Imagine reading the morning newspaper and coming across an article that says U.S. soldiers will be issued pajama-like uniforms beginning next summer. If you are like most people you would probably ask yourself, “so, what is a pajama-like uniform?” Your confusion would be quite understandable.
We tend to think of uniforms in one of two ways: protective clothing or clothing intended to identify those wearing it. By the same token, we think of pajamas as relaxing clothing one wears when trying to sleep. These perceptions make it extremely difficult to wrap our brains around military uniforms that are described as pajama-like. And yet, here we are.
Soldiers Won’t Be Sleeping on the Job
The U.S. military has announced that their new, pajama-like tropical uniforms should be ready for issue by June 2019. What makes them pajama-like? The lightweight material being used to construct them. For the record, neither the military nor uniform designers originally set out to describe the new uniforms as pajama-like. That description was actually offered by some of the Marines lucky enough to have tested them.
Lest you be concerned, don’t worry about uniforms that make it easy for soldiers to sleep on the job. That is not what this is all about. Rather, the pajama-like reference deals with the lightweight nature of the new uniforms. They are light enough that they are actually comfortable to some degree. Moreover, the lightweight material also means they dry faster. That is important in a tropical environment.
According to the Marine Corps Times, upgrading military uniforms is part of a plan to modernize. Military leaders are anticipating having to ramp up the U.S. military presence across the Pacific, so those uniforms developed for Middle East action have to be replaced. Thus, a new uniform with a lighter material that dries faster and is more comfortable.
Years of Uniform Testing
The Marine Corps Times also says that the U.S. military has spent the last several years testing new uniform designs. This is completely reasonable, explains Utah-based Alsco, the company that invented uniform rental during the later years of the 19th century.
Alsco explains that uniforms have to do more than just a representation of a brand or image. They also have to protect wearers from all sorts of environmental influences. They even have to provide a bit of utilitarian function as well. All these combined needs dictate that the military test numerous designs before settling on something.
In the private sector, testing is not necessarily an option for companies looking for new uniforms. Still, Alsco says that companies should still step back and evaluate every aspect of a new uniform before making a purchase decision. Uniforms have to be considered for their function, protective capabilities, and aesthetic appeal.
All That and Comfortable Too
It’s a good thing to know that the military’s new uniforms are comfortable. Everyone understands that they have to be both functional and protective. Both are givens. The fact that they are lightweight and comfortable are two added bonuses that the uniforms’ designer should be commended for.
Soldiers are like anyone else in that they are more productive when they are comfortable. Give them uniforms that feel good and they will spend less time worrying about any discomfort they do experience and more time addressing the mission at hand. And by the way, the same thing applies to the private sector.
So, now you know what a pajama-like uniform is. Such uniforms may not be right for your company’s workers, but you still need uniforms that enhance productivity, protect your workers, look good, and keep them all comfortable.