Army Testing Hot Weather Uniform, Boots

Washington Report

(December 12, 2017) A uniform designed for wear in hot weather and tropical humidity will be tested early next year. Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii will wear the uniforms and new jungle boots in February during the Pacific Pathways exercise in the Philippines and Thailand, according to Army Times.

The new uniform is manufactured from a lighter, more breathable and durable fabric, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Allen, a product manager for soldier clothing at Program Executive Office Soldier. He said the new uniform dries in 60 minutes, 30 minute faster than the Army’s previous hot-weather uniform.

Also, the soldiers in Hawaii will wear the latest version of jungle boots that weigh 1-1/2 pounds and are designed to prevent soldiers from rolling their ankles.

“It is definitely unique in that it’s designed entirely to not hold any moisture and to offer greater traction in mud,” said Capt. Daniel Ferenczy, the assistant product manager for extreme-weather clothing at PEO Soldier.

The boots and uniform were the topic of a press roundtable last week at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The need for uniforms and boots suited to tropical climates comes as the Army plans more exercises and training the Pacific regon, the publication reported.

The boots have drainage vents that prevent them from becoming soggy and heavy. A cushion built into the heel provides comfort, but does not soak up water.

The uniform features a fold-down collar, shoulder pockets that open up instead of to the front, buttons instead of zippers, no breast pockets or back pockets on the pants, and greater room around the knee for more maneuverability, among other things.

After the tests, the Army will take soldier feedback to the manufacturers to tweak the designs for later versions of the boots and uniform.