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Army’s Fashion Fatigue
New York Times ^ | October 5, 2006 | LILY BURANA

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. It’s Cupid’s oldest trick: dress a man for war and love walks in.

Every girl who’s 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, it’s 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 don’t 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 husband’s B.D.U.’s were my connection to the viscera of soldierdom. They were honest....

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
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Being a guy, I've never looked at BDU's this way.

This seems like a really charming op-ed piece, and it's nice of our good friends at the NY Times to print it.

1 posted on 10/05/2006 12:20:43 PM PDT by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

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..."


2 posted on 10/05/2006 12:24:18 PM PDT by 2banana
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To: 68skylark

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.


3 posted on 10/05/2006 12:24:59 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 2banana

Men in camo are hot.

[I look forward to the local hunting season just for the purpose of gawking].....;D


4 posted on 10/05/2006 12:25:55 PM PDT by Salamander (And don't forget my Dog; fixed and consequent.......)
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To: Salamander

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


5 posted on 10/05/2006 12:27:31 PM PDT by swimmer luvs texas
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To: 68skylark

Cute article, however, I must say that I prefer the ACU's - they fit more with my color palette.


6 posted on 10/05/2006 12:30:50 PM PDT by CheneyChick
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To: 68skylark

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.


7 posted on 10/05/2006 12:32:07 PM PDT by Steel Wolf (As Ibn Warraq said, "There are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam.")
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To: swimmer luvs texas

"although i guess that isnt what they are going for over there haha"

That falls under "the law of unintended consequences".....lucky us......>:-)


8 posted on 10/05/2006 12:35:06 PM PDT by Salamander (And don't forget my Dog; fixed and consequent.......)
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To: Salamander
Men in camo are hot.

I knew I liked you for a reason, 'mander...

9 posted on 10/05/2006 12:38:03 PM PDT by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: Steel Wolf

"only good for blending in with gravel parking lots"

And therein lie an apt description of the urban middle east.


10 posted on 10/05/2006 12:38:20 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: 68skylark

The Army and Air Force are trying to keep up with us U.S. Marines, that's all...

Semper Fidelis!


11 posted on 10/05/2006 12:39:04 PM PDT by fontman
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To: 68skylark

I still like my tiger strips.


Any cracks about age and I'll flame broil you.


12 posted on 10/05/2006 12:39:35 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: Al Gator

strips = stripes

long day


13 posted on 10/05/2006 12:42:17 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: 68skylark
I heard that women go nuts over a guy in uniform.

That's why I became an Orkin Man.

14 posted on 10/05/2006 12:43:10 PM PDT by Octar
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To: fontman

Hey, whadda ya know. A Marine taking the opportunity to run down another branch of the service. How surprising.


15 posted on 10/05/2006 12:43:41 PM PDT by 91B (God made man, Sam Colt made men equal)
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To: 2banana
"This one was for flying door gunner in the Space Shuttle..."

LOL !!

16 posted on 10/05/2006 12:44:45 PM PDT by Centurion2000 ("Be polite and courteous, but have a plan to KILL everybody you meet.")
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To: 2banana

Ah yes, I looked excellent as an Airman with my road guard ribbon on, drove the ladies wild. Well, not actually.


17 posted on 10/05/2006 12:45:11 PM PDT by alarm rider (Casting a large net for new, shiny tag lines...)
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To: 91B

fontman,

They HAVE to do that. Its because their paychecks all say:

U.S. Navy.


HEHEHEHe


18 posted on 10/05/2006 12:45:48 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: Al Gator
Any cracks about age and I'll flame broil you.

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!

19 posted on 10/05/2006 12:47:45 PM PDT by 68skylark
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To: 91B
Hey, whadda ya know. A Marine taking the opportunity to run down another branch of the service. How surprising.

Awww ... did he hurt your widdle Army feelings?

20 posted on 10/05/2006 12:48:34 PM PDT by Centurion2000 ("Be polite and courteous, but have a plan to KILL everybody you meet.")
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To: MeanWestTexan
And therein lie an apt description of the urban middle east.

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.

21 posted on 10/05/2006 12:49:33 PM PDT by Steel Wolf (As Ibn Warraq said, "There are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam.")
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To: Al Gator

Strips works. Maybe better than stripes.

(Wife thinks the best looking are Navy dress whites.)


22 posted on 10/05/2006 12:50:39 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: 68skylark

"and now I think I'm the Army's oldest 1LT!"

LOL

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!!


23 posted on 10/05/2006 12:50:53 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: Centurion2000
Awww ... did he hurt your widdle Army feelings?

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.

24 posted on 10/05/2006 12:51:27 PM PDT by 91B (God made man, Sam Colt made men equal)
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To: Al Gator

Heh.


25 posted on 10/05/2006 12:52:10 PM PDT by 91B (God made man, Sam Colt made men equal)
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To: Octar
I heard that women go nuts over a guy in uniform.

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.

26 posted on 10/05/2006 12:53:33 PM PDT by Stegall Tx (Pray often. Aim high. Act your wage)
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To: 68skylark

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.


27 posted on 10/05/2006 12:55:03 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: 68skylark
It's not the uniform, it's the weapon...lol
28 posted on 10/05/2006 12:55:42 PM PDT by mystery-ak (My Son, My Soldier, My Hero........God Speed Jonathan......)
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To: 68skylark

A mess jacket is just peachy too ...


29 posted on 10/05/2006 12:56:33 PM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: fontman
Some here have taken unkindly to your "put-downs" of other services. As an Army vet, I always liked the Marines.

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'.

30 posted on 10/05/2006 12:57:13 PM PDT by dersepp (I Am A Militia Of One)
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To: B-Chan

Last time I wore my tropical whites, some butt head asked me where my ice cream truck was.


31 posted on 10/05/2006 12:57:21 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: fontman

Marines in dress blues.....now that's hot!!!!!!


32 posted on 10/05/2006 12:57:36 PM PDT by Kimmers
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To: dersepp

AAWW Jeez, here we go.....


33 posted on 10/05/2006 12:58:28 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: Centurion2000

You guys are making me laugh....LOL


34 posted on 10/05/2006 12:59:04 PM PDT by Kimmers
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To: 91B
Hey, whadda ya know. A Marine taking the opportunity to run down another branch of the service. How surprising.

!!!!!!

The bullet catchers are so predictable.

35 posted on 10/05/2006 1:00:11 PM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Steel Wolf

So true.

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.


36 posted on 10/05/2006 1:02:52 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: 91B

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...


37 posted on 10/05/2006 1:04:18 PM PDT by Kimmers
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To: Stegall Tx

That is soooooooo funny.....great story


38 posted on 10/05/2006 1:05:09 PM PDT by Kimmers
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To: 91B

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.


39 posted on 10/05/2006 1:06:43 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: 2banana
You want to pick up chicks? - wear the dress blues with all the fruit salad.

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

40 posted on 10/05/2006 1:09:00 PM PDT by demnomo
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

"(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.


41 posted on 10/05/2006 1:10:17 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: Al Gator
I hated those tacky, clingy things! Wearing the Popeye suit was like wearing a garbage bag. They kept your body heat and moisture in while remaining impervious to cooling breezes. I had to stand a watch in shaft alley once while wearing them, just in case a visiting dignitary (then-Vice President George H.W. Bush) decided to drop in to #4 shaft alley for an inspection -- as if that brownshoe flyboy would have ever gone below the waterline! Talk about sweaty — I lokked like I had been dunked in saliva after my watch. Ruined the uniform, too.

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.

B-chan
Former MM3, USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65)

42 posted on 10/05/2006 1:11:44 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Al Gator

"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!!!!!!


43 posted on 10/05/2006 1:12:18 PM PDT by sean327 (God created all men equal, then some become Marines!)
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To: Salamander

"Men in camo are hot."

(L98Fiero heads to surplus store)


44 posted on 10/05/2006 1:13:20 PM PDT by L98Fiero (Evil is an exact science)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

"(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.


45 posted on 10/05/2006 1:15:12 PM PDT by L98Fiero (Evil is an exact science)
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To: sean327

Direct Deposit?

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!


46 posted on 10/05/2006 1:15:53 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: L98Fiero

"I liked the working blues or "stormtrooper" uniforms."

TK-421, why aren't you at your post?


47 posted on 10/05/2006 1:17:31 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: sean327

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.

Nyuk Nyuk


48 posted on 10/05/2006 1:17:31 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
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To: B-Chan
If I were CNO the standard enlisted Navy uniform (at sea at least) would be something like the ACU, only in gray, of course.

Sailors still fall overboard. You don't want camouflage at sea, especially camouflage that will blend in with a choppy sea with white caps.

49 posted on 10/05/2006 1:19:11 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: Al Gator

"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).


50 posted on 10/05/2006 1:19:11 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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