Sourcing green uniform

Hey all, wondered if anyone has any good ideas. We’ve had an email from the squadron OC to advise they are a bit stuck with green uniform. Essentially they cannot source DPM or MTP and the civilian committee have so far refused the request to purchase MTP.

Apparently other squadrons have contacts in the Army and Navy but ours does not.

As a result they are asking parents to purchase them privately. Whilst I don’t have an issue with this, I think there will be parents for whom this will be cost prohibitive and could impact on cadet numbers.

Looking for any ideas that I could pass back to them for how best to handle it? Thanks

AFAIK this is how most squadrons operate.

This is where the CWC should be stepping in to help if it is a struggle. As for a source, not sure as we have the cadets purchase No3s them selves.

This is how my sqn and every sqn I’ve ever been on has handled it. Get on eBay and make do. Doesn’t matter if it’s MTP or DPM, but if you’re savvy you can get fully kitted out for not much money.

2 Likes

Ah fair enough, I didn’t realise. When I was in cadets going back 20 odd years it was all included. Cuts everywhere :rofl:.

Do squadrons tend to have any trade accounts which could help to reduce costs?

Try asking other squadrons if they have any spare.

AFAIK it’s never been officially part of the deal, but some units did manage it / continue to manage it.

If yours did when you were a cadet, you were one of the lucky ones. Vast majority did not (and I too was a cadet 20 years ago - we definitely had to source our own kit).

2 Likes

A major supplier of surplus clothing is https://www.fieldtextiles.co.uk/
We bought a lot of our fieldcraft kit from them. If your Sqn can put together a big enough order, prices can be much cheaper, whether it’s private purchase or bought by the Sqn.

This makes me feel fortunate as my sqn supplies all uniform apart from shoes, but I got lucky and got the last pare of parade shoes that were in stores and they happened to fit. And I havent grown since.

I know squadrons who’s CWC do a bulk order on each big intake to get the best prices to then sell it on to the cadets not-for-profit, or even at a loss to the CWC to help the cadets the uniform as cheaply as possible.

Many units will have far more than they need and/or an easy way of replenishing, so this would be my first recommendation.

We have MTP stocked, but during the changeover from DPM continued issuing that with the option of private purchase for those who wanted MTP sooner than we could offer. Many were happy to take that option so probably we would have continued that route if we couldn’t get free stuff - it clearly wasn’t that contentious an idea!

But first contingency would have been to beg from neighbours on behalf of those who couldn’t buy.

This is true, but DPM was around for so long (plus larger regular forces) that it was generally easier to get hold of.

It’s not an immediate solution but encourage cadets to donate their greens when they leave. We’ve been able to build up a small stock so we can loan spare sets to Cadets going on camp or a weekend course, and provide longer term loans to those who can’t afford private purchase.

And we got a couple of daysacks and other odds and ends out of it.

We’ve done the Field Textiles thing a few times as a bulk order paid for by CivCom.

It works best if you can get down to FieldTextiles and pick from the lines yourself. Admittedly, this wont work for all, but having had several sets delivered which were closer to C grade stock than the A grade we paid for, it saved the faff of returns.

Alternatively, over order with the expectation of returning 10-15% of your stock.

1 Like

It’s such a pity. 10 years + back you could go to a Parent Station and raid the ‘Gash Bins’ - indeed Cdt Sqns were encouraged to do so.

Then the rules changed such that the ‘Gash’ was sold off to private contractors (alongside unissued kit).

I am fortunate in that the 2 Sqns I have been involved with have had a stock of kit in stores that could be issued on a temporary basis.

I think your best bet is to trawl Ebay.

We were fortubate that we had a supply of DPM that I managed to trade with a retailer for PCS.

Sadly field equipment is another matter though.

That’s if they don’t just put a knife through it.