Commanders at every level must understand the complexity of operations in a mountainous environment where every aspect of combat operations becomes more difficult. Leaders must understand that each individual has a different metabolism and, therefore, cools down and heats up differently, which requires soldiers to dress-up and dress-down at different intervals. Provided all tactical concerns are met, the concept of uniformity is outdated and only reduces the unit's ability to fight and function at an optimum level. The extreme cold weather clothing system (ECWCS) is specifically designed to allow for rapid moisture transfer and optimum heat retention while protecting the individual from the elements. Every leader is responsible for ensuring that the ECWCS is worn in accordance with the manufacturers' recommendations. Commanders at all levels must also understand that skills learned at an Army mountaineering school are perishable and soldiers need constant practice to remain proficient. The properly trained mountain soldier of today can live better, move faster, and fight harder in an environment that is every bit as hostile as the enemy.
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