Army soldiers to get new boots, medical kits – Gen. Coballes

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 26 Dec) – The Philippine Army will soon be replacing its trusted black boots with a newer version – softer and water-resistant shoes that are well-suited for combat operations in tropical jungles.

Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes, the outgoing Philippine Army chief, said aside from the brand new Army boots, each soldier will be issued with medical kit complete with life-saving blood-clotting medicines.

Coballes said the items are part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ P15-billion modernization program, which includes newer howitzers, tanks and mortar platforms for the Philippine Army.

“These items will be available for the soldiers by next year. We are happy the suppliers have settled their differences,” Coballes said in a visit to the 4th Infantry Division headquarters here today.

Coballes directed battalion commanders of the 4ID to submit the sizes of the soldiers’ feet as soon as the suppliers deliver the new boots.

The new color-green Army boots, Coballes said, is designed like the boots worn by United States soldiers in Afghanistan.

“Instead of desert colors, our boots will be color green to suit our theater of operations,” he said. He added that the new boots, which are water resistant, will also be better for running as these are made of softer materials.

Coballes said medical kits that include life-saving, blood-clotting drugs will be issued to Army soldiers also next year.

“These drugs increase the chances of survival of our soldiers wounded in battle,” he said.

Coballes is due to retire on Feb. 7, 2014 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.