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Army wants uniform input

Northwest Guardian

Published: 03:55PM October 25th, 2012
Army wants uniform input

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

From left: Spc. Marcy Redhead, CW5 Ronald Moore, Pfc. Stacey Gourdine, Sgt. Donivan Dean and CW2 LaToya Raglund discuss the new PT uniforms.

The U.S. Army Uniform Board and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command are coordinating efforts to improve the current Army physical training uniform, Command Sgt. Maj. Emmett Maunakea, Program Executive Office Soldier, said in a presentation last week to Joint Base Lewis-McChord I Corps senior leaders.

TRADOC and PEO Soldier are soliciting feedback from Soldiers, who complete online surveys to choose their favorite uniforms. Roughly 168,000 Soldiers, more than 10 percent of the Army, have completed the online survey, according to Doug Graham, PEO Soldier public affairs officer.

The uniforms were modeled for Soldiers Oct. 18 at Carey and Evergreen theaters on JBLM.

During an initial survey in February and March, more than 76,000 Soldiers commented on the current uniform, mostly feedback about the fit and comfort, Maunakea said. The Army used those suggestions to design new uniforms with more than 30 changes, including new material.

The changes are scheduled to take effect in 2015.

The biggest revision is the removal of the reflective material used on the outside of the PT uniform jacket, pants and shorts.

“Most units won’t go away from wearing a reflective PT belt or vest, and the reflective material drives the cost up,” Maunakea said.

Other alterations to the uniform include a bike shorts lining instead of a brief lining in the PT shorts and removal of elastic from the sleeves and legs of the jackets and pants. The PT shirt will also be more lightweight, and the uniform will include a black fleece cap.

Through the survey, Soldier input will be used to choose colors and design.

Some of the options include a narrower strip of fabric for the chevron design on the jacket. “Army” in large letters is emblazoned across the chest of the new PT shirt, now with an Army star design to its left.

According to Maunakea, once the online survey is complete, the results will be sent to the Army Chief of Staff, who will make the ultimate decision on color and design.

“But it really matters what the Soldiers think,” Maunakea said. “Their opinions drove all of these changes.” Color options for the new generation of uniforms are black, yellow or gray, and there are plans to explore women’s sizes for the same uniform.

“We are trying to outfit 1.1 million people,” Maunakea said. “Not everyone is built the same way.”

Soldiers can take the survey until Monday at with CAC access, or at without CAC access.