The Army has unveiled the new multicam uniform. On the US Army’s Facebook page, most people seem to be focused on the look. Sure the uniform is fugly. It looks like the Army went to Cabela’s or Bass Pro and bought off the rack. To me, it makes our soldiers look like a bunch of deer hunters headed out to the woods. Looks don’t really matter as long as the uniform is functional for our soldiers. After reading the article on the Army Times site, my concern is the logistics of this new uniform.
From what I gather, the multicam is exclusive to Afghanistan. The uniform is supposed to breathe better, and prevent the crotch blow outs so many have had with the current ACUs among other features. The new uniforms are also insect resistant. And this is the quote from the article that bothers me the most: “The treatments will last for 50 washings, which should more than cover the 120 days this uniform is designed to last.”
You mean to tell me the Army made a uniform for deployed troops that is only made to last about four months? Who’s the genius who came up with that idea? Can the life of the uniform be extended? Can they be treated with insect repellent after the 50 washings? These are questions left unanswered. Based on my 10 years as an Army wife, my best guess is that they want troops to get new uniforms every 120 days. If this is the case, is the Army going to issue them, or do the expect soldiers to pay for them? If soldiers have to pay, are they going to increase the uniform allowance for the enlisted soldiers to reflect this need? What about officers? Sure they make more money based on rank, but we have bills too. If these are priced like previous uniforms, we’re looking at about $50-$60 per uniform. Can you afford that every four months? Will the Army give the officers an allowance for uniforms now? Don’t forget, the Army holds the National Guard and Reserve soldiers to these same standards when they don’t necessarily make as much as their active duty counterparts. I can tell you for a fact that when my husband was a M-Day soldier (what civilians think of as 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year), it would’ve been a decision between food or uniforms.
Beyond the cost, how are they going to get all of those soldiers new uniforms every four months? That’s a lot of cargo moving around to get lost, not make it to its destination, etc.
While the Army is showing off its new pattern for the multicam, I honestly don’t care. I want to see the logistics for how all of this will play out. With at least five uniform changes in my time as a spouse, it’s getting expensive to be in the Army.