The push for official athletic sneakers
Could there eventually be an American-made athletic shoe issued to recruits? Army Times writer Joe Gould has the details:
The Defense Department has issued a formal notice asking American manufacturers who want to make an athletic shoe for service members to come forward and be counted.
The pre-solicitation notice, issued Jan. 31 by the Defense Logistics Agency, is being hailed by American shoemakers and lawmakers as a step toward the military issuing a 100 percent U.S.-made athletic shoe to new recruits, as it does with other military clothing.
Under a 2002 exemption from the Berry Amendment, which mandates clothes for troops must be U.S.-made, the Army, Navy, and Air Force issue a cash allowance that allows recruits to select sneakers based their own comfort and injury-prevention needs. Despite pressure from Congress and American shoe makers, DoD has for several years resisted ending the exemption, framing it as an issue of choice and safety for troops.
Even as it explores the possibility of U.S.-made athletic shoes, DoD’s position is the law meets the needs of the services and that letting troops select their own shoes “provides the greatest comfort and reduces the potential for injury,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, spokesman for the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness office.
Read the rest of Joe’s story over on Army Times.