Made from olive-drab elastic cotton webbing, the helmet band was designed to hold foliage to further enhance the helmet cover’s camouflage. However, troops in Vietnam often used the band to carry insect repellent bottles, spare magazines, field dressings, cigarettes etc.
Though issued to the Army, the helmet band was not widely available to Marines until late 1968. Consequently resourceful members of the Corps fashioned bands out of old inner tubes1.
1. Streetfighter: The US Marines at Hue, Tet 1968 (1) Field Uniforms by Kevin Lyles (Military Illustrated No. 19 June/July 1989)