(VitalNews.org) – After years of uncertain limbo for the project, the US Marine Corps decided to end plans to redesign and upgrade soldier uniforms for physical fitness training, an initiative that lasted almost three years with nothing to show for it.
The initiative began in 2020 when the Marine Corps decided to revamp and redesign its warm weather uniform for physical training, which consists of an undershirt and shorts. The first attempt at a prototype kept the original green color but altered the length of the shorts. Thick, reflective lines were added to the back of the shirt, which also incorporated a moisture-wicking fabric.
The new design didn’t fly with the soldiers, most of whom provided negative feedback. Another attempt to redesign the uniform was made, but the project was ultimately abandoned. In charge of the initiative was the Marine Corps Systems Command. Morgan Blackstock, a spokesperson for Systesm Command, announced that they have “ceased to work to procure the field” a new uniform so resources could be directed “to more urgent defense needs.”
Although the announcement just became public, approval for the project was rescinded back in September, according to Blackstock. She added that the Marine Corps decided to prioritize “programs that better focus on taking care of Marines” and modernizing the Marine Corps.
It’s still not clear why funding was pulled for the uniform revamp effort, although the Corps did acknowledge that the design was unpopular amongst soldiers who provided feedback. About 350 Marines tried out the new uniforms. Some of the complaints included the shorts being too long and the new material too heavy and restrictive. After the first effort failed, a second attempt was made, although how soldiers reacted to the second effort isn’t known.
Other military services have already transitioned out of their older uniforms for more modern-looking threads, such as the US Army, which updated its standard gray physical training uniform in 2017 to an all-black version featuring yellow reflective lines and lettering.
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