Reservist

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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UDC and CGX online sales Years ago, clothing lockers were spread all over the Coast Guard, and members couldn't reliably expect to get quality uniforms every time. Occasionally, service members would visit department stores or military surplus stores to get items of clothing, leading to differences in quality, fabric and color from uniform to uniform. In 1983, the UDC was established at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., and all clothing lockers (except the one at the Coast Guard Academy) were consolidated into one facility. Eventually the UDC moved to four warehouses in Woodbine, N.J., where roughly 25 employees would sell uniforms via phone, mail order, fax, and in person. On average, the Woodbine UDC received more than 600 phone calls per day, but walk-in customer orders would delay the process. The c h a r g e - t o - p a y process also bogged the system down, allowing members to place small, singular orders such as a ribbon or collar device. With the advent of the internet, the Coast Guard's online ordering began in the mid-2000s, but closed in 2015, during which the public-facing and internal security systems both received an upgrade, including necessary security enhancements. After the three-year hiatus, e-commerce began anew in March 2018. The Coast Guard Exchange now operates on ShopCGX.com, and members can order any uniform items and have them delivered free. At the same time online sales were introduced, in-person sales at the Cape May UDC were secured, freeing employees to meet the growing online demand. Now the UDC processes around 3,000 orders per month, said Chris Moulton, a retired Coast Guard chief warrant officer who recently became the manager of the UDC. Moulton said the UDC has seen a marked increase in efficiency of orders. With the move to online sales, phone calls have nearly stopped, enabling more staff members to fill orders faster. In fact, now, 95 percent of the UDC's orders are shipped within five days. Prior to introduction of the online CGX, members serving outside the continental United States had a difficult time submitting orders during the standard operating hours, which were during eastern standard time. "If you were in Guam trying to call the UDC," said Davis, "you'd have to be up at 2 a.m." Now, all 120,000 uniformed members supported by the UDC, including those in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Public Health Service and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, can access the site at any time, 24 hours a day. Into the Future Many people, including those working in the Uniform Program, Clothing Design Technical Office, Uniform Distribution Center, and Coast Guard Exchange, continue to provide Coast Guardsmen with the best uniforms to work across all mission areas, and working in tandem, they are accomplishing that goal. "We aim to maintain an ear to the fleet, evaluating new design concepts, and provide the best service possible," said Davis. "It takes a good team to ensure the service is properly dressed." � ODU Facts: The Coast Guard prototyped a blue version of each service's operational uniform when selecting the parts of the ODU; It takes 5 yards of blue fabric to make one set of ODUs; The ODU has dozens of sizes to ensure the correct fit for each service member; Female blouses are sized with odd numbers, and male blouse sizes are sized with even numbers; The shields on the ODU were designed as a security feature. 16 RESERVIST � Uniform Issue • 2019

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