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Kizarvexis
2005-Feb-09, 01:17 AM
After 22 years, Army redoes its duds
New all-season fatigues designed foremost for safety

The Associated Press
Updated: 6:03 p.m. ET Feb. 8, 2005

FORT STEWART, Ga. - Army soldiers are being issued new fatigues with easy-to-use Velcro openings and a redesigned camouflage pattern that can help conceal them as they move rapidly from desert to forest to city in places like Baghdad.

“It might give you the extra second you need, save your life maybe,” Sgt. Marcio Soares said Tuesday after trying on the new all-in-one camouflage uniform, the first major redesign in Army fatigues since 1983.

Soares’ unit, the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade, is the first to be issued the new fatigues as part of a $3.4 billion Army-wide makeover being phased in over the next three years.

>>rest of the story (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6936263/)

I'm not so sure about the velco closings on the pockets, but otherwise the change sounds cool.

Kizarvexis

Gillianren
2005-Feb-09, 02:54 AM
it can't look any worse than what my boyfriend has to wear now.

oh, wait . . . it can . . . oh, the mental images are HORRIBLE!

Fortis
2005-Feb-09, 03:12 AM
Well, they could have gone the way of the USAF and put little service logos into the camouflage pattern.
http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/airforce/a/newafuniform.htm
:o

Sammy
2005-Feb-09, 04:19 AM
This was first announced last Summer, and included a comment that the new uniform was specifically designed to blend better into urban settings than do current uniforms.

The woo woos on GLP jumped on that like crows on roadkill. They saw it as more proof of their expectations that the military would be turned on the civilian populace when TPTB declared martial law, suspended the Constitution, etc, etc...

archman
2005-Feb-09, 05:00 AM
Well, they could have gone the way of the USAF and put little service logos into the camouflage pattern.
http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/airforce/a/newafuniform.htm
:o

I thought they ripped off that idea from the Marines...

sarongsong
2005-Feb-09, 06:27 AM
...I'm not so sure about the velco closings...
Yeah, kind of hard to be quiet opening velcro, especially if you're in a hurry.
Wonder where these uniforms will be manufactured.

Brady Yoon
2005-Feb-09, 06:49 AM
That's good news. Soldiers can't be walking around with uniforms everyone can see.

kucharek
2005-Feb-09, 08:17 AM
...I'm not so sure about the velco closings...
Yeah, kind of hard to be quiet opening velcro, especially if you're in a hurry.
Wonder where these uniforms will be manufactured.

I recently read somewhere on the Web on the subject of Velco that the company has a contract from the US military to develop Velco that makes no noise when you rip it open. Seems they were successful.

Harald

PS: Just found it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velcro

The US Army has the Velcro company investigating a silent version of Velcro for use with Army soldier uniforms.

captain swoop
2005-Feb-09, 11:32 AM
Velcro is quick and easy to operate with cold fingers. And buttons always fall off.

sarongsong
2005-Feb-09, 02:27 PM
...Velcro that makes no noise when you rip it open...
Ha-ha, 'stealth' velcro!

Gmann
2005-Feb-09, 02:34 PM
I say hooray for velcro. Having sewn buttons back on for 20 years, it's about time. One of my troops suggested using velcro instead of buttons on the cargo pockets many years ago, and even submitted his idea on the suggestion awards program. He was told it would not be practical, that buttons are the best way to go. I guess someone finally figured it out.

jfribrg
2005-Feb-09, 03:06 PM
That's good news. Soldiers can't be walking around with uniforms everyone can see.

I find it kind of ironic that the uniform is designed so that the soldier blends in. The Geneva conventions requires that combatants wear uniforms in order to be able to easily distinguish civilians from combatants at a distance. Sounds like a fine line between the two competing requirements.

My wife has been in the Army for 27 years, and plans to continue with her desert uniform until it is mandatory that she change. I do recall her complaints about the desert uniform when wearing a flak jacket. the pockets on the front of the current unform are rather impossible to use with a flak jacket, and for women, the tight fitting flack jacket causes the buttons on the uniform to dig into the nearby pair of glands :oops: The pockets are now located higher up (near the shoulder). Not many female soldiers will be compaining about the change.

Doodler
2005-Feb-09, 03:21 PM
That's good news. Soldiers can't be walking around with uniforms everyone can see.
The Geneva conventions requires that combatants wear uniforms in order to be able to easily distinguish civilians from combatants at a distance. Sounds like a fine line between the two competing requirements.



Sounds like another reason they are completely obsolete.

Bawheid
2005-Feb-09, 04:01 PM
The Geneva conventions requires that combatants wear uniforms in order to be able to easily distinguish civilians from combatants at a distance. Sounds like a fine line between the two competing requirements. (snip)

As long as you don't look like a civilian you are ok, that includes not being seen at all. If you are invisible you don't look like a civilian.

UK special forces like dressing up to look like locals, forgetting that puts them outwith the Geneva Convention.

Roving Philosopher
2005-Feb-09, 04:12 PM
I find it kind of ironic that the uniform is designed so that the soldier blends in. The Geneva conventions requires that combatants wear uniforms in order to be able to easily distinguish civilians from combatants at a distance. Sounds like a fine line between the two competing requirements.

My understanding of the Geneva Conventions is far from complete, but as I understand it, this part of it is to keep combatants from dressing as civilians, so that the opposing force could not distinguish a civilian from a combatant.

My guess would be that if you saw the soldiers in the new fatigues, there would be no question that they are combatants. The camoflauge is to provide a measure of protection against an urban backdrop, the same way the green and tan camoflauges provided protection in jungle and desert settings, respectively. From what I read, they do not appear to be intended to allow the soldiers to blend in with a civilian population.

However, I find the infrared patches a bit odd. If they can be used to identify friendlies, couldn't the enemy use night-vision goggles to identify a target rich environment?

Bawheid
2005-Feb-09, 04:23 PM
My guess would be that if you saw the soldiers in the new fatigues, there would be no question that they are combatants. The camoflauge is to provide a measure of protection against an urban backdrop, the same way the green and tan camoflauges provided protection in jungle and desert settings, respectively. From what I read, they do not appear to be intended to allow the soldiers to blend in with a civilian population.

Exactly, it doesn't matter what you look like, as long as you all look the same, and don't look like the local civilians. Conversely there is an implied obligation on civilians not to look like soldiers. Which isn't easy somewhere like Afghanistan, but then Afghan warlords don't usually sign up to international treaties.




However, I find the infrared patches a bit odd. If they can be used to identify friendlies, couldn't the enemy use night-vision goggles to identify a target rich environment?

Or attach similar patches to confuse the US.

JMV
2005-Feb-09, 05:32 PM
Zipper and Velcro eh...?
I guess Yanks won't be using them in arctic conditions. I had not so good experiences with Velcro during winter exercises, the loop side collects ice and thus won't attach anymore. Finnish army's m/91 (http://tietokannat.mil.fi/np03/data/images/151_press.jpg) camouflage suits have zippers on pockets but they're deemed too difficult to repair in the field and they glow brightly when viewed through image intensifiers, so we're reverting to buttons with our new m/05s. It seems as if the zippers in those new American fatigues are hidden underneath small fabric patches... that might work.

The m/05 (http://tietokannat.mil.fi/np03/data/images/149_press.jpg) also utilizes this currently popular digital disruptive camouflage pattern similar to CADPAT, MARPAT and the one used on that new Army uniform.

Fortis
2005-Feb-10, 12:28 AM
camouflage suits have zippers on pockets but they're deemed too difficult to repair in the field and they glow brightly when viewed through image intensifiers, so we're reverting to buttons with our new m/05s.
I'm curious. Any idea as to why they showed up so brightly on the image intensifiers? I'd guess that there maybe a higher reflectance in the NIR (which image intensifiers can see, but the human eye can't,) but this would only be a guess. :)

JMV
2005-Feb-10, 01:07 AM
camouflage suits have zippers on pockets but they're deemed too difficult to repair in the field and they glow brightly when viewed through image intensifiers, so we're reverting to buttons with our new m/05s.
I'm curious. Any idea as to why they showed up so brightly on the image intensifiers? I'd guess that there maybe a higher reflectance in the NIR (which image intensifiers can see, but the human eye can't,) but this would only be a guess. :)
I don't know for sure. Haven't seen the phenomenon myself but it was one of the reasons listed in an article of Defence Forces' publication. Others were repairabilty, unnecessary extra weight and high cost.

Your guess is the same as mine. The zippers are some kind of plastic. Colour is olive drab and parts of them showed more specular reflection properties than diffuse. Maybe someone more knowledgeable on reflective properties of materials can explain these things... 8-[

Lord Jubjub
2005-Feb-10, 02:50 AM
Having had personal experience in polishing combat boots, those suede ones sound rather interesting.

captain swoop
2005-Feb-10, 12:47 PM
Suede combat boots aren't anything new, check aout the US1942 Service Shoe (http://www.wwiiimpressions.com/images/200126profile.JPG) or the 1943 combat boot (http://www.wwiiimpressions.com/images/20068profile.JPG)

Maksutov
2005-Feb-10, 01:15 PM
...I'm not so sure about the velco closings...
Yeah, kind of hard to be quiet opening velcro, especially if you're in a hurry.
Wonder where these uniforms will be manufactured.
Probably where almost everything else destined for US consumption is now manufactured: China.

Wait. These are articles of clothing, therefore it's more likely they will the product of various Malaysian sweatshops. Right, Kathy Lee? :wink:

Bawheid
2005-Feb-10, 02:30 PM
Having had personal experience in polishing combat boots, those suede ones sound rather interesting.

One of John Master's books, I think "The Road Past Mandalay", includes a description of his Gurkha batman shaving and then bulling his suede desert boots to a high shine.

Jim
2005-Feb-10, 06:06 PM
Having had personal experience in polishing combat boots, those suede ones sound rather interesting.

One of John Master's books, I think "The Road Past Mandalay", includes a description of his Gurkha batman shaving and then bulling his suede desert boots to a high shine.

Please don't give the DIs any more ideas.

We were given brass insignia that had been polished at the factory and coated with clear plastic so the shine would last. First thing we were told was boil 'em to remove the plastic, then polish 'em with Brasso and elbow grease.