The shift from tactical to covert

I've noticed an interesting shift in the tactical/prepper/firearms community lately and I'd like to hear agreements/arguments on my theory. Bear with the longer post.
Over the last 10 years, but more-so the last 3-5, I've seen a shift in the "tactical" community away from the multicam, molle webbing, plate carriers, OIF/OEF 'operator' style gear and clothing to something I kind of see similar to the 80/90's era FBI/CIA style of tactical gear i.e. jeans, sweatshirts, running shoes, 'battle belts', concealed armor, etc
The more I'm on forums and podcasts the community seems to be making a steady shift away from the "tacticool" of the 2000's and more integrated gear into civilian apparel. I see companies like 5.11, Condor and Apex going from tactical pants to new kinds of jeans. Combat shirts and BDU's to Adidas and Nike. Hell, some of the biggest Youtube gun nerds aren't being known for ATACS or Kryptec anymore... they're training in plaid button-ups and cargo shorts.

And this change hit me with a realization: The enemy is changing.

Now I want to start this off by saying: IMO a solid 70% of the tactical community aren't LEO/MIL/FR, they're civilians who want to be those things but won't put in the time. But they DO follow the operator trends more than most LEO/MIL would ever even notice that they have. And what they're noticing the OIF/OEF veteran and law enforcement community focusing on fighting isn't ISIS or Taliban or North Korea or Russia... It's home. Left or right, black or white, the Vet and LEO community are afraid of home not abroad. They're afraid of having to defend themselves against a mob of their neighbors. So what are military and police trained to do? Change tactics. OIF/OEF and Vietnam vets have seen the unfortunate effectiveness of their era's enemies. The rice paddy farmer with the SKS hidden under the ox cart and the Hadji calling sitting in his DVD stand waiting to detonate his homemade IED with a 90's brick phone have defeated every single multi-billion dollar army on earth time, after time, after time.
There has been an UNDENIABLE push against the gun community in the last 10 years, and the hardest hit are the men and women who came home to a nation that would love to forget every hour of the war they fought in and their Vietnam war peers, of which a large chunk of the new LEO consists of. And the tactical community watches with puppy dog eyes for any tips and trends in the military community. So when the vet community hangs up their BDU's and starts experimenting with how to hide body armor and 3 mags in jeans, a grunt style hoodie and Solomons... they follow, they copy and they buy.

Again I'd love to hear comments.



Network Support IV
I think it has more to do with the fact that due to that 70% of the community the general public is far more aware of the telltale signs of "this guy has a gun." Those that are actually in a profession where being made, either at home or abroad, could have severe consequences are clueing into this and adjusting.
We also had ~15 years of high intensity conflict and all the direct action stuff that gear came from. Now we're rotating into more covert operations with occasional DA stuff, just like the late 80's and early 90's
Due to GWOT that community of professionals is also larger and now the retired guys are providing training, writing books, hosting youtube channels etc. This info then trickles down the 70%.
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Regular Member
Network Support I
I have some thoughts on this as well. To preface this, I'm in the 70% majority. I'm a civilian who EDCs daily, I've never worked for any government entity, nor carried a gun professionally.

I think the switch from molle & multicam to demin & plaid is more from the fact that 70% of the consumers in this community are people like me. That multicam arid and 'everything in FDE' phase was cool, but it got old. I can't wear Crye precision pants to my desk job. I can't wear my plate carrier to Target. Denim and plaid (and Hawaiian shirts when it warms up) are things that I can relate to because I wear them on a normal basis. When the companies making stuff to sell me notice that I'm buying much more gingham than multicam tropic, they're going to try to sell me stuff I'm more likely to buy. They back-fill the new products to the influencers so they can still get cool-guy cred.

I honestly believe that this trend is driven by the growing civilian shooter market, just as the LVPO trend and the current boom in precision shooting is. I'm not saying that you haven't stumbled upon something sinister, nor that we shouldn't keep an eye on it, I just see this being more easily explained by business practices and customer bases.