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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Army Combat Uniform - Alternate

There have been even further developments in the design of the Army Combat Uniform beyond flame resistance or any camouflage change. We had posted two years ago that the Department of Defense would be looking to develop a standard anti-pest protection for uniforms of all services and around the same time plans were in the work for a Female specific ACU design. 

ACU-A: Army Combat Uniform - Alternate
Photo by US Army Sgt. Hutto
We have yet to see a universal approach adopted for a treatment to keep bugs away, the U.S. Army has reported that they will have uniforms made that are pre-treated with Permethrin made available to all soldiers. While, this ACU is not unique given prior incarnations for the Army Combat Uniform with Permethrin, it will now be available to all soldiers and known as the ACU-P and is supposed to last for up to 50 washings.

The intended purpose for a female Army Combat Uniform was to design a trouser and coast that best contoured to the shape of typical women. A new turn in events has created the ACU-A, which is strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. Stripes.com reported that an unidentified source at PEO Soldier said they will not release a female-specific uniform, but instead an ACU that is available for both men and women, which will still be known as the Army Combat Uniform - Alternate. 

While, developed for wider hips and rear, and featuring an elastic waist among other features to fit the contours of a woman, they have found that some men would better fit the uniform as well for a more professional appearance. 

We think women will appreciate the new option made available to better fit their bodies, but this begs the question as to how inventory will be handled. A dual option approach for quantities will need to accommodate everyone's preferences now that man can choose the ACU-A and women can go either way as well. 

More complicated tasks for outfitting soldiers with their needs have been accomplished in the past. The Air Force, though smaller in size, has an ABU for Men or Women, but we haven't heard of men picking up the ABU for Women. Of course, a smirk will be more warranted if we find out that the male soldiers in order to accommodate a larger cup size are looking to pick up the GEN III IOTV currently being tested to better fit the female body. 

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