18 May 2010

The Combat Arms Fashion Show

The gearheads in Red Bull Land have nearly wet themselves in anticipation of being issued MultiCam uniforms prior to our Afghanistan deployment. Most of us wish that we could just be issued the goodies now, so that--individually and collectively--we wouldn't have to cart all our sage-green-and-beige gear halfway across the country.

The more-than-rumor, less-than-fact story is that Our Tactical Christmas, however, will most likely NOT come early, so all you elves can go pound sand.

Still, that's not to say there isn't plenty to talk about around Ye Olde Office Lyster Bag:

The "Kit Up!" blog, for example, reports that Uncle Sam has decided to call our new duds the "Operation Enduring Freedom Flame-Resistant Army Combat Uniform" (F.R.A.C.U.) Even it it turns out not to be true, I am determined to get my fellow Red Bull soldiers to start calling them "Frak-Yous."

(Yes, I watched Battlestar Galactica when I was a kid. And more recently, too. Why do you ask?)

Continuing the Combat Arms Fashion Show, fellow Red Bull soldier and mil-blogger Gabe Haugland recently featured some pictures of a MultiCam shirt that may be used under ballistic vests in country. Dig the zippered sleeve-pockets!

Fellow commo-colleague Signaleer has pointed to the possibility that the "All-purpose Lightweight Carrying Equipment" ("ALICE") might be resurrected for Afghanistan, too. Unfortunately, the photo he found is of a pack constructed with Universal Camouflage Pattern (U.C.P.), not MultiCam. Still, I hope he's right--I recently spent about 2 hours trying to assemble my newly issued "+2 Bag of Holding" UCP rucksack--or whatever it's officially called--and almost cried when a buddy jokingly pulled on an emergency-release snap. The whole thing came off in his hand! I had to pull it completely apart to get to the broken, unserviceable part. Then it was a long, sad shuffle off to the company supply sergeant.

Bring back the good old bags!

Finally, the May 10, 2010 Army Times reports that the Army is testing three lightweight prototype alternatives to the currently (almost?) issued Mountain Combat Boot (M.C.B.). Initial MCB testers reportedly observed that the boots were too heavy and hot for summer use. According to the article, however, any newer, lighter boots will probably be pushed into the Army's Rapid Fielding Initiative (R.F.I.) program early next year. That means that the Red Bull will get the current Mountain Combat Boot.

Still, it's gratifying that Army is still trying to get things right, after realizing that the current desert boot might not be the best option for steep and rugged terrain. (Caveat, however: I'm not sure that so-called Fobbits, REMFs, and TOC-roaches like me need to change out their footgear. Give my boots to a soldier who needs them, rather have me play Project Runway on some Afghan tarmac.)


  1. Way back in the day my Scottish Grandmother would reminisce about WWII and be heard to mutter about "Those Yanks - Overdressed, Overpaid & Overhere"

    It's good to see that you guys can still muster up on one of those charges :D


  2. It still makes some soldiers ask: "Does this make my ass look fat?"

    I wish the Army would bring back the old OD Green Fatigues and Kakhi uniforms! Maybe add more pockets to the OD Green ones, but they looked better.

  3. What the Frak? Good news on the ALICE coming back... even it is just a rumor it is fun to contemplate! PDV


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