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Army Looking At New Arctic Footwear That Could Replace ‘Mickey Mouse/ Bunny Boots’
The Army will test three types of overboots this winter as potential replacement for the extreme cold winter boots lovingly known as “Mickey Mouse” or “Bunny” boots, said Jay McNamara, of Project Executive Office Soldier.
Overboots are “sort of like a second boot that you put on over top of an existing boot,” said McNamara, who is leading the Army’s effort to improve its Arctic footwear. While Military.com first reported the news on July 25, the Army has not yet made a decision on whether to replace the service’s current extreme cold weather boot, which soldiers have worn since the 1960s.
“We have not yet decided that we are going to move to overboots or that the overboots are going to replace the extreme cold weather boot,” McNamara told Task & Purpose. “Our intent is to modernize and replace the extreme cold weather boot. We just don’t know if it’s going to be an overboot and we don’t know yet if there’s something better than it.”
Testing is expected to take place between December and April, McNamara said. Soldiers will wear overboots made by Original Footwear, Outdoor Research, and Wiggy's Inc., he added, although the Army is still finalizing which units will test the footwear
In the past, the service has conducted winter testing in Norway; Fort Drum, New York; the Army Mountain Warfare School in Vermont; and bases in Alaska, such as Fort Wainwright, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and the Northern Warfare Training Center in Black Rapids.
“We are buying 150 pair of three different test overboots and we intend to field those to soldiers this winter and collect their feedback,” McNamara said. “Depending on how their feedback goes – if they think it’s promising or not – we may pursue it. So something like an insulated overboot might be in the Army’s system in the future, but at this point we don’t know.”
Developed after the Korean War, the Army’s extreme cold weather boots were designed for maximum warmth and insulation in temperatures as low as -60 Fahrenheit. But they are also heavy, bulky, and hard to pack and carry, McNamara said. Since the boot is made of rubber, sweat tends to pool on the inside, so soldiers can have wet feet.
“They are relatively stiff, so if you are walking long distances in it, I’ve heard people complain about it rubbing on their shins,” McNamara said. “Then also there’s been complaints about the traction. The outsole and the way that they make it is date technology. We think there are opportunities to improve the traction.”
The Army’s decision to test possible replacements for the extreme cold weather boot was promoted by feedback from soldiers who went to Norway for a training exercise, where they were issued overboots by the Norwegians, McNamara said.
“They really raved about them,” McNamara said. “They said it kept their feet and their boots dry because the overboot kept the water and snow from soaking their boots. It provided an extra layer of insulation and it also helped them interface with the ski and snowshoe bindings. Largely based on that feedback, we thought an insulated overboot could be a potential solution and so we wanted to dig into it some more.”
13 Marines at Camp Pendleton charged with crimes related to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico
Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.
The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.
The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."
That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.
When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.
"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.
According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.
"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."
Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."
Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."
The Army thinks China will surpass Russia by 2028. Here is how the service is planning to take them on.
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.
The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.
But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.
In leaked documents, Army family reports waiting weeks to have gas line and roof leaks fixed in on-base housing
As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.
And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.