Author Topic: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization  (Read 19488 times)

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Offline Furniture

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #75 on: November 29, 2019, 17:59:06 »
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.

Your $180 coveralls aren't artisanal works from a company with no prior experience making coveralls, located in Quebec or some other important(Minister's) riding.   

They aren't sold by a haberdashery located in Quebec that specializes in not having sizes people wear in sufficient quantities, ergo we will never have them.

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #76 on: November 29, 2019, 20:49:47 »
Your $180 coveralls aren't artisanal works from a company with no prior experience making coveralls, located in Quebec or some other important(Minister's) riding.   

They aren't sold by a haberdashery located in Quebec that specializes in not having sizes people wear in sufficient quantities, ergo we will never have them.

Sarcasm and pork-barrelling aside, there's several Canadian manufacturers making them and other good quality FR clothing.

Suppliers are only going to bid and supply what the customer specs and buys.

Same problem comes up over and over again in Canadian procurement, reinventing the wheel and going with a custom product when proven off-the-shelf solutions exist.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #77 on: November 30, 2019, 07:57:35 »
Low stock of clothing is compound issue to deal with and there are multi factors.

1) We didn't set up the contract to have provide the correct amount of clothing available at all times; and

2) We didn't/don't set up a performance based contract whereby the vendor gets incentives to timely deliveries and keeping stock on hand; and

3) We are too quick to scrap clothing and equipment that still has life left in it; Go check out your local Army surplus for validation; and

4) We have bought into the "just on time" logistics/delivery method relying heavily on vendor warehousing and supply/delivery, which in my opinion is counter to what we require in military logistics.  I need mass amounts stores to sit on shelves and wait to be used quickly, rather than empty shelves and hopeful supply by contract after the need arises. 
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Offline Chief Engineer

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #78 on: November 30, 2019, 09:12:03 »
Coveralls all the way as it makes sense in many ways as mentioned here. Over the my past 30 years coveralls have come up, time and time again on the various dress committees. These committees are staffed by a lot of senior dinosaurs people who see coveralls as somehow lazy and unsanitary when going to the heads. As the final trial is currently going on for the new NCD's, it will never happen.
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #79 on: November 30, 2019, 10:07:43 »
3) We are too quick to scrap clothing and equipment that still has life left in it; Go check out your local Army surplus for validation; and

I completely concur.  Sadly, this is our approach now:

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

We used to issue sewing kits - we also issued SNCOs who would jack you up for ill-repaired clothing, and ensure kit was truly worn out / irreparable before it went to clothing stores for exchange.  It should not be lost on anyone that "no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker" is likely a contributing factor to shortages of kit.

"One man one kit" does not mean that every person always has brand new kit.  It means that every person is responsible for the care, cleaning, and repair of their kit.  That shows true pride.

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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #80 on: November 30, 2019, 10:15:17 »
I completely concur.  Sadly, this is our approach now:

We used to issue sewing kits - we also issued SNCOs who would jack you up for ill-repaired clothing, and ensure kit was truly worn out / irreparable before it went to clothing stores for exchange.  It should not be lost on anyone that "no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker" is likely a contributing factor to shortages of kit.

"One man one kit" does not mean that every person always has brand new kit.  It means that every person is responsible for the care, cleaning, and repair of their kit.  That shows true pride.

Old timer rant ends.

You arent wrong at all.  Alternately why not exchange and have the torn pair repaired by the base tailor and put back into the system ?  Just another idea.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #81 on: November 30, 2019, 10:58:47 »
I completely concur.  Sadly, this is our approach now:

We used to issue sewing kits - we also issued SNCOs who would jack you up for ill-repaired clothing, and ensure kit was truly worn out / irreparable before it went to clothing stores for exchange.  It should not be lost on anyone that "no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker" is likely a contributing factor to shortages of kit.

"One man one kit" does not mean that every person always has brand new kit.  It means that every person is responsible for the care, cleaning, and repair of their kit.  That shows true pride.

Old timer rant ends.

We also issue huge amounts of kit to people like me that never gets used and is still in pristine condition, who are office bound, that would better be used by a 19 year old door kicker somewhere down range, just because I'm R23A.
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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #82 on: November 30, 2019, 11:09:20 »
It should not be lost on anyone that "no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker" is likely a contributing factor to shortages of kit.

Maybe, but I work in the private world, no longer a military member...

I promise, if there's a way to save money, they've considered it, so its cheaper and more effective to replace than to repair, and we don't suffer from shortages...

Specifically, that's in reference to fire retardant clothing... which should *not* be repaired by anyone unqualified to do so, and holes/damage rendering it useless as PPE.

NCDs also being flame retardant, an important requirement of any modern naval uniforms...  important lesson learned from  HMS Sheffield sinking

Anyway, just my thoughts on coveralls.

Though speaking of flame retardant and repairs, would be interesting what is/isn't approved for repairs should the army ever get with the modern world and issue flame retardant combats...
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 11:18:50 by Not a Sig Op »

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #83 on: November 30, 2019, 11:18:02 »
We also issue huge amounts of kit to people like me that never gets used and is still in pristine condition, who are office bound, that would better be used by a 19 year old door kicker somewhere down range, just because I'm R23A.

Solid point as well.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #84 on: November 30, 2019, 11:29:36 »
Solid point as well.

But, sadly as I can do, dragging this thread off track.

I like the cam pattern so far... we should call it CULTICAM or something like that ;)

Carry on!
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #85 on: November 30, 2019, 11:40:24 »
...Specifically, that's in reference to fire retardant clothing... which should *not* be repaired by anyone unqualified to do so, and holes/damage rendering it useless as PPE.

A very important point, NSO.

I asked a base tailor if they had FR thread to repair a seam on a flying suit. They said they did not, so I exchanged my suit for a replacement item in the short-term and spoke with Svc Bn CO and RQ to suggest that FR thread could allow the CAF to make better use of a rather short-supply item. They conferred with the LCMM and FR thread was procured and distributed to base/wing tailors in need.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #86 on: November 30, 2019, 12:23:26 »
A very important point, NSO.

I asked a base tailor if they had FR thread to repair a seam on a flying suit. They said they did not, so I exchanged my suit for a replacement item in the short-term and spoke with Svc Bn CO and RQ to suggest that FR thread could allow the CAF to make better use of a rather short-supply item. They conferred with the LCMM and FR thread was procured and distributed to base/wing tailors in need.

Thanks for the tip! I have several (otherwise serviceable, except for some dye fading issues) flight suits unravelling at the seams. I have needle and threaded my own minor repairs (thank-you, Recruit Term @ RRMC), but the services of a quailfied seamstress could definitely extend their lives a few more seasons!

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #87 on: November 30, 2019, 12:50:24 »
We've had a shortage of flying suits for...well, seems like a long time now.  I had a few teeth on the zipper of my shirt go AWOL recently, rendering the zipper U/S.  I went to Supply and said the shirt is perfectly fine, I just need the zipper fixed/replaced.

Nope; it went in the bin and I was issued a new one.   :dunno:

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #88 on: November 30, 2019, 13:05:33 »
We've had a shortage of flying suits for...well, seems like a long time now.  I had a few teeth on the zipper of my shirt go AWOL recently, rendering the zipper U/S.  I went to Supply and said the shirt is perfectly fine, I just need the zipper fixed/replaced.

Nope; it went in the bin and I was issued a new one.   :dunno:

I would have said that you could always have taken the flight suit to a tailor to be repaired but that is probably against some regulation because it's a specialty melt resistant zipper unavailable outside of the system.

(As an aside, and no joke, many many years ago I did a board of inquiry on the destruction by a fire of a trailer belonging to our sigs troop. Everything (including a number of PRC 25 and 524 sets) was destroyed to ashes or slag by the intense fire (fueled by several Jerry cans of gas and naphtha in the trailer) except for a bunch of zippers from various items of gear. The zippers survived the fire intact and serviceable.)

Seriously though, like much equipment today, it's much cheaper in the long run to replace many items rather than stocking thousands of repair parts and the personnel and facilities to repair them.

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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #89 on: November 30, 2019, 16:57:52 »
As far as I can tell different countries adopted different versions of Multicam, which is owned and trade marked by Crye Precision, in order to avoid paying Crye Precision royalties or whatever. The multicam patterns are just different enough to not violate the trademark.


As for us, the percent of Canadian Forces member who are going to actually benefit from camouflage uniforms is pretty small. Snipers, Recce teams, 100%.  Infantry, especially those operating out of giant green humming LAVs, carrying black rifles and tan backpacks, maybe a bit less. Armor and artty (minus JTAC or FOO/FAC) even less.
Clerks, Supply Techs, Posties etc..   Not at all.

Our uniforms are 99% political.
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Offline Spencer100

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #90 on: December 01, 2019, 11:55:09 »
I don't get this problem.  Here is fact for the group. And the world has DOUBLED textile production and use since 2001. Clothes are cheaper now than in any time in human history.  I supply clothing to over one thousand employees with no problem.  This whole thing is an administrative issue in the dept that is all.  I would bet uniforms are cheaper now (accounting of inflation) then ever.  Not including special uniforms with IR, fire retardant, etc. 

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #91 on: December 01, 2019, 13:31:15 »
I don't get this problem.  Here is fact for the group. And the world has DOUBLED textile production and use since 2001. Clothes are cheaper now than in any time in human history.  I supply clothing to over one thousand employees with no problem.  This whole thing is an administrative issue in the dept that is all.  I would bet uniforms are cheaper now (accounting of inflation) then ever.  Not including special uniforms with IR, fire retardant, etc.

Because less expensive means the budget for the same number of units gets smaller, not that they order enough to fit the actual people.  In theory, they have everyone's measurement on file for the DEUs, so someone should be able to poll the system and figure out exactly how many people of any trade (and rank) are in a particular size range, and do something like make sure there are enough of the common sizes.  Or tailor them to the human form; my NCD shirt went from a 48 inch shoulder basically straight down to the same sized waist. Huge pain in the *** to have an extra 14" of fabric along the waist, and the tails on the front and back where like a good winter coat. Inevitably ended up looking like a muffin top with suggestions of a diaper after a bit of walking around. The DEUs aren't much better, but at least I can have them tailored. There is a crazy amount of fabric to remove though, seems like a waste.

And for the DEUs, I recently had to order a new tunic as the one I got in basic no longer fit (at the chest and shoulders, to throw off navy stereotypes), and the new one is noticeably much lower quality in comparison to the 15 year old one.  The threadcount of the cotton dropped quite a bit and a lot more polyester in it, so it just looks cheap.  So while quantity of fabric has doubled, guessing the general quantity has plummeted.

In general there are a huge amount of steps with a lunatic number of fingers in the pie internally, plus all the shenanigans in our overly complex procurement system.  There are all kinds of committees involved in how it looks, plus the various actual standards that are usually there for operational reasons (or at least were when put in place 70 years ago).  I think that some rationalization and prioritization is called for, and they should probably spend more time sorting out critical things like retention then worrying about how many pieces of flair we can fit on new uniform mk 8,210.5. Understand that these are different organizations, but makes we side eye snr leadership pretty hard when they get so excited about some clothes while ignoring that they are driving the fleet into the ground.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #92 on: December 01, 2019, 13:45:02 »
Because less expensive means the budget for the same number of units gets smaller, not that they order enough to fit the actual people.  In theory, they have everyone's measurement on file for the DEUs, so someone should be able to poll the system and figure out exactly how many people of any trade (and rank) are in a particular size range, and do something like make sure there are enough of the common sizes.  Or tailor them to the human form; my NCD shirt went from a 48 inch shoulder basically straight down to the same sized waist. Huge pain in the *** to have an extra 14" of fabric along the waist, and the tails on the front and back where like a good winter coat. Inevitably ended up looking like a muffin top with suggestions of a diaper after a bit of walking around. The DEUs aren't much better, but at least I can have them tailored. There is a crazy amount of fabric to remove though, seems like a waste.

And for the DEUs, I recently had to order a new tunic as the one I got in basic no longer fit (at the chest and shoulders, to throw off navy stereotypes), and the new one is noticeably much lower quality in comparison to the 15 year old one.  The threadcount of the cotton dropped quite a bit and a lot more polyester in it, so it just looks cheap.  So while quantity of fabric has doubled, guessing the general quantity has plummeted.

In general there are a huge amount of steps with a lunatic number of fingers in the pie internally, plus all the shenanigans in our overly complex procurement system.  There are all kinds of committees involved in how it looks, plus the various actual standards that are usually there for operational reasons (or at least were when put in place 70 years ago).  I think that some rationalization and prioritization is called for, and they should probably spend more time sorting out critical things like retention then worrying about how many pieces of flair we can fit on new uniform mk 8,210.5. Understand that these are different organizations, but makes we side eye snr leadership pretty hard when they get so excited about some clothes while ignoring that they are driving the fleet into the ground.

Speaking of thread count, the new NCD T-Shirts are terrible.  They used to be 100% Cotton, now they have this cheap polyester feel and they don't fit well at all.  I ordered a large and it fits like a dress around my mid section.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #93 on: December 01, 2019, 13:51:31 »
Speaking of thread count, the new NCD T-Shirts are terrible.  They used to be 100% Cotton, now they have this cheap polyester feel and they don't fit well at all.  I ordered a large and it fits like a dress around my mid section.

Aren't they literally just black t-shirts that you can buy at Walmart or something?  How does one manage to screw that up? 
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #94 on: December 01, 2019, 13:58:13 »
Aren't they literally just black t-shirts that you can buy at Walmart or something?  How does one manage to screw that up?

I have no idea.  You can feel a clear difference between the old and new ones. I 100% guarantee these shirts won't last as long as the old shirts either.  I have sets of green cotton under shirts from 2005 when I first joined that are still in perfectly good condition, meanwhile one of the "new" black ones I own already has a hole in the arm pit.  :rofl:

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #95 on: December 01, 2019, 13:58:25 »
Aren't they literally just black t-shirts that you can buy at Walmart or something?  How does one manage to screw that up?

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #96 on: December 01, 2019, 15:29:05 »
Speaking of thread count, the new NCD T-Shirts are terrible.  They used to be 100% Cotton, now they have this cheap polyester feel and they don't fit well at all.  I ordered a large and it fits like a dress around my mid section.

Isn't that polyester stuff a bad idea on ships where everything turns to flame once you get hit?
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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #97 on: December 01, 2019, 19:10:03 »
Isn't that polyester stuff a bad idea on ships where everything turns to flame once you get hit?

What a little molten t-shirt material searing your skin between friends?

Stuff on the top layer (like badges etc) isn't a great idea, but still has to go through the clothes, but there is a good reason that all your next to skin stuff is supposed to be cotton, wool or some other natural material that won't melt and char. It gets into the burns and is apparently a huge pain to clean out properly so you don't get infections. In the off chance I'm somewhere hot enough for my t shirt to melt, I'd rather have 2nd degree burns then die.

When they test the clothes they dress a mannequin in the middle of four propane flamethrower type things and hit it with something like a burst. The old ***, baggy NCDs performed pretty good (partly because of all the air pockets due to poor fit), and having a tshirt on made an absolutely massive difference in the extent of burns on the entire torso.

Here's a link to the University of Alberta testing, which includes some video. Does a great job of explaining the test protocol and procedures. For the NCDs, they did a variety, with the blue shirts, jacket on/off, and with/without flash gear. They also highlight that just complying with a standard isn't necessarily good, as you can pass with up to 49% burns, where a more heavyweight (and thus more expensive) could be below 10%.

https://www.westex.com/blog/a-first-hand-perspective-of-flash-fire-testing/

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #98 on: December 01, 2019, 21:36:06 »
What a little molten t-shirt material searing your skin between friends?

Stuff on the top layer (like badges etc) isn't a great idea, but still has to go through the clothes, but there is a good reason that all your next to skin stuff is supposed to be cotton, wool or some other natural material that won't melt and char. It gets into the burns and is apparently a huge pain to clean out properly so you don't get infections. In the off chance I'm somewhere hot enough for my t shirt to melt, I'd rather have 2nd degree burns then die.

When they test the clothes they dress a mannequin in the middle of four propane flamethrower type things and hit it with something like a burst. The old ***, baggy NCDs performed pretty good (partly because of all the air pockets due to poor fit), and having a tshirt on made an absolutely massive difference in the extent of burns on the entire torso.

Here's a link to the University of Alberta testing, which includes some video. Does a great job of explaining the test protocol and procedures. For the NCDs, they did a variety, with the blue shirts, jacket on/off, and with/without flash gear. They also highlight that just complying with a standard isn't necessarily good, as you can pass with up to 49% burns, where a more heavyweight (and thus more expensive) could be below 10%.

https://www.westex.com/blog/a-first-hand-perspective-of-flash-fire-testing/

A friend of mine was torched by a VISA (vehicle incendiary South Armagh). This was well before there was a credit card by that name, of course.

The VISA was about 20 gallons of gas launched from a car trunk, like a flamethrower, with a kicker charge of a couple of pounds of Libyan provided Semtex plastic explosive. He had burns over 70% of his body but lived, because he’s just that tough. His face looks like ‘Ben Grimm’, and his fingers fused together so that they had to be surgically separated.

The wounds were made even worse by the synthetic ‘denim’ trousers he was wearing, including a plastic zipper that melted over the obvious appendage. We usually wore the issued combat trousers, less comfortable but cotton, with a cotton lining, but he chose to wear the denims that day for some reason. We used to wear them in the base but not in patrol.

He lived, but I’m pretty sure he wished he hadn’t. He continued to serve in the Army, and is someone I always think about when the term ‘role model’ is blithely thrown around by others.

The fact that we make our Infantry, and others, wear synthetic clothing into battle, merely for the sake of comfort, strikes me as irresponsible.
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Re: Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization
« Reply #99 on: December 01, 2019, 21:42:14 »
A friend of mine was torched by a VISA (vehicle incendiary South Armagh). This was well before there was a credit card by that name, of course.

The VISA was about 20 gallons of gas launched from a car trunk, like a flamethrower, with a kicker charge of a couple of pounds of Libyan provided Semtex plastic explosive. He had burns over 70% of his body but lived, because he’s just that tough. His face looks like ‘Ben Grimm’, and his fingers fused together so that they had to be surgically separated.

The wounds were made even worse by the synthetic ‘denim’ trousers he was wearing, including a plastic zipper that melted over the obvious appendage. We usually wore the issued combat trousers, less comfortable but cotton, with a cotton lining, but he chose to wear the denims that day for some reason. We used to wear them in the base but not in patrol.

He lived, but I’m pretty sure he wished he hadn’t. He continued to serve in the Army, and is someone I always think about when the term ‘role model’ is blithely thrown around by others.

The fact that we make our Infantry, and others, wear synthetic clothing into battle, merely for the sake of comfort, strikes me as irresponsible.

Hmm...what's CADPAT and the zippers made of?   :whistle:
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

- Raylan Givens, Justified (cleaned up for content)