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Archive for the ‘For the Ladies’ Category

DAF Launches Program to Issue Pregnant Members Free Maternity Uniforms

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Arlington, Va. (AFNS) —  

The Department of the Air Force will soon launch the Maternity Uniform Pilot Program, or “Rent the Camo,” that will temporarily issue free maternity uniform items to pregnant Airmen and Guardians at 10 bases.

This program is a joint effort with the Army and details on how and where to apply are being finalized.

The Air Force installations participating in the pilot program are:

·       Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska

·       Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia

·       Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

·       Joint Base San Antonio, Texas

·       Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii

·       Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

·       Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina

·       Shaw AFB, South Carolina

·       Yokota Air Base, Japan

·       Kadena AB, Japan

“The Department of the Air Force is focused on updating policies and instituting programs that remove potential barriers for all members to serve our nation,” said John Fedrigo, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “By temporarily issuing free maternity uniforms, we can improve our Airmen and Guardians’ quality of life so they can focus on executing the mission.”

The U.S. Congress passed the “Rent the Camo: Access to Maternity Wear Act” Bill in 2020, creating this new program. Under this bill, the Defense Logistics Agency will establish pilot programs within each military branch to issue maternity uniform items to pregnant service members. The bill also directs maternity uniforms not be treated with Permethrin, a chemical that helps repel insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. While there are no known health risk associated with the Permethrin, pregnant service members preferred that maternity uniforms not be treated with it.

The Department of Defense designated the U.S. Army as the service to maintain a stock of operational camouflage pattern maternity uniforms for the program, as the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force and U.S. Army wear the same OCP uniform. The ten bases selected for the pilot program are near Army installations that have a Central Issue Facility and can capitalize on the Army’s Occupational Clothing and Individual Equipment Direct Ordering system.

To ensure Space Force members are included in the program, several bases where Guardians are assigned were included in the pilot.

Once Airmen or Guardians at participating locations receive confirmation of pregnancy from their local Medical Treatment Facility, they can work with their first sergeant to complete the necessary documentation to obtain their uniforms. Reservists on Title 10 orders are also eligible for the program.

Expectant active-duty service members will be temporarily issued three sets of maternity OCP tops and bottoms, which they can wear up to six months post-partum per Department of the Air Force Instructions 36-2903 “Dress and Personal Appearance of United States Air Force and United States Space Force Personnel.” Members will then return their uniforms to the CIF to process the returned uniforms and complete a questionnaire. The returned uniforms will be shipped to a central facility where they will be inspected, repaired, cleaned, and prepared for re-issue.

The DAF “Rent the Camo” pilot program is expected to end Sept. 30, 2026.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Shoot Like A Girl Hosts Free Shooting Sports Experience at  Cabela’s in Lone Tree, Colorado

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

ATHENS, Ala. – June 22, 2022 – Shoot Like A Girl is bringing the 2022 Sea to Shining Sea Tour to Cabela’s in Lone Tree, Colorado this weekend for an interactive event that introduces women and their families to shooting sports in a fun, safe and comfortable atmosphere. Experience the state-of-the-art mobile gun range and join their certified female instructors as they share their extensive knowledge of firearms, archery, outdoor accessories and safety with guests while promoting confidence within shooting sports. New and experienced shooters and their families are invited to stop by the Shoot Like A Girl trailer in front of Cabela’s on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and June 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Shoot Like A Girl’s unique events connect brands, products and the public. Attendees are never charged and are given one-one-one attention from passionate experts in the shooting sports field. 

What to Expect

New and experienced shooters are encouraged to stop by the Shoot Like A Girl mobile range event to learn more about ways to get involved in the shooting sports. Inside the mobile range, using a military-grade firearm simulator which provides immediate recoil, impact and sound feedback, guests who are 16 years of age or older will gain confidence through handling and shooting handguns and long guns through this immersive event. Guests will also be supported by archery coaches through a live archery demonstration, allowing attendees to experience archery firsthand and learn more about the sport through hands-on instruction. 

Shoot Like A Girl strives to empower women through shooting sports demonstrations and events while opening a discussion surrounding sports and outdoors. Attendees are encouraged to bring their families and children to discuss and learn more about firearm safety in a comfortable and controlled environment. No experience is necessary to participate in this free event, and all equipment is provided to guests upon their arrival. 

At the Shoot Like A Girl gun counter outside the mobile range, visitors of all ages are welcome to compare a variety of disassembled firearms, including revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles. Additional products form corporate partners will be on display, including optics, conceal carry bags, holsters, TrueTimber camouflage, SABRE pepper spray products and much more. A full list of partners is available online

DEVCOM Soldier Center Seeks to Improve Body Armor for Women

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

NATICK, Mass. — Researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, or DEVCOM SC, have developed a body armor questionnaire to help improve body armor for female users specifically and for all body armor users in general.

The researchers at DEVCOM SC — who are longtime experts in Soldier protection, human factors and gathering/analyzing Soldier input — are investigating body armor fit and related issues, and how those issues impact the ability of users to perform their mission.

Participation from current and past users of body armor will provide researchers with insight into user needs and ways to make improvements. Data will be collected from a questionnaire completed by eligible individuals.

The questionnaire is part of DEVCOM SC’s larger effort to support the Female Body Armor Modernization Act. In support of the act, DEVCOM SC is investigating and developing body armor system improvements specifically focused on women as well as improvements that will benefit both male and female Soldiers. DEVCOM SC’s Applied Ergonomics Team and the Consumer Research Team, both part of DEVCOM SC’s Soldier Effectiveness Directorate, have worked together to develop the questionnaire.

Blake Mitchell, team leader of the Applied Ergonomics Team and lead for the Anthropometric Study for the Female Body Armor Modernization program, explained that the questionnaire will help “to identify the predominant fit and performance issues, as well as the body armor system sizing and issuance process experienced by women in the Army.”

Mitchell explained that the questionnaire goes into considerable depth in its attempt to identify what the primary issues are in a way that can allow for design improvements. The questionnaire gives participants the means to identify ways they are not fully protected, any discomfort they experience — both short or long term — and how issues with fit may impede their ability to do their job.

“We want potential participants to understand the importance of completing this survey, because it takes time to answer all questions honestly and thoroughly, particularly for those who have more experience with body armor,” said Wendy Johnson, a research psychologist on the Consumer Research Team. “In order to make the survey more convenient and to accommodate their schedules, participants have up to seven days to complete the survey once they begin.”

The questionnaire is aimed at women in the Army, but all genders are welcome to respond. The research team hopes to use data from male respondents to better understand their general fit and performance issues. Researchers are also interested in gathering opinions of body armor users from the National Guard and the Reserves, as well as individuals who have recently separated from the military.

“We hope to elicit responses from a wide variety of mission areas across the military – from people that only have to wear body armor occasionally to those that wear it day and night for extended periods of time,” said Mitchell. “Having data from a broad array of users will allow us more power in how we understand and interpret the data, and aid in the better design of future systems to accommodate a broader range of the user population.”

The questionnaire asks respondents relevant questions about their body shape and size, as well as their experiences with, and performance impacts due to, body armor use. In addition to identifying the specific body armor elements that need to be improved, researchers also hope to find out what is working well.

“Researchers will summarize the information derived from this questionnaire and will make it available to designers, manufacturers and acquisition personnel,” said Mitchell. “Key issues will be grouped based on demographic and anthropometric descriptors to lead to a better understanding of how to improve fit and performance.”

As part of their larger effort to improve female body armor, DEVCOM SC researchers are also using data from the 2012 Anthropometric Survey, or ANSUR II, to better understand the size and shape of women who make up the U.S. Army. ANSUR II includes direct measurements and three-dimensional whole-body scans. ANSUR II was executed by DEVCOM SC and is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive anthropometric surveys. It provides invaluable data that aids the design and optimization of a wide range of products.

The body armor questionnaire is part of DEVCOM SC’s ongoing emphasis on Soldier input as a key component in all research and product development.

“The Soldier Center wants to ensure that all of the products we support meet the requirements of all Soldiers so they can complete their mission and do their job without creating unneeded or additional burdens for them,” said Mitchell. “This questionnaire will provide specific information on Soldier’s preferences and experiences for body armor in their own voice.”

Data gathered from DEVCOM SC’s questionnaire will be used to improve future body armor development efforts for the Army. Navy body armor designers and project officers have also expressed interest in the results and have requested information and summary data on female Sailors who have experience with certain Navy body armor systems, as responses from other services are also being collected. The Soldier Center plans to have a summary of results by the end of the fiscal year.

If you are interested in participating in the questionnaire, it is available at online.

By Jane Benson, DEVCOM SC Public Affairs

Shoot Like A Girl Announces New Partnership with Vortex Optics

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

ATHENS, Ala. –  April 11, 2022 – Shoot Like A Girl® is proud to introduce their new sponsor, Vortex Optics, for the Sea to Shining Sea Tour and the 2022 Season. Vortex Optics, an American-owned, veteran-owned, family-owned and operated business ensures the consumer receives the finest optics, accessories and apparel based on need.

“Vortex Optics is an all-encompassing business that demonstrates our values and mission at Shoot Like A Girl,” said Karen Butler, Founder and President of Shoot Like A Girl. “I am thrilled that our guests will get introduced to Vortex Optics’ wide array of products available at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. These products will enhance our guests ability to enjoy the great outdoors.” 

Shoot Like A Girl strives to empower women through shooting sports demonstrations and events while opening a discussion surrounding sports and outdoors. Through partnerships like those with Vortex Optics, they’re able to bring their state-of-the-art mobile gun range and certified female instructors to cities across the country to share their extensive knowledge of firearms, archery, outdoor accessories and safety with guests and attendees who are never charged. Those present are given one-on-one attention from passionate experts in the shooting sports field.

“Vortex® is proud to work with Shoot Like a Girl and help support all the great work they’re doing to get new folks interested in hunting and shooting,” said Vortex® CEO Joe Hamilton. “Getting a hands-on experience is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle to create more hunters and shooters, and unfortunately many people never get this opportunity. Vortex® is committed to acting as a resource to help educate and inspire everyone to live a life outdoors, whether it’s their first time holding a handgun, or their 100th time out in the woods.”

To learn more about Vortex Optics, visit their website. During the Shoot Like A Girl Sea to Shining Sea Tour, Vortex products will be showcased at the mobile range for the public to view, experience and learn more about. The Home of the Brave Tour dates are available online.

Shoot Like A Girl Announces New Partnership with Taurus

Sunday, April 10th, 2022

ATHENS, Ala. –  April 5, 2022 – Shoot Like A Girl® is excited to announce their new partnership with Taurus for the Sea to Shining Sea Tour and the 2022 Season. Manufacturing an array of products from single action revolvers to long guns, Taurus has an offering for everyone interested in purchasing a firearm.

“The partnership with Taurus is an exciting addition to the products we can offer our attendees and guests,” said Karen Butler, Founder and President of Shoot Like A Girl. “They’re a reputable manufacturer with products in all areas, and we feel confident when displaying their firearms to our guests that they’re some of the best on the market.”

Shoot Like A Girl strives to empower women through shooting sports demonstrations and events while opening a discussion surrounding sports and outdoors. Through partnerships like those with Taurus, they’re able to bring their state-of-the-art mobile gun range and certified female instructors to cities across the country to share their extensive knowledge of firearms, archery, outdoor accessories and safety with guests and attendees who are never charged. Those present are given one-on-one attention from passionate experts in the shooting sports field.

“I want everyone to be able to own a firearm and to participate in the shooting and hunting lifestyle,” said Cody Osborn, Marketing Director for Taurus Manufacturing. “With that goal in mind, I look forward to helping guide these brands to establish a more personal interaction with their enthusiasts and to introducing everyone interested in firearms to the potential these brands can offer.”

To learn more about Taurus, visit their website. During the Shoot Like A Girl Sea to Shining Sea Tour, Taurus products will be showcased at the mobile range for the public to view, experience and learn more about. The Home of the Brave Tour dates are available online.

Kadri Clothing T-shirt Design Contest

Saturday, March 12th, 2022

How do you define strength? In today’s society, we tend to use a very male-oriented view of strength and power–physical might, physical ability, physical prowess. We say people are strong based on how much they can lift, the number of pullups performed, or athletic ability.

But what about other definitions of strength and power? Is a mother who works a full time job during the day, takes care of the household at night without losing her shit, strong? Is a young woman driven by her ambitions to succeed in a male-oriented profession while ignoring the naysayers and battling cultural norms, powerful?

Show us your definition of women’s strength and power. Design an original graphic concept and submit by March 31. Entries will be showcased in April; the winner will be selected by social media votes.

The design will be used as a limited-run t-shirt, available for purchase on the website. The winner will also receive Valkyrie Field Pants.

Send designs via DM to the IG account, but we’d prefer an email to [email protected]

Subject for email should be: Art Contest Submission

Happy designing!

Arc’teryx Presents – Usha: The First

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

If you’ve ever visited Arc’teryx Headqurters, you’ve met Usha. She began with the company 30 years ago and has been there ever since.

DEVCOM Leads Effort to Make Warfighter Footwear More Inclusive

Wednesday, February 9th, 2022

NATICK, Mass. – Army Footwear Researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, or DEVCOM SC, are investigating the need for, and potential impact of boots made specifically for females. The effort will help to determine if there is a need for female-specific footwear lasts — lasts are the forms on which footwear is constructed.

Anita Perkins is a footwear research engineer in the Soldier Protection Directorate at DEVCOM SC and the technical lead for the Army Combat Boot Improvement effort, as well as the cross-service Female Fit and Size effort. Perkins explained that the cross-service Female Fit and Size effort will determine if female warfighters are adequately accommodated by the current combat and safety footwear.

Perkins trained several members of the Product Manager Soldier Clothing & Individual Equipment, or PdM SCIE, team in proper fitting techniques so they could then assist in fitting events at Langley Air Force Base, Fort Lee and Naval Station Norfolk. Her training of PdM SCIE team members and their assistance at the fitting events proved to be a great asset to the effort. PdM SCIE is part of Project Manager, Soldier Survivability at PEO Soldier.

“The goal of this effort is to improve the fit of combat boots for female service members, ultimately improving Soldier performance, enhancing comfort, and preventing injuries,” said Perkins. “Fit is a significant factor in footwear comfort. Improperly fitted boots can play a significant role in Soldier performance and increase injury risk, ranging from blisters to stress fractures.”

JOINT EFFORT

“It is in the interest of all services to ensure that female warfighters are adequately accommodated by properly fitted issued combat and safety footwear,” said Perkins. “Female members of all services are experiencing the same fit concerns with issued footwear. Some footwear items are offered in female-specific sizes, but it is still unclear whether all the shapes and sizes are accounted for with these female-specific sizes.”

Perkins explained that “the inclusion of the other services will allow for a unified, cross-service solution so that sizing and options are consistent across the branches.” Joint service participation increases opportunities for cross-service commonality in footwear, which will reduce the cost to each service and provide more capabilities.

DO GENDER DIFFERENCES AFFECT BOOT FIT?

“Gender-related differences in foot anthropometry are well documented,” said Perkins. “In terms of footwear fit, however, the effects of these differences are not well-quantified. There is a dearth of research evaluating how these anthropometric differences or female specific lasts impact the fit of footwear, especially in relation to combat boots. By studying and quantifying these effects, the Female Fit and Size effort will help to determine if there is a need for female-specific footwear lasts and/or additional sizing or width availability to improve the fit, comfort, and performance of combat and safety footwear for female warfighters.”

Perkins noted that many commercial boots and shoes advertised as female sizes are built on the same lasts as their male counterparts. The Female Fit and Size effort will evaluate four types of boots, including the unisex non-safety toe or soft-toe combat boots, female-specific soft-toe combat boots, unisex steel-toe combat boots, and female-specific steel-toe combat boots.

During testing, participants will carry out warfighter-specific tasks. Some of the common tasks for all the services include walking on multiple surfaces, including pavement, cement, grass, dirt, decks and floors; walking at a variety of speeds; walking on wet surfaces; running; climbing on and off a two-foot-high box; stair climbing; ladder climbing; walking up and down an incline; taking a knee and squats.

Participants will also perform service-specific tasks, including run and cut — performed by the Army and Air Force; marching while carrying a loaded rucksack — Army — and walking on metal decks, grating and gangways — common in a Navy environment.

DEVCOM SOLDIER CENTER’S EXPERTISE ARE A PERFECT FIT

The DEVCOM Soldier Center’s expertise in clothing, equipment and human factors — combined with the center’s unique testing capabilities and facilities — are playing an important role in the effort.

DEVCOM SC’s footwear engineers from the Soldier Protection Directorate’s Soldier Clothing, Footwear, and Integration Team are managing the project. The footwear engineers are experts in footwear materials, design, construction, and fitting criteria – expertise needed to interpret Soldier footwear preference and quantitative data.

DEVCOM SC’s Applied Ergonomics team will collect 3D foot measurements using the center’s 3D foot scanner. The foot scanner measures length, width, volume and arch height to help Soldiers obtain a more accurate fit.

In June 2021, Army Footwear subject-matter experts provided training on boot fitting to other DEVCOM SC personnel supporting the fit assessment. The knowledge of experienced footwear fitters will play an important role in the effort.

As part of the effort, the Applied Ergonomics Team will be conducting an assessment of the combat boot, the boot last and foot scans in the DEVCOM SC’s 3D Morphometry Laboratory. The team will also measure foot anthropometry manually without the scanner to obtain specifics for predicting boot size. The team’s dynamic foot assessment will include tasks related to human factors, as well as a questionnaire regarding fit, comfort, number of sizes tried on, and any other feedback.

SOLDIER FEEDBACK IS PLAYING A KEY ROLE  

As is the case with much of the work done by the DEVCOM SC, Soldier feedback plays a critical role in the Female Fit and Size effort.

“During the fit assessment, Soldier feedback will determine which size and width of each type of boot is preferred,” said Perkins. “The ‘best fit’ of each of the four boot types being assessed will be worn during the dynamic fit assessment. Soldier feedback will also be collected during and after the dynamic fit assessment. The data from the 3D foot scans and foot dimension measurements will be analyzed and correlated to the feedback of each participant. These data will drive recommendations for future military footwear requirements to ensure female warfighters are issued combat and safety footwear of appropriate size and fit.”

Overall, the Female Fit and Size effort is part of DEVCOM SC’s larger commitment to meeting the needs of female warfighters.

By Jane Benson, DEVCOM Soldier Center Public Affairs