Dress in the Field and Ranges

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#1
Can any one give me a definative answer on what the correct dress is on the ranges and in the field? A lot of people feel that it is necessary to wear a smock in the field or on the ranges but PAM 21 says dress for the ranges is CS95. Again and again I hear people insisting that shooters wear a smock instead of a jacket (as the shirt is correctly called).

I've even heard an officer boasting that his unit were running around in Gib in 40c in smocks. Quite why he was proud of this I'm not sure. I'm quite sure its b....

Having watched a number of soldiers collapse yesterday including 1 who had to be blue lighted off the training area I think it come close to criminal that thye are being forced to wear unsuitable clothing.
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Any officer or NCO with one ounce of common sense would realise that the correct dress is dictated not by PAM21 but by the conditions.

There are no rules that over rule common sense.

If the tests mandate a dress and no variation and the weather is unaccaptable then the OC Situation is wrong to carry on training in that situation.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#3
MiB I agree with what you are saying. Common sense would suggest to me that when its 30C + then a smock is not the appropiate dress. But so many people insist that they should to be worn in the field regardless of the conditions. Shades of red tunics and stocks on the Spainish Peninsular or red wooly jackets in Africa.

As I've stated before the only thing it says on dress in PAM21 is CS95. Which includes the jacket (shirt), smock, and waterproof as outer wear. Can anybody come up with a definative ruling on what is the correct dress - preferably with evidence that I can quote next time I need to.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#4
sknn said:
As I've stated before the only thing it says on dress in PAM21 is CS95. Which includes the jacket (shirt), smock, and waterproof as outer wear. Can anybody come up with a definative ruling on what is the correct dress - preferably with evidence that I can quote next time I need to.
That seems reasonable: CS95 is a modular, layered clothing system and I don't see any issue in wearing the 'jacket' without a smock in the field or on the ranges. I'd suggest anyone who is telling you different is a bit thick.
 
#5
Rules are there for the guidance of the wise and obeyance by the stupid.

How often is it proved the officer who is employed for his intellect and leadership and an NCO who is promoted because of the same use so little of it. What sort of a kn0b has solidiers running round in 40c heat in a smock???? It proves only one thing and that's that the officer who nade the decision is too much of a coward to use his common sense. Irespective of what the pamphlet says common sense should be applied. A man who has several soldiers go down with heat exhaustion including one blue light case should be investigated and if necessary court martialled. If a soldier is proven to have been on the p1ss the night before a pre-planned physical activity and susequently goes down then when comes out of hospital he should be court mashalled too.

An ability to conduct battle drill in hot weather is not improved by weraing a smock whilst training, it's improved by being fitter and having good personal administration.
 
#6
sknn said:
Having watched a number of soldiers collapse yesterday including 1 who had to be blue lighted off the training area I think it come close to criminal that thye are being forced to wear unsuitable clothing.
I'm pretty sure that if a civilian employer caused staff to collapse then the H&SE would be on them like a ton of bricks.

The Exercise OC should be reminded that Crown Immunity has long gone.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
I've had this arguament several times - At the event in question there was a 2 star and a 1 star and f@ck knows how many Full and half Colonels all watching.

Every time I bring up this subject I get told to wind my neck in. Which is why I'm asking for a definative answer so that I can ram it up the @rses of the sort of t@sser who encorages or allows it to go on.
 
#8
RCO is King for the Day, regardless of rank.

maninblack said:
There are no rules that over rule common sense.
And I, for one, couldn't agree more.

Favourite argument in support of full gear is that you should practice wearing what you will have on in a real fire-fight. I prefer the alternative view that we are building up the individual's confidence in the weapon system first and working on his combat skills second. It doesn't actually work the other way around.
 
#9
I always assumed (the mother of all fcuk ups!) that it was down to the individual. If one man feels comfortable wearing a norgie under his combat shirt/jacket and another does not then who is to say which one is correct?

"Get that fcukin' norgie on soldier"
"But I'm over-heating boss"
"I dont give a fcuk, get it on"

"NEE, NAW, NEE, NAW............"

Interview without coffee me thinks.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#10
abacus said:
Favourite argument in support of full gear is that you should practice wearing what you will have on in a real fire-fight.
Well yes, though my experience is that advance notice and dress instructions are rarely given for firefights. Anyway, I would suggest that in the current operational situation, it's far more likely that someone is going to be wearing their 'shirt' rather than a smock if they have to open fire.
 
#11
I would suggest that JSP 539 - Climatic Injuries in the Armed Forces: Prevention & Treatment would be a good place to look. Just 'cos you're on the range doesn't mean that Pam 21 is the only relevant publication re: safety. Sounds dead boring, but it's a useful stick to batter people with when they're being kn*bs.
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Ask them if they would like to discuss it with the Health & Safety Executive?

They may tell you that your attitude will affect your career but so does being dead when the lipids in your brain exceed their operating temperture. Can anyone remember the Royal Navy killing a couple of blokes by making them run across mudflats in dry suits and wooly bears in the late 80s?
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#13
PAM21 says CS95 which as I read it means either a jacket (shirt), smock, or rainproof. PAM21 appears to be on my side. 'm going to get JSP 539 and have a look.
 
#14
Pam 21 does indeed say CS95.

It also says that personnel should fire wearing Body Armour where issued this is in order for the individual to practice shooting in the equipment he is likely to be wearing at times of war.

I was running a range last week in Essex @ 32 degrees and as i was the RCO said bollox to the body armour and ditch smocks / jackets minimum required 95 shirt with sleeves rolled down.

To many people out there willing to quote the Pam rather than have the balls to stand there and say bollox as long as my range is safe the lads can wear what i think is suitable for the day.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
I think I've identified the problem. PAM21 says that CS95 is the dress for the ranges. To me that means the Lightweight Jacket (ie the shirt) is suitable.

Everyone else here has agreed with its suitability, but seem to assume that PAM21 means a smock when it says CS95.

When ever I run a range or run trg the dress is CS95 - up to the individual whether its Lightweight Jacket, smock, waterproof or windproof, but too often I come across people who are insisting on smocks being worn - the given reason being that they think thats how it should be.

One Trg Offr told me that it was to 'provide protection' and that the lightweight Jacket was barrack dress only. He then boasted that his unit had been training in Gib in 40C in smocks.
 
#16
The old adage should apply (although that assumes that common sense exists in higher echelons) a PAM is a wise man's guide and a fool's Bible!
 
#17
CS 95 being a clothing system, it does of course also include (gosh) a T-shirt.

On operations I'm not always going to be around to babysit my soldiers and tell them exactly what clothes to wear. They are big boys now and can make their own minds up. Any officer who thinks that having all of his soldiers dressed identically is more important than allowing them to choose clothing in which they are comfortable to conduct their operational role is, frankly, an idiot and a mind-clone worthy only of a damn good slapping. The only true measure of a soldier is combat effectiveness. Smartness and uni/conformity have their part to play, but should never be allowed to impede a soldier's ability to perform his duties to the best of his abilities.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#18
I wrote to Soldier on this issue, back in June '05. I've just had a reply from them saying that they are going to publish my letter in Dec 05 and here is the responce;

Response to Letter No 395

The dangers associated with heat injuries are taken very seriously by the Army. The decision on what should be worn during a general purpose field training exercise will be very much up to the commander on the ground. In hot weather, he will get advise regarding the, Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) which determines the level of physical activity that can be undertaken dependant on the climatic conditions and will adjust the training accordingly. This not only covers specific physical training but all levels of exercise from drill to activities on field exercises.

Turning to the point about clothing it is issued to the soldier for:

a) Health and Safety (Non-slip boots, protective coveralls, etc.) – There are strict rules and regulations that say when they must be worn
b) Safety during Training – (helmets on Assault Courses, body Armour during Live Firing, etc) – Again there are rules and regulations to meet the specific circumstances and to reduce the risk of injury
c) Environmental conditions (Artic whites, desert combats, etc.) – The environmental situation will determine when this clothing is worn
d) NBC – Worn when the risk of chemical attack (real of fictitious during training) is identified
e) General Issue – in barracks and in the field

As an aside, since I joined the Army 27 years ago the quality of equipment and clothing has improved dramatically. Then we had to buy clothing and equipment from civilian companies in order to survive in the field. Soldiers are now issued with a comprehensive range of clothing that will allow him/her to operate across a diverse range of environmental conditions.


Colonel R P. Sim
SO1 Trg Pol
HQ Inf
Warminster

I've already written to Soldier to say that this reply does not address the issue that I raised. Wait out.
 
#19
Ah, the old chestnut about being told what kit to wear!

I remember being on a training ex and in a standing patrol with the CSM, yay me! The boss had obviously deployed the rain and old wind and, bless my cotton socks, my hands were cold, and in my opinion woudl have all but fallen off! So i was issued with gloves and decided that to keep my hands working i woudl put them on. 5 mins later, hands turning back to normal colour, all good. Until the CSM is doing the rounds and whispers "what the fcuk are those on your hands", i reply "gloves (wah?)"
"what they doing on your hands?"
and to cut a long story short, I get made to take them off!

Now, silly incident (for which I knew what the outcome would be when pinged) but whats the point of issueing them if you cant use them. In that particular situation, he had no real argument apart from "do you see me wearing gloves?" and "I'll tell you when you can wear gloves".

We never did see eye to eye!

OS
 
#20
The warming of hands has always been an issue (for me anyway). There I was bimbling along with my hands in my sky rockets. I was ballbagged and not really with it. One of the SSMs walked past with:

"are your hands cold, son".

"No Sir, they're in my pockets".

Probably the worst thing that I could have said.
 
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