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Thread: ASU (Army Service Uniform) Survey

  1. #11
    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    [ EDITORIAL]

    If MARPAT is best, all
    troops should wear it


    The urgent and obvious purpose of camouflage is to conceal troops from enemy detection.

    So it stands to reason that every effort would be made to find the absolute best blends of color, fab­ric and pattern for every environ­ment — woodland, desert, urban and others.

    Yet for a decade, leaders of all military branches have spent billions to develop and field unique combat camouflage uniforms. Largely in the name of expediency and pride, they chose separate tracks to test, develop and field seven differ­ent combat uniforms since 2002.

    Until then, things were simpler: All troops wore the same battle dress uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform developed for the Army. But the Marine Corps’ push to have a unique uniform and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sparked efforts to develop improved camouflage. Soon, with the defense budget spigot fully gushing, all services sought to brand their own look.

    Some good has come of the efforts. Uniforms are vastly improved in fabric, design, cut and utility since the old BDUs were laid aside. But the spending has been reckless and wasteful.

    More importantly, camouflage effectiveness also has been com­promised — quite possibly con­tributing to U.S. casualties.

    A report from the Government Accountability Office the week of Oct. 1 details just how irresponsi­ble service leaders have been.

    The development and fielding of the Army Combat Uniform is par­ticularly appalling. In 2005, Army leaders selected a single universal camouflage pattern for the new Army Combat Uniform — before testing was complete.

    They ignored options that later were proved more effective. In fact, when tested by Army experts, ACUs were deemed inferior to camouflage worn by Chinese and Syrian troops.

    Now, having invested some $5 billion in the universal pat­tern, it must be replaced.

    Since 2010, soldiers deploying to Afghanistan have left the ACUs at home and gone to war with MultiCam uniforms instead, while the Army tries to develop yet another new camouflage solu­tion. The expected cost of fielding a new pattern: at least $4 billion over the next five years.

    And it only gets crazier.

    Airmen must wear Army camouflage in the combat zone because the “tiger stripe” pattern select­ed for the airman bat­tle uniform issued in 2007 is ineffective.

    The Navy doles out its new desert combat uniform — which closely resembles the Marine Corps pattern — on a case-by-case basis.

    SEALs and their support units wear it, for example, but sailors deployed to Bahrain wear the woodland pattern. What’s the sense in that?

    And never mind the Navy’s nonsensical blue digital cammies, mockingly called “aquaflage.” They don’t hide anything — except, perhaps, paint or grease.

    The uniform was introduced in 2009, but Navy leaders already are considering ditching it.

    Only the Marine Corps comes out looking smart in the GAO report for its adherence to proper testing and acquisition guidance in developing the Marine Corps Pattern, or MARPAT, uniform, widely considered the most effec­tive of the kaleidoscope of combat camouflage patterns.

    The Corps is justifiably proud of its unique and superior uniform.

    But that pride cannot be put before the safety of other troops.

    If using MARPAT is saving lives, then that same lifesaving pattern should be worn by all.

    Uniforms are vastly improved in fabric, design, cut and utility ... but the spending has been wasteful.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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  • #12
    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    [LETTERS]

    UNIFORMS WITH CLASS




    I couldn’t agree more with the idea to get rid of the blues as a routine duty uniform [“Blue ASU may go away,” Oct. 1]. Blues should still be retained, however, for special occasions (military balls, ceremonies, weddings, honor guards and the like.) When taking the online Army survey, I opted for the khaki and tan patterns. Khaki and tan were used in the Army’s inventory dur­ing World War II nearly up through Cold War era and, like the Marine Class A, can be scaled down or up (with/without coat, tie, long sleeve vs. short sleeve, etc.).

    Also, for my airborne sisters and brethren, a khaki or tan uni­form would look sharper and more in keeping with the previ­ous Class As, when bloused into paratrooper boots. If you have ever tried to blouse the Army Service Uniform blue pants with the yellow stripe into boots, it just looks “off.”

    Maj. Brian Ellis

    Tacoma, Wash.

    I agree that we need a new uni­form, somewhere between the dress blues and the Army Com­bat Uniform that looks so bad that it should only be worn in combat and during military training activities. We used to have that in the old Class B uni­form (greens for some but Ike jacket/pinks and greens for others). That was the uniform soldiers wore while on pass in the eyes of the public.

    There seems to be a great nostal­gia for the old World War II-type uniforms. They looked great, and soldiers were proud to wear them. We should go back to something like that with olive drab color and a belted jacket being the basic components.

    Summer tropical worsted uni­forms of a light khaki color also looked great. Don’t tell me that everyone in the Army did not want to look as sharp as Burt Lancaster wearing nicely starched and pressed khakis in “From Here to Eternity.” Those uniforms were “chick magnets” then and would be again.

    Also, let’s not forget the head­gear to improve the look of any new uniform changes. The current field hat looks like a poor imita­tion of a fisherman’s hat. It has been around since the Vietnam era. We called it the “short-timers” and “bum-f---” hat then because it looked so bad.

    The old Stetson-type olive drab hat worn until about 1942 would fit the bill. Blues are fine for the “Old Guard” and fancy parties, but we need a good-looking service uniform that can be worn under arms and reflects our military heritage.

    Lt. Col. Thomas D. Morgan (ret.)

    Steilacoom, Wash.

    USE COMMON CAMO


    I don’t understand why the Defense Department and the Gov­ernment Accountability Office con­tinue to allow the services to get away with waste and abuse of tax­payer dollars, spending millions across the services to develop new uni­forms. Every uni­formed service has its own distinct com­bat/utility uniform. Why? What’s wrong with having one standard across the services?

    We all know the Army and Air Force “universal camo patterns” were an epic fail. In Afghanistan, most wear MultiCam. If it’s good enough for the ground pounders who are engaged with the enemy, then it’s good enough for those who might serve on a ship, flight line or forward operating base.

    We should go back to the days of one combat/utility uniform across the board for all services, with exceptions, of course, for fuelers, pilots, etc., who require special uniforms to do their duties.

    Capt. John H. Green Jr.

    Union Bridge, Md.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

  • #13
    Senior Member Exo1's Avatar
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    I read the report on gomilitary chief, the authors DOD was very scathing on the multi branch patterning of uniforms, the USMC going it alone on their pattern, the incomplete and incorrect decision making process of the Army and Airforce and the $$$ waste involved. The USMC pattern was deemed best though by the report... Not sure if the USMC and Army offerings are worlds apart, but I see what they mean about USMC being good.. But then again, this one size fits all uniform has limitations and those limitations dont seem to be recognised by anybody at the Pentagon writing those reports. MARPAT/MULTICAM is fine in Green and even Semi Arid climates but not in a desert or conversely article climate. The optical pattern disruption effect cannot be achieved over medium ranges if the base colours are not in the surrounding environment. The effect is to defeat concealment by creating silhouette against the background. Also, it should not be assumed by the combat solder that he or she will defeat the enemy's observation by having good background against MARPAT or MULTICAM. Field craft to optimise the optical pattern disruption effect should be employed by the combat solder to ensure the enemy's observation is defeated by soldiers cammo up over his uniform.

    Exo
    Tenants of Bushido;

    ‘We should never obsess about if we are going to die, but instead focus on how we live as those whom live an honorable life will always die a glorious death.’

    Rectitude (義): Courage (勇氣): Benevolence (仁): Respect (禮 ): Honesty (誠): Honour (名誉): Loyalty (忠義)

    ...ergo veneratio est vires.

  • #14
    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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  • #15
    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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