Friday, October 30, 2015

Navy Officers Should not Have to Pay for the New Uniforms

As I previously discussed, the Navy is moving to a single uniforms for males and females. A move I would personally support.  I also think it is quite reasonable that the shared uniform is essential the longstanding "male" version with minor adjustments.

What seems considerably less reasonable is that is seems (by some reports) that female officers will not be given a payment to support moving to the new uniform standard, and so would have to buy these new uniforms out of pocket.

As the changes are compulsory, this is essentially fining the women for being women.  Come on Navy, makes sure all Navy officers are compensated for the need to buy new uniforms!

But there is more to the issue than gender.  Many service people seem to have an "I had to pay for lots of stuff; so should you" attitude--like it is a kind of hazing. In my opinion as a civilian, all of this compulsory equipment should be provided to you, men and women. Time for the state to stop shoveling their operating expenses onto the personnel.

Most service men and women are on low incomes and charging them for everything from haircuts while deployed to bullet-proof vests that actually work is a lazy way for the state to reduce its own budgets by literally forcing the soldier and sailors to buy their own equipment and pay for their own work-related expenses.

I think that entire practice, and the culture that has normalized it, needs to change. 

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