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During World War I the Marine Corps adopted a brown leather Sam Browne Belt. It was later changed to black, the official color of Navy and Marine Corps leather gear. It is worn as part of the dress Blue A & B, Blue-white dress, and service A uniform by sword-bearing commissioned and warrant officers.
General Sir Sam Browne was a 19th-century British Indian Army officer who had lost his left arm; this made it difficult for him to draw his sword, because the left hand was typically used to steady the scabbard while the right drew out the sword.
Browne came up with the idea of wearing a second belt which went over his right shoulder to hold the scabbard steady. This would hook into a waist belt with D-rings for attaching accessories. It also securely carried a pistol in a flap-holster on his right hip and included a binocular case with a neck-strap. Other officers began wearing a similar rig and eventually it became part of the standard uniform. During the Boer War, it was copied by other troops and eventually became standard issue.
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