RAID-X

Archive for the ‘For the Ladies’ Category

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

Beyond – Veil K2 Midweight Pullover

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Made from Verso Weave fleece, the Veil is a lady’s solid choice for midweight insulation. The Verso Weave uses a circular grid pattern to create air channels and they’ve incorporated an anti microbial finish.

Additionally, they use panels of lighter fabric at the underarms and sides in combination combine with power mesh slits at the elbows to keep you from overheating when active. There’s also a hidden, zippered pocket on the right-side.

Finally, the attached hood cinches up to work as a neck gaiter.

Offered in Small – 2XLarge (with some long lengths) in Burgundy, Black, Navy and White.

beyondclothing.com/collections/next-to-skin/products/womens-veil-k2-midweight-pullover

Shelane’s Run – A Virtual Event 17-31 Oct 2020 to Raise Awareness and Funds for Maternal Mental Health

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

The mission of Shelane’s Run is to spread awareness, promote programs that offer postpartum support and resources, and to encourage women and their families to reach out for help. The goal is to establish and offer grants to families that may not be able to afford the treatment they truly need and deserve.

Shelane was a Fairfax County Detective and her husband is FFX PD as well. She tragically ended her life in June 2015 while suffering postpartum depression following a miscarriage. Shelane’s friends and family created a 5K Run/Walk and Kids 1K Fun Run in her honor to memorialize her love and commitment to her family, community, and running. Shelane’s Run is the ONLY road race in Virginia focused on maternal mental health.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) are the most common complication for pregnant and postpartum women. PMADs do not discriminate and now, as we’re in the midst of isolation and higher levels of stress, we’re seeing more women reach out, needing help. This is where industry can lend a hand.

They are looking for sponsors to help us maximize how we are able to help so many deserving women. To give you an idea, this is what your money could help them do:

$5,000 – Give 1 woman a stay at a treatment facility

$2,500 – Allows 25 women several emergency therapy sessions

$1,000 – Allows many women to breathe, knowing some daily expenses are being looked after (such as food for her family, diapers, a hospital bill, etc.)

This money pays for transportation to and from counseling sessions, doctors appointments, the chance to go to the grocery store to pick up food for her children… Every single dollar is stretched to the maximum so that they are able to help as many women across the state of Virginia as possible.

Mental health resources are a luxury, and they shouldn’t be.

To sign up for the virtual run, CLICK HERE.

For more information or to become a sponsor, please CLICK HERE.

FirstSpear Friday Focus – KADRI Clothing Women’s Shirt

Friday, August 28th, 2020

KADRI Clothing makes adventure/tactical technical apparel for women and has just launched an exclusive new women’s lifestyle T-shirt now available on the FirstSpear web store. Ultra comfortable 60/40 fine gauge blend provides for an ultra soft hand.

Features a relaxed crew neckline, side seamed, and tagless design. Designed and screen printed in the USA!

Two color options available in sizes Small – XL.

www.first-spear.com/technical-apparel/t-shirts/kadri-womens-logo-tee

USAF Removes Uniform Barrier for Women, Authorizes Pants Option for Mess Dress

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Based on overwhelming feedback from the field, Department of the Air Force officials announced today women may elect to wear pants or a skirt with their mess dress uniform.

The changes, which are effective immediately, are outlined in an exception-to-policy memorandum addressed to all Air Force personnel.

“It’s our responsibility to provide flexible uniform options that are functional and comfortable for all Air and Space Professionals,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “We have a lot of people working really hard to review our existing policies to make sure there are no unintended barriers or unfair practices that may be impacting specific groups of people on our team. We still have our work cut out for us, but this is a step in the right direction in creating an inclusive culture.”

Previously, women were required to wear a floor-length skirt with the mess dress uniform. As an interim solution, until women’s mess dress slacks are available for purchase in approximately 18-24 months, women are authorized to immediately purchase and alter men’s mess dress trousers.

Alterations for women opting to wear the men’s mess dress trousers will be provided by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at no cost to the member.

“We hear you,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright. “This is a bit of good news for some of our teammates who’ve wanted this change for a while now. A small thing, but one that I hope can go a long way to helping Airmen realize that we listen, we hear and we care.”

Changes will be incorporated in the next update of Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. In the interim, for more information, the exception to policy memorandum and frequently asked questions are available on the public website of the Air Force’s Personnel Center at www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/Dress-and-Appearance.

TYR Tactical Female Shape Body Armor

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

??

DEVELOPMENT:

In 2012 we began developing our female body armor shape. We wanted to provide a system designed specifically for the female shape, rather than just putting a female in a smaller male style carrier.

The design needed to provide all the same qualities and attributes of the male TYR Tactical® carriers.

|1.| PROPER COVERAGE

• Issue: Protection of vital organs and breast tissue

• Solution: Lateral darts on the outer carrier have an inset/cut above the breast tissue to accommodate shoulder rotation and allow for shouldering weapon.

|2.| CARRIER SHAPE

• Issue: Focus on female anatomy driven by the need support and stability

• Solution: Two lateral darts, on the tactical outer carrier, contour around the females natural shape while still providing a full range of motion, support and eliminates excess compression on the breast tissue.

|3.| PLATE LOCATION

• Issue: Current female systems lacked the ability to provide proper plate pockets. The placement of the plate did not lay flat on the torso of female participants. It would lay at an angle, applying pressure to the breast tissue area. This ultimately took away from the ballistic performance of the plate and soft armor.

• Solution: The front of the female carrier incorporates a gusseted plate pocket. This pocket relieves tension and pressure that is normally placed on the body from the hard plate in typical plate pocket configurations. This enhances the users range of motion to allow for increased ergonomics and performance. It also provides decreased hot spots on the body by utilizing our airflow chamber technology.

|4.| LOAD CARRIAGE

• Issue: In the past, load carriage has typically been static and designed in a vertical alignment which does not self-adjust with the operator’s natural movements.

• Solution: Female shaped components such as the shoulders, yoke, collar and belt were created to enhance the overall female system.

UNIQUE TO TYR TACTICAL®:

|1.| PATENTED FEMALE SHAPE

US Patent No. 9,970,736, Patent Pending in Australia, Europe and Canada

Two lateral darts, on the tactical outer carrier, contour around the females natural shape while still providing a full range of motion, support and eliminates excess compression on the breast tissue.

|2.| GUSSETED PLATE POCKET

The front of the female carrier incorporates a gusseted plate pocket. This pocket relieves tension and pressure that is normally placed on the body from the hard plate in typical plate pocket configurations. This enhances the users range of motion to allow for increased ergonomics and performance. It also provides decreased hot spots on the body by utilizing our airflow chamber technology.

|3.| PATENTED PV®

Canada Patent No. 2812982, Patent Pending in Australia, Europe and US

It’s engineered utilizing our revolutionary PV® material which offers significant weight reduction with increased resistance to abrasion.  PV® has been tested to have 7-10 times higher abrasion resistance than standard mil spec nylon.  PV® also enhances the ballistic attributes of armor within the vest. Antimicrobial/FR treated padded spacer mesh is used internally for comfort.

|4.| PATENTED BALLISTIC VEIN®

US Patent No. 9,435,614, Patent Pending in Australia, Europe and Canada

It increases the overall load carriage performance and provides a more rigid platform improving the overall structure and capabilities of the carrier. It also, retains the soft armor panels in the proper configuration, prevents bunching and supports the plates to improve edge hit protection.

BIOMECHANICAL STUDY & ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE:

Existing male or unisex systems do not allow female users to properly perform basic tasks and still maintain comfort. The cause of this design flaw lies within the lack of ergonomically shaped ballistics and carriers that conform to the female anatomy. This coupled with our biomechanical findings lead to the development of the Patented Female Shape.

FEMALE CARRIER IN THE FIELD:

Mountain Home Air Force Base – CBS News

366 Security Forces Squadron

Luke Air Force Base

56 Security Forces Squadron

CURRENT FEMALE CARRIERS:

TYR Tactical Female EPIC Enhanced PICO Integrated Carrier

TYR Tactical Female EPIC Non-Cutaway Enhanced PICO Integrated Carrier

TYR Tactical Female PICO-MV Assaulters Plate Carrier

TYR Tactical Female EPIC Concealable Carrier