Military Inventions You Use Every Day

From sliced bread to the very service you're using to read this, here are some of the most surprising military inventions you use every day.

Most people assume that the military only invents things like guns, weapons, and maybe one or two tactical helmets. This is just not true! The military actually is one of the biggest invention powerhouses in the country. 

While a lot of the best tactical boots and other gear may have had military origins, the truth is that the military has invented a lot of incredibly useful items you've used in the past. Don't believe it? Check out these classic military inventions you use every day. 

The Internet

You know how you're reading this right now? You have the military to thank for that! The internet was originally a government and military-only invention—sort of.

One of the first iterations of the internet was ARPAnet, and it was awarded a contract by the Department of Defense in the early 1960s. The net was meant as a way to communicate with others without having the Russians snooping.

It actually took around 20 years for the tech to advance until we had the World Wide Web. However, the person who created the WWW protocol wasn't a military member. They were a civilian. Even so, it's safe to count the internet as one of the greatest military inventions you use every day. 

Canned Foods

You might already be aware that not all military inventions you use every day were invented by Americans. One of the most important ones, a food preservation technique known as canning, was actually commanded by General Napoleon Bonaparte of the French army. 

He offered a prize to whoever could invent a better way to store food. Canning won. Next time you open up a can of Campbell's soup, say a little "Vive La France!" 

Microwave Ovens

Next time you "nuke your food," remember that it's one of the most popular military inventions you use every day. This invention was really serendipity at work, though.

Percy Spencer was at the lab during World War II, working on new radar technology when he noticed a chocolate bar melting in his pants. He took a look at what was going on closer, and found out that microwaves cook food. The rest, as they say, was history. 

GPS

This is one of the newer military inventions you use every day, but that doesn't make it bad! GPS, also known as Global Positioning Systems, were first created by the U.S Air Force in the early 1990s for soldiers that were fighting on unfamiliar territories. 

The invention was so successful, they decided to bring it to the mainstream. Now, smartphones, watches, and even cars all have it as a standard feature. 

Duct Tape

Mechanics have a lot of military inventions you use every day in their toolboxes, but few are as popular as duct tape. This isn't a typical military invention, though. Duct tape was created in World War II by a concerned mom who wanted her soldier to be able to keep water out of cans.

By mid-war, soldiers used duct tape to fix everything... because duct tape fixes everything. Thanks, ma!

Synthetic Rubber Tires

Many tires today are not made of real rubber. They're synthetic rubber—and this makes them military inventions you use every day. This invention dated back to World War I, where rubber became an increasingly difficult item to source as military demand skyrocketed in the trenches. 

After the rubber issue became so huge, it became clear that the military needed to do something about it. The United States did enough research that they made synthetic rubber tires ready by the beginning of World War II. 

Believe it or not, tire tech is still being researched by the military today. So if you see funky wheels on the streets, thank the government. 

Freeze Drying

Freeze dried food is a great trail snack, isn't it? Well, it's also one of the many military inventions you use every day. This form of preservation was invented during World War II as a way to preserve medical supplies that would otherwise rot when exposed to regular temperatures.

Now, it's just used to make astronaut ice cream. Go figure. 

Sliced Bread

Sliced bread is one of many, many foods that were developed just for the military. Pre-sliced bread allowed soldiers to cut down on food prep time, made food easier to carry, and also tended to have a lot more preservatives that kept bread soft. 

Stale bread used to be a huge issue among troops. Thanks to the "Wonder" bread that the military made, this is no longer the case. The invention was so popular, it made it to the mainstream. You could even say, it was the best thing since sliced bread. 

Another popular invention you eat? PB&J sandwiches. 

The Epi-Pen

If you have allergies, you might want to tip your hat to Uncle Sam, too. Auto-injecting syringes that give you a shot of epinephrine now count among military inventions you use every day.

That being said, the current use wasn't the intended use. Allergies were rare back in the day. The original use was to help protect soldiers from nerve and chemical gas agents. 

Cargo Pants

It's true. The best tactical pants might actually be cargo pants. These military inventions you use every day started in the 1930s, when soldiers realized that extra pockets meant you could carry more necessities like bullets, guns, and tactical items.

Nowadays, engineers use them to carry their toolkits. And, people like myself use them to... I don't know, look cool? 

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Military Inventions You Use Every Day
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