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It’s chic to be combat-ready

While the Army enjoyed the extravagance of seemingly bottomless coffers over the past decade, that time is quickly coming to an end.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Pentagon is facing severe budget cuts. The Department of Defense budget will slash $260 billion in spending over the next five years. Impending budget cuts are already being felt throughout the Army. Training budgets have been slashed and procurement of new equipment is grinding to a halt, all as the Army looks to downsize its active-duty force by 80,000 soldiers within the next five years.

While some of our senior leaders are fighting to maintain the Army’s budget and looking to reallocate funds to maintain our overall combat-effectiveness, others are looking to spend the Army’s dwindling resources on pure vanity. Army leaders are again looking at making unnecessary changes to both the dress and physical training (PT) uniforms. It was only a few years ago that the Army made changes to the Army Dress Blues, transforming the once-elegant and traditional uniform into the hideous and laughable Army Service Uniform (ASU). While the Army Improved Physical Fitness Uniform may be 10 years old, it still gets the job done, so why change it?

Are new dress and PT uniforms really the best use of our diminishing resources? Wouldn’t the Army be better off spending its time and resources ensuring that soldiers have the proper training and equipment for combat?

It appears that some of the Army’s leaders are out of touch, more concerned about looking good in the mirror than maintaining combat-effectiveness. As an Army we need to get our priorities straight. Our ability to respond to emerging threats and conduct contingency operations should trump chic PT gear any day.

Capt. Ken Segelhorst
Fort Carson, Colo.

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