An entirely new generation of United States' Army uniform has recently emerged in order to meet the increasing tactical needs, and demands, that soldiers have encountered while engaged in a uniquely modern battlefield. The United States' collective experience in the combat theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan, since 9/11, has proven this new breed of uniform construction to be an utter necessity, in lieu of the vital feedback, regarding basic functionality that has been received in droves from our military on the frontlines. With the implementation of the Army's advanced combat uniform (ACU) has come a long awaited progression to even greater functionality that is most evident in the simplest of attributes: for instance, the highly durable, and dependable, Velcro pockets on these uniforms are a long awaited blessing that has transcended their earlier 'button' counterparts.
Such a basic measure taken in the construction of these uniforms has proven to, not only to embody a highly professional and sleek look on the advanced combat uniform jacket and trousers, but it has also served a very valuable functional purpose. With the exception of the Class-A dress uniform, unless a soldier chooses to, the days of pinning anything to one's own ACU jacket are long gone. While some may choose to use pin-on rank, with the implementation of Velcro on these uniforms, this has no longer been a need, especially in a combat zone where even the most secure of pins could unintentionally loosen and manage to be uncomfortable, and possibly dangerous, to a soldier's underlying skin.
The revolutionary design of the Army's advanced combat uniform has also been constructed with incredibly careful consideration given to the overall conditions that soldiers have faced overseas in combat. Such an identifiable digital-patterned uniform is a completely new evolution that has left the antique woodland camouflage to be an item that is in very little demand and has now claimed a place buried deep in the nether-regions of one's own garage or basement, never to see light again. This digital pattern has also served a more essential safety and security function that was also adapted, although with slightly different coloring, amongst the other various service branches, as well.
Of course, along with the implementation of an entirely new Army advanced combat uniform, completely new holistic uniform requirements have emerged and have demonstrated an inherent need for increased consideration regarding the wear and upkeep of this new generation of uniform. What could be done to previous United States' Army issued battle dress combat fatigues, unfortunately, could simply become disastrous if done the same way to the new uniform. In order to avoid the possibility of incurring permanent, and possibly irreversible damage to one's uniform, it should now be machine washed in cold water, while using a permanent press cycle, with a mild detergent that doesn't contain optical brighteners or fabric softeners.
What was once a fan favorite pastime of the Army's previously issued woodland camouflage battle dress uniforms, starching and/or hot pressing the new Army advanced combat uniform is no longer required, in fact, because of the nature of the digital material fabric, it should be strongly avoided when caring for these particular uniforms. The list of brands and products that contain optical brighteners can really be quite exhaustive, while running the gamut of products that we have all become familiar with using in our everyday lives. While it may have become routine to use these products on everyday clothing, soldiers should simply avoid them and just make it their own personal gold standard to NOT use products that include optical brighteners.
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