FORT SILL — The U.S. Army is marching military fashionforward.
On first glimpse, new combat uniforms being tested at Fort Sill don't look much different from the current camouflage ensemble. But the new trouser and jacket known officially as “Army Combat Uniform-Alternate” is designed to be more formfitting.
Initially developed for women, the new trouser offers a wider hip, waist and backside while the new jacket offers slimmer shoulders, a thinner waist and a longer, wider bottom. Fitters at Fort Sill slowly began issuing the new uniform in April to recruits entering basic training but soon found it also offered a better fit for many men and now are offering it to both sexes.
“The Army is starting to realize people are built differently,'' Sam Morlett said this week while working at Fort Sill's Central Issue Initial Point, a hot, cavernous warehouse where newly arrived recruits receive their military issue clothing.
“It's the same look. It's just a better fit.”
Fit is something Morlett and his co-workers size up quickly.
After eight years on the job, he's thrown away his tape measure.
“A lot of us have a pretty good eye here,” he said as he helped outfit 230 nervous new recruits.
One recruit, wearing long black socks, black gym shorts and an gray Army T-shirt stepped up to Morlett's counter and handed him a sheet of white paper that listed her clothing sizes.