The shirts come in three types and two need blanking patches. The blanking patches are also in two types. Also the blanking patches come with new shirtes but some resellers will take them off and then flog them onn for extra profit.
The 3 types of shirt are;
1 barrack shirt, no Velcro on the sleve, you must sew the badges TRFs directly onto the shirt.
2 temperate shirt. Velcro covera the whole of the blanking patch and the reverse is the same pm the shirt.
3 warm weather shirt. The velcro is only on strips on the perimeter of the patch and the reverse is the same on the shirt.
There are actually at least 6 types of MTP shirt/jacket, not counting UBACS. The original temperate and warm weather shirts had the full velcro blanking patches. The later type of PCS shirt (which was actually supposed to replace both the temperate and warm weather shirt) has the velcro only on the edge.
These panels are named “blanking panels” for a reason…they were originally-intended to be blank, and used to cover-up the velcro loop patches on the garments.
When I saw the first trials of MTP being fielded by REME and RAF Regt, they were wearing the combat uniform badging the way it was intended to operate: formation and qualification badges themselves were individually hook-velcro backed, and affixed to the OG loop squares worn at the shoulder. Yes, a bit like fuzzy felts version of a brassard.
I have no idea where this current UK abberation has crept in, where the badges are being sewn on to the top of what are meant to be blanking panels.
It’s mad, because it was never meant to work that way in the first place.
US Armed Forces with multicam ACUs (or whatever they’ve now morphed into) continue in the main to wear individual formation/qualification badges directly onto the OG loop velco squares, with the national flag pemanently sewn onto the garment pockets (which is why the Union Jack is stitched onto one of the two blanking panels- Geneva Conventions protocols compliance).
At TTW, in exactly the same way as frontline aircrew are meant to bin all velcro-ed formation etc badges off of their flying coveralls, operational ground troops are meant to remove all TAC/formation badging, with the exception of rank and national identifiers.
Maybe I’ve just been around the block too many times, but as I grow older, I become more and more incredulous as to how rapidly fads and fashions within the wearing of uniforms can become enshrined within regulations, without any real thought as to absolute logic or practicality…
I remember a very interesting lecture by the late Richard Holmes in which he talked about uniform ‘fashion’ - shemaghs, tucking in versus hanging loose, how you iron things etc. - and how this quickly becomes a group identifier so you know who is ‘in’ and ‘out’ of your social group. He gave me a fascinating insight into the anthropology of the Army.
Not just the Army! Fighter Command had the tradition of not doing up the top button of their tunics!!
My question (which may cause some ire) is why are we so worried about how a non issue uniform looks? It is not our parade uniform and this site is full of threads talking about that uniform!
It is a uniform that is used for when we play at being Soldiers rather than playing at being in the RAF! As most people have to buy it, that should be reflected in the comments. I think that tmmorris’ comments about fashion and group
Identity are very relevant to this thread and all this stuff about whether or not you have Velcro on your blanking plates or not!!
(I await the response!! Incoming!)