SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: November 1, 2007
PT uniform jackets make light shine
Prototype jackets for the Improved Physical Fitness Uniform with
reflective technologies will be evaluated at Fort Hood and Fort
Texas and Fort Lewis, Wash., between November 2007 and March
These photos show the jackets in daylight and lowlight
NATICK, Mass. – Often when you hear
about Soldiers and visibility, the stories are about trying to
camouflage them in the field. However, when it comes to conducting
their physical training (PT), our service members need to be seen.
Soldiers often perform PT in the early morning or early evening
hours when it is dusk or dark.
“The more visible the
Soldiers are when doing PT in low light conditions, the safer they
will be,” said Beverly Kimball, product engineer.
This is where the U.S.
Army Product Manager Clothing and Individual Equipment (PM-CIE)
comes in. PM-CIE is working with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier
Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Operational Forces
Interface Group (OFIG) to conduct a user evaluation of new
reflective technologies which enhance the current Improved Physical
Fitness Uniform (IPFU) jacket. Two prototype fabrics have been
developed with the new technology and sample jackets have been
OFIG located and
coordinated with 600 participants at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss,
Texas, and Fort Lewis, Wash., to conduct the user evaluations,
beginning in November. The Soldiers participating will be surveyed
on their acceptance of the sample jackets.
“The prototype jackets
are very similar in appearance to the current jacket during
daylight,” said Dave Geringer, assistant product manager, PM- CIE,
Fort Belvoir, Va., “however, despite their subtle daylight
appearance, both patterns are highly reflective and provide a
significant improvement in visibility.”
One of the jackets has
a subtle digital reflective pattern, while the other has a slight
texturized reflective pattern.
“All participants will
have an opportunity to wear all the test items. But we want to
ensure that all the jackets are tested in the same climate and
conditions, so we will be conducting a ‘within groups’ type
evaluation so styles are worn simultaneously,” said Kimball.
The jackets will be
evaluated for comfort, durability, launderability, wind resistance,
water resistance, warmth, and reflective capabilities.
The evaluations are
expected to continue through March 2008, and once complete, the data
will be compiled into a final report.
Geringer said, “If the
candidates perform well, they will be presented to the Army Uniform
Board (AUB) for approval to replace the current IPFU jacket.”