Army

July 12, 2013

ACU – Alternate uniform offers more fit options

New Soldiers try on their Army Combat Uniforms, known as ACUs, the ACU-Alternate uniform, boots and other equipment during reception, June 20, at the Central Initial Issue Point at Fort Sill, Okla., before going to basic combat training.

FORT SILL, Okla. – A new Army Combat Uniform with special consideration to the female form is now at Fort Sill, and it is being issued to new Soldiers going through Basic Combat Training.

The new uniform, several years in the making, was initially considered as being the first female-only uniform, but instead is now approved for both sexes and is being called ACU-A for Army Combat Uniform-Alternate.

“We started issuing them slowly in April, and we’ve since been issuing them more frequently as our fitters get more comfortable placing Soldiers in them,” said Trevor Whitworth, Central Initial Issue Point project manager, where new Soldiers are first issued their uniforms here.

“They were initially designed for female Soldiers, but we were told if we find male Soldiers that these would fit better than the ACUs then we can issue it to them as well,” Whitworth said. “It’s more about the fit and the body type.”

The new uniform trousers feature: wider areas at the hips, waist and backside; elastic around the waistband instead of a pull string; adjusted pockets and knee-pad inserts; and a shortened crotch length.

In the jackets, changes include: adjusted rank and nametape positioning; adjusted pockets and elbow-pad inserts; slimmer shoulders; a thinner and more fitted waist; and a longer and wider ACU coat bottom. Also, buttons are replacing the Velcro pockets.

“If it makes you more comfortable in wearing that, then I think it’s well worth it,” Whitworth said. “When you’re low crawling or doing a lot of physical training it’s nice to have a pair of trousers that have a little give-and-take in them. I think having made uniforms for a female body type, will make a big difference for female Soldiers.”

Compared to the original ACUs, which were designed principally by males for males, the new ACU-As were created to fit a wider range of body types; so there are also a lot more sizes to choose from – 13 sizes in both the jacket and trouser.

“The old uniform was meant to be one-size-fits-five sizes; these are more tailored,” Whitworth said.

First Lt. Beatriz George, Reynolds Army Community Hospital dietitian, said she thinks it’s great to have more sizes to choose from. She added when Fort Sill gets the uniforms at the Military Clothing Sales store she will try them on and consider buying a pair.

“With our uniforms now, it’s like it’s either too tight or too big; it doesn’t feel right as they are now,” George said.

Although interested in the new uniforms, she said if they were created to be noticeably different, she wouldn’t want to wear them.

“What’s great about the military is that everyone is equal, and it’s one of the few professions where men and women are paid the same, but if you can’t tell, and they are unisex, then I’m OK with it,” George said.

Program Executive Office Soldier, the program that develops and improves military uniforms and equipment, developed the new uniforms by letting male and female Soldiers wear the uniform and provide feedback. This came about after a 2008 focus group of female Soldiers showed PEO Soldier that ACUs have a non-female friendly fit.

Many females in the focus group reported that the knee-pad inserts fell on their shins, that they didn’t have as much mobility because of the poor fit, and that they felt they had an overall unprofessional appearance.

Maj. Sequana Robinson, who was one of many that tested the new uniform, said in a PEO Soldier press release that she was very skeptical when first hearing of the uniforms; she didn’t think women needed a uniform more fitted to their bodies, but after trying it on the first time, she was very pleased with the fit.

PEO Soldier is also in the process of developing a female body armor and female flight suit, which are still in development stages.

New black and yellow PT uniforms are also in the development stages, and a new improved duffle bag, which includes a zipper, has just been released and is being issued to basic training Soldiers.

ACU-As are now available for all Soldiers at posts including: Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; and Fort Eustis, Va., but Fort Sill’s Military Clothing Sales Store does not carry them yet.

“Clothing Sales at Fort Sill won’t have the uniforms available until sometime near the end of the year,” said Henrietta Haughton, a manager at the Fort Sill Military Clothing Sales Store.

Although the ACU-A is not yet available for purchase brand new at Fort Sill, Whitworth recommends that Soldiers start coming to the reclamation sales they hold every month. The reclamation sell is where Soldiers can buy uniforms lightly used by trainees who do not complete Basic Combat Training.

Because the CIIP here just started issuing the new ACU-As in April, Soldiers might start to see a few of these uniforms at reclamation sales starting in August, Whitworth said. He urged Soldiers to get to the sale early, because uniforms go fast.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

FH renewable energy project to provide approximately 25 percent of installation’s annual electricity requirement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Army announced Monday plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25 percent of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca. “This will be the largest solar array in the Department of Defense on a military installation,” according to the Honorable Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary...
 
 

Whistleblower reprisal — what it is, isn’t

Many people who observe or learn of wrongdoing are often afraid to report it because they fear that if the word got out, negative action would be taken against them. In order for the office of the Inspector General, or IG, to provide assistance, it is important that the Fort Huachuca community fully understand what...
 
 
U.S. Army

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

Field Station Augsburg established in 1970 U.S. Army The enormous AN/FLR-9 “Elephant Cage” antenna array was erected at Field Station Augsburg in Germany. April 14, 1970 In 1970, the nation’s attention was focused on Viet...
 

 
Maranda Flynn

EPG celebrates 60 years, new small arc structure dedicated

Maranda Flynn From left, Rob Reiner, former Electronic Proving Ground technical director, Eddie Flores, EPG’s youngest employee, and Maj. Gen. Peter Utley, commanding general, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, cut the ca...
 
 
Gordon Van Vleet

NETCOM gains new commander during ceremony here Wednesday

Gordon Van Vleet Brig. Gen. Peter A. Gallagher, outgoing NETCOM Commanding General, passes the NETCOM flag to Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, Army Cyber Command/2d U.S. Army Commanding General, while incoming NETCOM commanding gener...
 
 

Army tightens personal appearance, tattoo policy

WASHINGTON — The number, size and placement of tattoos have been dialed back under revised Army Regulation 670-1, which governs the Army’s grooming standards and proper wear of the uniform. The revised regulation was published Monday, along with Department of the Army Pamplet 670-1, outlining the new standards. Effective dates for the various changes can...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin