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New US Army Wear Uniform and Appearance Guidance

As most of you know, an updated version of AR 670-1 Wear and Appearance of Army Clothing and Insignia is due to be released any day. In anticipation of this rollout, Army leaders are receiving familiarization training from JAG officers on its contents as AR 670-1 is now considered a punitive regulation meaning Soldiers can be punished for violating its many rules. Below is the briefing.

AR 670-1

Click on image to download entire briefing

What stood out to me in this briefing?

-Portions of AR 670-1 and most of the appearance and grooming chapter are punitive
–Violations of the punitive sections by Soldiers may result in adverse administrative and/or charges under the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)

-Lots of haircut guidance including sideburn and moustache

-Lots of new tattoo guidance
–Photos will be uploaded to Soldier’s Army Military Human Resource Record
–Commanders will conduct annual inspection to ensure no new unauthorized tattoos including racist/extremist tattoos
–If you have certain tattoos, you cannot apply for warrant or commission

-No more travel in combat uniforms except enroute to or from combat deployment

69 Responses to “New US Army Wear Uniform and Appearance Guidance”

  1. Invictus says:

    Is this more punitive posture aimed at RIF?

  2. Angry Misha says:

    “-No more travel in combat uniforms except enroute to or from combat deployment”

    Well, it’s about time. They should also add “Prohibited from wear off post”

    • SSD says:

      I agree on both counts.

    • straps says:

      Yup. Way past the point of warfighters in a justifiable hurry.

      Seems like the only people I see still doing this are POGues with vast expanses of pristine loop tape on their right arms (and neck pillows dangling from their backpacks) looking for boarding privileges (which just alienates folks).

      Weak sauce, bad OPSEC.

  3. AbnMedOps says:

    No more travel in ACU? IMO, that is not well thought out, and just means a bunch of added complication for the more-than-a-few who do a LOT of TDY travel, practically live in Atlanta airport, and frequently are rushing from one meeting or field location to the next, and then the next.

    Also IMO, a clean set of ACUs present one hell of lot more credible and confidence-inspiring appearance as a professional American Soldier, than the guaranteed-to-become-sweaty/stained/wrinkled/untucked POS white shirt Class B uniform. And don’t get me started on the complete impracticality of travel in the current blue ASU CLass A coat.

    P.S. – Why on Earth would you prefer “prohibited from wear off post”? Is there something shameful about our combat uniform? (well, I mean aside from the general rag-bag appearance of the ACU uniform’s cut, color, and prescribed manner of wear..but that’s beside the point.)

    • SSD says:

      We are old school. That’s the way it was when we came up. If you don’t want to travel in ASUs, do what we all did, travel in civilian clothes and change when you get there.

      Don’t hang out off base in ACUs. It’s lame.

      • Chris K. says:

        Nice.

      • 10thMountainMan says:

        I’m of the post 911 generation, and I agree with you. I think it’s silly the Army Staff working out of the Pentagon wear ACUs. I attended a TDY course in the D.C. area recently and was impressed how the Marines wear their “corporate uniform” in and around the District. I felt more than a little frumpy sitting next to them.

    • straps says:

      There’s an OPSEC angle that you might not be considering. Just travel in civilian attire. Airline employees inclined to cut us some slack know who we are. The ACU (with a pair of Altamas) travels REALLY well in the lid of a carry-on legal rolly bag.

      I’m conflicted about wear of utility uniform off post. You should be able to get gas or do certain mundane stuff (more than most Marines are allowed to do). But those jokers in ACUs chilling in shopping mall food courts past 1900? They had time to change their clothes.

    • straps says:

      Also re: The ASU shirt. The Marines figured that out a long, long time ago. Shirt garters. Yup, PITA. But they work. They get that they’re on display, with an obligation to set an example. We should too.

      Pants? Marlow White. Yup, waaay more expensive than what they sell at Clothing [and] Sales (sorry couldn’t resist), Waaay better fit.

      Those two changes and the conditioning routine that helps you look good in it and you’re set. Drinks, digits and goodwill abounds.

      I’m there with you on that ASU coat. Even the Marlow White ASU coat blows.

    • Rusty says:

      ACU is a work/fatigue uniform plain and simple. If one is not performing hard work and or fatigues they should be in the ASU.

    • majrod says:

      Combat uniforms don’t belong in the public realm unless you are doing a combat mission. They are work clothes that belong at work. People wear pajamas at Wal Mart because they are lazy. The military is better than that

      I flew over 120K miles in two years. Professionals travel in suit and tie all the time.

      It says a lot about pride of service when someone wants to wear their work clothes instead of the equivalent military uniform. This is one thing the Marines do right and it reinforces pride and professionalism. At one time the Army did this also.

      If it’s really a pain put on a pair of jeans and change (but you might not get the seat upgrade and other bennies which I suspect is what this is all about).

  4. goobie says:

    Reminded once again why I took a honorable. No regrets.

    They’ll continue to savage the budget, still funnel away money into rubbish projects, destroy combat readiness all the while wearing plate carriers backwards, get paid tons of money and have a job waiting for them at the company they funneled appropriations into.

  5. straps says:

    No mention of the whole “shaving on weekends, passes or leaves” thing. Redacted, under review or is that gonna be announced with pyro and lasers?

  6. Mark wolf says:

    What I noticed was dog tags will be worn at all times while in uniform… But not where

  7. 68w says:

    Any word on new tattoo ban?

    • SSD says:

      Yeah, read the briefing.

      • Bob says:

        Would love to, except I can’t download or open it from your site.

        • SSD says:

          The PPT slides? You can’t click a link and open it?

          • Mike says:

            I had the same issue; I’m on my .mil computer and it would not open. I had to google the briefing and read it from another site. Odd… maybe S6 figured out how much time I’m spending on SSD? :)

            • SSD says:

              We are in process of moving servers. Having a few hiccups. My web guy asked some questions:
              Any way you could have one of those users give you some more info? Do you have any more info? I’d like to see or hear what their browsers say when they attempt; what error pages do they see, what does the browser say, what’s the complaint. I just need some more context to diagnose. Could be DNS related, but could be a million other things.

              Email me at admin@soldiersystems.net with answers if any of you are running across this.

        • Bob says:

          The issue seems to be linked to an update, I think with Windows but I am not 100% sure. Those who have problems should restart their computers to see if the update is waiting to be installed.

  8. El Guapo says:

    I wish they cared more about adopting an effective camo than if my assault pack matches my uniform. It’s all about priorities, right?

    Thank god I’ve already got sleeves.

  9. ghost930 says:

    All the reasons I have read in this comment section about not wearing the uniform off base and during travel are pretty much BS. Including the OPSEC ones. If you are in a town, either here or OCONUS that’s near a US Base, it is beyond easy to point out the Americans, or service personnel.
    The point here is pride in duty and your particular branch, and in being a professional soldier. No active duty person should have to feel guilty, or anything less than professional pride in wearing his or her uniform anywhere at anytime. This is part of a warrior mentality people. This is who, and what I am. Don’t like it, tough shit.
    As far as the rest, judging the character or bravery or skill of anyone because they have chosen to put ink to skin is beyond stupid. Going by this regulation, over half of my former team would not be eligible to be in the military. This team included multiple highly decorated professional soldiers and officers.
    The Army, just like most of American society is more worried about hurting feelings and political correctness than fielding warriors to protect and defend our country.
    As with some others here, I am glad I have retired and don’t have to participate in this debacle.

    • SSD says:

      It’s ok, it’s a professionalism thing that they younger guys didn’t grow up with. Older guys, who started serving before the war began are used to different rules like shining boots and ironing uniforms. Fatigues or BDUs or ACUs are a work uniform, meant to get dirty. They aren’t something that puts the service’s best foot forward.
      This new version of AR 670-1 is a wake up call that the peacetime Army is coming back. It’s going to have a different emphasis and I’m sure you’ll remember what that is and who was in charge. Soldiers will have to decide if they can adapt and overcome or you can cry foul and quit. It’s up to you.

      • packtray says:

        Ultimately, those are your two choices. IMO, if someone is claiming to punch over tattoos, my guess is there are other reasons, too.

        Me? I’m pretty “meh” on the whole thing. The Army does seem to want people to look somewhat the same, so I’ve always found obsession with ink to be a little out-of-place. Want to stand out and be a bold iconoclast? Try a college campus.

      • Riceball says:

        I agree wholeheartedly, of course since I was a Marine I see no big issue with not being able to wear cammies off base. If you really want to show your service pride by wearing your uniform around town then simply do so in a service dress uniform, much nicer and neater than a set of fatigues. As SSD says, cammies are a work and field uniform and meant to get dirty and I always thought that it looked sloppy and out of place when I ever saw members of the local Guard having lunch in town wearing their cammies. Just think back to WW II, how many pictures are there of GIs on leave/off duty wandering around the streets Paris in their fatigues, next to none because they’re all wearing their service dress, same should apply here.

        The one argument against wearing cammies. or any uniform for that matter, around off base is the issue of OPSEC. What sort of potnetial of OPSEC can you possibly violate by wearing your uniform off base? That you’re a member of the US military? Like that’s some sort of secret. Or that you’re traveling somewhere, once again, how is that a big deal or even a secret since if you’re going on deployment I highly doubt that you’re going to be hopping on some Pan Am flight to the warzone by yourself in a plane full of civillians. I swear that some people are way overconcerned about OPSEC, the way that some of these people act merely mentioning the fact that we have an Army, Air Force, Navy, & Marine Corps is a violation of OPSEC because the enemy might find out that we actually have a military.

  10. Murphy j says:

    There’s a lot of that briefing that was in play back in the 90′s and I never thought went away. I think the reporting requirements for the tattoos are stupid. I’m now no longer eligible to be commissioned due to the number of tattoos I already have, and have had since I re-joined in 2005. The dumbest thing I saw was the requirement to not walk while engaged in any activity that would interfere with saluting and giving the greeting of the day. I guess too many officers got tired of not being saluted when a Soldiers arms were full. I’m glad I’m retiring in 4 years.

    • majrod says:

      SOLDIERS say hello to each other by saluting. It’s OUR “gang sign”. Don’t want to salute? That says more about you than the dreaded officers.

      • Murphy j says:

        I think you misunderstood my meaning majrod. I have no problem saluting an officer and expect the same from my subordinates, but when in the course of my duties as a Soldier, there are occasions when it is not physically possible for me to salute due to both hands being needed. Case in point… When I was in Iraq in 2008, it was SOP(due to time constraints) for our unit to send 1 or 2 people per humvee to get chow from the chow hall for the vehicle, while the rest stayed with the vic. If this was a 5 person vic, then at least one of those soldiers was carrying 3 meals w/(insert drink of choice here), if it was a 4 person vic, then that person had 4 meals.All manner of officers expected us to just drop what we had and pop a salute. I think that’s a bunch of crap. At some point, some poor joe is going to get hemmed up by an officer or senior NCO because he was doing what needed to be done and was not able to salute.I don’t dread officers, in fact I’m not afraid to open my mouth to one and let them know what I think when I know or believe somethings not right. I first joined the Army in 1990 and as an Infantry NCO, I know how to render proper respect and courtesy and expect it of my officers as well. But, sometimes standing on ceremony gets in the way of accomplishing the task.

        • Bingo says:

          [From AR 600-25]

          Salutes are not required to be rendered or returned when the senior or subordinate, or both are—…
          (3) Carrying articles with both hands so occupied as to make saluting impracticable…

          Your scenario is covered by the regs. If you’re carrying things in your arms to where you can’t salute; you don’t have to. Any officers that required you to salute them when it is impracticle need to hit the regs or get an ego check.

          The new regs are for the soldiers who are walking and either texting or talking on the phones, and ignore all those around them.

          • Murphy j says:

            Thanks for the info. I wasn’t aware of that, but saw many instances of officers and SNCOs chewing joes ass in exactly that instance. It’s always been my understanding that walking while talking/texting on the phone was a NOGO.

    • Joe says:

      Its been that way in the Navy and Marine Corps forever.

      • Mark says:

        I’m betting it is talking about walking around while eating, drinking, talking on a cell phone, etc.

        If your hands are full with something you’re actually stuck with carrying, any officer who would expect you to put that down and salute him is a jackass.

        You can still give an appropriate greeting. I even knew “Os” who would not only return the greeting but give you a salute- returning one you would have given if you could have.

        I won’t forget my boss seeing some young GI eating an ice cream cone, strolling along, yakking on her cell phone, and running into me and my boss (A Marine LtCol). He just shook his head and rolled his eyes. She didn’t know whether to shit or go blind.

  11. MRX9989 says:

    No mention of non-subdued headgear rank for officers. I know it’s already in AR 670-1 but I figured there would be some clarification with the beret’s downfall.

    • Luddite4Change says:

      They only had 50+ slides, can’t expect them to put every MILPER and ALARACT change from 2005 in, but wouldn’t be surprised that its in the actual reg.

  12. Bill says:

    Tat regs are way overdue for ALL uniformed professions. When personal ink becomes the dominant feature of a person’s physical presence, it nullifies the uniform.

    • Philip says:

      Warriors have been tattooing their bodies for centuries… it’s part of the culture. My tattoos don’t affect my training or ability to perform my job.

      • Philip says:

        Plus, mine (and everyone I know) are covered when in uniform. Sleeves down hides every tattoo I have, so what is the issue? I’m not trolling, I’m just curious as to input from the other side of the aisle.

        However, the excessive finger, hand, neck and throat tattoos that are visible in uniform do look bad.

      • majrod says:

        “Warriors” wore hides and fought in mobs a lot longer than we ever had uniforms.

        The logic of what “warriors used to do” is limited.

        Yeah, let’s wear loincloths.

        There’s a problem when servicemembers identify more with “warriors” than their branch’s history, culture and traditions.

  13. Glen says:

    Thanks SMA C. You are my hero. Kinda. Sorta. Not really.

  14. bulldog76 says:

    so all those coyote brown tan and ob backpacks wont be allowed…. makes perfect sense :/

  15. Jason says:

    well, now we know what happens when complete pogs are put in charge.

  16. Mike Molto says:

    Today to avoid hurting feelings and political correctness is all the same in service branches NATO-wide. I’m glad having retired.

  17. Joe says:

    At least my sideburns are safe….

  18. Debaser says:

    It’s like air-dropping a bag of hair to a guy in a liferaft…

    Still fighting a war, vets killing themselves at a rate of one an hour, and the entire military budget being co-opted to buy rubber dog shit, and this is what they give us. The three mystical dimensions of the moustache? I used to think that only field grade officers received mandatory lobotomies, but it seems the practice is alive and well among senior NCOs at the Pentagon as well.

    I wonder if my military bearing will hold up to some paper-hanging twat trying to tell me my backpack is the wrong color…

    • bulldog76 says:

      *gasp* your back pack aint camo or black cause i mean black wont show up like a big black lump in a woodland or desert environment cause there is black in nature right???

  19. SecretSquirrel says:

    I’m torn on a lot of the changes. There have been plenty of times where I have had been running to or from an engagement off post, or I just didn’t want to eat terrible food on post, when changing in and out of ACU’s would have been time consuming and just stupid. Hanging out in the mall is a different story. I think common sense and discipline need to be exercised more often in these situations.

    As for professionalism I think we are stuck in a hypocritical paradox brought on by the bureaucracy. The powers that be expect us do, “do as we say, not as we do”, as evidenced by the recent scandals. Junion and Senior NCO’s, Junior Officers and Lower Enlisted receive greater punishments proportionally for lesser crimes than Senior Officers. If we’re hoping to build a more professional source, changes to 670-1 won’t accomplish much.

    In addition to the poor examples set by the highest ranking members of our organizations they bury good soldiers under an avalanche of minutiae. I’m not including a lof of the homages to our history in that statement. I believe many of the traditions we follow serve a purpose, however, PT belts, tattoos, rolling our sleeves up when its 130 degrees out, mountains of paperwork and matching backpacks have no bearing on the professionalism or proficiency of good Soldiers.

    The command’s obsession with these changes is the first sign that we are in big trouble as we enter this “peacetime” environment. Until we figure out how to make the micro-management disappear from our culture the exodus of good leaders (both NCO and Commissioned) will continue and the services will suffer.

  20. packtray says:

    Seriously, though, loving the angst over some pretty-minor uniform changes. “GRRRAGH I WANNA BE ABLE TO BE COVERED IN INK AND WEAR A BEARD AND OAKLEYS ON MY HEAD INDOORS AND BE DIFFERENT IN THE ARMY I QUIT IM GOING HOME!!!2one!”. Seriously: it’s the _Army_, not Blackwater/Xe/Academi. Why is anyone surprised or dismayed this is happening? Will tat restrictions (grandfathered for most of you mofos, by the way) somehow rob us of our ability to fight? Not having a porn ‘stache? I have to admit I don’t find the NCO on my post with the big “F*CK YOU” neck tattoo in that Gothic gangsta script to be particulary impressive.

    That said, schadenfreude is NOT an Army Value, so I kinda feel bad at the same time.

    Time to go rummage around my backpack I can’t carry soon and find my dog tags. I’ll do it with minimal despair, I promise.

  21. Engineer says:

    I don’t mind us looking more professional, but how about some professionalism at the top in regards to operational camouflage…

  22. Mark says:

    I miss the big Afros with the overseas cap perched atop, and the porn staches. 70s styles, baby!

    Someday, you’ll all look back on the stuff so many will whinge about now and go WTF?

  23. 10thMountainMan says:

    So I read it and have a question. The policy regarding wear of DUI vs regimental insignia. Does this mean an intel whacker assigned to 1-87 Infantry Regiment can now wear 1-87′s regimental insignia instead of his banch insignia because the regimental crest also qualifies as a DUI? I believe the current policy requires you to be infantry to sport an infantry regiment’s DUI, artillery for artillery etc. etc.

    What about non regimental DUI’s? Say someone assigned to brigade or division staff. Can they now wear the DUI above their pocket in lieu of Branch affiliation? Interesting change and I’d be curious how many people jump on it.

    In all honesty it is not a bad idea as I’m thinking about it. If a person identifies with a particular unit to which they have been assigned they have as much right to celebrate their affiliation as the combat arms folks. Just my two cents.

    • Luddite4Change says:

      I don’t think this is a change, but rather a clarification of long standing regulatory guidance. Hopefully, the actual language in the regulation is clearer than what appeared on the slide.

      From my read, the answer to your first question is, “NO”. It looks like the intel guy/gal (or other PMOS that has its own regimental insignia such as logistics) would be wearing their regimental insignia. The infantryman assigned to 1-87 INF would wear either the 87th Infantry crest, or the DUI of the regiment that they have formally associated with.

      The simple rule of thumb (again no change from current and long standing policies), is that you can only wear that which you can qualify for. Affiliation is at the regimental level (so, no brigade/division). Also current regs do not permit a person from affiliating with a regiment outside of their branch.

      • 10thMountainMan says:

        You are probably right. The language was just vague enough to cause the question in my mind. Funny enough, I noticed today the mannequin in the PX has the 10th MTN DUI where his regimental insignia should be. Maybe he was confused by the slide show too.

        • Luddite4Change says:

          The actual reg has not yet been published nor an effective date issued, so the mannequin is probably safe from an article 15 or RIF for the time being.

  24. lthedarkside says:

    is it true that the new 670-1 States that soldiers are allowed to roll up their sleeves in uniform upon commanders discretion because I can’t find it.