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Archive for the ‘For the Ladies’ Category

USAF to Allow Longer Braids, Ponytails, Bangs for Women

Friday, January 22nd, 2021

As an outcome of the 101st Air Force uniform board, Air Force women will be able to wear their hair in up to two braids or a single ponytail with bulk not exceeding the width of the head and length not extending below a horizontal line running between the top of each sleeve inseam at the under arm through the shoulder blades. In addition, women’s bangs may now touch their eyebrows, but not cover their eyes.

These new changes will be effective upon publication of the new standards in Air Force Instruction 36-2903 in February.

“As I outlined in Action Order A: Airmen, this decision is a commitment to supporting the Airmen We Need and sustaining the culture and environment of excellence that will continue to make the Air Force an attractive career choice for Airmen and families,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. “I’m thankful for the feedback and research conducted from a number of women leaders, the Women’s Initiative Team, the Air Force uniform board, and our joint teammates.”

The Air Force uniform board convened virtually in November 2020 to discuss ideas sourced from Airmen across the Air Force who participated in a dress and appearance crowdsourcing campaign. Participants on the board included 19 diverse Airmen of various ranks from across the major commands and headquarters directorates.

The board reviewed all ideas including a recommendation from the Air Force’s Women’s Initiative Team. Thousands of women across the Air Force provided feedback to the Women’s Initiative Team, stating constraints to hair grooming standards resulted in damage to hair, migraines and in some cases, hair loss. The detailed work done by the Women’s Initiative Team to research and support the recommendation was greatly appreciated by the uniform board.

“In addition to the health concerns we have for our Airmen, not all women have the same hair type, and our hair standards should reflect our diverse force,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass. “I am pleased we could make this important change for our women service members.”

In addition to addressing issues associated with personal health and hair loss, adjusting female hair standards supports ongoing efforts to address diversity and inclusion in the ranks. Earlier this year and in her role leading the Defense Department’s Diversity Board, then-Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett played a prominent role in supporting these types of adjustments to ensure a more inclusive culture in the services.

The Air Force chief of staff approved the policy after considering feedback from the force, the uniform board recommendation, and the professional image and standards of the Air Force and U.S. military.

“We remain committed to removing barriers to service,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “In an all-volunteer force, we want fully qualified volunteers who are representative of the nation to see us as a great opportunity to maximize their talent and serve.”

Members must adhere to current occupational safety, fire and health guidance, and mishap prevention procedures emphasizing when and how to mitigate the potential for injury from hair of varying lengths around machinery, equipment, power transmission apparatus or moving parts. Airmen are encouraged to reach out to their safety office for assistance in analyzing any potential hazards, as applicable.

Another idea considered by the board related to beard wear for men. Unlike with women’s hair standards, there are no known health or hair loss issues associated with current male grooming standard compliance. As such, the Air Force plans to continue under the current male grooming standards without adjustments. Beards are currently permitted in conjunction with medical exceptions such as shaving waivers or for approved religious accommodations.

At this time, Guardians will adhere to the female grooming standards of the Air Force. Eventually, the U.S. Space Force will develop its own policy.

Numerous other ideas from the board are still under consideration for implementation and will be released in the future. For more information, consult AFI 36-2903 Dress and Appearance.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Shoot Like A Girl Releases 2020 Annual Report

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

ATHENS, Ala. – January 6, 2021 – Shoot Like A Girl has released its annual report for the 2020 calendar year, announcing a full tour schedule, impressive attendance numbers and impactful results in spite of current events. Shoot Like A Girl was proud to, once again, host an extremely diverse group of women in age, ethnicity, political point of view and economic level at mobile range events last year. The mobile range traveled over 20,000 miles to conduct 22 events as part of the 2020 Coast to Coast Tour, and more than 2,701 women (and some men) were introduced to the shooting sports in 2020. The full report is available online.

“Upon reflection, there is one word that describes the experience of Shoot Like A Girl in 2020, Gratitude,” said Karen Butler, Founder and President of Shoot Like A Girl, in a letter to corporate partners. “Alongside and with the support of our partners, the team faced the challenges of COVID, and we were able to successfully complete our 2020 Coast to Coast Tour. When you look at the data in this report, you will find we continued the trends of previous years—we grew the number of women who participate in shooting sports, but moreover, we empowered women and their families with confidence.”

Empowering More Women

The Shoot Like A Girl experience is truly unique, giving women the opportunity to shoot a pistol, rifle and bow in a safe, controlled environment with the guidance of female NRA-certified instructors and archery coaches. In 2020, the tour included stops at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, conservation events and corporate events—with several events having lines out the door and record numbers of attendees.

In the spring, Shoot Like A Girl’s tour was interrupted momentarily by COVID-19; however, Shoot Like A Girl adapted by utilizing technology and social media platforms to educate followers and stay connected with its audience. After the President announced the “Re-open America Guidance,” Shoot Like A Girl implemented new operating procedures to abide by the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines and began traveling again to reach more women.

Continuing the Momentum

Looking ahead to 2021, Shoot Like A Girl is anticipating continued momentum from the previous year. The recently announced Home of the Brave Tour will begin in early February, and a full list of all tour dates is available online.

About Shoot Like A Girl  

As a leader in the industry, Shoot Like A Girl is committed to growing the number of women who participate in the shooting sports by empowering them with confidence. The Shoot Like A Girl trailer, with a state-of-the-art firearm simulator, travels to cities all across the United States, hosting?an interactive experience that gives attendees an opportunity to shoot pistols, rifles and bows in a fun, safe and comfortable atmosphere. The event is free to each guest thanks to Shoot Like A Girl’s generous corporate partners, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Beretta, Bushnell, GLOCK, Ruger, Colt, Magpul, Savage Arms, Springfield Armory, Walther, FN America, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, TrueTimber, Walker’s, Birchwood Casey, GPS Bags, TekMat, Dead Down Wind, Mossberg, CrossBreed Holsters, Thermacell, Black Rifle Coffee Company, GTM, SABRE, Archery 360, Bowhunting 360, SOG, Women’s Outdoor News, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Primos, Gold Tip Arrows, Hoppe’s, Federal Ammunition, Mathews, Hoyt, S & S Outdoors, ALPS OutdoorZ, LaCrosse Footwear and Upper Canyon Outfitters.

Crye Precision Announces New G4 Female Fit Uniforms

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Brooklyn, NY – December 22, 2020 – Crye Precision®, one of the leading suppliers of uniforms and personal equipment to the military, law enforcement and public safety markets, has announced the release of their new G4 Female Fit line.

Women throughout history have been striving for acceptance in traditionally male roles. Today, the number of brave women in combat roles and tactical law enforcement positions continues to rise, and with that comes the need for apparel suited to meet their specific demands and body types. For years, the traditional combat uniform has catered to the male form – with longer leg inseams, narrower hip shaping and broad chest and shoulder width, compromising a female’s comfort and performance alongside her male counterparts. The Crye Precision® G4 Female Fit line’s goal was to address these issues to afford women the same level of performance, comfort, and mobility afforded a male.

The Crye Precision® design team met extensively with women serving in the military and law enforcement to better understand their needs. Each in-depth interview consisted of understanding operational needs, reviewing currently issued uniforms, taking a wide range of measurements and documenting the wearers’ requests. Based on the end-user feedback and size evaluations, the adjusted uniforms increase comfort, mobility and functionality for a woman’s fit. The result is a female-specific uniform that is unmatched in the industry.

In addition to conversations with women serving in the military and law enforcement, the design team also took an in-depth look into the lives of female civilians who require cutting-edge technology and performance in other arenas. From shooting sports to advanced carbine training, the G4 Female Fit line is designed to work for the women who take their range time seriously and require top-tier range apparel.

The G4 Female Fit Line features the same innovative qualities and custom stretch VTX RIPSTOP™ fabric as the standard G4 line with a design that is specifically patterned to fit our female customers. The Combat & Field Shirts feature sleeves with a reduced circumference and raised armholes for enhanced mobility and a more ergonomic female fit, with bust shaping and minimized shoulder width providing a slimmer profile. The reduced neck opening, and collar height were designed for a female form without compromising function. The Combat & Field Pants feature dedicated shaping around the hips to allow for a slimmer cut with maximum mobility. Reduced fly/zipper height and length, front and back rise and inseam lengths provide a more tailored fit throughout. 

“Women’s roles in the military and law enforcement have continued to evolve,” stated Crye Precision® Marketing Director, Ernesto Rodriguez. “Their jobs require that they perform at the best of their ability at all times. Our new G4 Female Fit series of uniforms are a direct result of listening to specific user needs and building designs around them, from the fabric to each feature and detail. We’re honored to supply those who put themselves on the line to keep the rest of us safe, and we’re proud to be making all of our products right here in the USA.”

The G4 Female Fit Uniforms are available December 22nd, through the Crye Precision® website, www.cryeprecision.com, and will be initially made in MultiCam® Pattern. As always, contact Crye Precision® for any customizations to orders.

For The Ladies – Crye Precision Adding Female Sizing to G4 Line

Monday, December 21st, 2020

During SHOT Show 2020, Crye Precision told me they would be adding female sizing to their G4 line. I didn’t expect it to be before the end of the year.

With females the fastest growing demographic in the military, LE and first responder communities, the move makes sense.

Sneak Peek – Kadri Rash Guard

Monday, November 30th, 2020

Kadri specializes in making adventure clothing that fits women. Yeah, they intended to make tactical clothing but I’m calling it adventure clothing because women can wear it doing all kinds of cool stuff. And it’s actually designed from the ground up by women, to fit a woman’s body and that’s not much out there that fits that description, let alone clothing that can be worn in the woods, or in a firefight.

These SOF Veterans have already created a great pair of pants, with a totally new sizing system as well as a short sleeved shirt. Next up was a long sleeved top. Enter the Rash Guard. Think of it as a the equivalent of a combat shirt.

They were afforded a great opportunity to wear test prototypes of the Rash Guard at the Tactical Games National Championship.

Their thinking is that a well constructed rash guard provides an ultralight fit to protect the skin against rubbing and abrasion (even when wet and/or sweaty), and sun exposure.

While it may seem counterintuitive to put a long-sleeve shirt on in 90 degree heat, a lightweight fabric like this high-performance poly/spandex actually keeps you cool, protecting your skin from extended exposure to the sun and burning.

Additionally, fit close to the skin under plate carriers and/or packs protects your skin from the harsh nylon rubbing. The closer to the skin, the better it protects against chafing.

Depending on your use, long-sleeve rash guards also protect against cuts and abrasions.

Kadri products are manufactured by FirstSpear.

www.kadriclothing.com

Army Uniform Board to Consider Changes for Expecting, New Mothers

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

WASHINGTON — The 152nd Army Uniform Board will convene on Nov. 18 to consider multiple issues, including changes to maternity clothing articles for expecting and new mothers. Specifically, the board is scheduled to make decisions on the Army Green Service Uniform-Maternity and a lactation shirt for the Maternity Utility Uniform in the Operational Combat Pattern.

In 2018, the Army produced a maternity uniform for demonstrations associated with the unveiling of the AGSU. That maternity uniform resembled the style of uniform that has been issued since the 1980s and was first designed in 1979. The AUB will discuss whether to modernize the maternity uniform or continue with the current style.

The AUB will also consider developing a lactation shirt, which would later become part of the Maternity Utility Uniform issue for new mothers. As things stand, a lactation shirt is not provided with the standard issue, and Soldiers must purchase them through private, commercial vendors.

The Nov. 18 meeting will be held virtually, and discussion will be led by the AUB Chairman, Lt. Gen. Duane Gamble, Deputy Chief of Staff of G-4. Members of the AUB include male and female Soldiers at all levels, and representatives from the active component, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. Each member has an equal vote in deciding which recommendations go forth to Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville.

The AUB meeting, which takes place twice each year, is the Army’s only forum to address the changing requirements of Soldiers’ uniforms and accessory items. All Soldiers can contribute to the Uniform Board process by providing recommendations to their sergeant majors. Incorporating the feedback from Soldiers is a big part of the AUB process.

The last AUB took place on June 25th. To read about the outcomes of that meeting, click here.

Female Military Working Dog Handlers Honored at Military Women’s Memorial

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

WASHINGTON –- It was a hot and muggy evening at Fort Clayton, Panama, as then-Pfc. Renae Johnson scanned the jungle tree line in an attempt to stop thieves from gaining entry into the installation.

It was 1992, and Johnson was a member of the Missouri National Guard’s 205th Military Police Battalion. Determined to protect and serve, she enlisted just a year prior at age 17, which landed her a short deployment to support local law enforcement efforts with the 534th MP Company.

A career with the Missouri Guard felt like the right path at the time, or at least that was what Johnson thought until that evening, she said.

“That is when I met my first military working dog (MWD) handler coming out of the jungle,” as she crossed paths with then-Staff Sgt. John McKinney and his narcotics detection dog “Solo 503P” out on patrol, she explained.

McKinney was an imposing figure, standing over 6-feet tall with stacked airborne and air assault badges on his uniform, Johnson said. Solo stood idly beside him and appeared just as large and threatening as his handler.

He stuck around to answer all of Johnson’s questions and even suggested she move to active-duty to pursue a career as a MWD handler, she said.

Six months later, she finalized her transition paperwork and moved to active-duty. Johnson would then go on to spend the next seven years, to include multiple deployments and assignments, working toward her goal, she said.

“I just knew it was something I was meant to do,” she said. “Being an MWD handler is an intense and high-impact job — a way of life.”

On Oct. 17, the Military Women’s Memorial unveiled its first monument on the eve of its 23rd anniversary. The memorial honors and tells the stories of women, past and present, who have served the nation.

The monument, titled “The Pledge,” captures a moment of mutual respect and love between a female handler and her Belgian Malinois, said Susan Bahary, its artist.

The monument depicts a dog reaching up to her handler as she kneels beside the dog. It captures a feeling of commitment and support, as both reach out to each other with a desire to accomplish their mission, Bahary added.

Johnson proudly served as a handler before retiring in 2012 as a sergeant first class with a military occupational specialty code of 31BZ6, or a MP officer with a working dog additional skill identifier, she said. The Army transitioned to the new 31K MWD handler career field just two years later.

“The job was physically and mentally draining, but none of that mattered if I had my dog beside me,” she said.

As a career handler, Johnson attended the unveiling ceremony with other military handlers. Together, they showed their combined support for their career field and paid respect to the female handlers who helped paved the way, she said.

“It is a beautiful monument that will one day change the trajectory of some little girl’s life,” Johnson said, much like the way her life changed when she first met Solo and McKinney.

MWD impact

Military working dogs are a force multiplier, often used to provide patrol, narcotics, and explosive detection capabilities in garrison or on the battlefield, said Sgt. Maj. Viridiana Lavalle, the Army’s most senior ranking 31K MWD handler.

These dogs can do “a plethora of things that no piece of equipment or Soldier can emulate … with their sense of hearing, smell and ability to detect,” said Lavalle, who is the provost sergeant major for the directorate of emergency services at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Handlers often operate as individual augmentees and can deploy at home or abroad with any unit or agency to provide immediate animal support, she said.

“Dog handlers must be extremely self-sufficient and independent, regardless if they are an 18- or 19-year-old private first class or a seasoned staff sergeant,” Lavalle added.

These Soldiers need to display a high level of maturity and professionalism to find success, she said. Handlers are considered subject-matter experts the moment they arrive and must be able to articulate the limitations and capabilities of the MWD to their chain of command.

Like Johnson’s experience in Panama, Lavalle’s passion for dogs led her to join the military police corps in 2001 and later transition to a MWD handler in 2003.

“I think we have evolved when it comes to women serving in the MWD MOS,” Lavalle said, adding that more women should choose to serve as a 31K.

The Army currently has close to 650 Soldiers in the MWD field, with nearly 20% of them female, she said.

“We have made a tremendous amount of progress, but we are still facing various obstacles,” Lavalle said. “I have faith we will continue to overcome them and exceed the standards.”

Overall, the MWD career field is one of the best jobs the Army has to offer, she said.

“I can’t even explain how rewarding it is,” Lavalle said. “When you first get your MWD assigned to you and you start to build that bond — then you start to see that team concept.”

Developing trust

Building trust with a K-9 counterpart is a critical aspect of the career field, Johnson said, as she recalled one incident with her explosives detection dog named Fido that warned Soldiers of a possible danger.

While deployed to Iraq, Johnson and another MWD handler joined a quick reaction force to track down an escaped prisoner in a vast junkyard filled with decommissioned Iraqi military equipment and vehicles.

The junkyard spanned across several acres with multiple entry points, Johnson said. Leaders decided to split the handlers into smaller squads and enter the scrapyard on opposing sides to cover more ground.

“I am telling my dog, ‘Find the bad guy,’ as he almost pulls my arm out of the socket,” Johnson said. “We are moving through the junkyard when he starts going crazy and immediately sits down.”

Thinking Fido was just confused by her command, Johnson encouraged him to get back up and continue the search. He pressed forward a little further before deciding to sit once again.

That was when it dawned on her that she recognized her dog’s signal for unexploded ordinances in the area.

Military working dogs are trained to receive praise or reward after completing a task, Johnson explained. An MWD never stops working. In this instance, Fido made the right choice to signal instead of blindly searching the area for the escaped individual.

“I turned around to the squad leader and said, ‘Shut off all your radios, let my dog in front of you and only step where we step.’”

Johnson led the team out of the junkyard and ran around to extract the other squad. The second handler was paired with a narcotics detection dog and was not trained to detect explosives in the area.

“Establishing a bond and rapport is everything to that handler,” Lavalle said. “Without it, that team will not be effective” or could become a liability.

“That is something that we establish from day one when a Soldier goes through dog handling school,” she added. “Understanding the need for a common mutual respect between the dog and handler, and building the rapport and fundamentals during training” is critical to the mission.

The Pledge

Planning for the monument started just under two years ago after the U.S. War Dogs Association commissioned a memorial to honor the service and sacrifice of female MWD handlers, Bahary said.

“With ‘The Pledge,’ we felt it had to represent all women in the military,” Bahary said. “When you can move people emotionally through a work of art, it can open their hearts and make them more apt to learn.”

As Bahary started designing the monument, she was determined to convey a strong message of duty, capability, commitment and compassion in both figures. She began by looking at many photos of MWD handlers to draw inspiration for her design.

At one point in the design process, Bahary physically kneeled as if to pose herself in front of a dog sitting with an outstretched paw. Doing so helped ensure a level of authenticity in her final design, she said.

Bahary then went on to start the female figure using a metal armature as a base and covering it with layers upon layers of clay, she said. She then began the sculpting of the military working dog and later added the intricate details of the uniform and equipment.

The model was then cast to create a series of molds, she said. From these molds a multi-step process known as a lost-wax was used to produce a bronze casting of the final figure. The metal process can take two to three months to complete.

The final piece was welded together, the metal was finished, sprayed, and brushed with different chemicals and heated to create color variations. It was then mounted onto a granite base for display at the memorial.

Bahary created the country’s first official war dog memorial, “Always Faithful,” in 1994 to honor all military working dogs killed during service. It was unveiled at the Pentagon and dedicated at the Marine Corps War Dog Cemetery in Guam. It depicts the well-known Marine Corps Doberman named Kurt that fought during the Second Battle of Guam during World War II.

She is also working on the National Service Animals Monument. This monument will be dedicated to the deeds and sacrifices of all animals employed by the military, police, and search and rescue groups, along with the animals providing assistance and companion services or emotional support.

“As an artist, this is an incredible honor,” Bahary said. “It feels so gratifying to know that the women in the military are finally getting this kind of well-deserved recognition in our nation’s capital.”

The Pledge monument is genuinely humbling, Lavalle said, adding that Bahary did a phenomenal job representing all female handlers.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to be the first female handler to achieve the rank of sergeant major, and to be a part of this era where women handlers are starting to be formally recognized and honored for their sacrifices and commitment to the military working dog program,” Lavalle said.

“As a 31K dog handler, it is my duty and the duty of other women handlers to continue to pave the way,” she added. “This is my passion, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I was born to be a dog handler and trainer.”

By Devon Suits, Army News Service

Women’s Floperator in Coyote, OD Green and Shadow

Monday, October 19th, 2020

Here are the details:
-Womens flip flop sizes 5–11
-HALF SIZES GO UP IN SIZE
-Proprietary rubber outsole
-Proprietary EVA mid-layers
Injection molded arch support
-Military grade tubular nylon upper
-2 ?” x ?” morale patch
-Funds 1 day of school for an Afghan girl
-Lifetime Warranty

www.combatflipflops.com/collections/special-floperations