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Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization

Colin Parkinson

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FSTO said:
But....how would CJOC maintain its operational focus if they weren't wearing combats?

I puke a little everytime I see a sailor in blue camo. Can we have sailors actually look like sailors in clothing designed for their environment?
 

daftandbarmy

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Colin P said:
I puke a little everytime I see a sailor in blue camo. Can we have sailors actually look like sailors in clothing designed for their environment?

Remember though, we're the military that issued camouflage Airborne-style smocks and 'jump boots' so that everyone could feel like they were 'in the fight'.  ::)
 

dimsum

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Colin P said:
Can we have sailors actually look like sailors in clothing designed for their environment?

I'll put up an unpopular opinion - if it complies with safety requirements (ie. fire/flash safety, etc) then does the "look" of naval operational clothing matter?  Aside from the anchors and the colour scheme of black and blue, our NCDs don't scream "Navy" to anyone and if someone were to be teleported from WWII to now and see them, they wouldn't probably recognize them as sailors right away. 

I can't remember what book it was, but there was a line where in WWII, once they left port and were underway past the public eye, most sailors changed into sweaters, toques...whatever was comfortable.  When they entered port, they wore their "nice clothes" but that wasn't the case at all times.

 

daftandbarmy

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Dimsum said:
I'll put up an unpopular opinion - if it complies with safety requirements (ie. fire/flash safety, etc) then does the "look" of naval operational clothing matter?  Aside from the anchors and the colour scheme of black and blue, our NCDs don't scream "Navy" to anyone and if someone were to be teleported from WWII to now and see them, they wouldn't probably recognize them as sailors right away. 

I can't remember what book it was, but there was a line where in WWII, once they left port and were underway past the public eye, most sailors changed into sweaters, toques...whatever was comfortable.  When they entered port, they wore their "nice clothes" but that wasn't the case at all times.

... or shave :)
 

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winds_13

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Infanteer, I'd argue that "looking like a first world fighting force" means that in our appearance we resemble other first world militaries more than we do a 3rd world army or militia force. This comes down to a certain amount of uniformity and modern equipment. I'm not saying that we have to only wear issued equipment or be 100% the same but our current system seems to be to let soldiers wear anything (gloves, chest rigs, backpacks, toques,  eyewear, etc.) that is brown, tan, green, black, grey, multicam, coyote brown, CADPAT TW, CADPAT AR, etc.. Adopting Multicam, or a very close variant like our allies (they are all near indistinguishable from each other) would mean that aftermarket equipment would still maintain a degree of uniformity.

I don't think we all need identical boots but perhaps they should all be the same colour. The current boot regulations are vague to the point where one could simply wear construction boots, doc martens, or the issued parade boots and fall witin the guidelines.
 

PPCLI Guy

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winds_13 said:
Infanteer, I'd argue that "looking like a first world fighting force" means that in our appearance we resemble other first world militaries more than we do a 3rd world army or militia force.

Huh.  Having served in and with other "first world fighting forces" in garrison, the field, and on operations (as has Infanteer), I do not agree with your assertion.  We look an awful lot like our peers, in many ways - from boots to load carriage systems etc.  I will concede that what you may see on the street as ill-disciplined members walk around with a wide variety of backpacks could lead you to assume that we are a "3rd world army or militia force" but the operational reality is completely at odds with that assessment.

My  :2c:
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Colin P said:
Can we have sailors actually look like sailors in clothing designed for their environment?

Well, that is an interesting question, which leads to a second interesting one: How are sailors supposed to dress to look like sailors?

Put another way: What dress would make your average person (I go beyond only Canadians here) who is NOT a sailor look at someone else and exclaim "That's a sailor!"?

First, let me say that the current DEU does a decent job at that: It has the general cut of a uniform people are used to seeing sailors in, with its Navy blue/black colour, white hat, double breasted styling and ranks - at least for the officers - that look sailor like and could be found on most cruise ship seaman officer. And to me, it works for the actual seamen too, with only a square rig being more sailor like for them if you want to go there.

But what about at sea? Well, there, the "It's a sailor!" moment can only come from wearing something civilians would recognize as such. The bluish (US) and Greyish (Australia) cammo patterns or even brownish (Danish navy - see video below) ones are recognizable to civilians as they watch shows like The Last Ship, or NCIS, or Mighty Ships, or Sea Patrol. The uniform Navy blue colour ones that we are in the process of getting in Canada look close to the ones from many other nations, including the R.N., and so become more and more recognizable to people as being "sailors" uniforms.

But to say that, for shipboard dress, there is a dress we could wear that screams "sailor", is just completely unlikely. As many others have put here, the most important thing is that it fulfills the Navy's requirement for protection of its personnel, and if someone decided that its colour would be Canadian Army cammo pattern, it would not bother me in the slightest.

It's only ashore, in public, that the identity really matters and we have our DEU's for that.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DLgqr5HT8GQo&psig=AOvVaw3P2PSsM8mjkjrsfDUh3EpR&ust=1574638490790000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLDZyeS_geYCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ
 

Blackadder1916

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Dimsum said:
I can't remember what book it was, but there was a line where in WWII, once they left port and were underway past the public eye, most sailors changed into sweaters, toques...whatever was comfortable.  When they entered port, they wore their "nice clothes" but that wasn't the case at all times.

RCN operational dress, 1941 variety

Gerald Moore, a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy, smokes a cigarette whilst sitting on the deck of HMCS NIAGARA an ex-American Town class destroyer, 1941. He is wearing a peaked-hat with tied up ear covers commonly worn by Canadian servicemen.
THE ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. © IWM (A 3273) IWM Non Commercial License
 

FJAG

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Well, that is an interesting question, which leads to a second interesting one: How are sailors supposed to dress to look like sailors?

jack-sparrow-2-pirates-of-the-caribbean-5_a-G-14655116-0.jpg


You asked.

;D
 

FSTO

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Well, that is an interesting question, which leads to a second interesting one: How are sailors supposed to dress to look like sailors?

Put another way: What dress would make your average person (I go beyond only Canadians here) who is NOT a sailor look at someone else and exclaim "That's a sailor!"?

First, let me say that the current DEU does a decent job at that: It has the general cut of a uniform people are used to seeing sailors in, with its Navy blue/black colour, white hat, double breasted styling and ranks - at least for the officers - that look sailor like and could be found on most cruise ship seaman officer. And to me, it works for the actual seamen too, with only a square rig being more sailor like for them if you want to go there.

But what about at sea? Well, there, the "It's a sailor!" moment can only come from wearing something civilians would recognize as such. The bluish (US) and Greyish (Australia) cammo patterns or even brownish (Danish navy - see video below) ones are recognizable to civilians as they watch shows like The Last Ship, or NCIS, or Mighty Ships, or Sea Patrol. The uniform Navy blue colour ones that we are in the process of getting in Canada look close to the ones from many other nations, including the R.N., and so become more and more recognizable to people as being "sailors" uniforms.

But to say that, for shipboard dress, there is a dress we could wear that screams "sailor", is just completely unlikely. As many others have put here, the most important thing is that it fulfills the Navy's requirement for protection of its personnel, and if someone decided that its colour would be Canadian Army cammo pattern, it would not bother me in the slightest.

It's only ashore, in public, that the identity really matters and we have our DEU's for that.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DLgqr5HT8GQo&psig=AOvVaw3P2PSsM8mjkjrsfDUh3EpR&ust=1574638490790000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLDZyeS_geYCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

1st photo Lt John Stubbs shortly after bringing HMCS ASSINIBOINE alongside after its battle with U-210.

2nd photo Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf in the office

 

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SeaKingTacco

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I have read the few first person accounts of the RCN in World War 2 seem to exist (Saints, Devils and Ordinary Seamen; 50 North; The Champagne Navy- surely there must be others?).

In all cases, as soon as the ship was off the wall (and sometimes not even that long) uniformity was out the window in favour of whatever clothing would keep them comfortable.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Just give everyone a set of blue coveralls, job done:

exardentdefender18.jpg


Edit:  But then, submariners, clearance divers, NTOG, boarding party and ships divers would whine because people have somehow correlated wearing a pair of Dickies Coveralls from Marks Work Wearhouse with being special. 
 

chrisf

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Humphrey Bogart said:
Just give everyone a set of blue coveralls, job done:

exardentdefender18.jpg


Edit:  But then, submariners, clearance divers, NTOG, boarding party and ships divers would whine because people have somehow correlated wearing a pair of Dickies Coveralls from Marks Work Wearhouse with being special.

It boggles me that the navy won't embrace coveralls, that's what we do in the civilian sailing world and it's definitely the way to go...

Cheap, easy to carry an assortment of spares on board, available in flame retardant (and you get full body coverage for that purpose), and utilitarian.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Speaking to female sailors that I know, coveralls are not super popular for obvious abolution reasons.

The RCAF has both a two piece and one piece flying suit option that are authorized. Perhaps a solution for the RCN?
 

Halifax Tar

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I don't understand this either. 

I would take coveralls with a fleece and NCD style jacket any day!

While I do like the look of the new "combat style" NCDs, I think coveralls are still the way to go.
 

Old EO Tech

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Eye In The Sky said:
Everyone wears the same ankle boots or oxfords on the parade square...not really required in operational dress, though, is it?  Maybe the real need is to reconsider what 'uniform' means for op dress.  I don't care if everyone has the 'same make' of fire protective gloves on;  the important thing is that they are fire protective to the required spec.  If some are green, some brown....doesn't matter.

Well IMHO, the problem here is that we are using operational dress for daily work dress, which is both expensive and creates the "uniformity" problem.  Wearing 3B for us office dwellers works for this issues, but its actually not a very good uniform for anything but looking pretty, pockets are few and things constantly fall out of them, I know several people that have lost keys and had to retrace steps to find them.  There was nothing wrong with the work dress we had in the 90's, it had decent pockets etc, looked sharp and everyone had the same boots :-/  Sure we can improve on it, in fact I'd be ok with a non fire retardant camouflage version of NCD's with black combat boots...  Then we could save our expensive operational dress for operations :-/
 

daftandbarmy

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Halifax Tar said:
I don't understand this either. 

I would take coveralls with a fleece and NCD style jacket any day!

While I do like the look of the new "combat style" NCDs, I think coveralls are still the way to go.

I know some Armoured Corps folks who would agree with you.
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
I know some Armoured Corps folks who would agree with you.

My favourite field uniform of all time were the AFV crewsuits-both winter and summer. (I wish I still had the winter jacket.)

67292281_2498550180283867_736967176258322432_n.jpg


:cheers:
 

dimsum

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SeaKingTacco said:
Speaking to female sailors that I know, coveralls are not super popular for obvious abolution reasons.

The RCAF has both a two piece and one piece flying suit option that are authorized. Perhaps a solution for the RCN?

Only if they don't have to be tucked in! 

The RAN had gray coveralls for all sailors for a while.  They changed to the current style (not too different than our new style with different colour/pattern) afterwards.
 
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