Monday, March 21, 2011
New Army Duffel Bag
From Army Times
The Army Uniform Board has made four changes to your clothing bag that will take effect in fiscal 2013.
Two items were shot down, and three other items are under consideration. Here are a few things you need to know:
Topping the list is a new duffel bag that has four straps and zips from both sides. This “huge improvement” means you don’t have to empty the bag to get something from the bottom, said Maj. Sequana Robinson, the clothing bag’s assistant product manager. The new duffel holds the same amount of gear as the current bag. It is easier to carry and the Velcro name tag eliminates spray painting.
Soldiers also will get a towel that better covers the body. The size will increase from 20x40 inches to 24x48 inches. And your washcloth will now be an 80 percent poly, 20 percent nylon fabric.
Another board decision: Soldiers will no longer get a second flash with the beret. The board surveyed 659 noncommissioned officers and found that 88 percent never used the item.
Cutting the extra flash, which costs 37 cents, will save the Army $1.24 million over five years. That money will be reinvested in the clothing bag, said Lt. Col. Michael Sloane, product manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment.
The new duffel will boost the Army’s cost from $22.20 to $29.61 each.
The new towel costs 30 cents more, but the new washcloth costs 29 cents less, so that’s a wash.
Side pockets for physical training shorts were shot down. Soldiers wanted the pockets to hold ID cards or keys. But the board said the current trunks already accommodate them. And speaking of deep pockets, the change would have cost $4.4 million over five years.
The board also nixed a flap to cover the Army Combat Uniform’s left sleeve pen pocket. An example was demonstrated, and the board saw some worth to the idea, but felt the $5.2 million it would cost over five years could be better invested elsewhere.
The uniform board is looking for lighter, moisture-wicking fabrics for PT gear and a softer, moisture-wicking towel. It also is looking for a better way to close the ACU sleeve — and buttons are under consideration, Sloane said.
Strong consideration also will be given to liners in PT shorts. Soldiers are allowed to wear black bicycle shorts under PT shorts. The board tested 600 soldiers in four locations from August to January. It now must decide whether to provide the bicycle liner, and if so whether it should be a stand-alone product or one attached to PT shorts.
Army Regulation 70-1 identifies 17 positions to make up the uniform board. The board meets every six months. It relies on product demonstrations, open dialogue and informed decisions to rapidly design and distribute better products, Sloane said. All recommendations have to be approved by the Army chief of staff.
Posted by PvtCarlin at 06:33