The SAF recently introduced new “hybrid uniforms” that are supposedly cooler and dry faster than the standard No. 4 uniform – 60% faster to be exact.
Unfortunately, the hybrid uniforms look like poorly designed long-sleeved polo T-shirts. The pixelised fabric on the sleeves simply does not match with the solid green T-shirt-like fabric on the body.
I definitely will not be wearing this in public if we ever have something like the NS50 Free Travel Day again.
That said, the hybrid uniform should be a welcome change for those of us familiar with the current Load Bearing Vest (LBV), which is honestly more like a body wrap.
The T-shirt-like fabric on the body of the uniform is situated precisely where the heat gets trapped when one dons the LBV. This should facilitate better air circulation and help dissipate heat.
Perhaps, the hybrid uniform could be as comfy as Uniqlo’s legendary AIRism line of undershirts and underwear? A Singaporean man can only dream…
Aesthetics vs. functionality
When it comes to the kind of uniform I want to wear, I am solidly in the “functionality” camp.
After all, the jungle is not a catwalk; soldiering is not modelling. I would rather have more comfortable uniforms and look like a cock, than to look cool and sweat like a cock.
In short, I would rather feel good than look good in the jungle.
Besides, with your LBV on, no one can see how ugly the hybrid uniform can be. And if your camouflage game is on point, no one should be able to recognise you anyway.
Improving soldier performance
Kudos to the SAF for using technology to allow us poor NSFs and NSmen to feel a little bit more comfortable in our tropical heat.
There are many things to grumble about as a soldier, but just for this instance, I’ll shut up and say, “take my E-mart credits!”