MER CC Col. John Knowles included this item in his monthly commentary to all of the members in the Region, and it's good news!
>> "Addressing Uniform Concerns Regarding Vanguard
Over the last several months, I have been working with some of Civil Air Patrolís national staff addressing problems raised concerning uniform items purchased from Vanguard. Concerns range from issues with stitching and mistakes with names to quality variances with products over time. One of our members put together a detailed report based on issues that he had been made aware of or had experienced himself. This report provided specific examples of the problems outlined. This is an important component when trying to address a complaint. Simply saying ďyou guys stinkĒ isnít really an effective method for change. Based on the memberís report and by working with the National Uniform Committee and the staff at NHQ, we have made significant progress.
" (Emphasis mine)
"Let me start out by saying I know for a fact that Vanguard really wants to provide a quality product to our members. Over the years, anytime anyone has approached me about a problem, I have always suggested they contact the company to directly resolve the issue. That almost always solves the problem. Letís also agree that no one is perfect and sometimes mistakes are made. We are actively working to improve the quality of the items supplied by Vanguard."
"Currently, when they create a new item, samples are reviewed prior to production. Each of the issues brought up in the report have been addressed and corrected where possible by Vanguard. Our members are our most important asset, and we will continue to work to get you what you need. If you have issues going forward, I ask that you contact Vanguard if it is a customer service problem. If it is a quality issue, please send it through your chain of command ó which will get to meó so I can work with the national staff to make things right. This item is important to the CAP Senior Advisory Group and no one should think their concerns are being ignored.
" (Again, emphasis mine.)
Three cheers for Col. Knowles! And let's all do as he suggests so that we can maybe get more concrete systemic changes.
I know for a fact that there is an effort afoot to create a genuine CAP standard, based on the relevant Milspec, for Vanguard to follow (right now they don't have one). That step alone should be an enormous benefit.