New ‘poly’ uniform dress for Army females

‘Polys’ will soon include a dress option for women after a successful six-month uniform trial, which ended on 31 July.

CAPTION: WO2 Megan White, left, Col Melanie Cochbain and Maj Tegan Musumeci wearing the new Army uniform. Photo by Corporal Sagi Biderman. Story by Corporal Julia Whitwell.

Modelled on RAAF VIP aircrew uniforms, cut from a light-stretch fabric in garrison brown and produced by Farage, the dress is short-sleeved, scoop-necked and knee-length, styled with a black belt and court shoes.

“Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” trial participant Major General Kathryn Toohey said.

“The dress is a contemporary style and fit, providing Army women a choice for their dress of the day.”

The uniform aligns with options recently introduced in the other services – Navy’s in black and RAAF’s in navy.

Colours considered for Army included forest green, similar to previous Army dresses, and Army’s corporate colour – red.

The trial was carried out with 17 Canberra-based participants and another in Sydney, ranging from corporal to major general across full-time and Reserve service.

“It’s a good step forward for Army, giving women the option of a dress,” participant Colonel Melanie Cochbain said.

“It’s a professional-looking uniform that allows women to be feminine while maintaining their corporate identity as soldiers or officers.”

Ranks on the garment are worn on epaulettes for officers and other ranks.

No breast pockets mean there are no lanyards and, during the trial, members had the option of wearing their ribbon bars to confirm what accoutrements are finally worn with the dress.

“I enjoy being the master of my own destiny when it comes to the embellishments I wear,” Colonel Cochbain said.

“Usually I just have my nametag and rank for day-to-day use, but if I have a meeting with someone external to the organisation, I will wear my other embellishments.”

The Army general-duty dress will be available for issue from January 2021.

Story courtesy ARMY newspaper

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23021 Total Views 7 Views Today

Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

19 thoughts on “New ‘poly’ uniform dress for Army females

  • 29/08/2020 at 12:33 am
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    It looks ugly and there is nothing military about it whatsoever.

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  • 26/08/2020 at 8:54 pm
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    If u the ladies like it ok. I personally think it is ugly but i dont have to wear it ,that being said i didnt like the army khaki dress uniform either but didn’t have a choice,i think that is happening here.
    if u want to see good female uniforms look @ the Chinese womens services.

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  • 25/08/2020 at 11:44 am
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    Imagine joining the military and then complaining it’s not ‘feminine’ enough.
    Gods help you if there’s ever a war and you have to get a bit dirty.

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  • 24/08/2020 at 6:57 pm
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    Well it certainly wasn’t chosen with a Military LOOK in mind. Awful, just awful What’s next khaki Trackie daks with a brown singlet worn with thongs or ugg boots?
    How much was spent/thrown away in fees etc to get this “designed”.
    It’s just UGLY/DREADFUL……….. ah what’s the point. I feel so sorry for the poor soldiers who have to wear this rubbish.

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  • 24/08/2020 at 3:51 pm
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    It’s horrible. So impractical too. Shows off all the curves and bulges. Waste of money

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  • 24/08/2020 at 1:19 am
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    Some type of jacket for cooler days would also seem like a good idea; the biggest problem with ALL previous uniforms has been the lack of flexibility for hot/cold days; in places like Melbourne you can get 4 seasons in one day but uniforms provided never acknowledged that reality! So you were either too hot or too cold or wet from the rain; never a balance!

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    • 25/08/2020 at 7:28 pm
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      There is a service dress jacket for colder climates.

      Reply
  • 23/08/2020 at 5:52 pm
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    I can’t believe the sledging type comments on the new Female Officer’s and Soldiers trial uniform.
    Waste of money? The commenter there doesn’t have to wear it. Doing away with Lanyards, Army? Did you do any research before saying that? Missed a belt loop? Really? Get a life!! Did you show your wife or girlfriend the uniform and then your comment?

    If it’s based upon RAAF Aircrew uniform as stated in Brian’s article, then it’s been approved by at least the RAAF Service Chief.

    Me? I applaud that it’s not the Kermit-the-frog green of WRAAC days! Good luck ladies and good soldiering!

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    • 24/08/2020 at 7:03 pm
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      Yep. Not Kermit the frog green anymore, I’d call it baby-crap brown’
      A definite improvement —— tic

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    • 25/08/2020 at 5:10 am
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      Hideous,looks like a bunch of Russians out of the cold war.

      Reply
  • 23/08/2020 at 3:31 pm
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    Pants and a shirt are more than adequate. If you want to maintain a “feminine aesthetic” then dress up on your own time.

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  • 23/08/2020 at 11:35 am
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    Looks terrible, and how much money was spent just to trial this? This is the ADF not civvie street, stick to what your good at.

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  • 23/08/2020 at 11:18 am
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    Good pick up Tommy Two Tone

    Reply
  • 19/08/2020 at 7:45 pm
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    A collared shirt I would have thought would be better and more practical, the colour is ok, Breast Pockets to should be, rank should be like on the epaulette for Officer’s and on the shoulder for other ranks, is the army looking at getting rid of Lanyards?

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    • 20/08/2020 at 6:39 am
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      Col Cochbain missed one of her belt loops in the photo

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      • 23/08/2020 at 1:47 pm
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        You think after engaging a designer they could have done a better job then that. So many better designed foreign uniforms they could have benchmarked against

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        • 25/08/2020 at 7:27 pm
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          That is hideous. It looks exactly what it is ‘modelled’ after, air hostess uniforms. As a currently serving female I would be embarrassed to have to wear that. I imagine it looks even worse with a slouch hat.

          Reply
      • 24/08/2020 at 11:50 pm
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        She didn’t miss a belt loop. If you look at the photo properly, you can see that it’s the excess of the belt after it’s been buckled that is covering the belt loop. I find it very interesting that it’s mainly men who are moaning about this dress. What does have to do with you? You’re not the ones who’ll be wearing one, unless, in fact, you do want to wear one and you’re worried it will show off all your own lumps and protrusions.

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        • 26/08/2020 at 4:19 pm
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          Personally I think it has a smart style and cut but a couple of things that bother me and its not just the comments on personal dress sense but I think we are all missing the big picture.
          1. I think one of the issues is with the gender issue!. Are we not all soldiers? The uniform should represent an Australian soldier not a specific gender. A male uniform doesn’t make a man look “manly”.
          2. Its definitely the wrong colour. The RAAF is light blue which gives the uniform a better look. The NAVY is white, again the same reason, both being smart and fashionable. Here we have a very old fashioned colour. Something a lot lighter would not only make it unique but stand out against the other services.
          3. Choosing your embellishments is not optional as a fashion accessory and never should be treated that way.
          4. If the belt loop is a big issue then the belt is on the wrong way if the end is covering the belt loop.

          It would be interesting to find out how many serving and retired personnel were consulted.

          Reply

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