Hagel: Military Must Restrict Service Specific Gear, Uniforms

Hagel UniformityDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the days of designing service specific camouflage patterns and plate carriers are over. The Defense Department just can’t afford it anymore.

A soldier at Fort Bragg, N.C., asked the defense secretary if standard issue will apply across the services during one of Hagel’s stops during his trip along the East Coast last week. Hagel’s answer was simple and to the point.

“Yes … we’re being forced to.” What’s forcing the Defense Department’s hand is sequestration and the resulting reductions to the defense budget.

Congress has already written language restricting the services from designing their own camouflage patterns unless it could be used across the military. Committee members voted 32-20 to require the services to settle on a joint combat uniform by 2018 and restrict the creation of any new camouflage patterns unless it’s designed for a joint uniform.

Services officials will also have to combine pools of funding in order to start and execute new weapons programs. Budget cuts have put almost every modernization program in jeopardy. Smaller budgets have forced service leaders to get creative and find ways to combine programs with other services in order to have access to more funds.

U.S. Army officials had been ready to announce the Army Combat Uniform until the legislation was released in the defense budget. Now, the Army is seemingly on a pause as leaders wait to review the rules and see the effects from Congress.

However, Hagel said the old ways of doing business are over as it looks likely that sequestration and the $500 billion in cuts over the next ten years are here to stay.

“We’re going to be forced to change things,” Hagel said at Fort Bragg. “The fact is every program in the Defense Department is accountable. We’re going to be changing business about how we do a lot of things.”

39 Comments on "Hagel: Military Must Restrict Service Specific Gear, Uniforms"

  1. Wow, never though I'd see this day

  2. Good luck with that…

  3. Then MARPAT for everyone then!!!!!!

  4. I'm good with how "restricting the services from designing their own camouflage patterns" briefs, but am very leery of the 'just as good as' mentality; that flawed thinking is how Blackhawk, VooDoo and Fobus stay in business.

    What works for an Airman might not work for a Marine; likewise a Seaman doesn't need what a Soldier needs.

    This is missing the big disclaimer – DOES NOT APPLY TO SPECIAL OPERATIONS (or those who THINK they are).

  5. Robert Everhart | July 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply

    One size doesen't fit all.

  6. This is what happens when you let a Specialist run the DoD…

  7. It works for Canada. They don't even have separate services.

  8. Stormcharger | July 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply

    If it gets rid of the Navy camo pattern, how is it possibly a bad thing?

  9. After I read this, i go to National Defense magazine online and read about the Marines paying someone to design and build new airfield crash rescue vehicles. I suspect the other three services have these too.

  10. My simple solution are different color t-shirts. The Marines can wear dark blue, or dark red.

  11. About time.

    There's no reason troops fighting the same enemy in the same theatre need different combat uniforms.

    The same can be said for different helmets, body armor, bayonets and boots.

    All this "uniqueness" does is drive up costs because equipment/uniforms are bought in smaller more expensive batches not to mention the cost of multiple project development teams and efforts. This will annoy the gearheads and tacticool types but it makes sense.

  12. If they want to save money, the Velcro patches and zippers (versus thread and buttons) add more to the lifetime costs than the pattern does.

  13. Juanito Grande | July 24, 2013 at 5:27 am | Reply

    Makes too much sense to be true. I'll believe it when I see it.

  14. TrenchDoc18D | July 24, 2013 at 5:56 am | Reply

    We'll see how this works out for everyone.

  15. Holy crap! Logic is being used!

  16. The only thing different should be the printing, as the cloth type, pocket locations, etc. should be the same. The manufacturer should have everything set for different printing already, so there should be no additional cost.

  17. I don't think it's as big of a deal for the Marine Corps. They used their own budget to create their own pattern and it's worked well for them. The problem seems to be with Big Army. Their changes and failures COST BIG TIME. I'm ok with branches having different Camo. No big deal I say.

  18. WOW we are going back to the late 80's early 90's.

  19. Harry Kuheim | July 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply

    A lame swipe at Sequestration again…it's a 2.5% reduction in a guaranteed INCREASE of 6%-8%…we still spend MORE than last year and the year before that…Obama still has no problem spending $100 Million on a trip to Africa…How many Uniforms could have been made for $100 Million?

  20. Armavirumqu3can0 | July 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply

    SNAFU… all of it

  21. Robert McNamara did the same thing in the 60's. Back when there was no sequestration and we had a huge defense budget. Something called Vietnam was going on as well as the cold war. Everything worked out OK. We made do with the OD fatigues and black boots.

  22. Whatsthepatchfor | July 24, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply

    If this happens, will soldiers still ruin it by wearing 50 different patches at the same time?

  23. Oh yeah they're going to stop critiquing the plate carriers and armor for the infantry but all of those orders for new plate carriers for women are still shipping out as if women are still going to be filling the ranks in the infantry anytime soon, god I hate these liberal idiots

  24. Gee no more blue camo's for the NAvy. Darn. What is going to happen to the millions of dollars the Army I spending for new BDU's which by the way the project is being overseen by non the less a General officer.

  25. One-piece rainbow decorated spand-o-flage!

  26. Smoke and mirrors…..sequestration is to keep everyone in the dark while they chop every thing but the congressional pension plan, raises in salary and benefits for the very thieves that put us in this position in the first place.
    Roger lose the smurfing camo; What the f##k where they thinking? Does keep em safe(man overboard) from rescue at sea though…

  27. YES we will all wear same uniform……………….no distinction save for
    the insignia…………….
    Great idea….
    (((rolls eyes)))))
    AND while we are at it how about a unisex uniform?

  28. One camo uniform fits all should be no problem with 3-D printers. The cost to print each service camo's will be the same. So let each service have its own design.

  29. Who's the clown in the pic on the left with the finger issue?

  30. Why don’t they just do the same basic patterns for woodland and desert but print a specific pattern for any AOR we go to. Similar to the ACU to Multicam usage in OEF.

  31. They need to end all the different research laboratories within the DoD. The AFRL, NRL and the ARL's won't work with each other. The amount of tax dollars wasted is shocking.

  32. Thinking General Washington was wrong in letting civilians run our military! Hagel is a GD putz! If republicans had spines he wouldn't be an Obozo mouthpiece! Sequester my ass! Make Obozo and Moosechelle fly coach!

  33. I would not mind wearing the same thing as other branches but I would like to see the buttons come back, also the new uniforms could be designed a little different so that pockets ect… could identify the branch. Different undershirts might not be a bad idea either. Marine=green Army=tan Navy=blue Air Force=grey. It would be cheaper to change the shirt color though.

  34. Here we go! UCP/ACU for Everyone!! Feel my pain!!!!

  35. Jeffrey h. Doran | July 29, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply

    seems a little suspect that Hagel would use the "sequestration " as a cause and not mention that as the persons serving the military got furloughs as Congress voted to give them selves raises and then went on their Vacations as our country spirlaled into more debt. Wow do I feel safe and represented!

  36. In the Nam Era we all had the same Utility Uniform but the Navy, ALL GREEN. When I went from the Air Force to the Army all I needed to do was change belt, name tape, and patches. When I went back to the Air Force I received the Green Camo pattern that the Army had. It worked for so long why not do it again

  37. What a piece of shit….I have no words for how big of a fucking worthless douche Hagel is

  38. About the photo with this article..E4 mafia lolol

  39. We all wore BDUs for a long time and the world was right! I still cannot visualize all four services wearing their unique camo on the same pice of earth and all work! MARPAT is in the system and works, I would like to see the Khakis brought back for the army class B instead of the blues nonsense. They are in the system and are very serviceable for daily use instead of a white shirt and blues pants!

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