Army recruits at training centers across the country are receiving cloth face masks during initial uniform issuance as of March 1 thanks to Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.
DLA Troop Support Clothing and Textiles provided nearly 16,000 operational camouflage pattern masks to recruit training centers at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; and Fort Benning, Georgia, in time for the first issuance.
Each recruit will receive two OCP masks until black- and coyote-colored masks are available in June, said Diane Douse, a C&T customer account specialist on the Army recruit team. Recruits will then receive one mask in each color.
Douse is manually processing orders for the interim OCP masks until the others are available.
“Normally, RTC [supply systems] automatically replenish and generate orders based on anticipated demand, current stock on hand, etcetera,” said Timothy Schmidt, Army recruit training team supervisor.
C&T’s planning, technical, contracting and customer support teams worked together to meet the Army’s expedited distribution timeline, Douse said.
“That’s typical of setting any new item up; we all have to do our part,” Douse said.
The group also met the Army’s specifications for protection and color standards of the masks, C&T Product Specialist Sean O’Connell said.
The masks meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance by including two layers of washable, breathable fabric.
“It will also fit against the face nicely due to the design,” he added.
Schmidt said C&T will continue providing masks for the foreseeable future for the nearly 8,000 Army recruits who receive initial equipment each month.