In my weekly scan through the federal business opportunities website, I ran across this interesting solicitation from Naval Special Warfare Group 2 based in Little Creek, Va.
The command is seeking a boatload of heavy-duty lumberjack wear made by the Seattle-based Filson company. Filson is known for its hardcore outdoor work clothes, including so-called "Tin Cloth" work bibs and jackets whose fabric is so thick, it's almost impossible to bend.
But Filson, like Orvis and Patagonia before it, has transformed itself from an outfitter for West Coast gold prospectors and lumber cutters to a much-sought-after status symbol for the well-to-do set. You ain't a real upland hunter or waterfowler unless you have a Filson jacket or bibs. And the price definitely reflects the Gucci allure of their gear these days ($170 for a logger coat).
So I gotta wonder, what is NSWG2 looking to buy Filson duds for? I have visions of some covert mission to a salmon fishing village in Vladivostok or specialized training on the Olympic peninsula.
Or maybe, our Atlantic Coast frogmen just have a great sense of style. I truly respect that they know top quality when they see it and as far as I'm concerned they deserve the best.
(Full disclosure: I have lots of Patagonia gear and one Filson jacket -- it was a Christmas gift...)