Army Combat Uniform: Past, Present, and Future

Since its introduction in 2004, the Army Combat Uniform has gone through several changes over the past seven years. Changes have included modifications to the uniform’s design and moving from one camouflage pattern to two. ACU’s original pattern, Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), proved to not blend in well with Afghanistan’s terrain of woodlands, mountains, and desert whereas the MultiCam® pattern has. Therefore, uniforms in MultiCam® have exclusively been issued to soldiers in Afghanistan since 201 and the Army is presently performing tests to find a new more universally acceptable camouflage pattern.

Replacing the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), ACU was a significant redesign. At the time, ACU was described as “shapeless” and “untucked” and consisted of a jacket, trousers, and patrol cap in Universal Camo, along with a moisture-wicking t-shirt and tan combat boots. The new uniforms had Mandarin collars, Velcro fasteners, zippers instead of buttons, knee pouches on pants, and sleeve pockets instead of bottom pockets.

UCP was another drastic change for Army uniforms. A digital camouflage pattern, UCP was based on MARPAT, used by the Marine Corps, and has a color scheme of Foliage and Alpha greens, light brownish grey, and grey-yellow brown. Tested by PEO Soldier Systems with soldiers in Iraq and stateside, UCP was designed to blend into desert, urban, and woodland environments. The pattern, however, proved to be more effective in urban areas but did not blend well in woodlands. The pattern’s lack of black, which is disruptive in urban areas, is said to be the cause of UCP’s decreased effectiveness in woodland environments.

MultiCam® was chosen to replace UCP after testing for a new camouflage pattern solely for the Army Combat Uniform in Afghanistan in 2009. A multi-environmental camouflage pattern, MultiCam® tricks the human eyes’ perception of color by taking on an overall green or tan appearance. A gradient pattern, MultiCam® uses a brown to light tan gradient base, which is broken up by drab green dotted by dark brown and pink blotches. For optimal concealment, the camouflage pattern varies across the fabric, which disguises volume and shape.

Valentine’s Present Ideas

Some find it so easy to pick out the perfect Valentines present while other really struggle. Should you spend a lot of money? Should you stick with flowers and candy? It all depends on your relationship and how tight your budget is. There are many great gift ideas out there, some classics and some new things that you should consider.

Classic gifts include flowers, candy, cards, and jewelry. Flowers have been a gift from men on February 14th since as early as the 1700s. These gifts you can use if you want to slide by. Women love and expect them, and they are a safe bet.

A newer version of these classics is singing cards, edible arrangements, and personalized jewelry. No longer do you have to pay $5 for a card that will be read and tossed. For $5 to $10 you can find a card that sings songs such as “Wild Thing”, “I’m Too Sexy”, and many more of your favorite lovey dovey and funny songs.

Skip the roses and send her an arrangement of chocolate dipped strawberries. The cost is the same, but she can eat the fruit instead of throwing away the flowers after a few days. If she’s not a fan of fruit get her cookie or candy bouquet.

Ten years ago you would get your wife or girlfriend a locket, bracelet, or necklace and expect her to be impressed. Now days girls want your gifts to come from the heart, your heart in particular. It’s easy to find rings, bracelets, and necklaces that can be inscribed with a personal message. If you can’t afford jewelry, why not get her a personalized charm or keychain. A simple silver circle inscribed with “I Love You” can be found at the mall for around $12.

A t-shirt with a photo of the two of you is also a great idea. Have one made at your local photo center or online for less than twenty dollars. Order early, as it can take three days to two weeks for your shirt to come in.

Now you should have plenty of great Valentines present ideas. While you don’t have to spend a lot of money, or buy the expected roses, your gift should come from your heart and be personalized.

Create Great Presentations and Get Coaching Clients

The single most effective way to get many coaching clients quickly is to speak or do a workshop. Your presentation must be created with purpose and a goal. You need to know what you would like to communicate to the audience and what you would like them to do in response to your presentation.

It is important to answer some questions about the purpose of your presentation before you develop it. How do you want your audience to feel, what do you want to motivate them to do, what nugget of knowledge do you want them to take away with them?

Answering these questions will help you focus your presentation and it will help your delivery. We all perform better when we know what our goals are.

Have One Main Goal for Your Speaking
You cannot have multiple goals for one speaking event and achieve all of them to your maximum capacity. For example your goal could be to talk to people about breaking off a relationship and how to do it in a way that is viewed as kind by the other person. Then that is your goal and all you have to do is show the audience how to do that one thing.

Pick Three Main Points to Get Across
The formula is very simple just pick three main things you want to communicate and determine what tools you want to use to get those three points across. You can use tools like power point, audience input, discussion, and small group discussion.

Power Point has been over used but it can be helpful if you want to show a diagram or chart. Be sure you need to use Power Point before you use it because your audience will ignore it unless it is relevant.

Audience input is a great way to get people involved and turn the presentation into a conversation. People always like what they have a hand in creating.

Discussion and Small Group Discussion are a great way to make people feel good and enjoy your presentation. People love to talk and they really love to talk about themselves. If you can have a discussion where each participant has an opportunity to express their view or talk about their needs then you will have a sure fire way to get your audience involved in what you are sharing.

Add an introduction to tell people who you are, what you will be speaking about and how that will benefit them. Follow your three main points with a conclusion that includes gratitude for the opportunity to speak, recap what you covered and invite them to get more with an introductory coaching session.

Great presentations can be very easy to put together and fun to deliver. There is nothing more gratifying than you give a presentation that gives other people value and be thanked for it. So go write your presentation and schedule yourself to deliver it.