The U.S. Army is set to begin testing its Improved Hot-Weather Combat Uniform and Jungle Combat Boot early next year.

Speaking at a media roundtable on Dec. 7, the service confirmed plans to send 65,000 uniforms and around 750 boots to soldiers within the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii this January in time for the Pacific Pathways exercise in February. In March, PEO Soldier will use the feedback it receives from soldiers and apply it to future versions of both systems.

As the names would imply, both the Improved Hot-Weather Combat Uniform and Jungle Combat Boot are designed to allow soldiers to operate more effectively in hot and wet environments.

“Today’s Soldier must be ready to execute the mission in any operational environment,” said Col. Stephen Thomas, project manager with Soldier protection and individual equipment. “[We’re] providing a capability to Soldiers that may give them a decisive edge in that type of environment.”

The Improved Hot-Weather Combat Uniform is touted as being more breathable and lightweight, doing away with the excess layers and seams that trap heat and moisture. In addition, past field tests have allowed PEO Soldier to make some changes, such as eliminating the mandarin collar; allowing the shoulder pockets to open from the top rather than the sides; replacing the zipper closure with buttons; removing the breast and back trouser pockets; gusseting the crotch for an improved fit; and an articulated knee.

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*Photo courtesy of U.S. Army