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Re: Piss call
Uniform modifications, tests closer to completion
by Staff Sgt. Cynthia Miller
Air Force Print News
WASHINGTON -- From flight suits to mini badges, people at the Air Force
Clothing Division and Institute of Heraldry are bringing initiatives
approved by the 95th uniform board closer to being stocked on military
clothing sales store shelves.
The Air Force is midway through the yearlong testing of two modified flight
suits specifically designed for women, said Master Sgt. Ruth Nischwitz,
superintendent of the Air Force uniform board office. The suits, which
feature either a standard length or an extended length zipper, are being
studied for two reasons.
The first addresses female aircrew concerns about the fit of the men's suits
causing discomfort and, on some, an unprofessional appearance, Nischwitz
said. The extended zipper suit, developed by the Navy, is also being tested
for suitability of use with bladder-relief devices. Both suits are made in
The wear test of these flight suits will be finished in July, with
recommendations on whether to adopt one or both suits due in October, she
Once the uniform is approved by the chief of staff, production will begin
and wearers should see the flight suits stocked by the end of 2002.
Other items being worked by the Air Force Clothing Division include:
-- Initial fit tests for an athletic-cut service dress uniform have been
completed. Test data is being compiled, and wear testing is scheduled to
begin in the third quarter of fiscal 2001.
-- New, lighter weight acrylic pullover sweater prototypes were forwarded to
the Air Force uniform office in the second quarter of fiscal 2001and are
currently being worn in the Pentagon.
-- Initial fit testing for resizing the women's tuck-in shirt: was conducted
at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Wear testing should begin in the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2001.
-- The Air Force clothing division is researching uniform fabric options for
the service dress uniform, including the current polyester fabric, for wear
by Air Force members who have sensitivities to the wool in current uniforms.
-- The Institute of Heraldry is working with civilian contractors to get the
new mid-sized functional badges on the shelves. These badges will replace
the mini badge that the Air Force Uniform Board determined was too small and
difficult to see.
Each of the 67 Air Force specialty codes requires three skill-level badges
(basic, master and senior) for a total of 201 badges, Nischwitz said.
"The first three career fields -- personnel, parachutist and space missile
badges -- have been approved and certified by the Institute of Heraldry,"
As contractors complete each set, they are made available to Army and Air
Force Exchange Service Military Clothing Sales Stores for order; people
should check with their local store for availability, said Nischwitz.
"We have a projected completion date for the entire collection of not later
than December 2001," Nischwitz said. "Based on that, phase out of the mini
badges is anticipated to be in the spring of 2002."
The anticipated changes to the Air Force uniform reflect a comprehensive and
detailed process -- spanning inputs from designers, pattern makers, and
research and development phases through the fit and wear test, she said.
"Basically, it's like having clothes tailor made -- except these clothes
have to fit almost 400,000 people, and be durable enough to withstand the
frequent wear and tear we put our uniforms through," Nischwitz said.
There are several steps taken before any uniform item is placed on a
clothing sales store shelf, Nischwitz said.
"First, we determine the basic need for the uniform item, then how best to
develop a product to meet that need," she said. "Next, we canvas the field
for sizing criteria by conducting fit tests, such as with the athletic-cut
uniform program which involved several people from the Pentagon and
surrounding bases. This gives us the data we need to get garments
manufactured for the next phase -- the wear test."
The fit- and wear-test phases are accomplished by selecting locations,
advertising the number and type people needed to participate in the test,
and sending a team of experts to that location to measure each individual,
Nischwitz said. Opportunities to participate in fit- and wear-test phases
are publicized in base bulletins and newspapers.
The team returns later with garments for these individuals to wear test for
periods from three months to a year, she said. If, during the wear-test
phase, a problem or a better way of making the item is identified, the team
goes back to the drawing board.
"We do this as many times as necessary to determine the best possible
fabric, fit and design to satisfy our original concern -- the need for this
uniform," Nischwitz said.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2001 1:01 PM
Subject: Piss call
> Hi all-
> I suppose "piss call" has meant different things to different guys in
> different wars. My war was Korea.
> SP was wake up at oh-three-hundred, but we used Zebra Time in those
> so that everyone always knew what time it was, no matter where you were.
> breakfast and briefing. And a shuffling out to the flight line. Another
> routine day at the office.
> It was still a half hour till dawn and the air was colder than Hell in
> that part of the world before the son comes up. Remember how it used to
> your nose and ears? And the cold heavy mist kind of swerled around and
> visibility down. But it lifted fast.
> It was like a beautiful picture, the line of F-84s as far as you could
> in the mist, all facing the asphalt runway.
> And along side each plane was the pilot taking time to releave himself.
> called this the "piss call" and it was routine.
> Kidneys and bowel were the airmans worst enemy on long missions. I've
> heard stories about aircrews using their helmets to crap in when it was
> necessary. I always wondered about the choice if you were under attack and
> needed to wear the helmet for protection.
> Well, I suppose things have change but I still wonder, with all the
> pilots today, how they would have handled the "piss call".