New hot weather uniform offers Soldiers comfort and functionality

Army senior leadership identified an immediate need for a lightweight combat uniform that would meet the demands of prolonged wear in hot and tropical environments. Specifically, the uniform had to outperform the current Advanced Combat Uniform (ACU) in dry time, moisture management and air flow.

Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment (PM SCIE) at Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier) developed the Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform (IHWCU) to improve Soldier performance, survivability, lethality, and safety in hot, extreme hot, and wet weather combat environments.

The IHWCU will be comparable to the price of the current ACU and will be sold in Military Clothing Sales Stores (MCSS) by the end of June 2019 beginning in Hawaii, and Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. By February 2020, the IHWCU will be available at all MCSS locations.

Offering comfort and functionality to Soldiers, the IHWCU has a faster dry time because of the novel fabric used (57 percent high tenacity nylon and 43 percent cotton). The IHWCU also features a no melt and no drip flame protection feature.

 

Program Executive Office Soldier developed the Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform to improve Soldier performance, survivability, lethality, and safety in hot, extreme hot, and wet weather combat environments. The uniform will be available in select Military Clothing Sales Stores by the end of June 2019 and will be available in all store locations by February 2020.

“It’s an improvement from the ACU because it has a reinforced elbow, knee and crotch area and buttons instead of hook and loop or zippers,” said Lester Smith, Systems Acquisitions manager for PM SCIE’s Environmental Clothing and Footwear Team. “Overall, the IHWCU has updated patterns, and it’s breathable, comfortable, lightweight and durable.”

The IHWCU was a collaborative effort: conceived by Soldiers; recommended by the Maneuver Center of Excellence; researched and tested through the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center’s Jungle Fabric and Architecture Development Effort; and evaluated through extensive Soldier wear evaluation and feedback.

“During its evaluation, the IHWCU had overwhelming support at 93 percent Soldier satisfaction,” said Jeff Myhre, Deputy Product manager for PM SCIE. “Soldier feedback led to design improvements such as the raglan sleeves, buttons instead of zippers, reinforced fabric and an improved pocket design.”

The trouser of the IHWCU has lengthened belt loops, and ACU-style back pockets along with smaller cargo pockets. The waistband drawstring and the insect mesh netting were eliminated in the new design. The IHWCU coat has an added hook and loop to accommodate flag or large unit patches, a pen pocket, and a balanced raglan shoulder to improve the fit and professional look, said Smith.

Currently, the IHWCU is an optional wear item meaning the individual Soldier can procure the IHWCU in lieu of the current ACU using their clothing replacement allowance.

“Based on Soldier feedback, we created a uniform that is lightweight and functional for everyday use,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Allen, product manager for PM SCIE. “This uniform is comfortable, and Soldiers will definitely like wearing it.”

 

 

Program Executive Office Soldier developed the Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform to improve Soldier performance, survivability, lethality, and safety in hot, extreme hot, and wet weather combat environments. The uniform will be available in select Military Clothing Sales Stores by the end of June 2019 and will be available in all store locations by February 2020.

About Alton Stewart

Alton Stewart is the Acting Director of Public Affairs for PEO Soldier. An Army veteran of the Gulf War, he has been with PEO Soldier since 2003.