The Uniforms Arms Race

January 17, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

The branches of America’s military are waging a battle similar to the one being fought between Apple and Samsung: a battle for style. D.B. Grady wrote:

  • In 2002 the Marine Corps introduced a new uniform called MARPAT. Field testing indicated that it was more effective at camouflage than existing uniform designs.
  • The army wanted to show that it could compete with the Marine Corps by introducing its own new uniform. Except it decided to settle on the worst performing uniform design available.
  • The Navy was willing to put its pride aside and introduced a new uniform that was similar to the Marine Corps’ well-performing MARPAT design. However the Marine Corps spoke out against it, stating that it was too similar to their design.
  • The branches of the military seem to be more focused on cultivating a distinct brand identity rather than on more important objectives such as protecting the lives of soldiers.
  • By agreeing on one common uniform across all branches not only would all service members get the best possible uniform, there would also be significant cost savings

Read more about some of the other troubles with army and navy uniforms, as well as how the branches could continue their competition in dress uniforms over here.

Source: The Atlantic