a home with a job thrown in, this could be the listing for you…

Rental opportunities

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In addition to the commercial opportunities, the listing boasts 27 residential homes, all very unique in their design. All of the properties are currently occupied and the current owner is ideally looking for someone to take over the business and maintain the rental units.

Cosy and compact

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Stepping inside one of the homes, you can really get a sense of life in this small town. Cosy and compact, this property offers a rustic and homely aesthetic, thanks to its natural stone and timber walls.

Listed land

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In 1896, a fire destroyed many of the fort’s original buildings and these were replaced with structures formed from local red sandstone in around 1900. Some of these characterful properties can still be found at Fort Wingate and are included as part of the sales listing. In 1978, the National Park Service added Fort Wingate to the National Register of Historic Places.

Fixer-upper projects

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Some of the buildings on the site could easily be transformed into something really special – from studio spaces to workshops or even rental ventures. This timber shack is just crying out to be given the Fixer-Upper treatment!

Historical significance

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There are plenty of unique treasures dotted across the former military base, too. From old photographs to trinkets, these historically important objects all come included as part of the sale. Perhaps the new owner could establish a museum to document the town’s storied past.

Reminders of the past

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This photograph, dated 1934, shows a family outside the main store of the town. This business would have served the community of Fort Wingate and been a popular stop along Route 66 during the Second World War.

Military relics

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Here, you can see military artifacts and personal effects left behind when the military base was abandoned. From bullets to coins and an old baseball mitt, these items would be well worth preserving. In fact, since the town is now on the National Register of Historic Places, the new owner may have a responsibility to ensure these objects are protected.

Worth restoring

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Whoever takes up ownership of this unique tiny town, we hope they’ll preserve some of the site’s more unusual historical elements, such as its old signage, furniture and vehicles, which can be found dotted across the acreage.

History and beauty

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As well as all this land and history, the American town also comes complete with jaw-dropping scenery. If you’ve fallen in love with the history and beauty of this settlement, then it could soon be yours. All you need is some imagination and $11 million (£8.2m) in the bank. Sound achievable? Realty ONE Group has all the information you need.

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14 November 2021


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Abandoned Air Force radar station in South Dakota is for sale on Facebook

For anyone missing the creature comforts of living on post, and looking to put their home repair skills to good use, have you considered putting in a bid on the former Gettysburg Air Force Station?

(Photo courtesy of Facebook marketplace)

The 42-acre property outside of Gettysburg, South Dakota, complete with 50 bedrooms and 15 baths, is being listed for sale by owner Lev Goukassian, a retired businessman from California, on Facebook marketplace for $4. 5 million. While first sergeants would be horrified at the unmowed grass and unpainted rocks, the land still contains a former barracks, operations center and mess hall, among other buildings, some of them connected by an underground tunnel. 

In the listing, Goukassian featured various photos from the property, which he marked on Facebook as being “unfurnished.” The buildings are largely empty, with just the barest remains of a military presence and whatever scrap and ephemera has accumulated in the more than 50 years since the base was decommissioned. But Goukassian did say that they are structurally sound. 

(Photo courtesy of Fort Wiki)

Gettysburg Air Force Station was active from 1956 to 1958, one of 28 radar stations designed to guide interceptor aircraft towards enemy aircraft. This was at the height of the Cold War, when the U.S. operated hundreds of radar stations and missile defense centers around the country and abroad designed to provide some measure of early warning in case of a nuclear conflict.  

While mostly decommissioned, many of these properties are still used by civilian agencies for their original purpose. Indeed, any potential buyers for the Gettysburg Air Force Station would become neighbors with a Federal Aviation Administration radar site that is still operated on one acre of the former base.

(Photo courtesy of Facebook marketplace)

The vast Cold War footprint of the military has also left its mark elsewhere. Decommissioned Intercontinental Ballistic Missile silos, which dot many parts of the country, have been converted into bizarre houses and condominiums. Many coastal cities still contain the remnants of old artillery fortifications, and abroad, there are the more than 170,000 concrete bunkers that dot the small European nation of Albania.

Goukassian said that he is not sure if he wants to sell the property immediately, but if you are interested in recreating garrison life, better start saving now. 

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how much are decommissioned army trucks worth?

Source: Alexander Ivanov, Denis Pisarenko, Vayar military news agency. Photo: Andrey Artyukhovsky

Not only people are retiring, but also military vehicles. Decommissioned GAZs, KrAZs, KAMAZs finish their service in the army. However, powerful cars, originally designed for the needs of the Armed Forces, can still be useful in civilian life. Anyone who is interested in such machines has the opportunity to buy them. An auction for the sale of specialized vehicles has been announced. For example, KAMAZ-4310 is sold at the price of an old Volkswagen Passat B3.


Many specialized vehicles were produced on the basis of the GAZ-66. The most massive of them are as follows: postal and grain vans, vehicles for delivering goods to remote villages, tanks, tankers, mobile workshops. In Minsk, there is even a truck converted into a mobile bathhouse (a review of it will be prepared soon).

GAZ-66 units were installed on PAZ-3201 cross-country buses. However, the image of the GAZ-66 in most people is associated with military service. The army was mainly supplied with modifications equipped with winches, shielded electrical equipment and a tire pressure control system. On the basis of the GAZ-66, many modifications were created for the needs of the army – from tankers to communication vehicles.

  • Engine – carburetor, four-stroke, brand ZMZ-66, 115 hp With.
  • Maximum speed – 90 km / h.
  • Tank capacity – 210 l.
  • Fuel consumption rate per 100 km – 31.5 liters.
  • Power reserve – 660 km.
  • Load capacity – 2000 kg.
  • Own weight – 3640 kg.
  • Gross weight – 5970 kg.
  • Wading depth – 0.8 m.
  • Pulling force of the winch – 3500 kgf.
  • Towed trailer weight – 2000 kg.

Price: from 12.8 million*.


ZIL-131 is an upgraded version of ZIL-157. But if the latter can only be found in the museum of vintage cars, then the “one hundred and thirty-first” even now looks quite modern. Sloping wings, panoramic windshields and the most important trump card – cross-country ability do not allow the car to completely retire. In the Armed Forces, a lot of special equipment was mounted on the basis of this vehicle: workshops, fuel barrels, communication vehicles. In the national economy, ZiL is in demand primarily among forest industry workers. Without much effort, the kung can be converted into a comfortable watch. Thanks to the unique cross-country ability, the car will reach the very thick of the Belarusian Polesye under its own power.

  • Engine – carbureted, four-stroke, ZIL-131 brand, 150 hp With.
  • Maximum speed – 80 km / h.
  • Tank capacity – 340 l.
  • Load capacity – 5000 kg.
  • Empty weight – 6700 kg.
  • Gross weight – 11,925 kg.
  • Fuel consumption rate per 100 km – 51 liters.
  • Power reserve – 660 km.
  • Wading depth – 1.4 m.
  • Pulling force of the winch – 4500 kgf.
  • Towed trailer weight – 4000 kg.

Price: from 14.3 million*.


The people simply called this car – “lappetzhnik” or “bast shoe”. The nickname was given for a reason! It’s all about wide-profile tires of variable pressure model VI-3 and a dimension of 1300 × 530. Off-road for the army KrAZ with a tire pressure control system is not a hindrance! It will deliver goods and people to any point of our country in a timely manner. In addition to the Armed Forces, KrAZ-255 vehicles can be found as timber carriers, tractors at airfields and in the oil and gas industry.

  • Engine – diesel, four-stroke, brand YaMZ-238, 240 hp With.
  • Maximum speed – 71 km / h.
  • Tank capacity – 330 l.
  • Load capacity – 7500 kg.
  • Empty weight – 11,690 kg.
  • Gross weight – 19 415 kg.
  • Fuel consumption rate per 100 km – 49.5 liters.
  • Power reserve – 660 km.
  • Wade depth – 1 m.
  • Pulling force of the winch – 10,000 kgf.
  • Towed trailer weight – 10,000 kg.

Price: from 40 million*.


This vehicle still serves in our army. Having a three-axle all-wheel drive design in combination with the use of single tires with developed lugs on all axles, as well as a centralized tire pressure control system, the army truck has a high cross-country ability. A large number of special equipment is installed on its basis. KAMAZ-4310 and its modifications were also widely used in the national economy. Upgraded versions of this machine continue to be produced to this day.

  • Engine – diesel, four-stroke, KAMAZ-740 brand, 210 hp With.
  • Maximum speed – 85 km / h.
  • Tank capacity – 250 l.
  • Load capacity – 7000 kg.
  • Own weight – 8715 kg.
  • Gross weight – 15,100 kg.
  • Fuel consumption rate per 100 km – 47 liters.
  • Power reserve – 530 km.
  • Wading depth – 1.4 m.
  • Pulling force of the winch – 5000 kgf.
  • Towed trailer weight – 7000 kg.

Price: from 42 million*.

* – prices are indicated at the time of publication of the material. The current cost can be found in RUE “Belspetskontrakt”.


and in the West everyone has at least one pair of these military trousers. They are out of fashion because they were not conceived for civilian wear …

in the West everyone has at least one pair of these military trousers. They are out of fashion because they were not conceived for civilian wear. How did the thing from the wardrobe of a young German conscript come to you?

Early morning in a country business park near Bournemouth, England. The truck stops at a huge aircraft hangar, the headquarters of the General Issue firm, engaged in bulk purchases of decommissioned army equipment and uniforms. When the rear doors open, 25,000 pairs of camouflage trousers and 16 tons of army boots spill out – trophies from an auction of a military base in Germany. To the constant hum of a nearby sewing shop, twelve pairs of hands grab, sort and evaluate the ten-meter mountain.

Excitement is rising in the midst of militaristic jokes: one of the sorters has found a bunch of capes from the British Army of the 1940s. However, such historical finds are rare. The pile is mostly made up of more modern (straight from the front line) life-saving items: body armor in bulletproof Kevlar/Kevlar, body armor, carbon-insulated work overalls with sealed seams to protect the soldier from nuclear, biological, or chemical contamination. (As one dismantler, Polartec/Polartec, comments, protective fabric for robes is “that’s for sissies.”) To all this, add piles of jumpsuits for pilots that automatically inflate at a certain height so that exploding vessels do not splatter blood on the control panel of your Stelza / Stealth, who in the “afterlife” civilian life is destined for the role of clothing-fetish.

But the main cargo here is still the standard combat pants, combats (emphasis on the first syllable) – the annual source of profit for the clothing industry (in high fashion terminology, having wearability as long and adaptable as it was conceived by the creators-designers). Modeled to protect a soldier fighting on the front lines; cut looser than official/ceremonial military clothing in order to make it easier to move around; with camouflage paint to make it inconspicuous in the intended environment, and “signature”, easily recognizable, side pockets, located in such a way as to get to them as easily and quickly as possible, they were introduced by the US Army during the Vietnam War. And it was then – during the struggle against racism, sexism, nuclear weapons and Vietnam – that the battalion commanders became an integral part of the American student counterculture. Worn by The Clash and their politicized environment, they were anti-fashion for punks in the seventies. In the 1980s, battalion commanders went out of fashion and were popular only with students and hippies who wanted to show their revolutionary sentiments to the well-dressed mainstream. In the 1990s, military pants are above any discussion of fashion: they are as obvious and indispensable as jeans.

Combat pants aren’t cool because the entire All Saints group wears them low with open tops/t-shirts. It’s stylish not because fashion designers like Jil Sanders and Martine Sitbone have included their “fancy” versions of the battalions in their collections this season, made from chic and expensive materials. And it’s not hackneyed because every teenage group (911, East 17, etc.) and every children’s show host in Britain wears them. It’s just military pants. And to say that they are in fashion now, means to imply that next year they will not be. Military pants are out of fashion. They are simply on the rack (in one incarnation or another), in every flea market, in designer and military stores – wherever you go, around the world.

From military warehouses to fashion stores, your battalions, if only they are real, have passed through the international camouflaged world of home-grown millionaires, merchants and strange basement military exchange points. The UK is at the very center of this tangled web. Businessmen like Ian Wolfeld of the General Issue started in 1983 selling sacks of combat boots to builders in Southampton and are now in charge of bulk buying military fashion from around the world.

1. Design

Despite the fact that American battalion commanders are usually considered the most stylish (although German and Dutch uniforms are also in good demand), any soldier will tell you: British trousers are the best (it turns out that mercenaries would rather die than put on something else). In addition, getting these pants is not so easy (see below). “Anyone in this business will tell you,” Ian Wolfeld winks conspiratorially, “British battalion commanders are never enough.”

The life of a new pair of British military trousers begins in the imposing maze of the UK Department of Defense (MOD) supercenter in Bristol. The British government allocates £12bn annually for “unarmed defence”, which includes battledress uniforms (BDU)/combat uniforms (FBD). In addition to new orders for existing FBAs, this amount includes funds that go to research and development at the DCTA (Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency) in Caversfield, Oxfordshire. Here, a small team of designers, made up of textile experts, civilians and soldiers with combat experience, conceives and brings new uniforms to life. Among the latest “products” of this agency is the “revolutionary” model Fighter-Soldat’95 is a long-wearing, fast-drying multi-layer Gore-Tex type suit that reduces the visibility of a soldier for infrared cameras, which can be used in the Arctic, the Persian Gulf or in the jungle. The latest news from the FBI’s new development front is the Crusader 21, a classified project from Oxfordshire that will be on the battlefield by 2000 and no doubt soon after in stores and on the streets.

2 . Inspection and Testing

DCTA also test new models of military clothing. Numerous laboratory tests on fabrics are carried out before the first suits are sewn for trial by soldiers on maneuvers. If you see groups of military-looking people running around the field in the Colchester area, you know: they are fighting with their new uniforms, not playing paintball (a war game with paint instead of bullets).

3. Production

A successful model that has passed all tests is put forward for mass production. This standard procedure of the British Ministry of Defense keeps all names and details of contracts secret.

4. Issuance

Uniforms are issued to new soldiers. Since in many countries of continental Europe in one form or another there is a system of conscription and compulsory national service, much more military uniforms are sewn there.

A European draftee receives a completely new set, and a year later, leaving the army, he hands over barely touched battalion commanders. Only the German army writes off annually more than 400 thousand almost new uniforms. In the professional British army (taxpayers take note) they wear their pants to the last, resulting in increased demand and limited supply.

5. Armies collect their decommissioned items

In Europe, each military base manages the auctioning of its unwanted materials. In addition to the uniforms of ex-conscripts in warehouses, waiting to be bought at ridiculous prices, there is also a multi-year euromountain of battalion commanders: surplus orders, as well as uniforms that have fallen into disuse after the development of a new design.

In the UK, military clothing, after it has been worn down to a state that precludes any practical use, is assembled by a special company AMAC, named after its founder Alan McCarthy. This company was entrusted with the storage, sale and destruction of all material remains of the Moscow Region for 25 years. Equipment and clothing are collected from British military bases, including those located in Northern Ireland and Germany, and then transported to AMAC warehouses on the outskirts of Manchester. Everything that can no longer be repaired and re-sewn is sent to textile companies as secondary raw materials. The remaining materials are sorted depending on the degree of footnote, signed, put into bags and sold to intermediaries/wholesalers.

6. Brokers buy surplus

Military wholesalers travel the world checking out military bases that hold auctions. They have to buy goods blindly (all products are already packaged in bags, so buyers cannot be sure of quality, size, or color) and in huge quantities (a typical lot at such an auction consists of 20,000 pairs of pants).

Military bases also sell “mixed” lots, which can include anything from capes (a big shortage in the civilian world) to useless sets of old knives and forks. Every wholesaler has a story about their disaster purchase. Jan Wolfeld recalls how he once took a chance and acquired, as it turned out, “50,000 absolutely useless empty bags used to drop food and supplies from the air.” Kim Jamilly keeps a mountain of 1940s style cargo belts in one of the basements below his shop, evidence of another blind buy with negative results. (Her husband Victor 40 years ago, in the wake of the post-war flood of decommissioned army uniforms, founded the well-known chain of military clothing stores Laurence Corner.) This, she says, is an occupational risk. “You can buy pants and end up with piss bottles.”

When buying British uniforms, everything is easier and more reliable. Items in AMAC’s possession are sorted and valued according to their condition. Potential buyers, which in addition to wholesalers may include chains of (children’s) camps, international charities, and even other armies, should have their own account with the firm. AMAC does not accept orders under £500, the amount for which you can buy about forty pairs of boots.

7. Wholesalers sell leftovers

Even if you wear your German battalions in Milan or your Dutch battalions in Paris, their way into your wardrobe is almost certainly through British warehouses. But military pants do not always end up in a civilian environment. There is another market in this business, international – other armies.

“Third world armies think it’s better to buy used first world uniforms than wear new ones,” says Jan Wolfeld. Most states are very serious about ensuring that their products do not fall into the wrong hands. “We refuse to export anything to Iraq and also to some African countries,” says AMAC sales manager Hellberg. “Or sell body armor to Northern Ireland.” Similarly, South Africa will sell nothing to its African neighbors. Some countries even use a “tear and burn” strategy, that is, they destroy all their decommissioned equipment and uniforms. Britain used to do this too. Portugal is doing this now. But once a product is on the open market, illegal sales are not that difficult to organize. “Definitely, these things happen,” Wolfeld confirms. – I can watch the news and say: “Oh, I know where they got it.”

“I can’t give you names,” says Malcolm Silverman. “But our military equipment and clothes have ended up with the armies of the third world more than once.” The family firm of Silverman’s, located in Mile End, East London, is over a century old. They started by selling decommissioned army clothing to South African miners. Now, despite the fact that the company still has one warehouse full of army uniforms, it wants to get out of this business. Silverman’s managed to bypass the whole murky process of auctions and wholesale middlemen by buying directly from military suppliers and selling to stores. They often had to sell their products to the British Army. “Soldiers come here all the time to exchange their uniforms for the latest model. They can buy the latest design from us before it officially begins to be issued to military personnel.” On one occasion, even the D.O. had to call Silverman’s to buy back a rush-sold shipment of their battalions and equipment for Operation Desert Storm/Desert Storm.

Midday in the Victorian stables of an industrial park on the east side of London. Romeo Trading started as a small family business a little over half a century ago. Now the company has a multi-million dollar turnover, but it’s hard to guess from the outside. The figures hunched over the archaic sewing machines are being watched by a supervisor – a gray-haired, laconic Mr. Tagar. If you forget about millions of pounds for a moment, it seems that little has changed here in the last fifty years. All papers are still kept in dusty leather folders and safes; there is nothing even remotely hinting at the existence of a computer. Instead, there is a mountain range of muted military hues: charcoal German uniforms, Swiss bright red mud camouflage, sandy Dutch six-pocket trousers, arctic white; military uniforms: classic British – green, American – desert beige, UN – sky blue, GDR – dull gray, South African – golden brown – all this is waiting for sale to the nearest army clothing store.

For those who are worried about authenticity, there are two main signs. If your battalion commanders are black or navy blue, you’re out of luck – no other army in the world wears these. Pants are definitely fake if they’re made of rip-stop/rip-stop cotton (would you yourself go to war in a uniform made from pillowcase fabric?).

Trading in counterfeit combatants is no less a big and complicated business than what was described above. Millions of factories in the Far East, day and night, tirelessly sew unknown battalion commanders who were never intended for battle. And in the fashion world, from Chanel to Gap, everyone has their own version of the army pants. Military tailoring is big business. Regular patrons of Laurence Corner include Katherine Hamnett, Vivienne Westwood, Rifat Ozbek and Donna Karan; CAT researchers regularly visit Brixton’s military stores looking for new design ideas. Massimo Osti, whose Stone Island clothing is based on the design of Italian soldiers, is a regular customer of Silverman’s and has amassed a small library of military costume history himself.

Why did battalion commanders become so common? Rebecca Arnold, who lectures in fashion history at Central St Martin’s in London, argues that everything is moving from the inexorable movement of our culture towards “gender neutrality. ” “The twentieth century is characterized by a constant change in attitudes about what is considered masculine and what is considered feminine. Combos are neither. Like Gap and Calvin Kline’s (CK One) ads, they are a manifestation of the desire to hide differences, the desire to be genderless. We can all live happily in a big camouflaged world, anonymous and bright at the same time.”

There is, of course, another more down-to-earth explanation for this popularity of military pants: they are cheap. Although the price of battalions has risen along with their popularity, the long chain from institute research to wholesaler auctions still only improves quality control without a global impact on their value. For example, a pair of beloved six-pocket Dutch battalion commanders cost the Dutch army about £30 – and that’s after the new design fits all parameters and passes all tests. These pants have been worn, mended, sewn up, approved and sold countless times before reaching you. By standard trade rules, they should be in some shop with a price tag that goes over the top £150, and you can get them for £25.