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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 Glamour Magazine Jul 29, 2013 9:43PM

Photo: Female in the army // Getty, U.S. Armyby 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.

Army uniformThe 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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Female army personnel

"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

828Comments
Aug 5, 2013 7:25PM
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I'm just trying to figure out why they completely, from head to toe, tailored them for a woman's body, but said they are unisex?
Aug 5, 2013 6:25PM
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Wow they just skipped right past the actual news in this fashion story.   All units are opening to women in 2016.  Seems a little mention the DRAFT now includes women should have been tossed in there to get an idea what agenda our gov is headed for.    
Aug 5, 2013 5:16PM
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Food for thought.... 
Imagine the roles were flipped. The women were the ones who traditionally served and men were barely being allowed to serve. Would the women's uniforms be adequate  for the men or would a new one need to be designed? I understand this is a limited set of parameters to make a decision with but considering only these parameters I think the obvious answer would be yes. Men and Women have completely different bodies with different capabilities and ranges of motion which can either be enhanced or restricted by their clothing/armor/etc. In order to allow the greatest efficiency of body movement a gender specific uniform would seem like an obvious essential. The women's uniforms go well beyond being fashionable and dive into years of common sense, research, and practicality to translate what has been learned in the civilian market into something that would properly function in a military application. 
Aug 5, 2013 3:49PM
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S,M,L for men, why not for women.  and I never served because I married a service man and he didnt want me to serve but I dont have to explain everything to any of ya'll. I've lived this life long enough to know that the men, WHICH IS THE MAJORITY OF OUR ARMED FORCES, dont get very many "accommodations "as the women. Men get S,M,L women should get the same. And if you want to get with sexist I agree with Pseu_An. Men HAVE to register for selective service so women should also. IF I am sexiest towards women it is because they want to be fairly treated yet they want more privileges than men because they are women. How is that fair. 
Aug 2, 2013 9:02PM
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Do they have casual Friday's in the armed forces?
Aug 2, 2013 3:35PM
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Samurai Soldier-

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"?

Aug 1, 2013 10:06PM
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Wake up Pentagon - Males & Females are much more different than the obvious. Unisex  uniforms wont work ...........NEVER !  Let female Veterans design a Female uniform, and stop wasting Tax payers Dollars.
Aug 1, 2013 7:39PM
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My first comment is to all those who who are a) not girls and b) have never served in the armed forces : kindly shut it.

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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