Women receive new uniforms in ROTC

Patricia Battle

Kent State’s ROTC program received new uniforms for women that are tailored to fit the female body. Research for this uniform started in 2009, which was funded and approved by The Army Uniform Board.

According to the article “ACU-Alternate uniform offers more fit options” by Danielle Gregory, some of these changes include trousers with “wider areas at the hips, waist and backside; elastic around the waistband instead of a pull string; adjusted pockets and knee-pad inserts; and a shortened crotch length,” she states. The new jackets include changes with “adjusted rank and nametape positioning; adjusted pockets and elbow-pad inserts; slimmer shoulders; a thinner and more fitted waist; and a longer and wider ACU coat bottom.”

Kent State Army ROTC student and a senior exercise science major, Alexandra Warner was issued the new uniform that includes the latest Occupational Combat Pattern (OCP) in spring 2016 for basic training. She is keen on the improvements made to the material of the new fit.

“For me, I feel like the material is a little bit stronger,” Warner said. “In the past, I know people were really prone to ripping the knees, I have never ripped any of these pieces that I have. They actually stay in really good shape, and I feel like they don’t fade as much like the colors.”

Regarding the new cut of the uniform, Warner finds it to be a bit restricting.

“Personally, I’m not a huge fan of it,” Warner said. “It’s a little tighter in the back, so I feel like it’s almost a little restricting. So it can hold you down a little bit, but that’s just my opinion, I know a lot of people like it, and it looks very nice,” she said.

In the future, she hopes to see improvements with sizing of the uniforms.

“Elastic would be great,” Warner said. “With the pants, I mean I guess they have a little bit here, but your pants don’t have like a zipper or anything, it’s just buttons. It’s not like one size fits all so these are like a little bit big on me but a smaller size would be way too short, and then the shirt is just a little bit too wide. So I mean maybe a little bit more specific sizes, or a little wider range of sizes because it’s either your small short or small regular small large. It’s a little confusing.”

Costs for the new uniforms can range in the hundreds. Army ROTC student Isaac Ziegler, a junior political science major and an officer who manages the supplies in the unit said, “If you buy the entire uniform outright, it’s probably $200-$300 something.”

“It depends on where you buy it from as well. Even the uniforms that we order for cadets, the new ones, their expected to buy it at the end of the year when they commission.”

Patricia Battle is the military and veterans, adult services reporter. Contact her at [email protected].