Support: July 26, 2001

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While the U.S. army and marines often use the same weapons and equipment, the marines often come up with their own stuff. Such is the case with their new field uniforms. Many army troops are envious of the new "no starch/no iron" uniforms and "no shine" (the rough side of the leather faces out) boots. But many army NCOs are skeptical of how successful the new marine "cammies" (camouflage) uniforms will be. For one thing, the "no iron/no starch" policy will have to be enforced by the same officers and NCOs who, in the past, instigated the ironing and starching of field uniforms. Moreover, a lot of the troops like the spiffy starched and ironed look. Other aspects of the new uniforms are more puzzling. The "permanent press" look of the new uniforms is achieved with a cotton/nylon cloth. Nylon has, in the past, been a problem when exposed to flame (it kinda melts.) This is not good for people on the battlefield. The marine cotton/nylon blend may have gotten around this, but no one has told the army. Another problem for army observers is the Velcro used for one pocket. Velcro is noisier than buttons, especially if you are on patrol or in an ambush position. Finally, the army tried the "no-shine" boots in the 1980s. The roughness of the leather disappeared after some field use and eager NCOs soon demanded that the "no shine" boots be shined. Again, for this to work, it's going to take the full cooperation of the marine NCOs.

 


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