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View Diary: Military Uniforms (49 comments)

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  •  Possibly (12+ / 0-)

    The old uniforms certainly didn't help any. Between laundry costs, mending and replacement costs, fit problems, and allergy problems, wool uniforms are a significant drain on resources and manpower.

    They're also not good with mosquitoes and sand and high temperatures - something the Army began realizing about halfway through WWII, although they couldn't roll out the cotton fatigues fast enough. And wool chafes when wet, which leads to health issues in the field, in addition to smelling terrible and losing its shape. (We won't even talk about wet Sailors in summer.)

    And that's on top of the issues with actually trying to do anything in them. They're restrictive, uncomfortable, expensive, delicate, and easy to get caught in machinery. Not a set of qualities you want in the clothing you wear to do real work.

    The workarounds people used - taking your jacket off, rolling up your sleeves, tucking your pants into your socks - degrade the uniform. As does allowing people to wear a service uniform that's got scuffs/tears/stains from being worked in.

    And even desk jockeys are more productive in practical uniforms. Every time a Sailor has to unbutton his dress blues to take a piss, the Navy loses 5 minutes of productive time. Now, I don't really have a problem with making them wear service uniforms, but I don't really see the point (aside from showing off their underwear).

    Honestly, there are a lot of very good reasons behind the changes to military uniforms. The services don't take tradition lightly. But they've found that people work better and are happier in modern, practical, easy-to-care-for uniforms. They still have the service and dress uniforms in their closets. They have the option to wear them. Commands have the option to require them. They just mostly don't.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 05:48:32 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The one good thing about wool is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, This old man, Mortifyd

      it keeps you warm even if it is wet. At least that has been my experience.

      That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

      by stevie avebury on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:26:25 AM PDT

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    •  The diary was written with tongue partially (6+ / 0-)

      in cheek, and I'm sure you have a point about the easy care,  However,  I find it a little disconcerting that the men who pick up my garbage as well as the guy on the street who asks me if I can spare a dollar is wearing the same outfit as most of the U.S.  Military.  Why is the Captain at the Army hospital  wearing camouflage battle dress while he checks my prostrate?   That is something I do find silly.

    •  attitude counts and the new (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      This old man, Mortifyd

      "warrior mentality" that cuts courtesy for practicality and pride for ease is a source of the slackness that let atrocities like TSG Bobby Bass's "MTI" tours happen, IMNVHO.

      Fatigues are for work, yes.
      In an office a set of Class Bs should replace fatigues.
      A Professional is not a Warrior.
      Dirt is not strength.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:38:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  wool is both durable and breathable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      This old man

      warm when wet, cooling when hot.  It wasn't an arbitrary choice to use wool in older uniforms.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 05:03:10 PM PDT

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      •  It was the best they had (0+ / 0-)

        It still sucks by modern standards. It wasn't an arbitrary choice to move away from wool either.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:44:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  because cotton hadn't been invented yet? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          This old man

          eyeroll

          They had choices.  Wool is not evil, it does many things modern fabrics do not.  To dismiss it as simply the only option or archaic is ridiculous.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:52:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because synthetics hadn't been invented yet (0+ / 0-)

            and pure cotton has its own issues (especially in cold/wet environments like the European front), although they did start moving toward a cotton working uniform for tropical environments partway through the war (they just couldn't produce it fast enough).

            We now have cotton/nylon blends and other miracles of materials science at our disposal. The only things that wool does that modern fabrics can't match are smelling like a wet dog and triggering allergic reactions. But it's still used in the dress uniforms because it looks nice. The way we compromise between appearance and practicality is by not requiring people to actually wear them most of the time.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:15:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  they had rayon and nylon (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              This old man

              in 1924 and 1939 respectively.  More synthetics came quickly after.  Wool smells like wet sheep, not wet dogs - and allergies are prevented with a cotton lining.

              I get you don't like wool - but it was and is a great material - natural, breathable, renewable and tough.  It also doesn't melt onto people when it's on fire.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:57:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  and perhaps, the clothing of dealing death (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              This old man

              should be a bit uncomfortable - lest one forgets that it is for dealing death and not just another day at the office.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:24:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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