I joined the USMC in 1963 and army 12 yrs. later. Retired in 1989. Never wore any ear protection. Never had any until lart 70's or early 80's.
Not practical in combat, I served 2 tours as a Marine infantryman. For incoming artillery supporting fire we used to open our mouths to equalize the pressure. Usually we could not hear much for a few hours after. This is one of the things we had to live with.
I still don't use hearing protection when firing in the open. No big deal. I guess I was raised in a different life style then most of you.