Guardsmen love the new "look" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Guardsmen love the new "look"

February 8, 2005

Fort Stewart-- When the 48th Infantry Brigade gets to Iraq the soldiers will be wearing new combat uniforms.

Tuesday morning, the United States Army rolled out its first new uniform since 1980, and the citizen soldiers of the 48th Brigade are giving them the thumbs up.

From the tops of their heads, to the soles of their feet, Guardsmen are being outfitted in the new ACUs: Army Combat Uniforms. Two years in the making, the new uniforms are much more soldier-friendly.

Army green and brown are replaced with softer shades of gray, green and khaki. And you won't find any buttons of the ACUs.

"We put a zipper in the uniform, and then we reinforced it with Velcro," said Uniform Designer SFC Jeff Myhre. "The buttons are very hard, and when we put a body armor plate against those buttons, and the soldier is getting down on the ground and then back up, you're just beating the buttons into their chest."

And soldiers no longer have to pay to get patches sewn on. "U. S. Army, the name, and the rank can no be moved from the blouse of the uniform to the body armor, to the back of the hat, to the ruck sack, because it's not sewn on anymore."

Designed with comfort in mind, the new suits get high marks from the citizen soldiers. "It's light, versatile, and doesn't take a lot of maintenance," says Sgt. Maj. James Nelson a Sylvester Soldier. "You can wash it and hang it up, and the next day, it's ready, and has the creases in it that you would need."

At $80 each, the new uniforms cost the same as what they replaced, and they're much more comfortable.

posted at 6:55PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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