Like the strips of tape on the helmet, gun tape is placed on flat surfaces so they can be pulled off in a hurry in case a problem can be solved with a patch of duct tape. Pre-sized, pre-ripped, ready to go in a hurry, and all without the bulk of having to carry a full roll.
Or it could be becuase the knee pads are made by the lowest bidder and they fall apart after a few months in the streets of Iraq/mountains of Afghanistan, so the soldier puts the tape on them to keep the plastic from flopping all over the place. Thats been my experience anyway.
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