The Army’s plan to make dress blues the only Army Service Uniform has been approved and soldiers who own the uniform are encouraged to begin wearing it now, the Army announced Wednesday.
The move to eliminate the green uniform is designed to streamline soldiers’ clothing bags while modernizing the way the traditional blue uniform is worn.
The new wear policy was announced Wednesday in an Army-wide message from Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston.
The most significant change, aside from the switch from green to blue, is the option to wear a combat service identification badge, something that was not allowed with the blues.
“This uniform is part of a larger modular uniform system. It’s the culmination of a transformation effort that began back in 2004,” Preston told Army Times, referring to the development of the Army Combat Uniform and its introduction in May 2005. “The ACU really streamlined the impact on soldiers and, of course, that same thought process was really applied to our dress uniform.”
Preston said the blue uniform has come out overwhelmingly ahead in several surveys of soldiers asked their preference for a dress uniform, and in more than 150 forums he conducted over the past two years.
The vast majority of soldiers also expressed a desire to display their combat credentials, he said.
Other changes include:
• Soldiers who wear green, tan or maroon berets, soldiers assigned to air assault coded positions and military police on duty will be permitted to blouse their trousers with the black leather combat boot.
• The black, tan, maroon and green beret will be permitted with all uniforms. Men and women in the rank of corporal and above will have the option of wearing a service cap, for which there will be a stipend. Commanders will be authorized to determine which headgear should be worn for a particular event.
• During the development of the uniform, a grey shirt had been considered, but the Army decided that white shirts will be worn with all Class A and B uniforms because it “showcases the soldiers’ uniform,” Preston said.
The new uniform will be available at clothing sales stores next summer.
Soldiers graduating from basic training will get it as part of their clothing bag by the summer of 2010.
Clothing allowances will be adjusted, and every soldier will be wearing the blue uniform by 2014.