How often do you think I look in my husband’s closet and think “what we really need here is even MORE obsolete uniform items?”
If you guessed “never,” you’re on target.
But apparently the good people of the US Army don’t know that. Based on the recent camo, boot and now PT uniform decisions and announcements, it sure seems like they are sitting around wondering how to best make us buy as much new Army gear as possible. Think the ones we don’t need anymore can be used as home insulation in our walls or something handy like that?
The Army announced Aug. 11 that they will be rolling out a new PT uniform over the next three years. The change, Army officials said, is being done in response to soldier feedback that the current uniform, a grey top and black bottoms paired with a grey jacket and green skull cap in cold weather, is not sized well and is made from fabrics that do not wick (cotton). They also complained, officials said, of “modesty issues” with the shorts.
The new uniform will be available at Clothing and Sales by December of this year, and it will start being issued to soldiers between April and June of next year. The uniform will be mandatory starting in the fall of 2017.
In mid-July Army officials announced that camo uniforms will soon be in a new pattern, similar but not the same as the one already used downrange now, and totally different from the one worn in garrison.
And last month Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler clarified an existing boot regulation to block troops from wearing boots many of them already own and have worn both overseas and stateside for years.
That means by the fall of 2017 you could reasonably be rocking in your closet pieces of three uniforms that are no longer permitted, and any holdover boots that you just couldn’t part with. If for some reason you still have the Class As lurking in there, you’ve got even more useless clothing items to deal with.
Beyond the boots, the cost of replacing these items isn’t really concerning to me. Uniforms wear-out, and three years seems like plenty of time for those already ratty looking cotton PT shirts my husband wears to be good and done. But it does seem like a tremendous waste of time and resources to continually develop new uniform items even when, admittedly, the current PT shorts show a little too much information when you’re doing sit-ups if you know what I mean.