17 Jun Marines Replace Combat Boots with New High-Tech All Terrain Boots
The Marine Corps will begin fielding quick-drying Rugged All Terrain boots in the next year. It is the beginning of a Corps-wide transition to the next-generation RAT boot as the only footwear authorized for wear with utility uniforms, whether deployed or in garrison.
The anticipated contract for 150,000 hot-weather and 150,000 temperate-weather boots will enable the Corps to issue the footwear to recruits as part of their seabag in fiscal 2014, which begins Oct.1. It will also become available for purchase by those already in the fleet.
Marines will be required to own a pair within two years of the date they are added to the seabag, said Barb Hamby, a Marine Corps Systems Command spokeswoman at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
The RAT boot, which has been issued to deploying Marines since 2009, will replace the Marine Corps Combat Boot, an update to the Infantry Combat Boot fielded in 2002. During the transition period, both RAT boots and MCCBs will be authorized for wear.
The effort to develop faster-drying boots is the latest in a slew of initiatives — such as quick-dry tropical combat uniforms and efforts to create lighter, streamlined gear — intended to prevent fatigue, discomfort and common but potentially debilitating fungi that can take a Marine off his feet.