If you're an Army family member you've probably heard the news -- your service member's favorite off the shelf combat boots (known as COTS) may no longer be authorized.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler clarified an existing regulation to mean that many of the boots soldiers have been wearing for years are not allowed. Here's a rundown from our colleagues over at Military.com's Kit-Up blog:
“There has been misunderstanding with the ALARACT Message 140/2007 with leaders in interpreting which COTS boots are authorized and which are not,” Chandler wrote in a document that was posted on Facebook’s Army NCO Support page. “My intent is to add clarity to the ALARACT message giving leaders a better understanding of which boots are authorized for wear and why.”We won't talk too much about the ins and outs of the clarified regulation, other than to show you this handy photo guide and then point you over here to the Kit-Up blog.
But this is a big deal to Army spouses and military family members. Why? The cost.
Since my spouse is a infantryman, he spends a lot of money on boots that will hold-up to heavy wear and tear and be comfortable for tons of ruck marching. So a clarification of regulation means we suddenly own two pairs of combat boots worth more than $140 each new that he can't use anymore. That's two pairs of boots he has to replace with new "approved" pairs, which also run somewhere between $120 and $170 new.
Are soldiers and their families suddenly rolling in money to buy new boots and I missed the memo?
Enlisted members receive about $440 for men and $470 for women yearly as a clothing replacement allowance. That means, in theory, that money could go toward scoring new, approved boots. But we all know that's not how spending that allowance really works. And officers don't receive one at all.
If you're an Army family are you suddenly floating in boots that can't be used? If so, what do you plan to do with them?