In Norway, there's nothing new about men and women in the military returning their uniforms after serving 12 to 19 months so that new conscripts can wear them. But now they must also return their underwear, socks, and bras.
With a low stock of military undergarments, due in part to the pandemic, you'd think the simplest — not to mention less gross — solution would be to issue credit so that people could buy their own. But the Norwegian military doesn't see it that way.
As long as there are "proper checks and cleaning, the reuse of garments is considered an adequate and sound practice," PR spokesperson Hans Meisingset said. "Now that we have chosen to reuse this part of the kit, it helps us…. We don't have enough in stock."
The Norwegian military said Monday that it is struggling with dwindling supplies, in part due to the pandemic.
The Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization said because of "a challenging stockpile situation, this move is necessary as it provides the Armed Forces with greater garment volumes available for new soldiers starting their initial service." …
Until recently, the roughly 8,000 young men and women who every year do their military service returned their outer clothing but were allowed to leave barracks with the underwear and socks they were issued.
Meisingset said the pandemic was not the only reason why the stock of garments is low for some items. It also depends on finance, contracts and other issues.
NATO-member Norway's national defense magazine, Forsvarets Forum, reported that it was not the first time that the Armed Forces had struggled with such shortcomings, with a union spokesman saying it "has been a recurring problem" for years.