Posts Tagged ‘Multicam RFI’

So it is officially released and public knowledge – my unit is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. For those who haven’t heard, they have changed the camouflage pattern for Operation Enduring Freedom from the digital gravel-esque ACU pattern to the new super-sexy Multicam! Since this pattern is new and only for use in theater, we all had to get issued brand new everything. I’m talking everything – new uniforms, new equipment, new camelbacks, new rucks, boots, etc. Its a lot of stuff.

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The process of getting all this wonderfulness to the soldiers is called RFI – Rapid Fielding Initiative. They basically fill a warehouse with all of the required gear and the soldiers spend the better part of a day going through stations in which we try on and are issued said piece of equipment. It was really exciting – like Christmas morning exciting.

All this new gear appears to be really high quality. Phenomenally expensive however. I asked one of the civilians who seemed to be in charge of the RFI process how much all this cost? His answer: Between $10 and $13,000 per soldier. The new boots – which are just Danner hiking boots – retail for over $300 a pair. They are surprisingly comfortable and breathable. I wore them around for an hour the other day here in Hawaii and was quite impressed.

It blows my mind how much money the Army has just for gear. They spare no expense when it comes to taking care of soldiers. I would say about 1/3 of this stuff I will never use. The boots are awesome, but do I really need two pair? Especially since the old boots are rumored to be authorized for wear in the Multicam uniform as well. How about the $800 dollar Level 7 Parka top? This is for -40 degrees! I don’t even think it gets this cold in the region of Afghanistan we are going to. But better to have and not need than need and not have, I suppose.