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Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization

Navy_Pete

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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!"?

If giant f** off anchors, NAVY in big letters, and ship ballcaps can't do it while someone is working on a ship, I'm not really sure what else you can do.  I still encounter all kinds of people that have no idea we have a Navy, so I think the obsession with public perception for a work uniform is waste of time.

Personally, the last thing I want is a uniform that blends in with the ocean if I fall overboard, which is why I don't understand the blue camo pattern at all. At that point, I want to be as visible as possible, so am a fan of the bright orange survival suit and all the orange/reflective tape on the inflatable harnesses. The current NCDs/new NCDs are pretty functional and look pretty decent, so why not stop messing around with changing them and try having them in stock?
 

dimsum

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Navy_Pete said:
Personally, the last thing I want is a uniform that blends in with the ocean if I fall overboard, which is why I don't understand the blue camo pattern at all. At that point, I want to be as visible as possible, so am a fan of the bright orange survival suit and all the orange/reflective tape on the inflatable harnesses. The current NCDs/new NCDs are pretty functional and look pretty decent, so why not stop messing around with changing them and try having them in stock?

RAN NCDs have large reflective strips on the upper arms.  I thought that was a great idea for visibility.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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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

Well since you asked:

popeye-1.jpg
 

Eye In The Sky

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FJAG said:
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:

Just had to remember to "up-size" the jacket or it was awful tight.  And...not great in a dismounted OP in real cold!  I also loved the AFV suit/jacket...

My daily dress now...2 piece flight suit.  I prefer the 2 piece for comfort and 'ease'...not just using the facilities, but during missions / Hot Wx ops, I could remove the shirt and not have to walk around with coveralls tight around my waist. 
 

Eye In The Sky

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

Someday...hopefully.  We just need a shirt with a different cut to it so it doesn't look so bad as the current one would.
 

FJAG

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Eye In The Sky said:
Just had to remember to "up-size" the jacket or it was awful tight.  And...not great in a dismounted OP in real cold!

For that I opted for the AFV winter coverall trouser (with the handy poop flap), a parka and mukluks. You could sit in a snow covered OP for hours in those.

:cheers:
 

Furniture

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Dimsum said:
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.

I imagine the change from coveralls to a two piece system is rooted in one of the key issues with coveralls. They are either too big, or too small.

For people like me who wear 73 length tops, but 70 length bottoms we end up with a permanent wedgie, or looking like we stepped out of a 90s rap video with our crotch seam down at our knees.



 

chrisf

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Personally I like mine baggy in the crotch, gives me more freedom of movement and my pockets are usually filled with tools anyway...

North American coverall sizes are usually pretty good for most North American males, not always so good for North American females.

That's standard sized coveralls in the civilian world though, which come in surprisingly standard sizes even between different manufacturers, can only assume the forces would find a way to mess it up.

European coverall sizes are a whole different mess when worn on North Americans though, far different length to width ratios.

That being said, if your concern is a difference of a couple of inches in size, it brings you back full circle to the root of the problem with military uniforms... the never ending battle between "appearance" and "functionality".
 

quadrapiper

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Not a Sig Op said:
Personally I like mine baggy in the crotch, gives me more freedom of movement and my pockets are usually filled with tools anyway...
Until you tear the crotch out scrambling over something.
 

quadrapiper

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FJAG said:
For that I opted for the AFV winter coverall trouser (with the handy poop flap), a parka and mukluks. You could sit in a snow covered OP for hours in those.

:cheers:
Were those broadly intended for dry cold, or also good for the damper West Coast snow?
 

dimsum

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Eye In The Sky said:
Someday...hopefully.  We just need a shirt with a different cut to it so it doesn't look so bad as the current one would.

They could have cut the bottoms of the shirts to be straight across instead of being longer in the front and back.  That's pretty much the only difference.
 

chrisf

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quadrapiper said:
Until you tear the crotch out scrambling over something.

It happens, I work in a industrial environment, on a ship, and realistically, a pair of coveralls lasts me 6-8 weeks.

Sometimes they last me longer but usually for me, the pockets are getting pretty shredded after 8 weeks regardless.

That's flame retardant coveralls, they're usually $120, the nicer ones are $150-200 "off the shelf"

Anyone buying in bulk should be paying less.

Once I rip the crotch out, no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker to grab another pair.

That's what happens when clothing is reasonably priced and easy to keep in stock.

That's why it boggles me that the navy doesn't embrace them. *shrug*
 

Eye In The Sky

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Dimsum said:
They could have cut the bottoms of the shirts to be straight across instead of being longer in the front and back.  That's pretty much the only difference.

This solution would require extensive testing over a number of years....you couldn't simply 'modify' an existing item to the specs the actual users say "would work great!"  ;D
 

Navy_Pete

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Not a Sig Op said:
Personally I like mine baggy in the crotch, gives me more freedom of movement and my pockets are usually filled with tools anyway...

North American coverall sizes are usually pretty good for most North American males, not always so good for North American females.

That's standard sized coveralls in the civilian world though, which come in surprisingly standard sizes even between different manufacturers, can only assume the forces would find a way to mess it up.

European coverall sizes are a whole different mess when worn on North Americans though, far different length to width ratios.

That being said, if your concern is a difference of a couple of inches in size, it brings you back full circle to the root of the problem with military uniforms... the never ending battle between "appearance" and "functionality".

Big fan of the offshore coveralls. Can't remember if it was something similar to AOPS or the Bonn class, but they had a small change room with a shower in the entrance to the engine room specifically so the techs could get changed in/out of coveralls they wore while doing normal work in the space.  Makes sense to me! Was looking at some recently, and they were about $150-180. Last time I looked, the NCDs were about that for each piece. Maybe not issue them to everyone for normal wear, but would be good for the 20% or so of the crew doing when they are doing some of the greasy maintenance/repairs.
 

chrisf

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Are NCDs nomex or treated cotton or a treated/cotton synthetic blend?

Very few in the civillian world still wearing straight nomex any more, I've got a few pieces of cold weather gear in nomex, but that's it.

Treated cotton coveralls are the cheapest, but not usually too durable.

There's other synthetics on the market and synthetic/cotton blends, big fan of these, more comfortable are more durable.

No idea what standard NCDs are tested to, but everything I wear has to be tested HRC2, for arc flash, its a bit of a higher standard than just straight "flame retardant".

The polys in an HRC2 are usually about $180 for a pair, but that's the off the shelf price. Those usually last me an extra month over the treated cotton type.

I'd guess you could get it down to $100 in bulk no problem, and no problem to get in whatever colour you want.
 

Furniture

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Not a Sig Op said:
Are NCDs nomex or treated cotton or a treated/cotton synthetic blend?

Very few in the civillian world still wearing straight nomex any more, I've got a few pieces of cold weather gear in nomex, but that's it.

Treated cotton coveralls are the cheapest, but not usually too durable.

There's other synthetics on the market and synthetic/cotton blends, big fan of these, more comfortable are more durable.

No idea what standard NCDs are tested to, but everything I wear has to be tested HRC2, for arc flash, its a bit of a higher standard than just straight "flame retardant".

The polys in an HRC2 are usually about $180 for a pair, but that's the off the shelf price. Those usually last me an extra month over the treated cotton type.

I'd guess you could get it down to $100 in bulk no problem, and no problem to get in whatever colour you want.

Your $180 coveralls aren't artisanal works from a company with no prior experience making coveralls, located in Quebec or some other important(Minister's) riding. 

They aren't sold by a haberdashery located in Quebec that specializes in not having sizes people wear in sufficient quantities, ergo we will never have them.
 

chrisf

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Furniture said:
Your $180 coveralls aren't artisanal works from a company with no prior experience making coveralls, located in Quebec or some other important(Minister's) riding. 

They aren't sold by a haberdashery located in Quebec that specializes in not having sizes people wear in sufficient quantities, ergo we will never have them.

Sarcasm and pork-barrelling aside, there's several Canadian manufacturers making them and other good quality FR clothing.

Suppliers are only going to bid and supply what the customer specs and buys.

Same problem comes up over and over again in Canadian procurement, reinventing the wheel and going with a custom product when proven off-the-shelf solutions exist.
 

Halifax Tar

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Low stock of clothing is compound issue to deal with and there are multi factors.

1) We didn't set up the contract to have provide the correct amount of clothing available at all times; and

2) We didn't/don't set up a performance based contract whereby the vendor gets incentives to timely deliveries and keeping stock on hand; and

3) We are too quick to scrap clothing and equipment that still has life left in it; Go check out your local Army surplus for validation; and

4) We have bought into the "just on time" logistics/delivery method relying heavily on vendor warehousing and supply/delivery, which in my opinion is counter to what we require in military logistics.  I need mass amounts stores to sit on shelves and wait to be used quickly, rather than empty shelves and hopeful supply by contract after the need arises. 
 

Stoker

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Coveralls all the way as it makes sense in many ways as mentioned here. Over the my past 30 years coveralls have come up, time and time again on the various dress committees. These committees are staffed by a lot of senior dinosaurs people who see coveralls as somehow lazy and unsanitary when going to the heads. As the final trial is currently going on for the new NCD's, it will never happen.
 

PPCLI Guy

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Halifax Tar said:
3) We are too quick to scrap clothing and equipment that still has life left in it; Go check out your local Army surplus for validation; and

I completely concur.  Sadly, this is our approach now:

Not a Sig Op said:
Once I rip the crotch out, no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker to grab another pair.

We used to issue sewing kits - we also issued SNCOs who would jack you up for ill-repaired clothing, and ensure kit was truly worn out / irreparable before it went to clothing stores for exchange.  It should not be lost on anyone that "no big deal, toss them and go to the supply locker" is likely a contributing factor to shortages of kit.

"One man one kit" does not mean that every person always has brand new kit.  It means that every person is responsible for the care, cleaning, and repair of their kit.  That shows true pride.

Old timer rant ends.
 
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