Skip to comments.Army’s Fashion Fatigue
Posted on 10/05/2006 12:20:43 PM PDT by 68skylark
West Point, N.Y. IT would be shallow to say that I fell in love with the soldier I married because of his uniform, but it would also be partly true. Its Cupids oldest trick: dress a man for war and love walks in.
Every girl whos had her head turned by a uniform has her favorite, and for me there is nothing quite like the command of camouflage. A fitted, heavily starched long jacket and bloused trousers in a dark green, black and brown woodland pattern over polished black boots, the Battle Dress Uniform, to me, is the American soldier.
But the B.D.U. is being phased out. Soldiers have been ordered to purchase two sets of the newer Army Combat Uniforms by next May, and soon, like the brown leather boots of the early cold war, the Vietnam-era pickle suit and the chocolate chip Desert Storm camo, the B.D.U. will be history. And I will miss it.
My husband and I are, in the eyes of many, an oddly matched Mr. and Mrs., an Army intelligence officer and a pop-culture-obsessed writer. To paraphrase an old recruiting slogan, ours is not just a marriage, its an adventure, a two-person cultural exchange program. Because of him, I can identify a Blackhawk, Apache or Chinook helicopter by the sound of the blades slicing the air overhead. Because of me, he exfoliates.
In the beginning, I favored the B.D.U. because it acutely highlighted the differences between us as individuals, but over time, it has also come to underscore the contrast in our roles.
Spouses dont experience firsthand the bombs-and-bullets Army we see only the ceremonial ribbons-and-medals Army, the workaday pack-and-move-every-few-years Army and my husbands B.D.U.s were my connection to the viscera of soldierdom. They were honest....
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
This seems like a really charming op-ed piece, and it's nice of our good friends at the NY Times to print it.
You want to pick up chicks? - wear the dress blues with all the fruit salad.
"This one was for flying door gunner in the Space Shuttle..."
I've always been partial to the 1980's-style Army "woodland" pattern . . . reminds me of Ronald Reagan and the Cold War (funny, but true). But I'm beginning to dig that new Marine "digital" kit.
Men in camo are hot.
[I look forward to the local hunting season just for the purpose of gawking].....;D
haha yessss i agree my guy loves the new acu's cuz they are "so comfortable" but personally i think he is just sexy in bdu's... although i guess that isnt what they are going for over there haha
Cute article, however, I must say that I prefer the ACU's - they fit more with my color palette.
Fashion Fatigue is right. Ever since the Donning of the Beret, the Army's been gettin' mighty pretty. I wore the new ACUs for a year before I got out, and while the camoflage isn't bad, per se, overall the new uniform isn't a great field uniform. The velcro wears out fast. The uniform looks funny when it's dirty. Even the colors make it look like it's only good for blending in with gravel parking lots or wads of cash. If I had to sneak around the woods some more, I'd pick the BDU over the ACU any day.
"although i guess that isnt what they are going for over there haha"
That falls under "the law of unintended consequences".....lucky us......>:-)
I knew I liked you for a reason, 'mander...
"only good for blending in with gravel parking lots"
And therein lie an apt description of the urban middle east.
The Army and Air Force are trying to keep up with us U.S. Marines, that's all...
I still like my tiger strips.
Any cracks about age and I'll flame broil you.
strips = stripes
That's why I became an Orkin Man.
Hey, whadda ya know. A Marine taking the opportunity to run down another branch of the service. How surprising.
Ah yes, I looked excellent as an Airman with my road guard ribbon on, drove the ladies wild. Well, not actually.
They HAVE to do that. Its because their paychecks all say:
If I make a crack about your age it's okay, because I'm alomst elderly myself. I got back in after a 15-20 year break in service, and now I think I'm the Army's oldest 1LT!
Awww ... did he hurt your widdle Army feelings?
Having spent many years sneaking around God's green, practicing for warfare in hills, woods, jungle and the cold, I found the OIF/OEF gig a little different than envisioned.
You can spend 1k on desert gear, to make sure that you're going to blend, and realize it was wasted money when-
1. You're issued green body armor.
2. Your teammates, who refrained from spending the money on desert gear, are also issued green body armor.
3. You either drive everywhere you're going in noisy humvees, or ride in noisy helicopters.
4. Once you disembark, you're wearing 80lbs of crap that isn't exactly made for stealth.
5. You're only doing night raids anyway.
Strips works. Maybe better than stripes.
(Wife thinks the best looking are Navy dress whites.)
"and now I think I'm the Army's oldest 1LT!"
No, I just read in either the VFW or Legion magazine about an old warbird who flew Hueys in VN and is flying Blackhawks now. Him and his cronies are all in their 60s.
And another guy I just read about is either 70 or pushing it. Last month's issue.
You are not alone!!
Nope-it just gets tiresome and I wonder why so many Marines seem to feel the need to run down the other services so often.
On a band trip in college (c 1983), one of the girls followed a guy around all day long because he looked so good in uniform. We didn't tell her that her heart throb was an Eagle Scout until we got back on the bus that evening.
Not that there's anything wrong with Eagle Scouts, ya know.
Last I heard, she's a professor at a major midwestern university.
Based on what I've seen so far, I like the ACU. I'm an army brat, and remember well the hell that poor SGT Dad experienced keeping the old OD fatigues looking good. These new unifirms are built for fighting, not standing parades on the Polo Field at Fort Bragg.
I wish we'd had something like this when I was in the Navy. The pockets, collar, fit, and ease of maintenance would have made wearing the uniform a pleasure instead of a chore. For the record, the only Navy duds I liked were the Crackerjacks; the Popeye suit (i.e. dress whites) was tacky, sweaty, and impossible to keep clean, and I utterly loathed dungarees. (Prison clothes that's all they are.)
And of course polishing boots is an utter and complete waste of time, no matter if you're at sea, ashore, or in the air.
Some squids back on the 'Prise got to wear Poopy Suits and ballcaps every day, and I envied them (except when they had to use the head); at least in overalls you look like a technician instead of an inmate at the state lockup.
If I were CNO the standard enlisted Navy uniform (at sea at least) would be something like the ACU, only in gray, of course. Otherwise, the at-sea UOD would be the poopy suit, ballcap, and sneakers. On the pier and ashore it'd be a modified Popeye (made from polycotton instead of G.D. polyester!) and the dixie cup for everyday wear, crackerjacks for dress.
A mess jacket is just peachy too ...
I liked them with potatos, over noodles, over rice, and spread on toast.
But the best was over grits. Now THAT'S some gooooooood eatin'.
Last time I wore my tropical whites, some butt head asked me where my ice cream truck was.
Marines in dress blues.....now that's hot!!!!!!
AAWW Jeez, here we go.....
You guys are making me laugh....LOL
The bullet catchers are so predictable.
I was rotary and always wondered why they even bothered to make us buy camo -- if we're on the ground, we were dead men walking, anyway.
My son is in the Marines, his best friend is in the Air Force and I have met some of his buddies in the Army....there is a lot of good natured ribbing with these guys including the jokes regarding Marines are all Braun and no Brains....they all take it in stride.....When I talk to my son about this he has a lot of respect for the other branches because they are all serving this country...
That is soooooooo funny.....great story
I always noticed Marines got airsick more than Army. (Briefly had to fill in on Utility, stateside.)
I think it was the sticks up their ass jamming their stomachs.
Hey, you don't even have to wear dress blues...some chicks dig those Dark Side unis.
Go here for a laugh: http://www.imperialchicks.com
"(Wife thinks the best looking are Navy dress whites.)"
They may look good but I swear when you put them on you attract every dirt particle within a fifty yard radius.
And of course the US Navy is the only service in which the wearer's underwear (the skivvy shirt) is a visible part of the dress uniform. Reaaaal classy. They say it's "tradition". My ass. If tradition is so important, they should just go all the way and have squids dress like jolly Jack Tars, complete with knee pants, Donald Duck caps, and ribbons in their hair.
(Sigh.) Oh well. Maybe the Space Force will get it right.
Former MM3, USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65)
"They HAVE to do that. Its because their paychecks all say:
U.S. Navy. "
Actually, we don't get paychecks anymore. Our pay is direct deposited into our bank accounts, but when we did get checks they said United States Treasury Department. Yes the Marine Corps is part of the Department of The Navy, WE ARE THE MEN'S DEPARTMENT!!!!!!
"Men in camo are hot."
(L98Fiero heads to surplus store)
"(Wife thinks the best looking are Navy dress whites.)"
Nooo! :-) I hated those. I liked the working blues or "stormtrooper" uniforms, even if I did have to wear a tie.
Whoa, now I know I'm behind the times.
How do the loan sharks get paid? We used to stand right behind the paymaster and when your patsy got his cash, you were right there to collect what he owed!
Man, times have changed!
"I liked the working blues or "stormtrooper" uniforms."
TK-421, why aren't you at your post?
BTW, nice try at spin on the Treasury department thing.
All gov checks say that. But the branch of the service was always stamped on the face of it too.
Sailors still fall overboard. You don't want camouflage at sea, especially camouflage that will blend in with a choppy sea with white caps.
"How do the loan sharks get paid?"
On-line bill pay.
You have to have a checking account and ATM card when you show up at Basic, or they issue you one (for a fee).