Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quote of the year 
"Any well-made uniform should maintain its stitch in virtually all combat situations except direct fire."

We have uniforms that maintain their stitch against indirect fire? Bring it on!

The Army is retrofitting 1 million uniforms to bolster pants that have been tearing during the rigors of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Soldiers in Iraq began reporting "crotch durability problems" with their combat uniforms in July 2005, according to the Army. Jumping into Humvees, hopping from helicopters and scrambling after insurgents have popped inseams on the baggy pants.

Rougher terrain in Afghanistan prompted complaints this past August from soldiers who said their uniforms gave out quickly.

"This is a result of soldiers working in steep and harsh terrain and literally sliding down steep hills and mountains," Army spokesman Sheldon Smith said in an e-mail.

Single-stitching has caused most of the blown-out inseams, said Erin Thomas, an Army spokeswoman. The new trousers are more durable, she said.

Now, how in the world did we manage to field a combat uniform that features single stitching in the inseam? That's just retarded. And having blown out the crotches on a couple nomex tank crewman's uniforms, I'm hear to tell you, it sucks!

What sucks even more is that in 2003 at least (God, my experience is getting old! I need another deployment before this blog gets totally stupid!), a soldier could blow out the crotch or backpiece of a set of DCU trousers and it took weeks to get a replacement.

Guard troops only got two sets of DCUs then, which was supposed to last us a year. Not very much for a combat infantry unit. We don't just wear them between the office and the chow hall and the laundry facility, and were doing laundry in a river or a bucket for months. But the ringknockers decided guard infantry only needed two pair for a year (active troops were issued four. This was part of the same decision making process that led the active army to conclude that National Guard infantry units fighting in Ramadi did not warrant the expense of being provided with modern body armor).

What's even more retarded is it took us until last year to decide to use flame- retardant uniforms! Burn treatment programs are long and expensive, guys. So are death benefits. But way to save money in the short run!

Splash, out


P.S., USA Today didn't call the vendor(s) for a comment?


Jason, how many times will we have this discussion? My active duty artillery unit got the same crummy 2 pairs of DCUs your guard unit got in 2003. We also had the same lousy Vietnam-era body armor. Fact is, there wasn't enough of either to go around. The divisional units that went in as part of the initial invasion force got better, but even then only grunts got the good body armor, I believe.

We can agree on the lunacy of crotchless uniforms though.


It might have been a local OCIE facility issue, unique to Fort Stewart.

But in the 3rd ACR, our parent unit early in 2003, we were the only unit, it seems, that had the VN era body armor. Every time I went out to Fallujah to pick up supplies, drop off prisoners, etc., the rear echelon guys, with their IBA plates, would look at us and say "they sent you out in THAT?!?!?"

But the 3rd ACR does not draw OCIE out of the Stewart facility.

Incidentally, our Air Force ground coordination team had the IBA plates during the mob phase in January 03. We didn't.
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