FORT BELVOIR, Va. — A new physical training uniform is expected to be part of the U.S. Army wardrobe beginning in the 2016 fiscal year and is based on the rejected feedback of over 76,000 soldiers who took an online survey in February of 2012, Duffel Blog has learned.
"We started the new Army Physical Fitness Uniform Program to see what soldiers wanted us to buy with all the money we saved cutting their pay this year," said Col. Robert Mortlock, program manager of Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment in Fort Belvoir. "Then we summarily dismissed all their input."
Riding the wave of summer blockbuster movies based on comic book superheroes, soldiers wanted to cut a more heroic profile in public when bumming free meals at Applebees or Waffle House. Many submitted ideas for what they would like to wear, which were promptly rejected.
The first of the failed uniform concepts was based on Marvel's original "X-Men" comic book superheroes. Many proponents of this PT uniform considered the eye protection portion of Cyclops' uniform "sweet," but Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler immediately shot it down upon seeing the concept drawings.
"What kind of undisciplined nonsense is this," he asked the uniform board. "One has her hair all over the place, this other one isn't wearing shoes, some have eye pro and some don't. Heck no." The final nail in the coffin for the X-Men design was when Chandler realized the Cyclops eye pro wasn't on the [Authorized Protective Eyewear] list.
"If we wanted soldiers to look good in uniform we'd have stricter physical training standards in the first place," he said.
One uniform prototype was derived from the costume worn by real life crime fighter, Phoenix Jones, leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement out of Seattle, Washington.
"This jackass's outfit was immediately rejected," said Col. Mortlock. "He doesn't even know what city he lives in. I mean really, how about Seattle Jones? Tacoma Jones? Hell, our troops have a hard enough time with land nav as it is."
Other submissions were based on the popular Venture Bros cartoon series, while many others asked for a design based on Wasp, a member of the Avengers comic books heroes.
"We really liked the color scheme of the Wasp uniform," said Col Mortlock. "Not only was it Army colors, but black is so slimming."
While nearly being approved, Sgt. Maj. Chandler pointed out one glaring issue he had with the design, ending any chance the Wasp uniform concept had. "How many times do I have to say no wearing damn headphones in PT gear? If they have headphones on they won't be able to hear CSMs yelling at them to stay off the grass."
Col. Mortlock summed up the results of online survey with this remark: "Look, our Soldiers are only going to wear the most ridiculous nonsense if it's built by companies feasting off the contracts doled out by criminal acquisition officers. Also, we had to approve a design that still required everyone to wear reflective belts 24 hours a day. The damn lobby of the reflective belt-industrial complex is stifling."