Army Combat Uniform Getting Mixed Reviews
Noah Shachtman has an interesting discussion about the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), which has been rolled out over the last couple of years and will fully replace the old Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert Combat Uniforms (DCU) by the end of the year. It seems many soldiers are complaining about the new unies, arguing that the one-color-fits-all package makes it “stick out like a sore thumb wherever there’s even a bit of vegetation.”
I doubt there has been a uniform change in Army history that has been universally praised. There was plenty of bitching when the jungle fatigues were replaced by the permapress greens and more when those were replaced by the BDU. And people still haven’t stopped talking about the beret controversy. Soldiers take a lot of pride in their uniforms and tend not to like change.
Personally, I’d prefer that the Army go to something cheap and easy to maintain, whether variant on the old green fatigues or something else, for garrison and keep the high tech cammies for the field. I’d also scrap the green polyester Class A and B uniform and bring back the Army Blues as the non-fatigue uniform.
Army service uniforms will be streamlined to one blue Army Service Uniform, the Army announced yesterday.
“We have all of these variations of uniforms — green, blue and white,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker. “It makes sense for us to go to one traditional uniform that is really sharp and high quality and which Soldiers will be very proud to wear. And that’s what we’ve done by adopting this blue Army Service Uniform that reflects simplicity, quality, utility and tradition.”
Introduction in the Army Military Clothing Sales Stores should begin in fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007. Introduction in the Clothing Bag should begin first quarter 2009. The Mandatory Possession Date is expected to be fourth quarter fiscal year 2011. A wear-out date for the Army Green Class A and White dress uniforms will be determined at a later date.
• In simplicity, the blue Army Service Uniform eliminates the need for numerous sets of green Class A uniforms, service blue uniforms and, for some, Army white mess uniforms (and tunics, for women). Streamlining various service uniforms into one Army Service Uniform reduces the burden on Soldiers in the same manner that the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) did for the field utility uniform.
• In quality, the blue Army Service Uniform is made of a durable material that is suitable for daily use without special care.
I’ve been calling for this move for years now and apparently there was a groundswell, with “85-90 percent” of soldiers wanting the blues as the dominant uniform. As I have often noted, I wore my blues more often than my green service uniform (excepting my stint as an ROTC recruiter before shipping off to the Basic Course), wearing the latter only for inspections and my DA photo.