More than a year and a half after the Space Force debuted its brand-new service dress uniform to comparisons to the Galactic Empire from Star Wars, the outfit’s much-maligned baggy pants have undergone “a lot of refinement,” a service spokesperson said on Tuesday.
But despite the recent completion of the service’s final fit test for the new dress uniform in late March, officials are far from finished getting the new pants ready for prime time, the spokesperson said.
“We’ve done a lot of refinement to the Space Force service dress design since the original prototype was shown in 2021, to include focus groups and two roadshows to garner feedback directly from Guardians,” Air Force Maj. Tonya Donsworth told Task & Purpose in a statement on Tuesday. “The fit tests were another essential process to developing the prototype sizing and fit.”
“We’ll continue keeping Guardian feedback at the forefront of our uniform development process through wear tests later this year, and are working toward delivering service dress Guardians can wear with pride in late 2025,” she added.
Those wear tests will begin this summer and will involve having Space Force Guardians wear the dress uniform three times a week to assess the “durability, functionality and comfort” of the prototype, the service said in a statement last week announcing the completion of its final fit test.
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The Space Force first debuted its new prototype uniforms at the Air Force Association’s annual Air Space & Cyber Conference back in September 2021, which quickly garnered criticism and commentary for apparently taking inspiration from classic science-fiction franchises.
The pants in particular earned ire from even non-military circles — New York Times style writer Steven Kurutz called them “saggy and baggy and in serious need of tailoring — prompting the Space Force to concede the following October that “we heard your feedback,” as the service wrote in a tweet. “New pants, new fit coming soon.”
It’s not clear exactly when that “refinement” cited by a military spokesman took place. As recently as November of last year, then-incoming Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman appeared in the dress uniform in what appeared to be a pair of the prototype’s baggy pants, according to photos published to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
The Space Force is capable of many things, from putting satellites into orbit to using space asserts to call in airstrikes in support of ground forces with pinpoint precision. But apparently, America’s youngest military branch incapable of designing a pair of pants that fit in less than 18 months. What a time to be alive.
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