Staying Warm in the Military Class B’s
This morning when I went out to my car, it was 7. Yup, single digits. The last time it was this cold in Washington, DC, I was still in the military and finding out that the uniforms weren’t so good at keeping me warm. I am so grateful I can bundle myself up the way I need to.
The class B uniform was the worst. There’s a picture of it here. The one on the left is how we wore the shirt then, though, from what I understand, the army made some modifications to it. If we put the green coat on over the shirt, it becomes a class A uniform. We didn’t have hats like in the picture though — that’s pretty fancy, and as I recall about $40 (in 1990s). We also couldn’t wear it generally because we had to match everyone else. So we all wore the envelope hat, which was never very good at staying put.
The uniform was also made to look good, not for warmth. We could wear a black trench coat in bad weather. It did have a furry insert, but it wasn’t that warm. Then, it didn’t matter because of the shoes.
Women had two options: High heels and low quarters. Let me confess. I have wide feet. I also have flat feet. I could never find any pumps that fit. Usually they were too big in the heel while my toes were jammed in the pointy part. Three minutes, and I was begging to put the shoes out of my misery.
Low quarters were better (this newer picture shows they’ve improved the shoes) — but it was like walking outside barefoot in snow. Absolutely no protection. I think the guys had it better because they could wear socks. The women then weren’t supposed to. We had to wear nylons with it. (Don’t know if that’s true now.)
I ended up standing in deep snow in the above uniform and pushing a van that had gotten stuck.
Ever get a shoe wet with snow when you’re wearing nylons? It’s a very special experience.
It’s one thing I don’t miss about the military. Tomorrow it’ll be 11 out. Definitely burrowing at home this weekend.