Author Topic: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization  (Read 10627 times)

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Offline FSTO

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #50 on: November 24, 2019, 07:21:14 »
Well, that is an interesting question, which leads to a second interesting one: How are sailors supposed to dress to look like sailors?

Put another way: What dress would make your average person (I go beyond only Canadians here) who is NOT a sailor look at someone else and exclaim "That's a sailor!"?

First, let me say that the current DEU does a decent job at that: It has the general cut of a uniform people are used to seeing sailors in, with its Navy blue/black colour, white hat, double breasted styling and ranks - at least for the officers - that look sailor like and could be found on most cruise ship seaman officer. And to me, it works for the actual seamen too, with only a square rig being more sailor like for them if you want to go there.

But what about at sea? Well, there, the "It's a sailor!" moment can only come from wearing something civilians would recognize as such. The bluish (US) and Greyish (Australia) cammo patterns or even brownish (Danish navy - see video below) ones are recognizable to civilians as they watch shows like The Last Ship, or NCIS, or Mighty Ships, or Sea Patrol. The uniform Navy blue colour ones that we are in the process of getting in Canada look close to the ones from many other nations, including the R.N., and so become more and more recognizable to people as being "sailors" uniforms.

But to say that, for shipboard dress, there is a dress we could wear that screams "sailor", is just completely unlikely. As many others have put here, the most important thing is that it fulfills the Navy's requirement for protection of its personnel, and if someone decided that its colour would be Canadian Army cammo pattern, it would not bother me in the slightest.

It's only ashore, in public, that the identity really matters and we have our DEU's for that.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DLgqr5HT8GQo&psig=AOvVaw3P2PSsM8mjkjrsfDUh3EpR&ust=1574638490790000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLDZyeS_geYCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

1st photo Lt John Stubbs shortly after bringing HMCS ASSINIBOINE alongside after its battle with U-210.

2nd photo Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf in the office


Online SeaKingTacco

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2019, 10:04:23 »
I have read the few first person accounts of the RCN in World War 2 seem to exist (Saints, Devils and Ordinary Seamen; 50 North; The Champagne Navy- surely there must be others?).

In all cases, as soon as the ship was off the wall (and sometimes not even that long) uniformity was out the window in favour of whatever clothing would keep them comfortable.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #52 on: November 24, 2019, 10:40:06 »
Just give everyone a set of blue coveralls, job done:



Edit:  But then, submariners, clearance divers, NTOG, boarding party and ships divers would whine because people have somehow correlated wearing a pair of Dickies Coveralls from Marks Work Wearhouse with being special. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 10:47:41 by Humphrey Bogart »

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2019, 10:57:29 »
Just give everyone a set of blue coveralls, job done:



Edit:  But then, submariners, clearance divers, NTOG, boarding party and ships divers would whine because people have somehow correlated wearing a pair of Dickies Coveralls from Marks Work Wearhouse with being special.

It boggles me that the navy won't embrace coveralls, that's what we do in the civilian sailing world and it's definitely the way to go...

Cheap, easy to carry an assortment of spares on board, available in flame retardant (and you get full body coverage for that purpose), and utilitarian.

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #54 on: November 24, 2019, 11:11:45 »
Speaking to female sailors that I know, coveralls are not super popular for obvious abolution reasons.

The RCAF has both a two piece and one piece flying suit option that are authorized. Perhaps a solution for the RCN?

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2019, 11:12:33 »
I don't understand this either. 

I would take coveralls with a fleece and NCD style jacket any day!

While I do like the look of the new "combat style" NCDs, I think coveralls are still the way to go.
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Offline Old EO Tech

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #56 on: November 24, 2019, 11:46:18 »
Everyone wears the same ankle boots or oxfords on the parade square...not really required in operational dress, though, is it?  Maybe the real need is to reconsider what 'uniform' means for op dress.  I don't care if everyone has the 'same make' of fire protective gloves on;  the important thing is that they are fire protective to the required spec.  If some are green, some brown....doesn't matter.

Well IMHO, the problem here is that we are using operational dress for daily work dress, which is both expensive and creates the "uniformity" problem.  Wearing 3B for us office dwellers works for this issues, but its actually not a very good uniform for anything but looking pretty, pockets are few and things constantly fall out of them, I know several people that have lost keys and had to retrace steps to find them.  There was nothing wrong with the work dress we had in the 90's, it had decent pockets etc, looked sharp and everyone had the same boots :-/  Sure we can improve on it, in fact I'd be ok with a non fire retardant camouflage version of NCD's with black combat boots...  Then we could save our expensive operational dress for operations :-/

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #57 on: November 24, 2019, 14:08:21 »
I don't understand this either. 

I would take coveralls with a fleece and NCD style jacket any day!

While I do like the look of the new "combat style" NCDs, I think coveralls are still the way to go.

I know some Armoured Corps folks who would agree with you.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #58 on: November 24, 2019, 14:33:50 »
I know some Armoured Corps folks who would agree with you.

My favourite field uniform of all time were the AFV crewsuits-both winter and summer. (I wish I still had the winter jacket.)



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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #59 on: November 24, 2019, 15:29:21 »
Speaking to female sailors that I know, coveralls are not super popular for obvious abolution reasons.

The RCAF has both a two piece and one piece flying suit option that are authorized. Perhaps a solution for the RCN?

Only if they don't have to be tucked in! 

The RAN had gray coveralls for all sailors for a while.  They changed to the current style (not too different than our new style with different colour/pattern) afterwards.
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #60 on: November 24, 2019, 16:19:04 »
Well, that is an interesting question, which leads to a second interesting one: How are sailors supposed to dress to look like sailors?

Put another way: What dress would make your average person (I go beyond only Canadians here) who is NOT a sailor look at someone else and exclaim "That's a sailor!"?


If giant f** off anchors, NAVY in big letters, and ship ballcaps can't do it while someone is working on a ship, I'm not really sure what else you can do.  I still encounter all kinds of people that have no idea we have a Navy, so I think the obsession with public perception for a work uniform is waste of time.

Personally, the last thing I want is a uniform that blends in with the ocean if I fall overboard, which is why I don't understand the blue camo pattern at all. At that point, I want to be as visible as possible, so am a fan of the bright orange survival suit and all the orange/reflective tape on the inflatable harnesses. The current NCDs/new NCDs are pretty functional and look pretty decent, so why not stop messing around with changing them and try having them in stock?

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #61 on: November 24, 2019, 16:23:12 »
Personally, the last thing I want is a uniform that blends in with the ocean if I fall overboard, which is why I don't understand the blue camo pattern at all. At that point, I want to be as visible as possible, so am a fan of the bright orange survival suit and all the orange/reflective tape on the inflatable harnesses. The current NCDs/new NCDs are pretty functional and look pretty decent, so why not stop messing around with changing them and try having them in stock?

RAN NCDs have large reflective strips on the upper arms.  I thought that was a great idea for visibility.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #62 on: November 24, 2019, 17:09:20 »
Well, that is an interesting question, which leads to a second interesting one: How are sailors supposed to dress to look like sailors?

Put another way: What dress would make your average person (I go beyond only Canadians here) who is NOT a sailor look at someone else and exclaim "That's a sailor!"?

First, let me say that the current DEU does a decent job at that: It has the general cut of a uniform people are used to seeing sailors in, with its Navy blue/black colour, white hat, double breasted styling and ranks - at least for the officers - that look sailor like and could be found on most cruise ship seaman officer. And to me, it works for the actual seamen too, with only a square rig being more sailor like for them if you want to go there.

But what about at sea? Well, there, the "It's a sailor!" moment can only come from wearing something civilians would recognize as such. The bluish (US) and Greyish (Australia) cammo patterns or even brownish (Danish navy - see video below) ones are recognizable to civilians as they watch shows like The Last Ship, or NCIS, or Mighty Ships, or Sea Patrol. The uniform Navy blue colour ones that we are in the process of getting in Canada look close to the ones from many other nations, including the R.N., and so become more and more recognizable to people as being "sailors" uniforms.

But to say that, for shipboard dress, there is a dress we could wear that screams "sailor", is just completely unlikely. As many others have put here, the most important thing is that it fulfills the Navy's requirement for protection of its personnel, and if someone decided that its colour would be Canadian Army cammo pattern, it would not bother me in the slightest.

It's only ashore, in public, that the identity really matters and we have our DEU's for that.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DLgqr5HT8GQo&psig=AOvVaw3P2PSsM8mjkjrsfDUh3EpR&ust=1574638490790000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLDZyeS_geYCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

Well since you asked:


Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #63 on: November 24, 2019, 19:25:05 »
My favourite field uniform of all time were the AFV crewsuits-both winter and summer. (I wish I still had the winter jacket.)



 :cheers:

Just had to remember to "up-size" the jacket or it was awful tight.  And...not great in a dismounted OP in real cold!  I also loved the AFV suit/jacket...

My daily dress now...2 piece flight suit.  I prefer the 2 piece for comfort and 'ease'...not just using the facilities, but during missions / Hot Wx ops, I could remove the shirt and not have to walk around with coveralls tight around my waist. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 19:28:17 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #64 on: November 24, 2019, 19:29:20 »
Only if they don't have to be tucked in! 

Someday...hopefully.  We just need a shirt with a different cut to it so it doesn't look so bad as the current one would.
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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #65 on: November 24, 2019, 21:10:19 »
Just had to remember to "up-size" the jacket or it was awful tight.  And...not great in a dismounted OP in real cold!

For that I opted for the AFV winter coverall trouser (with the handy poop flap), a parka and mukluks. You could sit in a snow covered OP for hours in those.

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Offline Furniture

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2019, 09:54:34 »
Only if they don't have to be tucked in! 

The RAN had gray coveralls for all sailors for a while.  They changed to the current style (not too different than our new style with different colour/pattern) afterwards.

I imagine the change from coveralls to a two piece system is rooted in one of the key issues with coveralls. They are either too big, or too small.

For people like me who wear 73 length tops, but 70 length bottoms we end up with a permanent wedgie, or looking like we stepped out of a 90s rap video with our crotch seam down at our knees.




Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #67 on: November 25, 2019, 10:08:04 »
Personally I like mine baggy in the crotch, gives me more freedom of movement and my pockets are usually filled with tools anyway...

North American coverall sizes are usually pretty good for most North American males, not always so good for North American females.

That's standard sized coveralls in the civilian world though, which come in surprisingly standard sizes even between different manufacturers, can only assume the forces would find a way to mess it up.

European coverall sizes are a whole different mess when worn on North Americans though, far different length to width ratios.

That being said, if your concern is a difference of a couple of inches in size, it brings you back full circle to the root of the problem with military uniforms... the never ending battle between "appearance" and "functionality".
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 10:15:55 by Not a Sig Op »

Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #68 on: November 27, 2019, 23:00:42 »
Personally I like mine baggy in the crotch, gives me more freedom of movement and my pockets are usually filled with tools anyway...
Until you tear the crotch out scrambling over something.

Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2019, 23:03:21 »
For that I opted for the AFV winter coverall trouser (with the handy poop flap), a parka and mukluks. You could sit in a snow covered OP for hours in those.

 :cheers:
Were those broadly intended for dry cold, or also good for the damper West Coast snow?

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2019, 23:28:54 »
Someday...hopefully.  We just need a shirt with a different cut to it so it doesn't look so bad as the current one would.

They could have cut the bottoms of the shirts to be straight across instead of being longer in the front and back.  That's pretty much the only difference.
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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2019, 12:48:01 »
Until you tear the crotch out scrambling over something.

It happens, I work in a industrial environment, on a ship, and realistically, a pair of coveralls lasts me 6-8 weeks.

Sometimes they last me longer but usually for me, the pockets are getting pretty shredded after 8 weeks regardless.

That's flame retardant coveralls, they're usually $120, the nicer ones are $150-200 "off the shelf"

Anyone buying in bulk should be paying less.

Once I rip the crotch out, no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker to grab another pair.

That's what happens when clothing is reasonably priced and easy to keep in stock.

That's why it boggles me that the navy doesn't embrace them. *shrug*
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 12:57:13 by Not a Sig Op »

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2019, 21:58:08 »
They could have cut the bottoms of the shirts to be straight across instead of being longer in the front and back.  That's pretty much the only difference.

This solution would require extensive testing over a number of years....you couldn't simply 'modify' an existing item to the specs the actual users say "would work great!"  ;D
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 22:19:34 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #73 on: November 29, 2019, 13:15:12 »
Personally I like mine baggy in the crotch, gives me more freedom of movement and my pockets are usually filled with tools anyway...

North American coverall sizes are usually pretty good for most North American males, not always so good for North American females.

That's standard sized coveralls in the civilian world though, which come in surprisingly standard sizes even between different manufacturers, can only assume the forces would find a way to mess it up.

European coverall sizes are a whole different mess when worn on North Americans though, far different length to width ratios.

That being said, if your concern is a difference of a couple of inches in size, it brings you back full circle to the root of the problem with military uniforms... the never ending battle between "appearance" and "functionality".

Big fan of the offshore coveralls. Can't remember if it was something similar to AOPS or the Bonn class, but they had a small change room with a shower in the entrance to the engine room specifically so the techs could get changed in/out of coveralls they wore while doing normal work in the space.  Makes sense to me! Was looking at some recently, and they were about $150-180. Last time I looked, the NCDs were about that for each piece. Maybe not issue them to everyone for normal wear, but would be good for the 20% or so of the crew doing when they are doing some of the greasy maintenance/repairs.

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #74 on: November 29, 2019, 13:21:43 »
Are NCDs nomex or treated cotton or a treated/cotton synthetic blend?

Very few in the civillian world still wearing straight nomex any more, I've got a few pieces of cold weather gear in nomex, but that's it.

Treated cotton coveralls are the cheapest, but not usually too durable.

There's other synthetics on the market and synthetic/cotton blends, big fan of these, more comfortable are more durable.

No idea what standard NCDs are tested to, but everything I wear has to be tested HRC2, for arc flash, its a bit of a higher standard than just straight "flame retardant".

The polys in an HRC2 are usually about $180 for a pair, but that's the off the shelf price. Those usually last me an extra month over the treated cotton type.

I'd guess you could get it down to $100 in bulk no problem, and no problem to get in whatever colour you want.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 13:29:45 by Not a Sig Op »