Off-topic, but on the issue of stuff like underwear and t-shirts, how many *do* you get a year? Not that I'm too cheap to buy said items myself; just curious.
It depends on the item.
Initial issue of t-shirts is 5 X each. Life cycle says those 5 each should last 2 years, thus you can exchange 5 X Tshirts every 2 X years.
The Clothing pers can see the dates on your electronic clothing docs that exchanges/issues occured -- thus the requirement to "bring in the old stuff" is not really necessary although some Units/locations are still operating this way.
We pull up your docs when you come into clothing and say "I need 5 more tshirts, mine are ratty".
1) Your docs show that you last exchanged shirts 2 years ago ... we issue you 5 new tshirts.
2) Your docs show that you exchanged 2 tshirts last year & 3 shirts 2 years ago ... we say "sorry we can only issue you 3 more now, but next year we can give you 2 more". (etc)
3) Docs show that you exchanged all 5 shirts a year ago ... we say "sorry, but you can only exchange 5 every two years and you've only had yours for a year".
Hope that makes sense.