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New Uniforms Ready for Women in U.S. Army

Category: It`s interesting to know 

A new combat uniform specially designed to fit the female body is now available in the U.S. army, almost a month after it was announced that all military jobs would be open to women by 2016.
The début of the Combat Uniform-Alternate is the first in a series of moves the Army hopes to make in the next three years to help fully integrate female soldiers.
With narrower shoulders, a slightly tapered waist and a more spacious seat, the unisex clothing line has been in the works since 2009.
It is now being issued to all the Army's installations - except for Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia - for women and also men with a smaller or more slender body.

Unlike the decades-old Army combat uniform, which comes in 36 sizes and was designed principally by men for men, the alternate clothing line was created to fit a broader range of body types, officials say.
The trousers feature wider areas at the hips, waist and backside; elastic around the waistband instead of pull string; adjusted pockets and knee-pad inserts; and a shortened rise in pants.
The jackets include adjusted rank and name tape positioning, adjusted pockets and elbow-pad inserts, slimmer shoulders, a thinner and more fitted waist, and a longer and wider coat bottom.
Also, buttons are replacing the fabric fastener pockets.
According to a 2008 Army focus group report, 'unisex' combat uniforms designed for men fit many women badly in the shoulders, bust, hips and crotch.

These deficiencies left many buying sizes that were too large.
The Army designed a solution and had 400 active-duty and 200 National Guard and Reserve female soldiers fit-test the line in 2011.
Eighty-six percent said the coat fitted better and 71 per cent said the trousers fitted better, said Major Laverne Stanley, the assistant product manager of soldier clothing and individual equipment.
'An overwhelming majority, 94 per cent of all respondents, said that the cut of the new ACU-A allowed them to present a better military appearance,' she said.

Roughly one in every six U.S. soldiers is a woman and, last month, the Army announced that the ratio likely will increase by early 2014, when the service will continue its efforts to open all closed units and military occupational specialities to women.
In 2012, the Army opened 14,000 positions in closed units to female soldiers, and this year, senior leadership has signalled its intent to open an additional 6,000 infantry, armour and field artillery positions before accepting female applicants into reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting and acquisition battalions.

The Army is planning to develop gender-neutral standards to ensure all soldiers have fair access to jobs.
Beginning in July 2014, the Army will open military occupational specialities within its engineer branch then follow up with positions in its field artillery, armour and infantry branches.
The changes will lead to more than 116,800 new opportunities for women in the Army.
The service said it is developing body armour, flight suits and physical training uniforms for women.


Tags: Women U.S. Army

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