April 07, 2020, 04:44:10 am

Can't buy ABUs on base

Started by GaryVC, March 13, 2019, 09:22:12 pm

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DocJekyll

I'd imagine ABU's, Sage boots, and other USAF specific uniform items will rapidly begin to become extremely hard to find.

ABU wasn't really a popular commercial design (only USAF and CAP have ever used it officially as far as I am aware), and only USAF used the sage boots. I'd wager that color will be completely gone in 5 years.

What commercial supplier of uniforms [Propper, Rothco, etc] would want to make small production runs of a pattern for only about 30-40k people across the whole nation? That's gonna really raise the price if the do.


I've got a full cost/benefit analysis, timeline proposal and some other items I've developed for a uniform change to OCP's, and even gotten some outside feedback, but I've sat on it until the problems I've been predicting begin to come true. There are some great up-sides to it too. This won't happen until everything is done for the AF though. Otherwise I bet the proposal.... well...it'd go into the nearest trashcan. I did have some pretty positive conversations at my wings conference though not too long ago. I think those with level heads do see it as a future problem. The consensus however is that when a change is made, we shouldn't be waiting 3 years between revisions to the manual. The edits can be done in a couple weeks and out to the masses. ICL's only get you so far. [Example: the dark blue tapes on the corporate BDU's were only in the letter and not any kind of manual update. This caused a lot of confusion for people who didn't see the letter or read deep enough. Take that as you may]
Always give 100%, unless you're giving blood.


xyzzy

Quote from: DocJekyll on May 27, 2019, 06:02:05 pm
...The consensus however is that when a change is made, we shouldn't be waiting 3 years between revisions to the manual. The edits can be done in a couple weeks and out to the masses.


A basic problem with the manual is USAF-style winter clothing. It's a fundamental problem because the payment for heavy winter clothing is different between USAF and CAP. In USAF, many airmen (outside of the Air Guard) pay for their own uniforms, with clothing allowances for enlisted, and without for officers. But heavy winter clothing is issued, not purchased. Thus, heavy winter clothing is barely mentioned in the USAF uniform regulation; in essence, it says to wear what is issued to you.

In CAP it's all purchased by members, so heavy winter clothing guidance is absent. Also, since it isn't sold to airmen, it isn't available at the Exchange. So it's even harder to get than other uniform components.

Gunsotsu

Winter/cold weather items are addressed in CAPR 60-1 with the shockingly simple notion that protection from the elements trump adherence to CAPM 39-1. So it's a moot point.

Meanwhile, Vanguard has been slowly raising their prices on ABUs. Think mom and dad aren't going to notice the next time they buy their cadet a new set of "no one else wears these uniforms?"

GroundHawg

Quote from: chuckmilam on May 27, 2019, 12:25:38 pm
I wonder if those Brooks Brothers shirts are worth the price.


Yes and no. They are great quality, but stupid expensive.

When I found out that I had gotten the AGR slot I had been hoping for I was super excited... until I realized I would now have to wear Blues once a week instead of once a year.

I went to get a couple of nice shirts, one long, one short sleeve. Well of course all they had was the Brooks Brothers. I went ahead and got them anyway and never regretted it. They are soooo much more breathable than issued blues shirts! And they take to pressing much better than any other shirt I have had. I looked good, felt good, and was often complimented on my uniform.

I just don't see the need in CAP as we wear Blues maybe 10 times a year

THRAWN

Dozens of pages wishing, hoping, and begging for ABUs.

Four pages, so far, of posts wailing and gnashing teeth and pulling hair over the difficulty of finding ABUs.

None of this would have happened if they just put all members in BBDUs. Simple fix. Easily obtainable. And it would be a uniform, for a change.
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016

THRAWN

Quote from: GroundHawg on May 28, 2019, 11:55:34 am
Quote from: chuckmilam on May 27, 2019, 12:25:38 pm
I wonder if those Brooks Brothers shirts are worth the price.


Yes and no. They are great quality, but stupid expensive.

When I found out that I had gotten the AGR slot I had been hoping for I was super excited... until I realized I would now have to wear Blues once a week instead of once a year.

I went to get a couple of nice shirts, one long, one short sleeve. Well of course all they had was the Brooks Brothers. I went ahead and got them anyway and never regretted it. They are soooo much more breathable than issued blues shirts! And they take to pressing much better than any other shirt I have had. I looked good, felt good, and was often complimented on my uniform.

I just don't see the need in CAP as we wear Blues maybe 10 times a year


Even though it's the basic, minimum required uniform?
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: THRAWN on May 28, 2019, 12:00:54 pm
Quote from: GroundHawg on May 28, 2019, 11:55:34 am
Quote from: chuckmilam on May 27, 2019, 12:25:38 pm
I wonder if those Brooks Brothers shirts are worth the price.


Yes and no. They are great quality, but stupid expensive.

When I found out that I had gotten the AGR slot I had been hoping for I was super excited... until I realized I would now have to wear Blues once a week instead of once a year.

I went to get a couple of nice shirts, one long, one short sleeve. Well of course all they had was the Brooks Brothers. I went ahead and got them anyway and never regretted it. They are soooo much more breathable than issued blues shirts! And they take to pressing much better than any other shirt I have had. I looked good, felt good, and was often complimented on my uniform.

I just don't see the need in CAP as we wear Blues maybe 10 times a year


Even though it's the basic, minimum required uniform?


Just because a reg/manual says it's the minimum required doesn't mean it's the most feasible or common.

You could run the entirety of the CAP Cadet Program (minimum program elements and contact hours)--minus PT--in the Class B Service Uniform, if you wanted to. The "senior side," not so much.

But would it be exciting and retain cadet members? Probably not. A cadet unit that spends more time in Blues rather than utilities isn't very active, physically. Hands-on and outdoor experience is probably minimal.

That still doesn't mean we don't need a good supply of Blues uniform items; absolutely. But ABUs seem to be more of a commodity.

Gunsotsu

Quote from: THRAWN on May 28, 2019, 11:59:55 am
Dozens of pages wishing, hoping, and begging for ABUs.

Four pages, so far, of posts wailing and gnashing teeth and pulling hair over the difficulty of finding ABUs.

None of this would have happened if they just put all members in BBDUs. Simple fix. Easily obtainable. And it would be a uniform, for a change.


This, with the caveat that I've already proposed. Eliminate USAF style uniforms for ALL seniors and have cadets adopt the current USAF field uniform within 365 days of their adoption by Ma Blue. Allow a 3 year sunset on previous USAF field uniforms.

Fubar

Quote from: THRAWN on May 28, 2019, 12:00:54 pm
Quote from: GroundHawg on May 28, 2019, 11:55:34 am
Quote from: chuckmilam on May 27, 2019, 12:25:38 pm
I wonder if those Brooks Brothers shirts are worth the price.


Yes and no. They are great quality, but stupid expensive.

When I found out that I had gotten the AGR slot I had been hoping for I was super excited... until I realized I would now have to wear Blues once a week instead of once a year.

I went to get a couple of nice shirts, one long, one short sleeve. Well of course all they had was the Brooks Brothers. I went ahead and got them anyway and never regretted it. They are soooo much more breathable than issued blues shirts! And they take to pressing much better than any other shirt I have had. I looked good, felt good, and was often complimented on my uniform.

I just don't see the need in CAP as we wear Blues maybe 10 times a year


Even though it's the basic, minimum required uniform?


I think he was saying they are not worth the expense given how little they are worn in CAP. For example, I got the absolute cheapest white shirt I could find so that when online meanies decide to harass me about having the required uniform, I can say yep, it's still in the bag it was shipping in on a shelf in my closet. There was no point spending serious money on quality when I have no need to actually wear it.

GroundHawg

Quote from: Fubar on May 28, 2019, 02:45:06 pm
Quote from: THRAWN on May 28, 2019, 12:00:54 pm
Quote from: GroundHawg on May 28, 2019, 11:55:34 am
Quote from: chuckmilam on May 27, 2019, 12:25:38 pm
I wonder if those Brooks Brothers shirts are worth the price.


Yes and no. They are great quality, but stupid expensive.

When I found out that I had gotten the AGR slot I had been hoping for I was super excited... until I realized I would now have to wear Blues once a week instead of once a year.

I went to get a couple of nice shirts, one long, one short sleeve. Well of course all they had was the Brooks Brothers. I went ahead and got them anyway and never regretted it. They are soooo much more breathable than issued blues shirts! And they take to pressing much better than any other shirt I have had. I looked good, felt good, and was often complimented on my uniform.

I just don't see the need in CAP as we wear Blues maybe 10 times a year


Even though it's the basic, minimum required uniform?


I think he was saying they are not worth the expense given how little they are worn in CAP. For example, I got the absolute cheapest white shirt I could find so that when online meanies decide to harass me about having the required uniform, I can say yep, it's still in the bag it was shipping in on a shelf in my closet. There was no point spending serious money on quality when I have no need to actually wear it.


Exactly. I dont see the need to spend $65 on a blues shirt from Brooks Brothers when a $15 DLATS one will work just fine for average CAP wear

Ned

Looking good in any situation can be its own reward.

And is often considered priceless.

;)


(If you look in the back of my closet, you will find a lot of expensive CAP uniforms that I can no longer wear.  Though some days I still wear my Guayabera shirt to parties.)

xyzzy

Quote from: Gunsotsu on May 28, 2019, 05:09:14 am
Winter/cold weather items are addressed in CAPR 60-1 with the shockingly simple notion that protection from the elements trump adherence to CAPM 39-1. So it's a moot point....


"Cadet Program Management" does not apply to what uniform senior members wear.

SarDragon

Quote from: Ned on May 28, 2019, 05:24:44 pm
Looking good in any situation can be its own reward.

And is often considered priceless.

;)


(If you look in the back of my closet, you will find a lot of expensive CAP uniforms that I can no longer wear.  Though some days I still wear my Guayabera shirt to parties.)


:clap: ;D
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret

Spam

Quote from: Gunsotsu on May 28, 2019, 05:09:14 am
Winter/cold weather items are addressed in CAPR 60-1 with the shockingly simple notion that protection from the elements trump adherence to CAPM 39-1. So it's a moot point.

Meanwhile, Vanguard has been slowly raising their prices on ABUs. Think mom and dad aren't going to notice the next time they buy their cadet a new set of "no one else wears these uniforms?"



Hi Gunsotsu.


I'd like to disabuse you and our fellow readers of any notion that the statement in 60-1 (a cadet programs manual, which as such has scope over cadet activities) somehow deletes the clear prohibition in 39-1 against compromising USAF style uniforms. What the 60-1 statement does enable is to urge/empower project officers for CADET EVENTS to relax the uniform of the day standards to allow for those cadets who don't own (for example) a full set of winter blues, and allow the UOD to include other uniform combos (worn properly and completely, without mixing USAF and civilian items IAW 39-1). Further, activities may allow the wear of appropriate (I.e. warm) civilian clothing (alone, not mixed) while enroute (see 1.2.4.2 pasted below). Such measures support a wide range of winter cadet activities such as cadet competitions and conferences in compliance with the new 60-1 guidance.

It is completely improper to push the unsupported notion that a 60-1 cadet pub somehow invalidates clear 60-1 prohibitions on mixing USAF style and civilian clothing for all members. Read from the position that both publications are authorized (and they are) we must look for either a logically consistent way to interpret them (as I've tried to describe), or to ask NHQ/CC to sign/approve a revised version of one or the other. Absent the latter, the former is indicated.

Therefore... if someone shows at, say, a winter SAREX wearing civilian clothing mixed with ABUs, we will counsel them with respect and have them remove it, or send them home if they don't have the required uniform/gear per national policy from M39-1 and per the SQTR task for their position requiring a full and complete uniform/gear. Noted, 39-1 does present (Table 1-1) alternatives to ABUs (CFUs). If that's unacceptable, the problem rests with NHQ, not with us, but repeated violations will lead to progressive discipline up to the point of separation.

It is a "shockingly simple notion", I would offer, that the soldierly ("gunsotsu") virtues include adhering to regulations, rather than attempting to game them.


R/s
Spam

Ref:
CAPM 39-1 26 JUNE 2014

1.1.2.1. COMPLIANCE WITH THIS PUBLICATION IS MANDATORY. This publication
is the sole source for wear instructions and authorized items for various uniform combinations as
prescribed within. Variation from this publication is not authorized. Items not listed in this publication
are not authorized for wear with uniforms. Local commanders do not have the authority to waive
grooming and appearance standards. [Note: caps emphasis is in the original publication]

1.2.4.2. Members are normally required to wear a CAP uniform (either USAF- or
Corporate-style) when working with cadets, when flying in a CAP aircraft (Corporate or member owned
aircraft used in a CAP flight activity), or when conducting business under a CAP mission number (A, B,
or C). Region commanders, wing commanders, and activity directors may stipulate appropriate civilian
clothes while traveling to and from events by ground, or during events not involving flight where it is
appropriate to wear civilian clothes.



Spam


PS, Gunsotsu, I completely agree on your latter point regarding costs to parents. I think its a shame, as well.

V/r
Spam


Ned

Interestingly, compliance with the 60-1 is also mandatory. 

Certainly no less "mandatory" than the 39-1.

And both appear to be validly issued regulations.

The current 39-1 is dated in 2014, and validly signed by Gen Carr, in his capacity as National Commander.

The current 60-1 is dated in 2018 and is signed by the current national commander, Gen Smith.

I can see how some members might think the regulations conflict in this area, at least in the narrow area concerning cadet operations in uniform during cold weather.


When regulations or other guidance appear to conflict, I would expect the adult leadership on site to make a common-sense call that is consistent with safety and accomplishing the mission.


Ned Lee

Col, CAP

National Cadet Programs Manager

Spam


Ned, I can see how members would be confused, but that's squarely because Cadet Programs pushed the obfuscations into their latter publication in an effort which appears to undercut the already approved 39-1 revision.


And now, yet again, the "but safety" trope.


Repeating such statements borders on preemptive justification of a core values violation in terms of a making a spurious claim to a safety issue, when participation in our activities is completely voluntary, and we know that members who don't have the gear should not wear USAF style. Planning with forethought to violate 39-1 is that, no less.


If we are concerned with safety, by all means STAY HOME, wear civvies to/from per 39-1, or wear corporate. I would expect our adult leadership to follow the regs and enforce them (not to imply that they are negotiable with a wink and nod and a mention of "safety"). It is reprehensible to cry wolf with the safety flag, when the real problem is the sheer inability of National leadership to execute a rational uniform policy!



Spam


Eclipse

Quote from: Ned on May 28, 2019, 11:01:43 pm
When regulations or other guidance appear to conflict, I would expect the adult leadership on site to make a common-sense call that is consistent with safety and accomplishing the mission.


So...

Expecting the adult leadership to fix the conflicts is off the table now?

We're just going to leave it all to the inconsistently trained volunteers who are getting increasingly tired
of C-S fights with non-stakeholders who raise "this or that" regulation at the last minute? (This is very common).

39-1 is SIX YEARS OLD and no one can find the copy of Acrobat to fix the typos, grammatical issues and
internal and external conflicts that were pointed out SIX YEARS AGO? (Not to mention properly authorize
a uniform that isn't currently legal (by regs), and is already sundowned by the USAF)

When a publication is updated, it's not "mandatory" that it be peer reviewed for conflicts, etc., before being published?

What happened to the rules ab out what ICLs are supposed to be used for, and the process by which regs are updated.

Aren't those "mandatory"?

This is a top-5 retention issue.  We solicit professionals to what they believe is a professionally governed national
organizaiton, and then they start finding this kind of stuff and just walk away, and CAP chalks it up to...no one
knows because no one ever asks those people or cares why they leave...



Ned

Quote from: Spam on May 28, 2019, 11:28:07 pm

Ned, I can see how members would be confused, but that's squarely because Cadet Programs pushed the obfuscations into their latter publication in an effort which appears to undercut the already approved 39-1 revision.


Jeff,

I think the point is that no regulation "trumps" another.

The older 39-1 is not "more regulatory" than the newer 60-1 enacted by the current national commander.

In certain, limited circumstances, some members might perceive a conflict between the regs.

When and if that ever occurs, we depend on responsible senior leaders like yourself on site to make the common sense call.

That was my point - no more, no less.


QuoteAnd now, yet again, the "but safety" trope.


Interesting.  My dictionary defines "trope" as figurative or metaphorical word or expression.

If you truly believe that safety in a cold weather environment is either figurative or metaphorical, it may be hard for us to have a rational discussion in this area.  Sadly, members have suffered cold injuries on cadet activities in the past, and adequate clothing and shelter have to be part of every leader's concerns and ORM.

Ned

Quote from: Eclipse on May 29, 2019, 12:44:09 am

This is a top-5 retention issue.  We solicit professionals to what they believe is a professionally governed national
organizaiton, and then they start finding this kind of stuff and just walk away, and CAP chalks it up to...no one
knows because no one ever asks those people or cares why they leave...


Sometimes it is hard to tell when you are being serious.

Can you share the source of your "Top-5 Retention Issues?"

It feels unlikely to me that "sometimes cadets wear civilian outerwear with ABUs when it is really cold outside is anywhere in the Top 1000 Retention Issues.