Each year, on the anniversary date of the enlisted military member, they recieve a clothing allowance. Based upon the branch of service and sex of the member, they recieve between 388.80 - 608.40. (www.military.com)
As of 31 May 2011, the Department of Defense had 1,182,849 enlisted members worldwide from all services. (DoD Personnle and military casualty statistics)
If the U.S. would do away with this automatic annual stipend, and allow units to purchase uniform items for thier members, they would have an immediate annual savings of about $591M. (based upon total enlisted multiplied by median allowance of $500/member).
Most enlisted members do not use the clothing allowance for its intended purpose, as it is often not needed. Therefore, the money serves as a bonus of sorts. Furthermore, it would not be unusual for unit government purchase card (GPC) holders to purchase required items for miltary members, as they already do for certain specialized items (ie. flight suits, desert uniforms, cooks uniforms, etc.)
This would not adversely effect the pay of active duty military, nor would it cause undue pressure or increased workloads on the GPC holder. It would simply save valuable government resources.
Even at a 50% savings, that would be $300M annually.
With the multitude of vital budget cuts the DoD is already taking, can we afford not to do this?