August 08, 2020, 12:41:00 am

ACU boots for uniform

Started by Dr.Cole_Ph.D, September 08, 2019, 09:57:06 pm

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Dr.Cole_Ph.D

Hi, I'm a second year cadet and I already know that we use the black Navy/Marine style boots for the ABU/BDU uniform, but I was wondering... why? If we were to change, we could have more breathable boots, more authentic Air Force Style Uniforms, and a big one for me, no need to polish my boots. Has this ever been brought up at an NCAC? Is this purposeful?

Eclipse

September 08, 2019, 10:02:30 pm #1 Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 10:20:13 pm by Eclipse
Quote from: Dr.Cole_Ph.D on September 08, 2019, 09:57:06 pm... why?
If we were to change, we could have more breathable boots, more authentic Air Force Style Uniforms, and a big one for me, no need to polish my boots.


Not necessarily on all points.
There are plenty of breathable / comfortable black boots, the USAF-style uniforms are already "inauthentic" for other reasons, and
there are more then a few styles of black combat boots that do not require shining.

Black boots are easy to find commercially and inexpensively for growing cadet feet.

Quote from: Dr.Cole_Ph.D on September 08, 2019, 09:57:06 pm
Has this ever been brought up at an NCAC? Is this purposeful?


Probably / no.  The NCAC is not tasked with uniform choices.



Levi Lockling

So, to start, black combat boots are not an inherently "Navy/Marine Corps," deal. Way back in ye olden days, Every military branch was actually in one utility uniform, and the footwear of choice was generally a black combat boot. This stood true until the early 2000s, when the Marine Corps decided that they wanted a unique uniform. In making this uniform, they not only got different colored boots, but now everyone wanted their own uniform. Thus, you now see the multiple shades, designs, colors, and boot choices throughout the past ~15 or so years.

Now, enter CAP: We are still actively wearing BDUs, at least for the time being. It was only recently(Some of us can remember the unending "wEn CaN wE gEt TeH aBuS?" threads before it finally happened) that CAP approved wear of the ABU, the AF Uniform. As is not unusual, there is obviously this transition period between approval of a new uniform, and mandatory retirement of an old one. This allows for old uniform items to be worn out and new items to be bought without excessive cost to the member. During this transition, military members can often be seen wearing odd combinations that are actually approved until permanent wear date. For example, while transitioning to ABUs, the AF actually did allow for wear of black or tan boots during the transition, as sage green was still new and expensive.

How does this work out for CAP? Well, we can only really speculate why they explicitly allow only black boots with the ABU. Some say it keeps us identifiable compared to AF members, some say the decision was made to reduce costs on the many volunteer members who may have just bought a set of black boots, and others still think that an alien is controlling the mind of whoever's in charge of uniforms. The point is, there's no clear cut reason why we wear black boots, but it makes sense to a degree.

That's not to say you can't find breathable black boots. My corcoran Mauraders are largely fabric, with only a leather toe cap, heel, and structural support. Very breathable.
As for the polishing... Don't. Just keep them black. If all you're doing is wearing them with your utility uniform, there is only the regulatory requirement that they be black and in good condition. Throw some polish on every so often to keep everything protected, but don't lose your head if you can't see your face in them. Any member who explicitly states that boots must be shined with the utility uniform is wrong.

I have no doubt it's been brought up in many places, though the NCAC wouldn't be the place for it. There are protocols and specific ways to request that a regulation change, none of which involves the NCAC.
Capt Levi H. Lockling
SSgt, USAF, 1A851J, 41ECS
Charlie flight, NBB 2013


Eclipse




KenTenn

November 10, 2019, 02:56:08 pm #5 Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 02:59:44 pm by KenTenn
At risk of beating a dead horse, I'll address this issue and offer some points that are often missed.

1) Air Force Mandate:
While it is often said that the Air Force demanded black boots to make the CAP uniform distinctive, there is little evidence to support this. CAP never asked the Air Force to approve anything other than black boots. There wasn't a round table meeting with the Air Force where everything was on the table.  CAP included black boots in its proposal to the Air Force and it was approved. If CAP would have requested sage green boots it is very likely the Air Force would have approved them.  Claiming that the AF refused to consider sage boots is a way for senior members to get cadets to shut up about such a trivial issue.

2) AF Struggles with Single Design:
The Air Force has a love/hate relationship with their sage green boots.  They like their distinctive nature but struggle with fitting everyone with the same boot only produced by a couple of milspec suppliers. Many in the AF would prefer choosing from 500 suppliers of black boots than a couple of suppliers of sage boots. Think about the variety of black boots on the market.  You can buy lightweight tactical boots that you could run a marathon in or you can buy jump boots that can be shined to a mirror finish.  Which leads to my next point.

3) Utility Uniform or Not:
CAP doesn't really treat the BDU/ABU like a utility uniform.  We iron it and dress it up more than most branches of the military.  If you looked at the sage boots worn by the AF, they often look pretty shabby by CAP standards. The AF sage boots don't maintain a good appearance over their lifespan.  Black combat or tactical boots in something other than suede finish are easy to maintain and clean up well.  Think of how great ABU/BDU looks with a polished jump boot.

4) Cost, variety, and Availability:
Yesterday I bought a new pair of name-brand tactical boots at Bargain Hunt for $25.  I also have a pair of Under Armour boots that cost $125. Cadets often outgrow boots every six months.  Cheap options are welcomed by parents.  Isn't it nice that you can grab a pair of boots at your local Walmart?

5) Transition Advantage Myth:
The advantage of cadets being able to transition to ABU without buying new boots is overstated. With a five year transition, cadets could have planned on transitioning to ABU with their next boot purchase.

6) Senior Members Like Black Boots:
I commonly wear polished black boots with Class B blues, "polo shirt" uniform, "aviator shirt" uniform, ABU, BDU, "blue" BDU, "blue" flight suit, and "green" flight suit.

Senior members were influential in the choice of black boots for a reason.


Levi Lockling

Quote from: KenTenn on November 10, 2019, 02:56:08 pm
At risk of beating a dead horse, I'll address this issue and offer some points that are often missed.

1) Air Force Mandate:
While it is often said that the Air Force demanded black boots to make the CAP uniform distinctive, there is little evidence to support this. CAP never asked the Air Force to approve anything other than black boots. There wasn't a round table meeting with the Air Force where everything was on the table.  CAP included black boots in its proposal to the Air Force and it was approved. If CAP would have requested sage green boots it is very likely the Air Force would have approved them.  Claiming that the AF refused to consider sage boots is a way for senior members to get cadets to shut up about such a trivial issue.

2) AF Struggles with Single Design:
The Air Force has a love/hate relationship with their sage green boots.  They like their distinctive nature but struggle with fitting everyone with the same boot only produced by a couple of milspec suppliers. Many in the AF would prefer choosing from 500 suppliers of black boots than a couple of suppliers of sage boots. Think about the variety of black boots on the market.  You can buy lightweight tactical boots that you could run a marathon in or you can buy jump boots that can be shined to a mirror finish.  Which leads to my next point.

3) Utility Uniform or Not:
CAP doesn't really treat the BDU/ABU like a utility uniform.  We iron it and dress it up more than most branches of the military.  If you looked at the sage boots worn by the AF, they often look pretty shabby by CAP standards. The AF sage boots don't maintain a good appearance over their lifespan.  Black combat or tactical boots in something other than suede finish are easy to maintain and clean up well.  Think of how great ABU/BDU looks with a polished jump boot.

4) Cost, variety, and Availability:
Yesterday I bought a new pair of name-brand tactical boots at Bargain Hunt for $25.  I also have a pair of Under Armour boots that cost $125. Cadets often outgrow boots every six months.  Cheap options are welcomed by parents.  Isn't it nice that you can grab a pair of boots at your local Walmart?

5) Transition Advantage Myth:
The advantage of cadets being able to transition to ABU without buying new boots is overstated. With a five year transition, cadets could have planned on transitioning to ABU with their next boot purchase.

6) Senior Members Like Black Boots:
I commonly wear polished black boots with Class B blues, "polo shirt" uniform, "aviator shirt" uniform, ABU, BDU, "blue" BDU, "blue" flight suit, and "green" flight suit.

Senior members were influential in the choice of black boots for a reason.



Dead horse quite beaten, but what's wrong with hanging it up from the ceiling and doing some boxing?

1) While I can't say it's easy to confirm who did/did not request or who did/did not grant certain uniform combinations, I would certainly believe anyone who were to tell me that CAP just didn't request alternate color boots in their proposal. It's a side effect and fear still present from He-Who-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named's fiasco way back when.much like the monkeys in the "Banana-Squirt bottle" adage, we're still on edge about asking for anything from Ma Blue. Look at how long it took us to request ABUs in the first place. It's no wonder that we'd want to make it as "Distinct," as possible given that "Distinct," has been drilled in to our heads for many years now. Would anyone in the AF actually care, at this point? Probably not. I've had to explain to various AD folks in the BX as to why I'm wearing black boots and blue nametags with my ABUs various times, to the point that I just don't anymore. They all think it's unnecessarily silly, and I'd agree.

2) I fail to see where there would be an issue getting everyone in the AF in to Sage Green, or now Coyote Brown, boots. The Military is a huge driving factor behind the economy and the supply and demand will respond accordingly. There will always be the demand and likewise supply of black boots simply because of how common a uniform item it is for police, EMT, and other organizations. But the military is HUGE. You can see it not just with boots, but with other commodities. Guns? A tan gun just a few years ago would have been blasphemous, but are now common place because people want the "Same stuff," the military has. Do you know how many Desert Tan Toyota Tacomas I see on the road on a regular basis? Tan vehicles, just a short time ago, was considered more basic/utilitarian, but are now becoming stylish because people want to copy what the military has(Not saying we have Tacomas, just that Tan is now a cool color). The free market WILL respond to whatever the military requests. That's where the money is. I now have a set of both Sage Green and Coyote Brown Nike SFBs, which are(In my mind) the lightweight tactical boot you describe. I cannot find that same boot in black.

3) Anecdotally, I'd agree on this point. It's one of my biggest pet peeves, really, given the intent behind the ABU/BDU/BBDU. It is a UTILITY uniform. There is a time and place for a dress uniform. If the situation calls for it, the UOD should be some service uniform combination, not some dressed up utility uniforms. As long as they're within regs(IE, clean, serviceable), there should be no one catching flak for just wearing a utility uniform as intended. That being given, the expectation for perfectly clean suede boots dropped quite a while ago within the AF, at least as far as my experience has gone. You'd be hard pressed to find a supervisor/shirt/commander who demands clean boots.

4) See point 2: The market responds positively to military input. The longer the requirement is present, the more manufacturers show up. A quick google search for "Coyote Brown Combat boots,"(The incoming color, using Sage wouldn't be fair for this point) brings up at least one pair in the sub-$25 range, several more in the sub-fifty dollar range. A search for Sage Green boots brings up even better results, with Oakley, Bellevilles, and Danners all coming up under $50. All this should be easily workable for parents, especially with help from Sq/CCs to find donations. At the very least, there should be a transition period where both black and Sage/Tan/Whatever colored boots with ABUs should be allowed.

5) Full concurrence. Bring on the Suede boots, mah dude.

6) I wouldn't say it's a "SM likey," issue so much as a regulatory one. When the AF transitioned to sage green, they made Sage Green the Standard on the ABU and FDU, which were the only two utility uniforms at the time Any flyer deploying got the DFDU and Tan boots, which were already being worn by the army. Similarly, they are doing the same with Coyote Brown on the ACU-OCP, A2CU-OCP, FDU and DFDU. The AF is actually going to be more standardized as far as boot colors go than they have been in a long time. Of course, we're not just going to throw colored boots in with the blues combinations. But do you know how many people wear boots with their blues? Not many. I do, as I generally ride my motorcycle even when wearing blues. But not many in the AF, much less CAP, probably know you even can, and fewer would generally find a reason to. All those points are, of course, AF specific. CAP is unique in that we have our distinctive uniforms, which I do not think would look as good or professional with anything but black boots. We could delve in to the reasoning and possible fixes for why we keep our distinct uniforms in the first place, but that's another dead horse for another day.

Everything in CAP is influenced by Senior Members, when you think of it.
Capt Levi H. Lockling
SSgt, USAF, 1A851J, 41ECS
Charlie flight, NBB 2013

abdsp51

Quote from: Levi Lockling on November 10, 2019, 05:35:13 pm
Quote from: KenTenn on November 10, 2019, 02:56:08 pm
At risk of beating a dead horse, I'll address this issue and offer some points that are often missed.

1) Air Force Mandate:
While it is often said that the Air Force demanded black boots to make the CAP uniform distinctive, there is little evidence to support this. CAP never asked the Air Force to approve anything other than black boots. There wasn't a round table meeting with the Air Force where everything was on the table.  CAP included black boots in its proposal to the Air Force and it was approved. If CAP would have requested sage green boots it is very likely the Air Force would have approved them.  Claiming that the AF refused to consider sage boots is a way for senior members to get cadets to shut up about such a trivial issue.

2) AF Struggles with Single Design:
The Air Force has a love/hate relationship with their sage green boots.  They like their distinctive nature but struggle with fitting everyone with the same boot only produced by a couple of milspec suppliers. Many in the AF would prefer choosing from 500 suppliers of black boots than a couple of suppliers of sage boots. Think about the variety of black boots on the market.  You can buy lightweight tactical boots that you could run a marathon in or you can buy jump boots that can be shined to a mirror finish.  Which leads to my next point.

3) Utility Uniform or Not:
CAP doesn't really treat the BDU/ABU like a utility uniform.  We iron it and dress it up more than most branches of the military.  If you looked at the sage boots worn by the AF, they often look pretty shabby by CAP standards. The AF sage boots don't maintain a good appearance over their lifespan.  Black combat or tactical boots in something other than suede finish are easy to maintain and clean up well.  Think of how great ABU/BDU looks with a polished jump boot.

4) Cost, variety, and Availability:
Yesterday I bought a new pair of name-brand tactical boots at Bargain Hunt for $25.  I also have a pair of Under Armour boots that cost $125. Cadets often outgrow boots every six months.  Cheap options are welcomed by parents.  Isn't it nice that you can grab a pair of boots at your local Walmart?

5) Transition Advantage Myth:
The advantage of cadets being able to transition to ABU without buying new boots is overstated. With a five year transition, cadets could have planned on transitioning to ABU with their next boot purchase.

6) Senior Members Like Black Boots:
I commonly wear polished black boots with Class B blues, "polo shirt" uniform, "aviator shirt" uniform, ABU, BDU, "blue" BDU, "blue" flight suit, and "green" flight suit.

Senior members were influential in the choice of black boots for a reason.



Dead horse quite beaten, but what's wrong with hanging it up from the ceiling and doing some boxing?

1) While I can't say it's easy to confirm who did/did not request or who did/did not grant certain uniform combinations, I would certainly believe anyone who were to tell me that CAP just didn't request alternate color boots in their proposal. It's a side effect and fear still present from He-Who-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named's fiasco way back when.much like the monkeys in the "Banana-Squirt bottle" adage, we're still on edge about asking for anything from Ma Blue. Look at how long it took us to request ABUs in the first place. It's no wonder that we'd want to make it as "Distinct," as possible given that "Distinct," has been drilled in to our heads for many years now. Would anyone in the AF actually care, at this point? Probably not. I've had to explain to various AD folks in the BX as to why I'm wearing black boots and blue nametags with my ABUs various times, to the point that I just don't anymore. They all think it's unnecessarily silly, and I'd agree.

2) I fail to see where there would be an issue getting everyone in the AF in to Sage Green, or now Coyote Brown, boots. The Military is a huge driving factor behind the economy and the supply and demand will respond accordingly. There will always be the demand and likewise supply of black boots simply because of how common a uniform item it is for police, EMT, and other organizations. But the military is HUGE. You can see it not just with boots, but with other commodities. Guns? A tan gun just a few years ago would have been blasphemous, but are now common place because people want the "Same stuff," the military has. Do you know how many Desert Tan Toyota Tacomas I see on the road on a regular basis? Tan vehicles, just a short time ago, was considered more basic/utilitarian, but are now becoming stylish because people want to copy what the military has(Not saying we have Tacomas, just that Tan is now a cool color). The free market WILL respond to whatever the military requests. That's where the money is. I now have a set of both Sage Green and Coyote Brown Nike SFBs, which are(In my mind) the lightweight tactical boot you describe. I cannot find that same boot in black.

3) Anecdotally, I'd agree on this point. It's one of my biggest pet peeves, really, given the intent behind the ABU/BDU/BBDU. It is a UTILITY uniform. There is a time and place for a dress uniform. If the situation calls for it, the UOD should be some service uniform combination, not some dressed up utility uniforms. As long as they're within regs(IE, clean, serviceable), there should be no one catching flak for just wearing a utility uniform as intended. That being given, the expectation for perfectly clean suede boots dropped quite a while ago within the AF, at least as far as my experience has gone. You'd be hard pressed to find a supervisor/shirt/commander who demands clean boots.

4) See point 2: The market responds positively to military input. The longer the requirement is present, the more manufacturers show up. A quick google search for "Coyote Brown Combat boots,"(The incoming color, using Sage wouldn't be fair for this point) brings up at least one pair in the sub-$25 range, several more in the sub-fifty dollar range. A search for Sage Green boots brings up even better results, with Oakley, Bellevilles, and Danners all coming up under $50. All this should be easily workable for parents, especially with help from Sq/CCs to find donations. At the very least, there should be a transition period where both black and Sage/Tan/Whatever colored boots with ABUs should be allowed.

5) Full concurrence. Bring on the Suede boots, mah dude.

6) I wouldn't say it's a "SM likey," issue so much as a regulatory one. When the AF transitioned to sage green, they made Sage Green the Standard on the ABU and FDU, which were the only two utility uniforms at the time Any flyer deploying got the DFDU and Tan boots, which were already being worn by the army. Similarly, they are doing the same with Coyote Brown on the ACU-OCP, A2CU-OCP, FDU and DFDU. The AF is actually going to be more standardized as far as boot colors go than they have been in a long time. Of course, we're not just going to throw colored boots in with the blues combinations. But do you know how many people wear boots with their blues? Not many. I do, as I generally ride my motorcycle even when wearing blues. But not many in the AF, much less CAP, probably know you even can, and fewer would generally find a reason to. All those points are, of course, AF specific. CAP is unique in that we have our distinctive uniforms, which I do not think would look as good or professional with anything but black boots. We could delve in to the reasoning and possible fixes for why we keep our distinct uniforms in the first place, but that's another dead horse for another day.

Everything in CAP is influenced by Senior Members, when you think of it.


And what do you have to back any of these assertatikns up?

CAP9907

21 yrs of service

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