Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sorry Nike – Stick to Making Running Shoes

September 25, 2020

I have been wearing boots since I was a little kid and in fact one of my earliest and best memories was a visit to the local shoe shop to buy a pair of Red Wing leather boots. As soon as we returned home, out came the mink oil and the weatherization process began. When you grow up in the Northwest of the United States, life outdoors is the norm and a good pair of boots is critical.

Issue Black Leather Boot

Fast forward to the late 1980’s and imagine my excitement when I get to have more boots and this time free, as part of my initial entry processing in the US Army during basic training. Basic black leather boot with a lug sole. The boots were pretty basic in construction and took some time to break in – which in todays world is not the expectation. Service Members want to put on a boot and have the fit already dialed in and go.

So what’s the complaint against Nike boots? Well lets first review the parts of boot and from my friends at https://www.militarybootsdirect.com/ there are four main parts of a military combat boot:

Cut Away Belleville Boots
  • Leather and nylon mesh upper: primarily constructed of thick, hard grain, rough out leather
  • Comfort insole: designed to help with ventilation and perspiration, but also to increase the comfort of the boots
  • Soft midsole: soft rubber layer, which absorbs shock and promotes comfort when the boots are worn continually, for long periods of time
  • Hard outsole: built to last a very long time and to protect the feet from the impact of rocks and other sharp objects

Because of the long wear, the design of combat boots has the hard leather upper supplemented with areas of woven nylon to promote ventilation, reduce perspiration and weight.

Issue Tan Combat Boot Grain Out

Where I really learned a lot about boots was beginning ins 2005 during my assignment with PEO Soldier and as the Assistant Product Manager for the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI). In this capacity I was responsible for procuring boots that were issued to combat brigades deploying to and from both Iraq and Afghanistan. So how many boots did we buy and was that enough to become an “expert” in military boots?

A little history is helpful as published by The United Stated Military Academy June 2007. Summary – “The Rapid Fielding Initiative Business Case Analysis, Army Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) was developed in response to equipment shortages for Soldiers and military units supporting the Global War on Terror in Afghanistan in 2002. Support development teams that were sent to visit units and Soldiers both during operations in Afghanistan and after redeployment made three key findings:

(1) units were insufficiently funded to purchase needed equipment that was available either commercially or through normal supply channels;

(2) current fielding plans were not meeting the needs of the Army;

(3) Soldiers were subsidizing the Army’s underfunding of Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE) by individually purchasing commercial-off-the-shelf equipment.

In response to the findings, the Chief of Staff of the Army tasked the program executive office for Soldier systems (PEO-Soldier) with equipping all deploying forces with the Soldier as a System (SaaS) Integrated Concept Team (ICT) equipment list to support Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF).”

Then MAJ Long; Issuing Equipment in Kandahar Afghanistan

Boots: “140% of the required number of pairs of boots is sent to each fielding site in a distribution of sizes because Soldier boot sizes are unknown prior to the actual issue. Additionally, boots are manufactured by three different vendors and sizing varies between the vendors, further complicating the matter.” So lets say a 5,000 person brigade was deploying to Iraq and each service member received two pairs of boots x 140% = that is 140,000 pairs of boots for one unit. By June 2006 the US had 14 combat brigades in Iraq, for a total of 127,000 troops. Lets assume they all got “RFI’ed” so 127,000 troops x 2 pair boots x 140% = 355,600 pairs of boots for 2006. That’s just one brigade and a lot of boots!

Danner Combat Hiker

In addition to being involved in the RFI procurements I contributed a little bit to boot development and creation – specifically by LaCrosse Footwear, Inc.’s / Danner boots Combat Hiker. The new boot was to be full-grain leather hiker designed with a rugged Vibram outsole for traveling over uneven terrain while carrying heavy loads, has a breathable Gore Tex lining and rubber surrounding the entire lower boot to protect against abrasion and damage from rock and scree. The boot provided tremendous ankle support while carrying packs. The rocks in Afghanistan are a lot different than the sand and dirt in Iraq and I wanted Danner to know that – so while waiting a flight to Kabul at Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan I boxed up a bunch of rocks and scree and sent them to Danner for insight (completely cleaned of debris and organic matter). I know the product team keep that box as a reminder to how different that operating environment was from those of their hunting or logging market segment.

Shoe Last

Back to Nike’s entry into the military boot market. One review from the company US Patriot reflected the following: “these boots ran a half size small, which I am told is not uncommon for Nike shoes. This provided a more snug fit than I desired. I found that I wasn’t a fan of the insoles on either rendition of the boot as they are basically the same thing. The padding location at the balls of the foot was thick enough to push my foot up into the roof of the boot. With the already snug fit, this added discomfort.”

Nike Military Boot

Well I didn’t know about that review during my visit to the Jungle Warfare Training School in Hawaii and I bought the normal size 11 M that I do for all military boots. Here are the issues I had then during training and more recently after my dependable Oakley’s finally wore out – the Nike’s became my daily wear for walking running 3 to 5 miles.

The primary issue I have is fit – the Nike boots don’t fit well and its not boot length – its how the boot fits over the mid foot where the metatarsal bones are located. While the fit on the heel was fine and the space for toes more than ample, the area over the bridge of the foot was poorly fitted and painful to walk in let alone run.

Bates Jungle Boot (developmental)

The other criticism I have is again near the mid section of the boot and how the leather structure of the laces is cut very wide so that the majority of the boot is the nylon or polyester fabric instead of leather. My issue is when wearing during wet or rainy conditions as the foot bends very wide gaps occur which let the water seep in uncontrolled. A very poor design given the intended environment is likely to include rain or wet footing conditions. For instance the Bates Jungle Boot pictured here has a nice enclosure over the mid section of the foot and the nylon fabric is sewn inside to prevent water from entering the boot directly.

Oakley Military Boot

My last criticism is the material that the lug sole is composed of. In comparison to my Oakley, Bates or Bellevue boots; the selection of material for Nike boots is an extremely hard and non flexible material in comparison. Although I did not wear them in cold conditions my guess is the material will harden further and result in an increased danger of slip. A better selection might have been a variant of the Vibram FIRE & ICE compound formulated for extreme applications while maintaining its performance values in a wide range of temperatures (from -20C to +250C). The formulation provides flexibility and traction at -23C. Tis is applicable to areas where at one elevation you are in a temperate zone and the next you are walking in snow (or spring time in Grafenwöhr Germany where you can experience all four seasons in one day!).

Gucci Fashion Boots

Boots are tools not fashion accessories. Not to be too technical about why talking about boots is important but according to the Army Public Health Center, Musculoskeletal injuries which are caused by acute (sudden) incidents as well as chronic repeated stresses to the body (overuse), are the single biggest health problem of the U.S. Military – most to lower extremities (ankle/foot).

  • Almost 50% of military experience 1 or more injury each year.
  • They result in over 2,000,000 medical encounters annually across military Services.
  • They require 90-120 or more days of restricted work or lost duty time, in addition to the cost of treatment.
  • Most are overuse strains, sprains, and stress fractures; most to lower extremities (ankle/foot, knee/lower leg).
1970’s Era Jungle Boot
Operational Environment 1970’s

Closing our friends at Olive-Drab summarize it well: Combat boots issued by the Army or Marine Corps (and the Navy, AirForce and Coast Guard) differ from commercially available outdoor boots that are used primarily for hiking. Military boots are used for running, jumping, climbing, crawling, marching, hiking, as well as other activities. Also, hikers are largely expected to stay on trails and do some hill climbing on rocky surfaces, whereas Soldiers and Marines may be required (change that to Will Be Required) to take off-trail routes through dense forest, brush, mud and water. In addition, issue boots are used in built-up areas featuring paved surfaces, stairways, and building interiors. Unlike hiking boots, the issue boots are used for a variety of physical activities performed in a wide range of environments.

So while Nike may take a second look at how their boots are constructed, for me their boots remain “military inspired” but not military grade.

Why Military Dress Clothing Is So Hard to Make?

September 17, 2020

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) recently conducted research to determine industry capabilities for Military Dress Coats. The research is a normal part of the process prior to soliciting competitive procurement(s) for in this case Military Dress Coats. The award(s) are anticipated to be Firm Fixed Price (FFP) Indefinite Delivery-type contract(s) with a period of performance consisting of a 12-month base term with one-(1) or two-(2) 12-month option periods for each end item. The information for the Cloth material provided and unlike procurement in the past, the Government will not be purchasing the fabric so that rolls up into the bid price. 

New US Army Service Uniform

Sound good so far? I mean there are more than 20 excellent manufacturers of US Military uniforms – so it should make sense that at least some of these manufactures should be able to do dress clothing, or so I thought. I was wrong – there are currently only a few manufacturers who remain in the dress clothing business supporting the Department of Defense – none of the manufacturers who produce combat uniforms, bags or packs produce dress clothing. Why is that?

Patterns and Size Grading

Garment production in the USA has become a lost art following the rampant off-shoring of the textile industry in the 1990’s. If not for the Berry Amendment (statutory requirement restricting the Department of Defense (DoD) from procuring clothing, fabrics, fibers, yarns, other made-up textiles from non USA sources established first in 1941) we would have little or no manufacturing capacity. Capability and creativity we have – although most of those working in the non fashion segments of the textiles industry are senior.

So what is the issue with military dress clothing? From my vantage point as involved in the tactical side of the industry since 2005, dress clothing is much more complicated an item to make and the quantities are much lower. Garment costing is based on fabric utilization and the number of minutes required to sew a garment – a dress jacket can require up to 255 minutes to construct with more than 20 different cut pieces.

lets take just one simple example – the USMC Dress Uniform with red piping and look at the unique sleeve cuff. Such a unique design element but did you ever wonder how its made? I did so I took one apart – simple enough to do.

USMC Dress Blue Cuffs

What I found is that the cuff is made up of a piece of red wool fabric and a blue fabric that has a fused lining (interlining is fused onto the material to keep it shape saving time and labor). The assembly then has three small holes “punched” through to allow for the insertion of the button shank. pretty straight forward but lets look at another example –

The USAF Class A Jacket

The USAF Class A jacket has gone through numerous changes over the years but still retains several unique construction elements, the pocketing being one of them.

In order to retain a smooth appearance the pocket (flap pocket) is actually constructed separately from the suiting material and is located inside the jacket. The pocket is accessed through a separate opening that is stitched and trimmed. Lets talk a bit about the pocket and its shape because within military clothing the last garment produced must match the first garment produced in terms of size, dimensions and shade.

USAF Class A Pocket

My take away from visiting dress clothing manufacturers is that its necessary to have a number of different customized tools for cutting and shaping pockets, lapels, sleeve cuffs and collars. For instance the tool that is needed for the USMC dress jacket pocket is different than that for the USAF or US Army. A manufacturer would need numerous specialty tools for each service garment and size. That brings up another important characteristic of dress clothing – fitting through the 5th to 95th percentile and what that really means. The current military standard was produced in the 1990’s and built on work that had been completed in 1966 and earlier back to WWI. Today about 17% of the US Military are female which differs significantly from the 1960’s and 70’s where woman composed less than 5% of the US Military. Today all services provide uniforms that are fitted for men and woman with the US Army adding a female design as late as 2010 (Army Combat Uniform). The point being that dress uniform manufacturers must provide garment designs for both men and woman and they are different.

USMC Female Marines Stand Inspection

Last – where a single award for a combat uniform might require 250,000 garments per year (and there are multiple awards) an annual award for a military dress jacket might be as high as 58,000 jackets of one service type and 41,000 for another – to a low of 2,000 – 4,000 of yet another type of service jacket. The challenge is clothing manufactures need to maintain a steady and stable flow of production. Sewing operators don’t get paid to come in and sit behind a machine – they have to be sewing. If an order generates business for a year or less without an expectation of follow on options then its very difficult to convince a plant owner to make the investment in time and resources and more importantly the commitment to a workforce that they will have a job after six months. Starting and stopping lines; hiring then laying off sewing operators is very expensive so any profit generated from a previous contract can be spent very quickly on a short term production – that’s why companies don’t respond: from a business point of view its not worth the risk.

The challenge from the governments side is the wear out rate for dress clothing is much, much slower than for day to day utility or combat uniforms. Combat uniforms by their very nature are expendable items and need to be refreshed every six months to a year (they just wear out). Dress clothing which is worn very infrequently lasts for years and does not need to be replenished as often. The expectation is that a non FR combat uniform will cost the government blouse and trouser about $100.00. The Army Service uniform jacket costs from $130.00 to $210.00 and slacks from $85.00 to $110.00 – so top and bottom from $215.00 to $320.00. When a manufacturer looks at a decision to participate lets compare:

QuantityPrice AveMarginContract valueGross ProfitLine Operation in Months
Combat Uniform250,000 $  100.008% $         25,000,000 $            2,000,00025
Dress Uniform40,000 $  267.008% $         10,680,000 $               854,4004
Assume monthly production capacity 10,000 garments

While this is a purely notional chart and I don’t know the margins expected the math is about the same – why would a plant owner seek a contract that may run only 4 months and net a gross profit of $854.4K when he or she can focus on the simpler garment construction (possibly a lower grade sewing operator) and expect two years of production and more than twice the gross profits?

Manufacturing

To start up a dress clothing manufacturing line without a guarantee of business for at least three years is not likely to attract newcomers to this market. the complications of machinery and tools is quite different than that required by tactical uniform producers not to mention companies that specialize in bags, packs or body armor carriers. Its just a different skill set from the fabric and trim supply chain, the machines needed to construct dress clothing and the plant and engineering personnel required to do dress clothing.

Wrapping it up – increasing dress clothing capacity for DoD requirements is difficult. I believe it can be done but will require a creative approach to contracting strategies and a longer term commitment by the government to continue to procure dress clothing at a rate that can sustain an additional manufacturer or three. I believe utilization of small business set asides such as those for a Woman Owned Small Business or a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business may generate the level of interest and commitment needed to add capacity to this manufacturing niche.

Today, women represent 16 percent of the enlisted forces and 19 percent of the officer corps. Ismael Ortega/U.S. Air Force via Reuters

Tue, March 27, 2007 5:20 PM BAGHDAD

March 30, 2020

Iraq 2005 v9

Living Area Baghdad Iraq photo by the author 2004

“what I am doing right now. Outside the trailer in among the sandbags. Watching the sky and clouds because I haven’t really been outside since the day after the rocket attack. I’m watching an unmanned aerial vehicle circle over head scouting for the next enemy rocket team. All is quiet except for two competing sounds: the sound of Arabic prayers drifting from a nearby mosque proclaiming God is great competes with the drone of Army helicopters waiting to take off for this evening’s mission. I’m looking up at a half moon hidden at times by clouds evening and I’m very sad because I made my little girl cry that she is missing her daddy so much. I wish I could run to those helicopters and come home right now – but I cant and so my little girl will have to cry.”

Flight Line Baghdad Iraq photo by the Author

Flight Line Baghdad Iraq photo by the author 2005

“there is the drone up above me competing yet another circle over the Baghdad Palace – always looking for the next team of insurgents waiting to launch more rockets. I’m smoking a cigar and drinking a cold decaf coffee to settle my emotions. I miss my wife and kids so much that I have tried to wear my emotions out by working till late at night and tiring myself out at the gym. It doesn’t work.”

Iraq 2005 v6

Green Zone, Baghdad Iraq photo by the author 2005

“all I can see from my standpoint is over the tops of ten feet high stacked sand bags and concrete walls. I can see the tops of date trees and tall antenna towers, blue sky with dirty white clouds but everything is dirty here; the sandbags, the concrete, the ground, the palm trees – all covered with dirt.”

“my wife has been a champion and I love her so much for being mom, dad, doctor, nurse, playmate, bill payer and now house fixer with the central heat going out.  I take a puff of cigar smoke and think “what else is she supposed to do? How much more can she take. She hasn’t had a break in 51 days.”

Iraq 2005 v2

Palace Baghdad Iraq photo by the author 2005

“the drone in the sky keeps circling and the Arabic music and chanting keep playing in the background while I wait for the next rocket or mortar to drop in. I hope its not close, I hope it doesn’t hit near me. This place can bring me to tears in a minute. And the wind slowly moves the palm trees around. I can hear doves cooing up in the trees but they are dirty too. My cigar is almost done and the coffee stone cold. Neither give me any comfort because I know my little girl is sad and hurt because pf me. I’d walk around a little except that I know I am under cover and safe standing where I am. I miss my wife. I miss my kids. I miss being there and taking care of them. They need me now and I cant be there.”

“the wind blows colder now. The music is unintelligible. I cant see the drone any more because of the clouds but I know it is there. I can hear the sounds of power generators now and see some small birds taking flight to find a spot for the night. I can see the drone again in the sky while I hear the sound of a military HMMWV convoy moving to their evening search positions – ready for another night of security mission.”

Iraq 2005 v4

Convoy Operations Baghdad Iraq 2005 photo by the author

“my cigar is finished and the coffee gone. Time to get back in the palace and get to work. I miss my little girl so bad. I miss my dear little twins so much I have tears in my eyes. I want to hold my wife so strong that I shake. But I cant get home. I have to get back to work. I love my family so much. I put on my gear, clinch my hands, tighten my expression and get back to work.”

“Tue, March 27, 2007 12:00 AM Updated: Tue, March 27, 2007 5:20 PM  BAGHDAD (AP) — Two Americans, a contractor and a Navy sailor, were killed in a rocket attack on the heavy guarded Green Zone on Tuesday, according to statements from the U.S. Embassy and the military.  Five other people were wounded, one contractor who was seriously hurt and three with slight wounds. A second soldier also was wounded in the attack, but the military did not give a condition.”

IMG_E3488

Look to Small Business for Innovation

April 8, 2018

4C8A6E1B-14E3-4BCB-ADE1-61744D3643B4.jpegWhy are disruptive innovations produced by small business, outsiders and entrepreneurs, rather than existing Market-leading companies?

Business expectations of market leaders view disruptive innovations as not profitable enough at first and that innovation takes scarce resources away from focus on the core product.

A disruptive process takes longer to develop and has greater risk than selling more of what a company already makes. Large business and market leaders can’t really embrace true disruption or accept that once deployed in the market, innovation has much faster adoption and will take the incumbents market share.

B84BCD97-ADB8-4F46-88E2-7B978A06E921Market leaders publicize they want “innovation “ but in reality their structure, compensation plans and short term expectations don’t allow it. To truly create growth through innovation – find a small business whose business is innovation.

For more insights about creating innovation, market adoption and growth please contact Jdlong@silveroakleafinc.com or send an email through the web at  silveroakleafinc.com

A86764A4-101F-495B-B57D-12C91C826B4E

Taking a Walk with Alice on the Appalachia Trail

October 10, 2017

There it is – looming in your mind like a challenge that has to be answered.  the IMG_0945Appalachia Trail (AT) is a trails 2,190 (sort of) miles through 14 states from Georgia to Maine. Oh and if you forgot to calculate the impact to your body: 464,500 feet is the approximate gain and loss in trail elevation. Cant be that bad right? Hard core airborne, air assault, scout platoon leader, combat tour experienced soldier right? Well maybe – but I choose instead to go walking with ALICE which I have had an intimate relationship since 1988 across long distances, long plane rides, long tank rides throughout Korea, from Germany to Bosnia and throughout Central America.  ALICE and I rode together in Iraq and I carried her sister MOLLE in Afghanistan.  However, I was about to find out that she might not be the best partner to walk with on the AT.

IMG_0949Weighing in at 8 pounds, the Army standard since the Vietnam War, the ALICE Large Combat Field Pack was designed to handle large and heavy loads of ammunition and water from 50  to 70 lbs maximizing “personal comfort and mobility.”  It is designed for soldiers to carry fighting or existence loads and equipment needed for various field conditions. Compared to modern lightweight day packs at about 2 pounds or less (no frame of course) ALICE is a charmer for sure and unique choice on the trail as I found out!

The AT unlike the Pacific Crest Trail is unique in terms of the amount of loose rock and nearly vertical climbs and then steep descents. Walking on rock as opposed to sand, light gravel or pine needles is a completely different terrain.  The other planning item of note is your expectations?  Are you a day hiker, weekend or a thru hiker.  Doesn’t really matter because you don’t need the ability toIMG_0955 really pack for an “outback” experience which the 2,800 cube inches storage ALICE gives you.  If you are moving towards an objective with 3 days supplies and the expectation of a firefight then yes ALICE is your girl. However, while some particular stretches of the AT might be remote outback hiking, most of the trail (at least the beginning states) are usually pretty close to some road or town along the way were you can get off the trail, catch a ride and find someplace to recover.

Now this isn’t to say that you cant get badly hurt on the AT and you should be prepared, but I ‘ think entrenching tools, hatchets, full steel propane canisters, pots and pans or extra clothing are not required.  On the AT lighter is better – oh and a good map reconnaissance to ensure you know your daily hike lengths, where the shelters and a where to locate water.

So will I continue to bring ALICE along for my section hike on my next leg?  For me yes because I am comfortable with the frame and strap set up – however, I will calculate the trail length and details. My next section will focus on Blood Mountain adjacent to Slaughter Creek/AT/Jarrard Gap. From the http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/at_woody_gap_to_neels_gap website, I found a reference to when the Cherokee Indians first began to migrate to Georgia a battle took place here, hence the name Slaughter Gap. Other geographical names (Blood and Slaughter Mountain) in the area were related to this battle. “A 1951 archaeological expedition found evidence of both Creek and Cherokee Indians in the gap, however, they could not determine the extent of the conflict or even estimate a date.”

The next section hike is planned as Woody gap over Blood Mountain to Neels gap as a distance of 10.6 miles but with an elevation gain of 1,400 feet.  This section hike reaches the Blood Mountain summit climbing 1400 feet elevation to 4459 feet, the Blood Mountain is the Appalachian Trail’s highest-elevation ascent in Georgia. Good time ahead especially during the late fall time period! Don’t forget to bring coffee!

IMG_0938

 

Overcoming Barriers: What I Learned in the Army

August 21, 2017

Barriers – we all face them. As a manager and everyday person we all face challenges in getting what we need or want to get accomplished.  Whether you call them hidden doorbarriers, obstacles, obstructions, hurdles, a stumbling block, being  blocked, impeded, hindered, or just simply facing a response of “NO!”  Something as simple as providing direction to a co-worker such as “make an appointment with  such and such person” results in many cases a first response back “I couldn’t reach them.”  And then the matter is returned to you the manager.  To me it really doesn’t matter if this is the initial response or one of a dozen different excuses (which may be true) as to why we couldn’t make the appointment or get the task accomplished.

This discussion here is to share a training method called the “chair” I created while as the Battalion Logistics Office (S4) in Germany and working with more junior personnel. In this role I was constantly asked to take on and solve other peoples problem because I was the “leader.”  Well being the leader doesn’t mean you solve all the problems, just the ones that seems to be more difficult (even then a group approach usually works better).

social-mediaSo here is how it works. A chair is usually available in most situations to use as a training aide. Lets say you assign a task for a co-worker to get in touch with a certain person to either provide needed information or to gain needed information. Your co-worker assigned the task goes out and then comes back to update you that “no,” in fact they did not get in touch with said person. So now the discussion begins – “why didn’t you get in touch with said person?” Possible responses although not limited to include:

  • Person was not in the office
  • person did not answer the phone
  • Person was in the office but didn’t want to talk to me
  • Person didn’t return my email, tweet, snapchat, instagram, facebook message.
  • I couldn’t find their office
  • They moved their office
  • Their office was closed

Well, you get the picture – there are a thousand and one excuses – I mean reasons why the task or any task was not accomplished. Its usually at this point the co-worked comes back to report and pass the task back to the leader for resolution.  Oh not so fast!

Here is the beauty of this simple technique.  Begin by asking the follow on questions telephoneto the excuse (insert excuse here) they lead with.  For instance, “person was not in.”  Question; “did you seek to speak with some one else, did you ask when the primary person would return, did you leave a message that you need to see them and would return at a specific time, did you get their cell phone number, did you ask where they were at this time?” These questions will normally result in your co-worker going back out to seek the resolution to these  questions.

NoUTurnNext – when you coworker come back again and indicates they still could not complete the task , you again ask why (in no case do not  as the leader accept responsibility to “just do it myself”).  This time the responses to failure might be something about the office or the phone or no-one there.  So this time you ask about who was in the office, you ask about email, you ask about telephone contact, you ask about alternative points of contact. Here is where the chair comes in.

wall ladderAs you are discussing the task reference a chair.  In this case explain that overcoming barriers is a lot like getting past a chair. The chair is the barrier to getting to your task completed.  In discussing the challenge your co-worker usually approaches the task straight ahead. I usually then ask if following their initial repulse, did they try another approach? In this case I ask if the co-worker tried to go to the left of the chair; if not then I suggest that they first try another path. If this path is not viable then I recommend trying to go around to the alternative side.  If in this case the co-worker is not successful, they should then try to go under the proverbial chair or in this case to go over the chair. 

chair 3 The bottom line is that until the co-worker has tried to go to the left, to the right, over the top and under the obstacle, then I ask the co-worker to not come back to me and tell me they cannot accomplish the task.  This is their task to accomplish not mine, when they have exhausted all alternatives, then come back and lets talk about it.  Normally, by this point the co-worker has figured out a way to accomplish the task themselves. In the future the co-worker will have more confidence to solve problems instead of coming back to the leader after their first rejection. 

 

 

 

INVISTA CORDURA® Fabrics for Defense IDEX 2017

February 9, 2017

From Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India, INVISTA CORDURA® Fabric known as a leading fabric brand for militaries across the globe will show latest fabrics for military gear and apparel at IDEX 2017. IDEX is the international defense exhibition and conference for unmanned systems and technologies and takes place February 19 to 23, 2017, within the Abu Dhabi national exhibition center, in UAE.idex-2017

New hardwearing and versatile soldier systems fabric technologies will be displayed at the CORDURA® Fabric  booth in Hall 7, booth A02 and include:

  •  Fabrics featuring the new patent-pending CORDURA® Fabric qualifying INVISTA T420HT fiber
  • Solution Dyed Nylon (SDN) technologies with built-in NIR/SWIR reflectance capabilities
  • FR (flame retardant)-coated CORDURA® Fabric polyamides for protective vests
  • lightweight comfort CORDURA® Fabric Nyco Tactical uniform fabric

11-ocp-photo-courtesy-of-cordura-brand

First in a suite of many product improvements for 2017 and targeting next generation durable uniform fabrics, the new T420HT is a state-of-the-art, patent-pending high tenacity staple fibre. For the complete details please see http://www.technicaltextile.net/news/cordura-to-show-fabrics-for-defence-at-idex-2017-expo-204001.html

From the CORDURA® Fabric website at http://www.cordura.com the company for nearly 50 years, been driving military textile innovation with performance solutions featured in both fabrics and webbings used extensively in combat gear, such as CORDURA® Fabric SDN yarn technology. These solutions are suitable for use in load carriage equipment, boots, body armor covers, knee/elbow pads, and other similar tactical gear.  http://www.cordura.com/en/press-releases/news_cordura_announces_durable_fiber_breakthrough.html

Future Soldier Technology Conference

January 22, 2017

cotton-polymer-yarn-detail-v2

From polymer to finished product

repost from SMi announcing that BlackBox Biometrics, Invista textiles (Cordura brand fabrics), Revision Military, Marom-Dolphin, Sea Systems Engineering, Ultra Electronics and Harris Corporation are key soonsors.

March attendees can expect and interactive format where “No Attendees only participants”. Unlike other events, Future Soldier Technology is marketed around a combination of panel discussions and focused discussion groups, which are run by two chairmen – experts in soldier Technology.

As the only conference in Europe solely dedicated to enhancing soldier modernisation programmes this year, the conference will explore the greatest challenges and next generation solutions that are enabling infantry to conduct operations in today’s and tomorrow’s battlefields.

Key topics include: lightening the load and analysis of space for components, power and energy, body armour and night vision, communications and common integrated architecture.

Expert speakers for 2017 include senior representatives from: British Army, Infantry Trials and Development Unit, United States Marine Corps, US Army Northern Warfare Training Center, Canadian Forces, UK MoD, PEO Soldier, DSTL, United States Marine Corps, Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, T N O Human Factors Research Institute, Thales, Rheinmetall Electronics and many more.

There will also be two post-conference workshops on: ‘How to Do Business with the British Army for Soldier Modernisation’ and ‘Black Swans and Soldier Programme Management: A Look inside the US Army Technology and Equipment Acquisitions from Capability Setting To Procurement’.

For those interested in attending Future Soldier Technology 2017, register online by 31st January to receive a £100 discount.

Future Soldier Technology 2017, 13th and 14th March 2017, London, United Kingdom

INVISTA CORDURA® Fabric Participates in Military Conferences 2017

January 9, 2017

idex-2017ABU DHABI — IDEX Conference 2017, part of the International Defense Exhibition & Conference (IDEX 2017) and Naval Defense Exhibition (NAVDEX 2017), draws participation of leading security and defense decision makers as well as military program managers from across the world.

Themed Disrupting Innovation in Defense and Security , the conference will be held ahead of IDEX and NAVDEX 2017 at the headquarters of the National Archives in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 18.  The http://saudigazette.com.sa/ reports that this conference will include three keynote sessions:

  1. Disruptive Emerging Technology and Innovation: A New Military Paradigm,
  2. The Next Big Leap in Cyber Defense,
  3. Defense and Security Control/Mitigate Multiple Disruptions.

Register ahead to participate in the conference sessions under the following link: https://secure10.eventadv.com/IDEX/registration/ConferenceReg.aspx?eventid=22fiber-to-yarn-to-fabric-and-product

Bates’ Recondo Boot – engineered to beat the Jungle’s first contact

October 6, 2015

Repost of the recent blog on http://www.cordura.com/en/tactical-products/Bates_Recondo_Boot_FP.htmlBates Jungle Boot

Built to engage and defeat the Jungle’s first ground contact, Bates Footwear engineered the Recondo Boot with the “nastiness” of the Jungle in mind. Teaming highly durable and quick drying 500D CORDURA® nylon fabric construction with a Vibram® lug sole that is built to maneuver and rival the snags, tears, slips and stabs the jungle throws at you.

jungle floor

The Recondo Boot overcomes the tropical environment at the ground level with fast drying materials an engineered Vibram® multilayer sole, and webbing collar so it’s all about durability, secure footing and fast dry time. The Bates Recondo Boot is available now in olive Mojave, olive Mojave Multicam® and Multicam® Black. Defeat the jungle’s environment with your first foot on the ground by lacing up a pair of Bates’ Recondo Boots.

Shop online at: http://www.batesfootwear.com/US/en/recondo-boot/20152M.html?ref=boots&dwvar_20152M_color=E01497#q=boots&start=1