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  #51  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
Usually, the old ones are still valid for a transition period that is often measured in years.
The green class A jacket was still authorized for wear for 6 years after the initial change to the blue ASU. They start phasing in uniforms by issuing them to troops in basic training. A long transition like that in practical terms means that most troops will either start off with the new uniform or leave the army before they have to buy a new one. Those that are staying in for a career have years to save up their clothing allowance to buy a new uniform. Despite being paid more officers have it a little tougher. They dont get a clothing allowance and when there is a new uniform they are highly encouraged to get it immediately.
  #52  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:17 PM
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So all military personnel have to discard their uniforms and buy/get all new ones? What happens to the old ones? That's an awful lot of serviceable clothing. Do they just get pulped?
When I was in the U.S. Army Reserves, I was issued four sets of BDUs (standard camo uniforms) in Basic Training. We went through a "pre-mobilization" in 2002, and I was issued four more sets of BDUs. We were actually mobilized in 2003, at which point I (and everyone in my unit) were issued 4 sets of DCUs (desert camo). I was deployed again in 2005, and was issued 4 more sets of DCUs. Then, while in country, the unit I was assigned to was transitioned to ACUs. I was issued 4 sets of those. The ACUs replaced both the BDUs and the DCUs. Those were technically authorized for wear during a transition period, but both the unit I was assigned to and my home Reserve unit had local commander's directives that only the ACUs were to be worn after they were issued. All of those BDUs and DCUs I had been issued were "personal issue items", and effectively became my personal property.

I knew guys that sold theirs to military surplus stores, but, as you might imagine, the surplus stores were swamped with old uniforms, so they didn't pay very much for them; I considered selling them more to get rid of them for the few dollars I would have gotten, but never got around to it.

I have a set of "sterilized" BDUs I use for yard work. I've got a footlocker and a couple of boxes I haven't looked at in years, somewhere in my junk room, filled with uniforms.
  #53  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:19 PM
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Cynic that I am, I will observe that every uniform change means somebody gets paid to manufacture all those new uniforms. And them more people get paid to sew on the various patches, etc......
  #54  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:43 PM
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If you complain, though, you are a bleeding heart liberal who doesn't give a damn about the security of the nation and want to weaken our defense and make us vulnerable.

So, as a result, we give out contracts that have a phenomenal cost factor, and we get rid of designs for which we pay millions and even billions before they are even turned into practical equipment that can be used in battle.

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Last edited by Colibri; 05-14-2019 at 12:44 PM.
  #55  
Old 05-14-2019, 01:13 PM
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From my point of view, I want a particular organization, particularly ones as large and old and important as the uniformed services, to look pretty much the same from decade-to-decade.

Even if minor style points or materials evolve a little from year to year for practical purposes, I think the overall impression that the uniform gives should be consistent over many decades. To me, that's inherent in the concept of a uniform.

Why are basic style elements, like color, changing so often?
It's an interesting philosophical question -- the military leans on traditional as a recruiting tool, but from a practical perspective, what organization in 2019 can get by without adapting to change at a breakneck speed? The army of today has changed dramatically from the army of 2019, and has almost nothing in common with the army of 1979. In many ways, reluctance to abandon traditions is a huge impediment to an effective fighting force.

There's nothing that elicits more gripes than changes to the uniform, and I'll admit some of the changes I've witnessed over my years of service have seemed pointless at best. Mostly, though, I see an attempt to respond to complaints in a manner than you'd expect from a huge, lumbering bureaucracy -- slow to react and doesn't get the details quite right. And in this case, like DinoR explained, the Army didn't just capriciously change the color of the uniform, they were trying to save soldiers money. It doesn't seem like it worked, which is about typical for uniform changes, but you know, they were trying.

I think, though, that as soon as someone says "You can't change the uniform color because of tradition!" that almost becomes reason enough to change it. It's a little thing but it's symbolic, and if people can get used to changes in the uniform then I think maybe they'll be more receptive to changes that actually matter.
  #56  
Old 05-14-2019, 01:28 PM
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...what organization in 2019 can get by without adapting to change at a breakneck speed? The army of today has changed dramatically from the army of 2019....
Wow, that IS fast!

What is the major wearing on the right in this pic - is that Army pregnancy wear?: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ns_uniform.jpg
  #57  
Old 05-14-2019, 01:32 PM
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Wow, that IS fast!

What is the major wearing on the right in this pic - is that Army pregnancy wear?: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ns_uniform.jpg
D'oh!


Yeah, everyone hates the pregnancy uniforms.
  #58  
Old 05-14-2019, 11:19 PM
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Hmm. With velcro for nursing, I'm guessing?
  #59  
Old 05-14-2019, 11:35 PM
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How much do new uniforms cost, anyway?
  #60  
Old 05-15-2019, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by steronz View Post
I think, though, that as soon as someone says "You can't change the uniform color because of tradition!" that almost becomes reason enough to change it. It's a little thing but it's symbolic, and if people can get used to changes in the uniform then I think maybe they'll be more receptive to changes that actually matter.
Or maybe if you keep making pointless and arbitrary changes to uniforms, people will reject all changes as pointless and arbitrary, including those that aren't. Troops need to feel confident that their superiors are making decisions based on logic and good sense. If they start rolling their eyes for uniform changes, they'll also roll their for, say, new tactics, or new sexual harassment regulations - "Ugh, there they go again." I know: I've been there.

A good military organization finds a balance between evolution and continuity by changing what's needed and not changing what isn't.


On edit: I think we may be veering a bit from GQ.

Last edited by Alessan; 05-15-2019 at 12:12 AM.
  #61  
Old 05-15-2019, 09:07 AM
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Or maybe if you keep making pointless and arbitrary changes to uniforms, people will reject all changes as pointless and arbitrary, including those that aren't. Troops need to feel confident that their superiors are making decisions based on logic and good sense. If they start rolling their eyes for uniform changes, they'll also roll their for, say, new tactics, or new sexual harassment regulations - "Ugh, there they go again." I know: I've been there.

A good military organization finds a balance between evolution and continuity by changing what's needed and not changing what isn't.


On edit: I think we may be veering a bit from GQ.
Well yeah, but you have to admit a lot of that stuff is because some butterbar just had the best idea EVAR!
  #62  
Old 05-15-2019, 09:31 AM
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They should just switch to halberds, red frock-coats and white stocking.
  #63  
Old 05-15-2019, 10:22 AM
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I was in the Army when they switched to berets and thought they were absurdly pointless. It looks like they're getting rid of them for the switch to the new uniforms? If so, I wholeheartedly support the change (Of course Rangers and Delta Force can keep theirs).

Now let's keep uniforms the same for more than a decade or two, okay? I agree with the others in this thread who say the whole point of the uniform is that it should look the same from generation to generation so everyone knows who's a soldier at a glance.
  #64  
Old 05-15-2019, 11:52 AM
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I was in the Army when they switched to berets and thought they were absurdly pointless. It looks like they're getting rid of them for the switch to the new uniforms? If so, I wholeheartedly support the change (Of course Rangers and Delta Force can keep theirs).
I've posted before about how the Army has ruined the beret. -- Why has the U.S. Army ruined the beret?
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=597566
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  #65  
Old 05-15-2019, 11:53 AM
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Well yeah, but you have to admit a lot of that stuff is because some butterbar just had the best idea EVAR!
My point exactly.
  #66  
Old 05-17-2019, 01:59 PM
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They should just switch to halberds, red frock-coats and white stocking.
Sign me up! The Greek, Indian and Pakistani militaries have something to teach us, too:

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/cere...t-81729399.jpg
https://s3.india.com/wp-content/uplo...ia-border1.jpg
  #67  
Old 05-19-2019, 09:38 AM
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[off topic]

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.... Then they sort of switched to that janky airline pilot uniform...
I've never heard the word "janky." AF slang? Regional?

[/off topic]
  #68  
Old 05-19-2019, 10:34 AM
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I've posted before about how the Army has ruined the beret. -- Why has the U.S. Army ruined the beret?
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=597566
I disagree. It's like comparing a sloppy, ill fitting shirt to one that is fitted and tailored. The US Army's current method of wear looks much sharper.
  #69  
Old 05-19-2019, 10:42 AM
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I disagree. It's like comparing a sloppy, ill fitting shirt to one that is fitted and tailored. The US Army's current method of wear looks much sharper.
Certainly better than the idea that was being floated when I first on active. Each branch would have its own colored beret. Baby blue for infantry, yellow/armor, red/engineers etc. That sounds like a nightmare.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:44 AM
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Certainly better than the idea that was being floated when I first on active. Each branch would have its own colored beret. Baby blue for infantry, yellow/armor, red/engineers etc. That sounds like a nightmare.
Doesn't the Air Force do something like that?
  #71  
Old 05-19-2019, 10:47 AM
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I disagree. It's like comparing a sloppy, ill fitting shirt to one that is fitted and tailored. The US Army's current method of wear looks much sharper.
I reject the idea that a proper beret is comparable to an ill-fitting and sloppy shirt. It kind of makes me angry to see that comparison.

The Army beret as currently worn just looks stupid.
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  #72  
Old 05-19-2019, 10:51 AM
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I reject the idea that a proper beret is comparable to an ill-fitting and sloppy shirt. It kind of makes me angry to see that comparison.

The Army beret as currently worn just looks stupid.
That's the beauty of opinions. I reject your idea as well. Though, I'm not sure why it makes you angry. Of the two of us, I'm the one who wears a beret every day and you're the one saying the way I wear it looks stupid. It doesn't make me angry, though. You're entitled to your opinion. I just think a floppy, pancake chef beret looks terrible--both from a fashion standpoint and a military one.
  #73  
Old 05-19-2019, 11:47 AM
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That's the beauty of opinions. I reject your idea as well. Though, I'm not sure why it makes you angry. Of the two of us, I'm the one who wears a beret every day and you're the one saying the way I wear it looks stupid. It doesn't make me angry, though. You're entitled to your opinion. I just think a floppy, pancake chef beret looks terrible--both from a fashion standpoint and a military one.
I don’t wear a beret every day but I wear one quite often. With a fitted business suit and tailored shirt. It’s not like I’m expressing a completely idle opinion.
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Last edited by Acsenray; 05-19-2019 at 11:49 AM.
  #74  
Old 05-19-2019, 12:05 PM
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Certainly better than the idea that was being floated when I first on active. Each branch would have its own colored beret. Baby blue for infantry, yellow/armor, red/engineers etc. That sounds like a nightmare.
The Israeli military does exactly that (albeit with a different color scheme). It works just fine.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:16 PM
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The Israeli military does exactly that (albeit with a different color scheme). It works just fine.
It wouldn't work in the US Army simply because we use berets to distinguish certain types of units. Regardless of branch or specific job, all personnel in those units wear the distinctive color. So, having each branch wear a different color would interfere with that system.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:27 PM
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It wouldn't work in the US Army simply because we use berets to distinguish certain types of units. Regardless of branch or specific job, all personnel in those units wear the distinctive color. So, having each branch wear a different color would interfere with that system.
Ah, I see. We don't have permanently mixed units under the division level.
  #77  
Old Yesterday, 09:26 AM
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[off topic]



I've never heard the word "janky." AF slang? Regional?

[/off topic]
Dunno how regional, but it was popularized in the 90s.
  #78  
Old Yesterday, 02:37 PM
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IANA soldier, but I liked the dress blues. They look sharp, and professional, and, at least to me, iconographically distinct from Navy dress blues.

I was however very confused several years ago to walk into an Annie Leibowitz exhibition to see a large photograph of Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf in a white dress uniform...
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  #79  
Old Yesterday, 05:01 PM
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I was however very confused several years ago to walk into an Annie Leibowitz exhibition to see a large photograph of Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf in a white dress uniform...
Never seen that one before! Wikipedia:
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One of the Army's Dress Uniforms, the Army White Uniform,[20] was the army's equivalent to the dress white uniform worn by officers in the U.S. Navy. However, unlike the navy, which mandates the owning and wearing of the white uniform throughout the summer months (year round in tropical locations) by all ranks (E-1 to O-10), the Army white uniform was an optional uniform, and was only required to be purchased by officers and sergeants major assigned to posts in the tropics and the southern United States. The Army white service uniform was phased out in 2014.

Introduced in 1902 as a summer undress uniform, its wearing, along with the dress and undress blue, was suspended during World War I and was reintroduced in its present form, along with the modern-day dress blue uniform, in 1938.[21] In its original (1902) form the white uniform included a standing collar and white flat braid trimming the coat edges.[22] The 1938 model substituted a white coat without braid and with an open-fronted peak lapel worn with a white shirt and black tie.

With the impending hostilities of World War II, production of both the blue and white dress uniforms were suspended, but the Army white uniform itself served as a model for the Army winter service uniform, which was introduced in 1942 (replacing a belted version designed around the Sam Browne Belt) and discontinued in 1968. The shirt and trousers "class B" uniform was replaced with the Army green class "B" uniform in 1985. The post-war belt-less Army Blue Uniform, and the Army green uniform, had earlier replaced the World War II "Pinks & Greens" and pattern 1942 service coat or "Eisenhower jacket" uniforms in 1956.

Like the Army green uniform, the Army white uniform featured a main jacket with four buttons, worn with matching white trousers and service cap, but unlike the Army green uniform, no unit patches, specialty tabs, or the black beret were worn. Officers wore their silver or gold-colored rank insignia pinned onto the shoulder epaulets, while enlisted personnel wore gold-on-white rank insignia and service stripes on both sleeves as that on the Army Blue Uniform. A white dress shirt and either a black bow tie or four-in-hand necktie, for formal and semi-formal functions, were worn.
  #80  
Old Yesterday, 05:07 PM
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Certainly better than the idea that was being floated when I first on active. Each branch would have its own colored beret. Baby blue for infantry, yellow/armor, red/engineers etc. That sounds like a nightmare.
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
Doesn't the Air Force do something like that?
Air Force berets:
Black - Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), Air Liaison Officers (ALO), and Air Mobility Liaison Officers (AMLO)
Maroon - Combat Rescue Officers and Pararescuemen (PJs)
Red (scarlet) - Combat Controllers & Special Tactics Officers
Royal Blue - Security Forces and United States Air Force Academy First-Class Cadets & Basic Cadet Training cadre
Grey - Special Operations Weather Technician
Green - Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Specialists
  #81  
Old Yesterday, 05:39 PM
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Air Force berets:

Grey - Special Operations Weather Technician
I didn't know such a thing existed, but now that I looked them up and read about them, I'm envisioning TV networks using it as some kind of feeder program to train the MOST BADASS WEATHERMAN EVER

edit: The Rock and/or Nicolas Cage are possibly involved

Last edited by Lamoral; Yesterday at 05:40 PM.
  #82  
Old Yesterday, 07:28 PM
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The Air Force has a white dress uniform. A black one too. Or at least they did back when I was in.

The were the same uniform as the Dress Blues, except with different color cloth and maybe different color rank insignia for enlisted (don't remember for sure about that). Oh, I think one or both had a bowtie instead of the regular tie. Never saw anyone wear them, just saw them in a training manual. From what I remember, they were only for formal occasions where everyone else would be wearing a white or black suit and they wanted AF people to blend in.
  #83  
Old Yesterday, 08:16 PM
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I didn't know such a thing existed, but now that I looked them up and read about them, I'm envisioning TV networks using it as some kind of feeder program to train the MOST BADASS WEATHERMAN EVER

edit: The Rock and/or Nicolas Cage are possibly involved
I once looked up the various services special forces, and read about the Air Forces combat meteorologists. Was disappointed that they couldnt call down lightning or tornadoes on the bad guys, but what they do do is pretty badass - going into enemy territory ahead of other troops, to give weather reports to the bombers and fighters. The Air Force also has Spec. Ops. air traffic controllers, who do pretty much the same thing. Makes sense to me; cant fly planes without ATC and up-to-date weather conditions.
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