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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 4/5/2006 2:27:17 AM EDT
I've heard that for a while and was wondering about it.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 2:29:27 AM EDT
I have been told that the summer weight reduce thermal targeting ability by the enemy........ until you starch them.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 2:39:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 2:44:15 AM EDT by Dave_A]
It is a widespread rumor in the Army that BDUs have such a coating, and that this was one reason that they were originally NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PRESSED OR STARCHED.

It is also assumed that this is one reason the ACU is not allowed to be pressed or starched (besides the extra plastic, and the fact that most of us who have actually made the switch don't miss fussing with uniforms - wash & wear is NICE...)...
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 3:26:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
It is also assumed that this is one reason the ACU is not allowed to be pressed or starched (besides the extra plastic, and the fact that most of us who have actually made the switch don't miss fussing with uniforms - wash & wear is NICE...)...


We were discussing the ACUs this last weekend at drill, because we are finally getting a substantial number of guys in who have them. I certainly enjoy the prospect of easier maintenance, but what about the pride in uniform? You know the kind of guys who show up looking like they slept in their uniform...those guys are going to take what should be a maintenace-free uniform and lower the bar even further I suspect.

At least they are looking into finally geting away from the green A's..........
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 3:28:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 3:33:58 AM EDT
I know for certain that the Japanese BDU's and most of their fabric stuff are coated.

Not sure about the American stuff, but if it was practical/cost efficient to do, I would assume so.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 3:40:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
It is also assumed that this is one reason the ACU is not allowed to be pressed or starched (besides the extra plastic, and the fact that most of us who have actually made the switch don't miss fussing with uniforms - wash & wear is NICE...)...


We were discussing the ACUs this last weekend at drill, because we are finally getting a substantial number of guys in who have them. I certainly enjoy the prospect of easier maintenance, but what about the pride in uniform? You know the kind of guys who show up looking like they slept in their uniform...those guys are going to take what should be a maintenace-free uniform and lower the bar even further I suspect.

At least they are looking into finally geting away from the green A's..........



When we got marpat I never had a problem with anyone coming in looking like crap. Of course, we didnt have to have 16 pieces of flair on our cammies either......
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 3:53:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
It is also assumed that this is one reason the ACU is not allowed to be pressed or starched (besides the extra plastic, and the fact that most of us who have actually made the switch don't miss fussing with uniforms - wash & wear is NICE...)...


We were discussing the ACUs this last weekend at drill, because we are finally getting a substantial number of guys in who have them. I certainly enjoy the prospect of easier maintenance, but what about the pride in uniform? You know the kind of guys who show up looking like they slept in their uniform...those guys are going to take what should be a maintenace-free uniform and lower the bar even further I suspect.

At least they are looking into finally geting away from the green A's..........



When we got marpat I never had a problem with anyone coming in looking like crap. Of course, we didnt have to have 16 pieces of flair on our cammies either......





We had one OC who showed up to drill and hung up her display BDU's . . . pulled them out of the the bottom of her duffle where they had been for the last month. Looked like she had wadded them up wet and let them dry.

But you will notice with the new ACU's that anyone who buys them from a supplier will get a lighter colored version, the issue version is ever-so-slightly darker. The new suede boots suck. The left one fits just fine . . . the right one is JUST TOO SMALL. I am hoping with a little bit of wear to get it broken in and not giving me blisters all the time.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 3:55:58 AM EDT
well, you can have 16 pieces of flair if you like, but joey over there has 32.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:03:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 4:04:03 AM EDT by pyro6988]
I was watching a show on the History channel. They were talking with the designers of the new BDU patterns. They said that they also checked to see if the material was seen in IR. They checked the different proposed fabrics with NV.

They didn't say anything about coatings. They made it seem like it was actually part of the marterial.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:04:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Helldog40:
We heard the same thing about the first-generation BDUs (50-50 Nylon Cotton blend) back in 1982...



Yep, we used to joke about it being our only protection from a nuclear blast.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:15:09 AM EDT
I can't really understand how you could prevent thermal imaging by coating your uniform with chemicals..i mean your body is still going to give off heat plus your face is a big beacon in a thermal imager.

I guess i could see IR if you are talking disruptive patterns in near IR.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:18:10 AM EDT
Well, another possible rumor, is that starch reduces the breathability of the fabric, making the risk of heat injury higher. So, I never starched my BDU's because in ROTC we have to use the same set for the field and everything else, too.

Assuming the IR theory is not true, perhaps the not starching could help stave off heat injuries?
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:22:59 AM EDT
I have heard all of the above rumors, and I have also seen the effects on IR and it didn't seem to do a damn thing. the IR tape stood out a lot more, but the effects of the material didnt seem to make a difference at all
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:40:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GTLandser:
Well, another possible rumor, is that starch reduces the breathability of the fabric, making the risk of heat injury higher. So, I never starched my BDU's because in ROTC we have to use the same set for the field and everything else, too.

Assuming the IR theory is not true, perhaps the not starching could help stave off heat injuries?



I dunno. We were required to starch our cammies when I was in school at 29 palms. Standing out in formation in that heat with heavily starched cammies was downright nasty. Never had a problems with heat injurues though.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:44:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Helldog40:
We heard the same thing about the first-generation BDUs (50-50 Nylon Cotton blend) back in 1982...



So did I, it was around the same time, who knows, rumors like this run unchallenged in the military and apparently they haven't stopped. We were always instructed to keep our field cammies unstarched for the very same reason. I clearly recall one Platoon Sgt. telling us that the IR blocker was actually the white material between the two cammie layers. Sounded reasonable at the time.

Some of the shit we were told -as fact- were flat out lies or rumors, and the worst part is you would even hear it repeated by Staff NCO's who should know better.

It would be cool to see all the common rumors in the military addresed once and for all, and either proven fact or fiction.

Anyone care to start a list...?


How about this little gem:

When fired, the bullet from the M16A1 Service Rifle rotates and tumbles after it leaves the muzzle. (Think football..spiral pass and kick-off combined) This unique characteristic creates an especially lethal combination. You could hit an enemy in the chest and the bullet will exit through his foot.

I got a lot of shit for that when I made a comment about how all the holes I've seen have been perfectly round.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 5:51:02 AM EDT
The dyes used in the BDU's were intended to reduce the wearer's IR signature. The clothing wasn't coated with anything. The IR properties and breathability were destroyed by the starching and pressing heaped on the uniform in the name of propriety. It's a combat/utility uniform, not Mess Dress, so there's no real need for spending time, money and effort to make it look "nice". As long as you don't wad the stuff up and let it dry that way, you won't look like a ragbag.
I like the wash and wear properties of the ACU, and the rough out boots. I have better things to do with my time and money than spending it putting lipstick on a pig. The time you spend doing all that shit and polish stuff is time that could be used for training on things that will help you to stay alive. Combat Lifesaver, BRM(EVERYBODY needs to practice this one!) and IED classes are worth more than any amount of starched creases and shiny boots.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 5:59:11 AM EDT
Hmmmm. Guess it was just a rumor with little or no truth behind it.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 6:01:25 AM EDT
Don't know about coatings.

But modern washing powders make brighten up your cloths for IR.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 7:40:41 AM EDT
The older common task manuals said not to starch them for that reason, that the dyes were designed to help block some of the IR signature.

That has nothing to do with the reason that ACU's can not be starched. I'ts because of the anti-wrinkle resin impregnated in the fabric.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 8:24:57 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 8:32:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By doubleclaw:
The dyes used in the BDU's were intended to reduce the wearer's IR signature. The clothing wasn't coated with anything. The IR properties and breathability were destroyed by the starching and pressing heaped on the uniform in the name of propriety. It's a combat/utility uniform, not Mess Dress, so there's no real need for spending time, money and effort to make it look "nice". As long as you don't wad the stuff up and let it dry that way, you won't look like a ragbag.
I like the wash and wear properties of the ACU, and the rough out boots. I have better things to do with my time and money than spending it putting lipstick on a pig. The time you spend doing all that shit and polish stuff is time that could be used for training on things that will help you to stay alive. Combat Lifesaver, BRM(EVERYBODY needs to practice this one!) and IED classes are worth more than any amount of starched creases and shiny boots.



Well said.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 9:59:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 10:04:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Helldog40:
We heard the same thing about the first-generation BDUs (50-50 Nylon Cotton blend) back in 1982...



and the desert camo from Guld War 1........ esp the ponchos or field jackets. IIRC
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:19:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 4:19:29 AM EDT by avengeusa]
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:33:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 4:39:48 AM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
It is also assumed that this is one reason the ACU is not allowed to be pressed or starched (besides the extra plastic, and the fact that most of us who have actually made the switch don't miss fussing with uniforms - wash & wear is NICE...)...


We were discussing the ACUs this last weekend at drill, because we are finally getting a substantial number of guys in who have them. I certainly enjoy the prospect of easier maintenance, but what about the pride in uniform? You know the kind of guys who show up looking like they slept in their uniform...those guys are going to take what should be a maintenace-free uniform and lower the bar even further I suspect.

At least they are looking into finally geting away from the green A's..........



ACUs pretty much set the bar at 'no stains or holes'... IMHO you still have to demonstrate your 'pride' when you put on your Class A's (major cerimonies, promotion boards, etc)... And this way the whining about getting uniforms dirty will be less of an issue - just throw 'em in the wash...

The point, IMHO, of the ACU is that the duty uniform is supposed to get messy & dirty, and be easily returned to service after a day's work... There was too much cross-over, with BDUs being made into a 'parade-pretty' uniform & folks complaing about having to do stuff that would mess their freshly perfected uniforms up... Plus you get the folks who can't clean an M16 for shit, but oh they can shine their boots - IMHO Soldiers can take pride in their skills & their work, we have better things to spend our time working on than trying to look like palace guards in duty uniform...

And yeah, I agree with you on the Pickle Suit... Blue is better...
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 5:11:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By avengeusa:

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:

Originally Posted By Helldog40:
We heard the same thing about the first-generation BDUs (50-50 Nylon Cotton blend) back in 1982...



and the desert camo from Guld War 1........ esp the ponchos or field jackets. IIRC



that was a pattern and only made it harder for traditional nv gear to spot

thermal is a whole different ball game

rain, fog, snow, smoke, it does not affect thermal



Actually, heavy rain, fog, and falling snow do affect thermals. Newer designs to a much lesser extent.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:23:39 AM EDT
Almost all mil-spec gear that can be used in combat as to pass IR reflectivity tests. Certain colors will glow brightly under IR light because of the dyes used. This doesnt mean that it reduces the wearers thermal signature; all it means is that the clothing/gear a soldier is wearing will not glow when exposed to IR light sources
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:43:03 AM EDT
The point, IMHO, of the ACU is that the duty uniform is supposed to get messy & dirty, and be easily returned to service after a day's work... There was too much cross-over, with BDUs being made into a 'parade-pretty' uniform & folks complaing about having to do stuff that would mess their freshly perfected uniforms up... Plus you get the folks who can't clean an M16 for shit, but oh they can shine their boots - IMHO Soldiers can take pride in their skills & their work, we have better things to spend our time working on than trying to look like palace guards in duty uniform...


but what I can't figure is the durability concerns though. A recruiter had some on and he said they were like wearing pajamas. I haven't read experienced reports from field use but my guess is they wear out really quickly.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:52:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By barkley-addict:
The point, IMHO, of the ACU is that the duty uniform is supposed to get messy & dirty, and be easily returned to service after a day's work... There was too much cross-over, with BDUs being made into a 'parade-pretty' uniform & folks complaing about having to do stuff that would mess their freshly perfected uniforms up... Plus you get the folks who can't clean an M16 for shit, but oh they can shine their boots - IMHO Soldiers can take pride in their skills & their work, we have better things to spend our time working on than trying to look like palace guards in duty uniform...


but what I can't figure is the durability concerns though. A recruiter had some on and he said they were like wearing pajamas. I haven't read experienced reports from field use but my guess is they wear out really quickly.



I think that 'pajama' thing has to do with the material being softer than that on the BDUs. They are also cut slimmer through the hips than BDUs or the MARPAT pants. This doesnt leave a lot of room for vigorous movement (or even putting stuff in the front pockets) and may be why there have been many reports of the crotch seams blowing out
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 7:05:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
It is also assumed that this is one reason the ACU is not allowed to be pressed or starched (besides the extra plastic, and the fact that most of us who have actually made the switch don't miss fussing with uniforms - wash & wear is NICE...)...


We were discussing the ACUs this last weekend at drill, because we are finally getting a substantial number of guys in who have them. I certainly enjoy the prospect of easier maintenance, but what about the pride in uniform? You know the kind of guys who show up looking like they slept in their uniform...those guys are going to take what should be a maintenace-free uniform and lower the bar even further I suspect.

At least they are looking into finally geting away from the green A's..........



When we got marpat I never had a problem with anyone coming in looking like crap. Of course, we didnt have to have 16 pieces of flair on our cammies either......





We had one OC who showed up to drill and hung up her display BDU's . . . pulled them out of the the bottom of her duffle where they had been for the last month. Looked like she had wadded them up wet and let them dry.

But you will notice with the new ACU's that anyone who buys them from a supplier will get a lighter colored version, the issue version is ever-so-slightly darker. The new suede boots suck. The left one fits just fine . . . the right one is JUST TOO SMALL. I am hoping with a little bit of wear to get it broken in and not giving me blisters all the time.



I have been wearing ACUs for over a year now. Started with the 1st gen, and even had knock offs. The ones I had issued last summer have faded and the tops and bottoms no longer match in the direct sun. Indoors you cannot tell. I have been using Woolite and following the care instructions. I am not alone in this problem. Mine have not ripped yet. I have outspent my clothing allowance twice over in under a year in accessories, new digital name tapes(OD phased out), Foliage green unit patches now (OD phased out ). Sew on ACU rank for the headgear, new boots etc etc.. 1st Reg change allowed the Marine green undershirts, that changed of course after I bought them. I am not buying new ACUs until these tear or turn white from fade.

I do like the wash and wear, and enjoy that extra time I gained back not spit shining boots nightly, and starching BDUs. I used to pay $4.00 at Penn Laundry for Starch and Press, then I touched up for a few days following first wear.

I cannot stand the velcro, and the pin on badges. My Recruiter badge is scratched up, and the Mnew looks like shit. Barbecue black paint is my next attempt on the badge before I just stop wearing it.

I do like them, but when I did my taxes I saw how much money I pissed away on uniforms and I am not happy. Some if it is my fault as being on Recruiter duty I wanted the latest and greatest and it cost me.

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