State-provided EDF uniforms to no longer include formal evening wear

Evening uniform of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF).
Evening uniform of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF). Source: Kaitseväe vormikandmiseeskiri /

The uniforms provided by the state to members of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) will no longer include formal evening dress, according to a proposal to amend a Ministry of Defense regulation. In future, the tailoring costs for formal evening wear will have to be borne by individual EDF members. At the same time, the range of equipment issued to reservists is set to be extended in order to speed up unit formation and combat readiness.

"Whereas previously evening wear was considered to be [part of] the uniform of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF), that is, a uniform for performing service duties, the concept approved by the commander of the Defense Forces sees the evening uniform as purely ceremonial clothing, which is no longer guaranteed [to be provided] by the Defense Forces to the individual. Evening uniforms may be tailored by members of the Defense Forces, though at their own expense, and are not accounted for by the Defense Forces," the explanatory memorandum to the proposal states.

According to the memorandum, evening uniforms may continue to carry rank insignia, however they will not be considered as uniforms for conducting service duties.

In the proposed amendment, the description of the EDF orchestra's uniform has been removed from the list, while updates have also been made regarding certain elements of the uniform. These are in line with the concept of individual equipment, according to which some components of the EDF uniform, such as the shirt and the tie, will, in future, be considered as accessories.

More active reservists will be able to keep their uniforms at home

While currently it is possible to issue uniforms and insignia to reserves, the amendment will also allow them to be provided with clothing accessories such as t-shirts and boots.

"The change is related to the need to allow reservists to participate in training sessions and other military training with the uniform and the accompanying clothing without having to undergo formation and demobilization every time. This provides an opportunity to speed up the formation process and achieve combat readiness of units," the explanatory memorandum states.

In addition to speeding up the formation process, the amendment is also expected to strengthen the link between the Defense Forces and reservists. The memorandum also states, that the additional clothing accessories will not automatically be provided to all persons in reserve along with the EDF uniform. Instead, it will be given out at the unit commander's discretion to those who, even while in reserve, actively participate in supporting the combat readiness of a wartime unit and in designated training exercises.

The EDF will not issue uniforms to active Defense League (Kaitseliit) members, who have already been issued regular uniforms by the Defense League. 

When service uniforms are handed over, the Defense Forces shall conclude a contract of use with the person in reserve.

One new element the regulation introduces to field uniforms is a set of overalls for vehicle crew, to be worn during tactical exercises, both indoors and outdoors, as well as when vehicles are undergoing field repairs. according to the draft bill's explanatory memorandum, the overalls will be anti-static and resistant to short-term exposure to flames.

The draft also updates the list of clothing and combat equipment issued to EDF members, adding some items, which were previously considered part of the official uniform. As clothing and combat equipment is constantly being updated, new items of equipment including ballistic dust goggles, optical spectacle frames will also be added to the list.

Items that are no longer considered to be EDF uniform and will no longer issued, such as skirts, are excluded from the regulation. Further items are however set to be added to naval uniforms.

According to the explanatory memorandum, the regulation's entry into force will have no effect on members of the armed forces. The uniforms and clothing issued will remain the same.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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