Military Kit Provision

Discussion in 'Military Clothing & Boots' started by Tug498, Apr 18, 2011.

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  1. Alright,

    I am new to the military and will, no doubt, betray my naivity very quickly but as a veteran of public service and private industry I am growing increasingly frustrated by what I beleive is a complete disregard of good judgment and common courtesy to soldiers by the people who decide on our kit.
    As an example, the issue boots have come close to destroying my feet. I believe that others are okay with them, however, I do a lot of walking in varying terrain mostly mountainous) and considered my feet to be pretty well bomb proof with hardened leathery heels that stood up to 2 months in plastic boots during a trip to Greenland.
    I break in my issue boots and my feet are soft mush with blisters all over the show despite all manner of normal (and some abnormal) trials to get a better fit, reduce rub etc.
    I will endure them because that is what is required of me but why do the bods in charge consider this to be acceptable provision in a small, modern, professional army? Those of you that feel they are appropriate, would you keep them rather than take a more "gucci" boot?
    Surely you must get the basics right to mainain moral and prevent uneccesary injuries and such a fundamentally important item as footwear is decided on cost alone (it seems)?
    I appreciate that much of kit provision is a compromise between cost and quantity but if they can spend £100 billions ******* up building a jet or spending £22 on a light bulb then surely they can tell squaddies that they can have a decent boot off the shelf to their liking e.g. lowa, alt-berg etc.
    How much does the govt spend on each pair of issue boots cause I would be willing to take a punt that it is probably some phenomenal price well above the market rate which would negate any cost bennefits.
    You could argue the case for several other bits of kit as well. So, how do they justify such derisory treatment of soldiers who rely on this kit for their confort and maintaining their ability to do the job?
    My apolgies if this has been discussed previously but it reeeeeally pisses me off having experienced similar false economies previously.
  2. Well, the issue boots for ops are excellent. Albeit, their the first issue boots I've ever considered wearing (and I'm weird enough to have got away with wearing own boots in basic - off of the parade square). We'll see how the new PECOC (sp?) boots are when they're available, perhaps. My Lowas are okay for a few years yet (and were, what, a day and a half's pay?) Civvies, mostly, have to buy their own work kit, you know?
  3. Alas I am a civvie as well as a soldier (well a STAB but I try very hard, honest) and my line of work should technically see my employer purchase my PPE though they dont, which is a totally seperate issue.
    I would have no problems buying my own boots but I gather this is not permitted unless you have a note from your doc but given that you must be able to TAB relatively significant distances and perform all manner of tasks surely it is better to invest in good kit for people than expect them to buy their own especially when there is a potential complication over compensation if you are wearing non-issue (especially true for TA guys if you cannot afford to be injured and off work cause sure as eggs is eggs most employers wont pick up the tab and the army is notoriously slow in resolving bueraucratic issues).
    Secondly, you have to do basic in the issue boots which, for me, made what should have been an enjoyable and straightforward experience, most unpleasant. I can deal with crap waterproofs, a shagged old Bergen, an poorly designed helmet but my feet were in rag order which was so unecessary.
    I have heard from a number of people that operational kit is much better, which surely highlights that there is an awareness that what is routinely issued is simply not fit for purpose.
    I have worked in public service ( I was a Paramedic) before and choose to spend a sum of my own cash on buying better kit (decent stethoscope, diagnostic kit, training courses) and after a while got realy fed up with it because when does personal responsibility end and corporate responsiblity become accountable?

    Wos PECOC mean?
  4. It is a long, long time since I was in basic, where this (basically - oops) applied. It doesn't now. Unless your RSM is particularly ****.

    I wouldn't wait for the MoD to buy everything you need for your comfort and protection. Really. There are far too many of us and we breaks stuff far too often. Yes, shit that you can't buy - guns, body armour - take the issue. And, otherwise, if you find the issue kit fine, then use it - you can get it replaced by Man@QM if you damage it. But if you don't like the boots, spend some of your bounty on a decent pair (or, as i said, wait for the PECOC ones to come out.)

    BTW - I'm TA. My waterproofs are fine, my bergen is brand new, and I've a shiny new Mk7 helmet (although I've only got MTP and Desert covers for it). Personally, I don't think your CQMS likes you very much.
  5. "Personal Equipment and Common Operational Clothing" - an ongoing MoD programme. The latest about-to-be-issued incarnation of which is "PCS" - Personal Clothing System (I think - don't shout if I'm wrong. It's late!)
  6. The competition to replace the current boots is now underway. It is following the same principle as the operational desert boots - companies are providing a variety of different boots which will be selected by a panel of soldiers. While a price cap has been set, it is high enough to bring in the makes of boots everyone would want to see. The choice is being made by experts from the most critical and demanding scrutiny organisation - the field army. They will choose two separate boots in each category (combat boot, patrol boot, cold wet weather, desert etc) which will then be available to give you choice of different manufacturers to get the best boot that fits your foot. The competition will conclude later this year with the new boots being available for issue from about 12 months from now.

    So things are changing, just takes a little time that's all.

    Hope that helps
  7. Yeah, I assume I get whats lying around at the back of the cupboard until I have settled in and shown a bit of staying power or indeed found the right people to talk to/bribe/buy a beer.
    I am getting a bit long in the tooth (realtively speaking) and often go off on utopian rants about what is wrong with the world in general especially when reasonable alternatives are easily within grasp.
    I shall certainly be investing in better boots and shall have a good old chat with my unit to get the okay.
    I am off to bed now to rest my poor little fetties, shrivelled wrinkly body and sore head!
    Cheers for the info gearspotter! Its just awesome when people who shpuld be choosing get to choose!
  8. And, if you've got weird feet, you'll still be able to get a doctor's chit and purchase the Altbergs that fit :) Maybe ...
  9. Long in the tooth? I was issued battle dress and ammo boots when I joined up. And I reckon I've still got 20 years to serve :?

    And I'll not mention the rifle or the webbing - it'll bring out the elderly and their battered rose-tinted specs (well, not for the "Pack, Large (sic)", I suppose.)