Congress to military: Stop the camo madness!

Congressional member bother themselves with all sorts of wacky issues. Although, sometimes our esteemed congressional members do hit the mark or at least come close.

Navy reported today that the Senate Armed Services Committee has agreed with their House colleagues that the military is spending way too much on unique-styled camouflage uniforms. I think I might add that the service is also spending too much time in spreading a trend that could hurt the military down the road.

It is ridiculous the number of camo combat uniforms the separate armed services has developed. Once the camouflage was jungle green. Then the desert patterns were added for Middle East service. At times you could see both patterns in the same combat zone which really didn’t make a lot of sense.

Then came a trend under the Donald Rumsfeld era of the Defense Department that “uniforms” should be uniform. First the Marine Corps developed an odd “digital” camo pattern. The Navy followed suit with a blue and gray mix that supposedly would hide some one on a ship, I suppose. That is not to mention they ditched the traditional chambray-dungaree bell bottom working uniform for a “Navy Working Uniform ” that is the style of the Army’s Battle Dress Uniform, (BDU). The Air Force has its own battle dress as well. Eventually, 22 camouflage separate patterns were designed for 45 terrains, according to Navy Times.

Of course, Congress looks here at the bottom line and all the money being spent. But what seems to be missing in such examining is that an “Army of One,” as the recruiting slogan goes, is quickly becoming an Armed Forces of One. The Navy has working uniforms which look as if they were hand-me-downs from the Marines. Give the Congressional staffers and military bureaucrats enough time and money and they are likely to come up with a 3-piece, pin-striped business suit to replace the traditional blue dress of the Marine Corps.

I served during a time of change with Navy uniforms. Although the blue dungaree, chambray working uniforms were still allowed, I was issued a blue jumper and dark blue work pants in boot camp. Our dress uniforms were like a traditional business suit one that was indistinguishable from the chief and officers’ dress along with that round hat with a bill you see in most uniforms, we still were allowed the dress whites and a cool-looking black undress working uniform with black shirt and black pants. Most sailors also didn’t like the dress blues because they saw the Navy sailor traditionally dressed like the sailor on the Crackerjacks box. The noise was heard and that uniformĀ  was brought back in considerably short order.

Hopefully, the military men will have the ability and the foresight to keep tradition in uniforms. One might think it silly that someone would not join a military service because of a uniform. It might not be the only reason, but it does make a difference.

Congress is right to stop the craziness with the camos. Let’s just hope they don’t micromanage uniforms and still give the men and women who wear them the necessary input for which clothes the sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen and coasties will wear.