So you've got a bunch of woodland and desert uniforms kicking around in the bottom of a your tough box since the Army decided to adopt ACU's? Before you sell them off as surplus to Old Sarge's outside Ft. Bragg you might want consider slashing them up and turning them into on-the-cheap combat shirts. Speaking of Ft. Bragg, this post might be a down right necessity for a few young Privates reading this who have been spending a little too much time down at Sharkys...
Here is my first hint:
When you take your BDU/DCU blouse to the sew shop (or do it in your barracks room for the truly adventurous) make sure that they keep that segment of fabric running across the back that connects the two sleeves. The reason for this is because without it the stretchiness of the t-shirt it will create a sagging effect due to the weight of the sleeves. While not a big deal in of itself, this starts to become a pain when the straps of your plate carrier or body armor start to ride up onto your shoulders and begin to chaff against your skin. I know, I know, you can always just go to the gym and work on building those traps up instead, but for most of us it's a good idea to connect the sleeves as you see in the first example.
In this case the DCU shirt was done by the Turkish sew shop in Iraq, the BDU top was done by a sew shop outside Ft. Campbell. It's helpful if you bring an example for the person doing the sewing to work from. Of course, it's also a good idea to get those pockets moved up onto the shoulders and have some velcro thrown on there as well...c'mon, all the cool kids are doing it.
I know we usually report on $700 pants and $1000 dollar tops but I hope that this post helps out some of the regular Joes who can't afford the latest and greatest High-Speed kit. Bring your choice of uniform top and t-shirt to the sew shop, I used some old Under Armor shirts we were issued back in the day but your mileage may vary. I know guys who just used regular issue t-shirts and it seemed to work fine. Feel free to hit me up in the comments section if you've got any questions!
Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger, Special Forces Soldier and is the author of the military thriller Reflexive Fire.