The Army debuts new women-friendlier unisex uniform
Available in 16 sizes, the new uniform was tested by 600 female active-duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers in 2011.
by Danica Lo
For women in the military, it's been a long time in the making, but just recently — along with the announcement that it would open all units and jobs to women by 2016 — the U.S. Army debuted new women-friendlier unisex uniforms.
"The old uniform was meant to be one size fits five sizes; these are more tailored," said Central Initial Issue Point project manager Trevor Whitworth. "When you're low crawling or doing a lot of physical training, it's nice to have a pair of trousers that have a little give-and-take to them. I think having made uniforms for a female body type will make a big difference for female soldiers."
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Some of the changes to the current silhouette include adjusting the cut to fit a woman's chest, hips and waist better; narrower shoulder width and narrower back; shortening the button-fly rise and back rise to better fit women; and repositioned knee and elbow patches.
The new Army Combat Uniforms are being issued to new soldiers going through Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and will be available "at all installations except Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga.," according to CBS Atlanta. Available in 16 sizes, the new uniform was tested by 600 female active-duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers in 2011.
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"An overwhelming majority, 94 percent of all respondents, said that the cut of the new ACU-A allowed them to present a better military appearance," said Major Laverne Stanley, the assistant product manager of soldier clothing and individual equipment.
What do you think about the new uniforms? Did you know that one in six soldiers in the U.S. Army is a woman? Tell us what you think in the comments, below.
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Photos: Getty, U.S. Army
Which branch of the U.S. Armed Forces did you serve in when you were in actual combat and had a woman "cover your back"?
As a female who has been in the army and is currently signing up for a second go I can tell you that the prospect of new and better fitting uniforms is a welcome sign. I remember wearing through a pair of BDU's - oddly enough right below the patch in my trousers because guess what, they didn't fit right. Rolling up your sleeves for a task and having them roll down again because the sleeves are too big is frankly aggravating for someone in helicopter repair. This is not a 'sexist', 'fashion', or any other such decision. It is a tactical decision based on what is most effective: you wouldn't demand your men wear ill-fitting uniforms; why demand it of your women? And on that subject those who say combat is a men only field can take a quote (forgive me for using a pop-culture quote but it is just as true)
"The women of my country learned long ago that those who do not wield swords can still die upon them."
Women are not exempt from war when it strikes their country: in fact historically they have born the brunt of the brutality by being tortured, killed, raped, abused and treated as property by whatever conquering army comes marching in. Men worry about being dead - women worry about suffering much worse. So your notions of 'honorable man on man combat' can take a flying leap. I'll protect both myself and my country; your naive notions not withstanding.
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