Off the CUF at West Point
Little known fact: West Point’s Cadet Uniform Factory (CUF) stems from an 1878 act of Congress and operates under regulation 10 USC 4340. No lowest bidder or overseas contractors here.
As noted by West Point Magazine in 2016:
CUF Manager Joe Weikel describes its mission: “to manufacture and supply uniforms and services to the Corps of Cadets at cost. The cadets purchase these uniforms. We cut, sew, alter, and repair these garments and provide those services to the cadets at cost. They are paying for the Full Dress Coat’s 44 gold-plated buttons, the 16-ounce wool used in all of the gray uniforms, the 32-ounce wool in the black parka, the zippers, shoulder pads, the sleeve heads, and all 300 or so other raw materials that go into our product lines: as well as my salary, and the salaries of the 45 employees, as well as the government’s share of the benefits paid to the employees of the uniform factory. All of that gets wrapped up into our garment pricing. Each year we calculate how many minutes we spent and whose minutes they were, because there are different salary rates on each garment, and allocate those minutes and dollars towards that garment, then add in the employee benefits and the amount of raw materials we used to make, for instance, the full dress coat. Divide that by the number that were produced, and you come out with the cost per unit made. Average that cost out after subtracting the remaining inventory, and you have the new price for a full dress coat—$676.01 this year.”
The USMA just posted a great video on the CUF and its continued operation.