Uniform 2019

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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There are several key components to getting Coast Guard personnel outfitted efficiently and uniformly. The Coast Guard's Headquarters Uniform Branch, the Clothing Design Technical Office, the Uniform Distribution Center and the online Coast Guard Exchange work together to present the polished look of the U. S. Coast Guard. Each has its role in the process. Uniform Division The first is the Uniform Program, headed up by Hayes Davis, a Coast Guardsman with more than 25 years of service. Davis and his team are continually pulling apart each uniform to see how applying new industry standards could make each piece better. "We progressively look at each uniform as a system. For instance, the dress uniform is a system: shirt, pants, jacket, shoes. In the service, system maintenance is a process, like how radar systems are looked at and maintained, modified, upgraded. We are working to develop a similar systematic approach by reviewing each uniform system periodically to ensure a continuous process improvement cycle." Davis explained that the current dress pant cut was likely last revised during the 1980s where men wore their pants buttoned above the navel; with the current style, men wear pants lower, more at a natural waist around the hip bones, but doing so with an improper cut dress pant causes the pants to drag. For the same reason, our wool uniform pants aren't made of the same material as our grandfathers' dress slacks. Therefore, military uniform designers need to keep an eye on fashion trends, incorporating those new trends that still allow for a sharp military appearance. "Wearing near 100 percent wool was great in the '50s," said Davis, "but now we have smart fabrics that breathe, are significantly lighter, and are reactive to the wearer." Davis said soon they'll be looking at the men's dress jacket. "That heavy, hot, stiff, non-breathable fabric was designed to be worn by statues, but advancements in fabrics would made it look the same, but feel like a modern-day suit." Davis and his team also serve as administration and executive assistant to the uniform board to add, improve, remove, revisit and review uniform change proposals. The board works to channel fleet and program suggestions, ensuring approved items meet the needs of the service along with benefitting the members. The improvements to the operational dress uniform, the foul weather parka and the female untucked shirt have all come through recognizing new industry standards and putting them to work in order to benefit the service members. "Retaining qualified energetic employees is a challenge for any business, " said Davis, "and the military is no different. Appearance plays a role in the retention of service personnel— how a person feels, the proper tools for the job, all play a vital role in personnel performance. The uniform is a huge part of military life. We want to provide sharp military uniforms that people want to wear." Seamless Teamwork 14 RESERVIST � Uniform Issue • 2019

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