The Marine Corps Exchange (colloquially known as the PX) is especially skilled at separating young Marines from their hard-earned paychecks. Among the top categories for junior enlisted to blow their cash on is the tactical section of every store, where the hottest coyote-brown gear from your favorite manufacturers is ready for the purchasing. How can one resist the allure of Oakley M-Frames with interchangeable lenses? You will surely be the most hardcore operator in your platoon when you show up in non-issued gear on your next field op.
There’s a social angle here too, as those that have the most privately purchased gear in place of their issued items is considered saltier and more experienced. Taking a whole custom chest rig out to the field looks so much cooler than having to wear the standard-issue (if your command allows it).
The Corps issues every Marine two disgusting, plastic, green canteens, but god forbid you actually use them.
Real Marines use Nalgene bottles hanging from a carabiner.
On a sidenote, I was turned off the green canteens personally because the very first ones I was issued in bootcamp had mold (and god knows what else) in them. I went to take a drink on day one and got a mouthful of nasties.
I suppose this should have been an indication of the kind of adventure I was in for…