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USAF cammo blues

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  • USAF cammo blues

    Another tidbit passed on from a USAF retiree...

    May 26, 2004

    Air Force leaders are pushing ahead with plans to outfit personnel with new combat fatigues, which seems like an innocent enough undertaking. Far from it. In fact, a previous attempt to outfit the air troops in new togs crashed and burned. More on that in a moment.

    Right now, nearly 600 personnel at nine Air Force bases
    are modeling the tiger-striped utility uniforms of blue,
    gray and green. The fatigues not only look and feel good, according to Air Force brass, but they're made of a more durable wash-and-wear material. This saves time -- and potentially saves the wearer $180 to $240 each year on dry cleaning.

    The new design also would give the Air Force a
    distinctive look. Airmen now wear the same woodland-pattern fatigues the Army uses -- too much of a reminder, it seems, that the air service was once part of the ground service.

    "We wanted something that was uniquely Air Force," spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens said. Assuming the "wear test" goes well, the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. John Jumper, could designate the tiger stripes as standard gear by the end of the year, Stephens said.

    To understand how controversial changing uniforms can be, take the catwalk back to the era of the Air Force's "Manly Man."

    In October 1990, Gen. Merrill McPeak took over as chief of staff. A hard-charging fighter pilot, McPeak wanted the Air Force to become the dominant military service branch. In pursuit of that vision, McPeak wanted the Air Force organized around, and run by, fighter pilots like him. For those who flew bombers and cargo aircraft, this was a bitter pill to swallow.

    McPeak thought changes in appearance were needed, so he ordered a redesign of the blue dress uniform. Among the
    most significant changes, epaulets were removed and rank
    insignia was put on the sleeve.

    If McPeak's goal was to be distinctive, he scored. The
    result was a cross between what a bus driver and an airline
    pilot would wear. One officer privately complained he looked like
    Ralph Kramden.

    Perhaps McPeak's most controversial move, however, was
    to ban the wearing of crew neck T-shirts under the open-necked, light-blue uniform blouse. McPeak thought the combination was unkempt. V- neck tees were acceptable. For rank-and-file airmen, however, this was more of McPeak's machismo run amok.

    A series of underground "brown papers" began circulating
    inside the Pentagon poking fun at the general. In them, his
    reforms were mocked as "The Emergence of the Manly Man."

    "What this type of undershirt hides is the amount of chest hair of the USAF member," one paper says of the crew-neck decision. "The implication, of course, is that the more chest
    hair, the better."

    McPeak retired in November 1994. His replacement, Gen. Ronald Fogleman, wasted little time in reversing many fashion decisions.

    No doubt aware of the previous backlash, Jumper has said feedback from the troops is essential before a change is
    made. The Air Force will establish a Web site soon so airmen
    can offer opinions.

    Although far from scientific or official, an informal Internet poll of more than 600 Air Force officer candidates found close to 30 percent "love" or "like" the new fatigues; a whopping 50
    percent said they "hate" the new tiger stripes or would wear
    them only if they must. The final 20 percent weren't sure.

    "Nothing is set in stone," Stephens said. "We don't want to make
    changes if the airmen don't want them."


    For those who don't know what they're talking about, the USAF is looking at blue tiger-stripe cammos instead of using the 'standard' woodland/NATO cammo pattern that they've been using for years. I'm sure the 'we want to look different from the Army' is a compelling reason in the USAF wedge of the Puzzle Palace, but when was the last time nature used blue as cammoflage?
    If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

  • #2
    Oh man I've seen this thing. They talk about it being distinctive and I have to agree with them. It looks like the uniform of some banana republic dictator soldiers. Or was it a Jean Claude Van Dam movie (Street Fighter??) that I saw it in....

    Here's a link to what they look like

    Happy to be an Army of One if thats what the AF has to wear...


    • #3
      Maybe it's "urban camo" or "night camo."
      "You realize that if I could actually purchase a weapon, I would stab you with it now?" --Roy, Order of the Stick #136

      Governor of South Florida, Cuba, Louisiana, Manhattan, Hawaii, Illinois, Moon and Mars. Chief of Cybernetics Div., S.INC


      • #4
        Poor wingwipers, they would look silly in a jungle environment.
        But they would surely add color to an otherwise drab surroundings in desert areas. :thumb:

        We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don't care for.
        -Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
        I hate it when I see one of those road signs that says "Draw Bridge Ahead" and I don't have a pencil.
        -Lou Chiafullo


        • #5
          LOL,I saw pics of these things in Army times a few months back,Looked like those ghetto-flauge outfits kids wear now.
          (the camo in pink,blue,etc)
          Delegate, MN GOP.




          • #6
            Looks Like Urban Camo

            Looks like the camo is designed for Urban warfare. I don't know if this will allow you to hide successfully on the tarmac. They certainly will stand out more on the golf course, at the beach, and tanning salons. No doubt they will issue them two wheel drive SUVs and snazzy scarfs to go with this outfit.


            • #7
              The article I read used the justification that blue is an Air Force colour,seems a weak arguement to me.
              Delegate, MN GOP.




              • #8
                It looks like the uniform of some banana republic dictator soldiers.
                and the validictorian for the School of the Americas is.....
                Attached Files
                Delegate, MN GOP.

                PATRIA SI, COMUNISMO NO



                • #9
                  I think it's a plot by the pilots to make them look even "sexier" in their flight suits.


                  • #10
                    Pilots wear that thing too?!

                    There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste.
                    -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
                    I hate it when I see one of those road signs that says "Draw Bridge Ahead" and I don't have a pencil.
                    -Lou Chiafullo


                    • #11
                      No way, they'll still wear their zippy suits and make fun of the "smurfs gone bad"


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