FORT BELVOIR, Va. — It’s o-dark-thirty on the day of an Army physical fitness test. The barely lit field is crowded with Soldiers getting ready to break a sweat and the last thing any of them want is a ‘uniform malfunction’ — shorts riding up, sweat-soaked uniforms hindering movement — or worse, chafing.
More than 76,000 Soldiers participated in an online survey earlier this year, recommending improvements in design and function for a new Improved Physical Fitness Uniform, or IPFU, and Army leaders listened.
The Program Executive Officer, known as PEO, Soldier is posting a final online survey to ask troops to choose from which of the six proposed uniforms — which include 32 improvements — they like best. PEO Soldier is supporting the chief of staff of the Army and the sergeant major of the Army in this effort. The survey was developed by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
The survey will remain online until Oct. 29.
To access the survey using a Common Access Card, go to https://ipfusurvey.natick.army.mil.
To access the survey without a Common Access Card visit https://surveys.natick.army.mil/Surveys/ipfu.nsf.
PEO Soldier is holding town halls at the following garrisons:
- Fort Bragg, N.C., town hall ended yesterday
- Fort Hood, Texas, today through Monday
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Tuesday – Oct. 18
- Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Oct. 19-26.
Soldiers have a chance to try on the new uniforms, ask questions and give feedback.
“The greatest point is that Soldiers at the battalion and company levels are the end users,” said PEO Soldier Command Sgt. Maj. Emmett Maunakea. “It’s like any piece of equipment PEO Soldiers produces — this is all coming from Soldiers’ feedback so we can produce for them what they want and need.”
Some of the key findings from the survey were that 76 percent felt the Army should keep or modify the current IPFU. Based on the survey feedback, PEO Soldier made 32 changes to the uniform, including color, quick-drying and anti-microbial properties, moisture wicking, a more modest fit, durability, ID or key pockets, drawstrings and reflectivity.
“I wore one of the versions of the uniform yesterday and it is a much better uniform. It really truly is. In reality, these are the type of shorts I buy when I go out and buy on my own,” said Maunakea. “I think it will be a great end-product for Soldiers.”