Battleland

Driving Around…In Style

  • Share
  • Read Later
getty images

You thought Army uniforms were green? In Friday’s contract solicitations, the Army proves that’s not always the case. Its chauffeur uniforms, for example, must come in grey.

Chauffeur uniforms?

You bet. Despite the fact, as the U.S. military never tires of telling us, that it has been cut to the bone, certain budget items are apparently sacrosanct. There is, after all, still a requirement to chauffeur the Pentagon brass, both military and civilian, hither and yon around the capital in Humvee-sized SUVs (the $15 billion you spent on the Washington Metro system – no way. Taxicabs? Puh-leez.)

Word mavens may take issue of the use of the word “chauffeur” here. Dictionary.com defines it as “a person employed to drive a private automobile or limousine for the owner,” but these aren’t private autos, nor are they owned by the passenger any more than they are owned by you and me. Plus, it’s French.

The Army wants to buy 203 men’s coats and 16 women’s coats. That suggests that only 8% of the Army’s chauffeurs are women, about half the female share of the uniformed force. It’s also seeking 340 pairs of men’s trousers…and 16 for women. Then there are the 408 men’s shirts, in both blue and white, but only 24 for female chauffeurs.

Gender aside, just who benefits from these fancy duds (beyond the nattily-attired guys or gals wearing them)?

The Motor Operations Division’s Chauffeur’s provides transportation support for the Senior Executive Staffs of the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Under Secretaries of Army and Air Force, Vice Chiefs of Staff Army and Air Force, Assistant Secretaries, and other Principal Officials of Headquarters Department of Defense (DoD).

Apparently the Navy has its own, ahem, fleet of cars.

But note carefully: it’s not those top officials who are getting such properly-clad chauffeurs. It’s their “Senior Executive Staffs.”

The particulars:

Grey chauffeur uniforms shall be made of 55% polyester, 45% wool material. Men, blouse coat, grey, shall be made with a black rayon liner and two inside breast pocket, two outside flap pockets. Men, Trouser, grey, two back pockets, two front pocket with front zipper with clasp, front pleats and cuffs hem. Women, blouse coat, grey shall be made with a black rayon liner and two inside breast pocket, two outside flap pockets. Women, trouser, grey two back pockets, front zipper with clasp, two front pocket with front pleats and cuffs hem. Shirts, Elbeco Corporate Apparel, white and light blue, long and short sleeves shall be made of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. Sweater, black V-Neck, poly wool blend.  Neckties, cotton, burgundy.

Elbeco, by the way, is a uniform maker headquartered in Reading, Penn. “Elbeco continues to produce over 20% of its products in the United States, and is the largest employer of union sewers in the industry,” it notes on its website.

Meanwhile, back to the Army solicitation: “The contractor shall provide personnel for measuring chauffeurs and schedule date in advance,” it concludes. “All measuring will take place at the Motor Operations Division located at 501 S. 15th Street, ARL., VA 22202” That’s less than a mile from the Pentagon.

You might call this a rush order: half of it must be delivered by Oct. 22, with the rest delivered by Nov. 16. Lots of holiday parties coming up around town, you know.

8 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

People might smirk at what looks like a cushy job in a massive military that is trying to shore up a bloated broke borderless warring teetering multicultural empire and its ruling elites, but these brave men and women are trained at a moment's notice to immediately put pedal to the metal and swerve over and turn on a dime to flatten any threat to their important passengers, like some questioning hapless passing taxpayer. 

By the way, I think this piece was well done. I don't believe it was supposed to be a shocking revelation, but gave a fascinating factual glimpse into one tiny corner of our military and let readers make their own judgments.     

Roy Austin Smith
Roy Austin Smith

Communist dicatorship at its best. why? why will people vote for a  proven liar, a proven communist , a proven crook, a proven gun runer, etc. beleve you get the smell of things to come if you elect him. Amazing that some people will still vote for him.

Dennis Dale
Dennis Dale

"Gender aside..."

You mean to be taken seriously? Really? You can't get through a short piece on gov't spending excess without bleating about, what, the glass ceiling for military chauffers?

LastWaltz
LastWaltz

It's a waste of money.  They can drive themselves or one of their "dog robbers" can. They are legends in their own minds.  

f16poor
f16poor

Yes, I agree TOTALLY!

Otis
Otis

Just amazing.  Cut back on the things troops and families need but keep the fluff.

Phred E Smith
Phred E Smith

i thought this was going to be a hard hitting story about government waste and all i read was fluff.

Chris
Chris

 Taxing citizens so government employees can have drivers isn't waste?  Hell I would even cut the Secret Service.  Let any government employee who wants a bodyguard pay for it out of his own pocket, not mine.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,106 other followers