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SMA Dailey Talks Pinks and Greens

In this video by PEO Soldier’s Ron Lee, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey discusses the proposed Pinks and Greens service dress uniform.

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99 Responses to “SMA Dailey Talks Pinks and Greens”

  1. Yawnz says:

    I wonder how many people have discussed not wasting money fielding a new service uniform with SMA.

  2. Pogie Bait says:

    The Taliban have retaken or are contesting at least 40% of Afghanistan and we’re on the brink of another war on the Korean Peninsula… but hey, new threadz!

  3. Justin says:

    I thought the whole point of the ASU was to have one dress uniform.

    • Joe says:

      One awful-looking dress uniform, check.

      Yes, they screwed up the Blues, but the money is best spent elsewhere.

      • Bob says:

        How were they screwed up? I bought my blues in 2005 and still wear them. Only difference is the pants and the Class B variant.

  4. Kirk says:

    This is what you get after decades of promoting people based on appearance–Men who think that appearance and presentation are all that matter.

    Oh, well. On a positive note, all the young soldiers and mid-grades who wind up in caskets because of this criminal inability to prioritize on what actually matters will get their sharp, new uniforms for free, once they transit through Dover.

    I haven’t heard shit about these clowns doing anything at all significant to address any of the resale problems we have in the force, and we are still doing more COO training than crew drills out in most of the line units.

    Y’all be sure and get back to me when these sorry excuses for leadership start going in front of Congress and asking for more training money and time, with relaxation of all the touchy-feely BS “mandates” we’ve been saddled with. I won’t bother holding my breath for that particular news-bite, because it will only happen after the next major loss like Task Force Smith, and it won’t come out of the mouths of this current lot of sycophantic ass-kissers. You wonder why the Navy can’t seem to drive ships, anymore? Behold the Army version. It all comes down to leadership, which apparently is still in peacetime garrison mode after almost twenty years at war.

    New fucking dress uniforms. Again. Meanwhile, our enemies are re-taking Afghanistan, and fortifying the South China Sea. And, is anyone beefing up the forces in Korea, and getting the dependents out…? Nope; we’re sending more of those, every day, trying to turn what should be a combat-ready expeditionary force into another stateside garrison command. I wonder what the re-write of This Kind of War will have to include, when it comes to describing North Korean atrocities?

    • Paralus says:

      Harry G. Summers proved that you don’t need to actually win the war, you just need to win the PR battle a decade after the war. First, you muddle the definition of war and create catchy slogans like, “we won all the battles, but lost the war” or ‘never defeated on the field, blah blah blah’.

      then there’s the D.C. Dolchstoss dance:

      we were winning (or could have won) the war, but were stabbed in the back by…

      a.) politicians
      b.) bureaucrats
      c.) the Media
      d.) hippies
      e.) at least two or more of the above

      It seems the people with stars on their shoulders and the institutions they preside over have a nearly inexhaustible capacity for self-deception

  5. Darkhorse says:

    I applaud the army for putting together a super nostalgic looking dress uniform. As already mentioned, just seems like a huge NON priority in terms of everything else the army is currently lacking. I realize that dress uniforms will never rank highly in terms of prioritization, but now seems like a time when money could be used for something more combat related.

  6. RayForest says:

    I’d have to agree. I’ve seen so much about these pinks and greens that I know we are transitioning to them. It’s a guerilla sales campaign. Everyone though I ask myself how can we say this is what’s important to spend money on? It’s the uniform they should have chosen to follow the old green but they chose ASU. As a tax payer it kinda pisses me off. Pick a “Brand” and stick with it. Don’t call me about a new one unless you have been in the old at least 15 years. I don’t see the marines changing every two minutes. It’s not a fashion show. There are more important things to spend money on right now than this. How about funding the master gunner small arms competency revolution trying to make headway?

    • SSD says:

      This is happening. Blues will go back to what they were, a ceremonial uniform.

      • Kirk says:

        Two questions need to be asked, then:

        One, why is this a priority, so soon on the heels of the last major change?

        Two, WTF is the point of a “ceremonial uniform”, or, for that matter, a “dress uniform”?

        ‘S funny, but do you know what? I took the opportunity to show some friends and family a selection of uniform pictures, including this new one. Know how many were able to tell which represented which service, especially from those with no military background?

        Precisely zero recognized any variety of Army uniform, except the combat uniform. Couple recognized the Marine dress blues, but nobody got the Marine service uniform right, either.

        We don’t wear these things in public, anymore. The fact needs to be acknowledged that the only people who recognize or care about this kind of crap is… Us. All these arguments about “branding” and “recognition” are meaningless in the face of the utter lack of interest and knowledge on the behalf of the general public. If it ain’t the ACU they see on the Guard or Reserve guys they see doing firefighting or flood control, we might as well be invisible, because the average citizen of this country thinks we’re either waiters, bus drivers, or actors playing Captain America roles in some play or re-enactment. They manifestly do not look at what we’re wearing and go “Oh, that dude is in the Army…”, and one of the reasons they do recognize the ACU is that we are neatly labeled as such, when wearing that.

        • Kirk says:

          Re-phrase that first question to: “Why should this change to the dress uniform be made, and what are the justifications for it?

          Beyond “It looks cool as balls, man…”, that is.

          • SSD says:

            Why? The Army is a uniformed service. It wears uniforms. Instead of expending all of this energy complaining about a uniform, think about what you can do to actually make a difference in your unit.

            • Yawnz says:

              You tell them to stop caring about dress uniforms. Will Pinks and Greens help me kill the enemy and keep my guys alive? Fuck no.

            • Kirk says:

              Did that for 25 years, and looking back at it, all too much of that time was spent struggling with the kind of people who are typified by their participation in and support for this kind of trivial bullshit.

              “Hey, CSM, Colonel… I think we ought to be doing more training on engineer reconnaissance, ‘cos a lot of the guys have never done it…”.

              “No, Staff Sergeant, that’s not on our METL, and we won’t be fighting any wars like that, ever again… That kind of thing is old-school, you’ll never need it… In fact, they tell me that they are taking that old BS out of the 5-34…”.

              About two months after we had that conversation, we got a little AAR from the whole initial deployment to Bosnia, and shuckee-darn, but was one of the lead identified issues with training…? Nobody had the skills to do good Engineer recons out in the units. Highlighted the he’ll out of that shit, sent it up to the headshed, and suggested that we might want to do a re-look at things METL-related.

              I was promptly told to shut up, stay in my lane, and concentrate on Volcano training… Oh, and where were my COO Training rosters, by the way…?

              There are good reasons I retired as an SFC, and a lot of them have to do with my inability to suffer fools gladly, or keep my tongue bitten long enough to get out of their presence. This would be one of those moments, were I still on active duty.

              • Jon says:

                I agree that training and Metl relationship are important, and fought to change my company’s METL in 2 companies (one in USARAK and one in FORSCOM) I’ve been out a few years now, and my friend told me a few weeks ago big army is changing to dictate METL to commanders now. (not that it wasn’t really dictated before if anyone read the manual and matched it with STPs and common tasks)…but now, commanders don’t have the opportunity to really change it.

  7. Kirk says:

    I don’t know squat about this SMA, or his background, but listening to him talk? Dude is fully buzzword compliant, ain’t he?

    I kinda wonder how good he is at doing what should be his fucking job, like walking into a unit and finding ground truth on their state of readiness. I had semi-literate CSMs back in the early eighties who could seemingly walk in, sniff the air, and then go straight to every single discrepancy in the training records. During in-ranks, they’d find every single problem soldier, and discover everything they needed to know about their situation, their leadership’s attempts to deal with it, and do it with about two profane questions.

    I’m kinda doubting this guy would get past the initial bullshit spewed at him by the commander and the training NCO, and I bet he’d be a lot more comfortable talking to the officers than he would be sussing out the foibles of the junior enlisted. Can’t say for sure, but that’s the vibe I get–Politician, not the senior NCOs I grew up with. His ilk were all too common, by the time I retired.

    • SSD says:

      You’ve got this guy wrong.

      • Kirk says:

        Really? And, speaking as a former commissioned officer, you would know this… How?

        Y’all have been buying the bullshit from this breed of senior NCO for so long, and selecting them for promotion to higher and higher grades on every centralized board that you no longer even know what a real senior NCO is supposed to be doing, or what one even looks like. I don’t know this RAM from anything other than videos like this, and his works, but everything I see screams tha this is someone who is more comfortable in a staff meeting or answering email than being out in the mud checking up on the troops and what they are actually doing. Believe me, I’m more than familiar with the type–They show up on the near-cantonment ranges, ask a few questions about shit that’s ten years out of date for the current equipment, sharpshoot what you’re doing administratively to run the range, talk shit about your LT behind his back, and then disappear in a cloud of remora-like ass-kissers back to their offices, having accomplished nothing beyond disrupting training.

        And, you guys keep right on promoting them, and wonder why readiness is so fucked-up. Y’all have gotten precisely the set of senior NCOs you deserve, mostly because the majority of the commissioned officer corps has no idea what NCOs are supposed to be doing or look like, so you keep rewarding and promoting the guys you’re comfortable with and who have great skills at bullshitting over-educated men who lack real practical experience atdoing

        • Kirk says:

          practical things. It’s why I keep hearing officers and former officers bitch about getting ripped-off by mechanics, tradesmen, and other contractors–You guys simply can’t identify when you’re having smoke blown up your asses.

          And, much as I hate to say it, this SMA looks, sounds, and prioritizes like a consummate smoke-blower.

          I shouldn’t try to post from a phone, so apologies for the disjointed posting.

          • Horshack says:

            Yeah bro, my TL is always saying the same things. His boys where fired up heading into Saudi for the big war in Dessert Storm. He said theyd March into fire for each other becasue NCOes told them to, and they did it! First sargent says “take the hill” you take the hill! Those guys were savage as F$%#

            • Kirk says:

              Different times, different breed. We’ve been through two separate 8-year administrations that drastically culled the force, and all too many of the wrong guys stuck around and got promoted to the higher grades. During the early ’90s, just about every peer I had who I’d have wanted as a fellow senior NCO took the early retirement option and got out. An awful lot of what was left were the NCO equivalent to Courtney Massengale, a fact that most of the officers were completely oblivious to.

              By the late ’90s and early 2000s, I was seeing shit I’d never have believed, like a SFC combat arms NCO who couldn’t run an M2 range without fucking it up by the numbers and requiring two E-8s, a CSM, and a pissed-off Warrant Officer to straighten things out. Funnilly enough, that was another consummate smoke-blower the officers loved, and who made E-8 on the next selection board…

              • SSD says:

                Reading your antecdoted, you’ve spent your entire career surrounded by fucked up people.

                You need to ask yourself why.

                • Kirk says:

                  I don’t mention the unfucked-up in these contexts because there is no real need to. As well, it’s a sad fact that competency isn’t memorable, but fuck-ups are…

                • Terry Baldwin says:

                  SSD,

                  Sometimes people get so fixated on gnawing one patch of bark they not only cannot see the forest but also lose real perspective on the single tree in front of them.

                  A new dress uniform – like it or hate it – does not take one dime away from training funds or one round from ammunition allocations. Nor does it eliminate a single minute of training time. So the argument that this somehow detracts from combat training is nonsense.

                  This is just one initiative among many that the Army and DoD leadership are working on. As usual. The SMA did not say it was anywhere near the highest priority. Any reasonably competent leader can juggle more than one issue at a time.

                  Speaking of leadership, if your rifle squads or machine gun or mortar or tank crews are not proficient at their tactical drills that is not the SMA’s responsibility to fix. That is something that is clearly the duty of small unit leaders – as it always has been.

                  In fact, good small unit leaders probably do not spend much time worrying about what is or is not going on at the Pentagon. They focus on training their units to the highest level of proficiency with whatever resources and time they have available.

                  Funny thing is that good leaders always seem to have enough to build good strong units. Even when resources are much more constrained than they have been in the last 16-17 years. Poor leaders, on the other hand, always seem to need more time, money or ammo – and still cannot get quality results.

                  With respect to Bill Mauldin, this “those bastards at platoon don’t know what its like at the front” attitude is not accurate or helpful. The promotion system for NCOs or officers is not perfect, but it is not as flawed as some of the comments here would lead one to believe.

                  Finally, even the best leaders make mistakes from time to time. But it is entirely possible – and certainly preferable – to disagree with the SMA (or anyone else) on this issue without resorting to denigrating his character, belittling his achievements or impugning his integrity.

                  TLB

                  • Kirk says:

                    Terry, I have to take exception to what you’re saying in these paragraphs:

                    “A new dress uniform – like it or hate it – does not take one dime away from training funds or one round from ammunition allocations. Nor does it eliminate a single minute of training time. So the argument that this somehow detracts from combat training is nonsense.

                    This is just one initiative among many that the Army and DoD leadership are working on. As usual. The SMA did not say it was anywhere near the highest priority. Any reasonably competent leader can juggle more than one issue at a time.

                    Speaking of leadership, if your rifle squads or machine gun or mortar or tank crews are not proficient at their tactical drills that is not the SMA’s responsibility to fix. That is something that is clearly the duty of small unit leaders – as it always has been.”

                    Firstly, you’re mistaken in what you’re saying, here.

                    Yeah, the money’s a different color, and all that other jazz, but the problem is, there’s only so many ‘effing hours in any given day. The time to get those spiffy new uniforms purchased, fitted, inspected, and all that other jazz is time that could be spent doing other things, like crew drills on the guns.

                    You’ve got a finite amount of attention and time as a leader; where is all the time going to come from? And make no damn mistake about it, there will have to be duty hours spent on all this crap.

                    Sweet baby Jesus, but the hours and days we had to devote to that bullshit black beret changeover…

                    There were practice parades, staff meetings, and classes on how to wear the goddamn things, plus the rest of the bullshit. Oh, and the cake the mess section had to come up with…

                    Want to know what really pissed me off? The staff literally spent more fucking time getting that “donning the beret” ceremony right than they did the goddamn Brigade FTX prep. And, why do you suppose that was?

                    BECAUSE THE GODDAMN COMMANDER WE WORKED FOR CARED MORE ABOUT THE CEREMONY THAN HE DID THE FUCKING TRAINING…

                    They’ll do the same stupid shit with this new uniform, mandating in-ranks for the mandatory possession dates and all the rest. It won’t be a freebie, in terms of time, effort, or money.

                    What makes me laugh the most hysterically, with a high, mad note to it? That line of yours about “Any reasonably competent leader can juggle more than one issue at a time…”.

                    Yeah, right–That’s the same goddamn attitude that has had most of us mid-level leaders trying to pack 15 pounds of shit into a bag rated for 5 pounds over the last few decades. You can only juggle so many fucking balls at a time, and then what you get is a cascade of balls scattered around the dancing feet of your metaphorical circus act, which almost inevitably lead to people tripping on the goddamn things.

                    If your people only have the skill and ability to juggle three balls, you don’t go adding a fourth, fifth, and sixth, and then blithely expect the whole thing to keep working like they were still doing it with three balls. Something has to give, and what will wind up getting left by the wayside may be some actual important shit.

                    We got issued the M68 about a month before deployment in 2005. It was unexpected, because we’d not been told about those sights coming in, or us needing to factor in the New Equipment Training and suchlike into the deployment schedule. Likewise, we were taken unawares by the post’s mandate to conduct full-scale “casing the colors” ceremonies prior to our deployment, which they wanted done because… Reasons.

                    So, guess what got left by the wayside? What did these military geniuses prioritize on? Was it the NET on the M68, with the ranges and ammo we needed, or was it the dancing bear meaningless ceremony?

                    Yeah… I was still dealing with troops (who had been with us through all that…) who didn’t know how to properly mount or zero their M68 on their weapons over a year later, after we’d been in Iraq for a full deployment tour. Wonder why that happened, huh?

                    Time, energy, and money are finite resources. If you can’t prioritize, and prioritize in accordance with the real-world needs of the mission, well… You get stupid shit. Lots and lots of stupid shit, which usually leads to dead soldiers and lost wars. We’ve been lucky as hell, so far, but the good Lord has got to be getting tired of looking out for our stupid asses, and I fully expect Him to start doing what he did at Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December, 1941 again. We deserve it, too…

                    As to your line about the issues of training small units not being in the SMA’s purview? And, of course, you’re laying responsibility off on the guys who have the least control, power, and authority to manage these things, while simultaneously giving the guys running the show full rein to screw things up with their brilliant little “initiatives”. The SMA may indeed not be the guy who should be held accountable for the state of small unit readiness and training, but he damn sure has a responsibility to ensure that what he’s doing in his position isn’t distracting those small unit leaders from doing their damn jobs.

                    And, from what I’ve experienced over the years, the unfortunate fact is that all too many of our senior leaders seem to be oblivious to the effect that their activities have, down on the line. Sure, you can hand-wave the hell out of it, but down where the tip of the whip cracks, the blithe pronouncements about the neutral effect that these “minor changes” have are pretty much meaningless. How many man-hours alone are going to go into trying to read and understand the new regs for setting these uniforms up, and wearing them? Man-hours that would probably more profitably be spent studying mission-relevant subjects and skills. If nothing else, it’s an entirely unnecessary opportunity cost.

                    • 10thMountainMan says:

                      Kirk,

                      I get that you’re passionate about this. I am too, but after a couple of posts on the topic I’ve said pretty much everything I’m going to say. Believe me, you have too. Weather you’re for or against this change, nobody is going to affect policy from this message board. It’s time to transition to thinking something else is going to cause the end of the world.

                    • Terry Baldwin says:

                      Kirk,

                      As always I do appreciate the sincere passion you bring to the discussion.

                      I certainly agree with you that a good number of leaders do not know HOW to train or even to prioritize. But, conversely, I do not think anyone wants (or should need) individual unit standards and priorities to be set at the Pentagon level. If they were we would all be rightly complaining about gross micro-management.

                      Reference your vignette about the M68 and pre-deployment training. Was the failure to properly train an issue of poor time management or because the junior leaders didn’t know how to do it properly themselves?

                      There is a great book on training in WWII that I would recommend called “The Making of a Paratrooper.” The author was a trooper going through Airborne training as a unit with the 517th PIR. He describes how the NCOs and junior officers would go off by themselves and learn a skill and come back and teach it to the troops sometimes the very next day. Not the optimum situation of course, but they made it work.

                      Those guys did that with limited external resources and extremely limited time. They had no choice. I have no doubt our junior leaders can do the same today – if we show them how to maximize that training time.

                      I suspect you and I and most of the veterans on this board could point to countless hours wasted on the tarmac or field site somewhere waiting for transportation. Did anyone in that unit you were talking about try to use that dead time to get in at least some of that critical training on the M68? Probably not.

                      I also agree with you that time, money and ammunition are all finite resources. But I would submit that it always comes down to leadership at the small unit level.

                      I’ve seen it countless times. The squad leader who takes his troops aside and teaches them SOMETHING during every available minute. Or the other squad that is always playing grab ass. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which squad will likely perform better in combat.

                      I do not know the SMA or Gen Milley but – looking at all the initiatives being worked – they seem to be doing what is appropriate for them to be doing at their level. In any case I don’t worry about them.

                      What I do worry about is squad leaders, platoon sergeants and platoon leaders who don’t necessarily know what right looks like when it comes to planning and conducting truly productive training.

                      Chances are those more senior leaders you reference that cared more about beret ceremonies than training never learned how to do it right either. And that is a big problem.

                      You seem to have run into a lot more leaders like that than I ever did in my career. But in the end, I don’t think a new dress uniform is going to be a significant factor in solving or exacerbating that particular problem one way or another.

                      TLB

            • Gilk10180 says:

              You win again!

            • Jeremy says:

              My TL always used to say, “Horshak is the best shak”. He wins again.

            • Kaiser Wilhelm II says:

              True that! Your TL is right, bro. We haven’t had a real fighting army since those troops who fought for 48 whole hours back in ’91. These troops nowadays are all soft; EVERYONE gets a combat tour nowadays. Heck, I’ve met reservists who have 5 or 6 deployments, not to mention the Ranger Battalion guys who have like 12 deployments (how about giving someone else a chance?). All these POGs want to do is rotate between Iraq and Afghanistan, then go shopping at Clothing & Sales.

              • Vince says:

                Five point penalty for adding “&” to clothing sales.

              • Horshack says:

                well bro, hes a different breed like Kirk said. Back then, training was hard and my TL would March into fire for his team! He still crashes doors!

      • Jon C. says:

        Nah, Kirk’s got it all right, because even though this guy is just doing what he was told and is out there giving the rah rah pitch, he should have said “daffuq?” the minute he caught wind of this bullshit, and told everyone to knock it off.

        The Army isn’t going to mandate troops wear this uniform instead of the utility uniform in public, because Joe will bitch and moan that it takes too long to get it ready just to take that plane trip, or that train, and on and on. Want to know what will keep wearing the Mickey Ds, the mall, and everywhere else? Not this uni.

        For that matter, someone needs to whisper into Mattis’s ear so he can tell all the services to knock their bullshit off andget on with training people to be lethal and effecient.

        No Eric, Kirk doesn’t have this guy wrong. He may be a badass with all the badges and certs and best of intentions at taking care of troops, but he lost face the minute he signed up to support this waste of time and money.

        • SSD says:

          You want to see the guy who got the Army yo drop the ICSR? That’s SMA Dailey. He’s done a great job of taking care of troops his entire career and whether you like it or not, putting Soldiers in uniforms is part of what his job entails.

          Soldiers just like to bitch. Hell, I’ve seen clowns complain about the SMA’s haircut.

          • Yawnz says:

            Sure soldiers like to bitch, but sometimes it’s warranted.

            SMA’s haricut? Big deal no one cares.

            Implementation of another service uniform that most of the service doesn’t give a fuck about because it doesn’t make them more money, helps them kill the enemy better, or helps them stay alive? Actual warranted complaint.

          • d says:

            ICSR and the tattoo policy come to mind as two big public wins for SMA Dailey. Those that have personally interacted with the guy have all said that he’s a very different (in a good way) SMA. I imagine he’s made enemies along the way, but that’s applicable to most E9s.

            Uniforms are in his lane, so why not let him run with it? This one doesn’t look worse than the last one, so I don’t really care. I might wear a dress uniform once a year.

            The guys that wear it once a month for payday activities might care more, but their time is already being taken form them by doing things like payday activities, so it’s not the uniform’s fault.

        • Kirk says:

          Let’s not forget that force protection and OPSEC also are mandating we don’t wander around as individuals in public while being identifiable as soldiers, either.

          The day is coming where we are likely to see targeted attacks on individual soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines here on our own soil. What’s that fancy dress uniform gonna do, for public image, when we don’t dare wear the damn things out in public, anyway?

          The fate of SW2 Robert Stethem put paid to the policy of doing official military travel in uniform, and for good reason. In light of these facts, I have to seriously question the intelligence and sanity of those who insist that we need flashy new dress uniforms the public will never see, in order to improve our recognition profile with that public.

          Day is coming where you are going to see a total ban on being off-base in any uniform, unless on official duty and with full security. Watch. I’m actually surprised we haven’t had successful directed attacks on the stateside drone operators, to be honest.

          • Horshack says:

            My ATL always looks after my TL with opsec. His car has a CIB sticker on it from dessert Strom and there always argueing about some sleeper identifying that sticker and making his move! My TL says he doesn’t give a f%&* because hes always rocking a heater in his EDC.

            • J. Thornhill says:

              Amen, Horshack! After Fusilier Rigby was stabbed to death, my wife told me to quit wearing my RACC t-shirt in public. ISIL can have a go if they think they’re hard, because The Royal Army Catering Corps never backs down from terrorism.

              James Thornhill
              RACC 1982-1986

  8. rotorhd says:

    I like the old Pinks & Greens uniforms but what a waste of our tax dollars!

    Spend my tax dollars on ammo, training, aircraft or tanks. Not retro uniforms…

    Black berets for all my friends………

    • Chris says:

      Tax dollars aren’t going to be paying for these, Soldiers’ pay will be doing that.

      • Kirk says:

        Yep.

        If I stood in an alley, and did to passing soldiers what these guys are about to do with a staff action, I’d need a gun. And I’d wind up with a criminal record, to boot. They’ll get endless encomiums and career-enhancing bullets on their evaluations, by contrast.

        And, don’t try to use that uniform allowance bullshit, either. That barely covers maintenance and theoretical replacement costs for your typical REMF in garrison mode. Most of the cost on this crap is going to come out of pocket, for most soldiers.

      • Bob says:

        Chris, who do you think pays the Soldiers?

        • Kirk says:

          I think the point Chris is making is that once the money is paid to the troops for services rendered, their commanders ought not be going to pick their pockets of that money in order to play out their need to play G.I.-fucking-Joe with live bodies.

          Y’know, as a young Corporal in Germany, I got my ass reamed by my bosses merely for recommending and encouraging that my guys spend a little of their beer money on buying some decent German winter boots with insulation. That was a crime against nature, to propose that they might be well-advised to spend money on non-issue supplemental uniform items. At the same time, they took our Mickey-mouse boots back in to CIF, and I was threatened with court-martial if any of the little darlings got so much as chilblains out in the cold, let alone frostbite.

          Methinks more than a few values and mores have changed, since then. And, not for the better, either.

          • Yawnz says:

            And that right there illustrates a bigger problem. I shouldn’t have to spend part of my pay for gear upgrades because part of the budget is dedicated to the dress-up circle jerk.

      • P.J. says:

        Tax dollars were used in the development. Tax dollars paid the guys who did the development when their time could have been used for something else.
        There are costs beyond the physical uniforms.

  9. Bob says:

    There was nothing wrong with the old Class A:

    https://imgur.com/a/7Ta3S

    • Kirk says:

      There wasn’t a lot right about them either. That being said, the limited use and utility these uniforms have makes the amount of time, attention, and money spent on them ludicrously inappropriate. Especially given the times we are in, which I suspect are all too analogous to the late 1930s or 1940s. There are other, far more important things that our leadership ought to be concerned with, and the fact that they have picked this particularity to concern themselves with, and expend time and resources on…?

      Yeah, it is indicative, and not in any good way.

      • Horshack says:

        My TL still weares his at our VFW Christmas gala bro. I like them and hes gained some weight since the war ended. Had them hemmed after he lost some bone in his legs and is two inch shorter in one leg. He still crashes doors!

    • SSD says:

      The hat was awful.

  10. dum dum says:

    Was the SMA implying people are going to go back to wearing dress uniforms daily??? no thanks.

    • lcpl1066 says:

      Yes, we are all asking the right questions. Why are we spending money on xyz when it should be spent on kit and ammo. Soldiers that want to get better at shooting need to buy their own weapons and ammo and seek training on their off time, sometimes paying a lot of money for a civilian run course. Yes, every part of that sentence is a huge embarrassment. Cops show up to serve warrants with Opscores and Cyre everything while there are deployed sof dudes with MICHs and PVS-14s. OK, that is identified. Let us move on. In terms of the uniform, many soldiers work a white collar job. They should wear the equivalent of a business suit every day because that is the dress code of their place of work. They arrive at an office and work with representatives of domestic and foreign governments. They represent those of us rubbing cope and MRE Tobasco sauce in our eyes so we can stay awake on the line. The SMA wants them and the rest of us to look our best and we shouldn’t beat him up over it.

      • dum dum says:

        If he wants to make the pogues look more like pogues that’s fine with me.

        The blues look awful and I hate them so I wont complain to much if he wants to reduce the need for them.

        Walking around DC it’s pretty annoying to see non-deployed pentagon nerds walking around in fresh Multicam uniforms.

  11. H.C. says:

    Kirk, is there anything about the army that you actually liked? It’s not a perfect system, and it’s up to good officers and NCOs to fix what they can, but it’s a big army man, and regardless of uniforms and some garbage pieces of kit getting issued, me and my guys still schwacked a lot of ass holes and all came back in one piece. Certainly there are things I didn’t agree with, but I had full confidence in my leaders’ abilities, both senior officers and NCOs, to prioritize the war fighting first. And hell, sometimes they got it wrong from my perspective, but guys still got the job done.

    • Kirk says:

      Dude, I loved the Army and the guys I served with. The stupid shit we do? Not so much…

      I spent the better part of the 1990s agitating for better equipment for route clearance, and telling people above and around me what was coming. I was told, on multiple occasions and by multiple senior leaders, that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and that we’d never need things like armored route clearance gear or MRAP vehicles. Care to guess who wouldn’t meet my eyes, after about the middle of 2003?

      There are a bunch of dead bodies attached to those poor decisions and lack of correct prioritization during the ’90s. More emphasis was placed on stupid shit like COO training than it was on correctly assessing the likely environment we would be fighting in, and preparing properly for it. This obsessive crap with new, entirely unnecessary dress uniforms is just more of the same attitude, from the same sort of distracted-with-trivialities people that put us in that sorry situation.

      You will note that there was never any real investigation or even self-examination over the issue of just why it was we were so thoroughly unprepared for the counter-IED fight in 2003. Ask yourself why, look at this kind of trivial bullshit, and then think about what we’re probably missing while the leadership concerns itself with running fashion shows…

      • Horshack says:

        hey bro, whats COO training? Is that something my team should be training with before we crash doors? My TL never heard of that and he retired in 1993 as a E6 to!

        • Kaiser Wilhelm II says:

          COO training is the block of training you have to do yearly; though some high speed units do COO twice a quarter. If you pass the test, Big Army awards you the “Major League Doorkicker” patch.

          • Horshack says:

            thakns bro! I guess we DO DO COO training! We only train in april so COO once a year. When i tell my team we are doing COO, there gonna be stoked!

  12. John says:

    My question is this.. If we are going back to them when are they looking at pushing them out? I’ve got 3 years till I can retire. I’m an E-7 right now so I know I’ll be forced to buy and wear this due to my rank and unit hierarchy I’m in. I’d rather not have to own two uniforms now if I can do it. Especially if I barely wear the current one we have out there now.

    • ArmyAmmoGuy says:

      I’d expect it to be in line with how long it took for the APFU wear -out date

      I’m with you … I’m at 20 but stabilized from a recent PCS, so 2 yrs from now I plan on cutting sling load.

      It’ll take awhile after they’re approved for the MCSS to have enough stock just like the Scorpions

      • John says:

        Now we both now that wear-out date doesn’t mean crap when your at a certain rank and position. As soon as they come out you start hearing from the top down that you better have a set of them as soon as they are out and not waiting till the wear-out date to get them. Especially if you in a BDE level or 1 Star and up HQs unit. I can guarantee as soon as they start selling them at Clothing and Sells or the CDR and CSM has a set, you better have them as soon as possible.

        • dum dum says:

          “As soon as they come out you start hearing from the top down that you better have a set of them as soon as they are out and not waiting till the wear-out date to get them. ”

          lmao yup

  13. Bob says:

    SMA, we haven’t worn BDU’s in nearly 10 years. But hey, if we’re going to go with the “heritage,” the Army should adopt a shineable brown combat boot to go with the ACU’s. And we should start starching the ACU’s to present a more military appearance.

  14. Joe says:

    And the Marines are over here blissfully ignorant of all this hoopla…

    • Che Guevara's Open Chest Wound says:

      To be fair, marines* are blissfully ignorant regardless of the situation.

      * And yes, I realize “marine” is a title & should be capitalized. It’s too much fun watching former marines sputter about the only grammar rule they know.

  15. AbnMedOps says:

    I mostly agree with Kirk’s vehemence and justified, infuriated frustration. However, I will disagree on the idea of a new Class A uniform being a waste of resources. A uniform that actually encourages a young (or not-so-young) man to stand tall and proud, rather than cringe because he looks in the mirror and he sees that he has been dressed like a clown, will tend to encourage said young man (or woman) to envision himself, and act, like a confident, disciplined, maybe even heroic, SOLDIER.

    In an era of whimpified kids being coaxed through a “low-T” Basic and AIT, and squirted out into run-ragged units with serious weaknesses in basic leadership, ANYTHING which will encourage “right thinking” should help.

    Actually, if I was King of the Army, Phase One would be to deploy roving Courtesy Patrols at all hub airport terminals throughout CONUS, especially during the holidays, major block leave periods, and Basic/AIT graduations, to assist our soldiers in looking, behaving, and being proper representatives of the United States Army. Justification: observe a group of young Marines, just graduated from Basic, wearing properly FITTED Class A’s, sitting or standing erect and alert, acting and speaking politely, leaping to their feet when addressed, offering their seats to pregnant women or the elderly .

    Now contrast with the gaggle of young Army troops seen all too often in airports: wearing unpressed, ill-fitting, frankly goofy-looking uniforms, slouching, or sitting on the floor with legs obstructing pedestrians, earbuds pressed in, ostentatiously ignoring the world around them, affecting a bored, indifferent (dare I say “ghetto-like”?) borderline-surly apathy?

    I know that there are many other causes of these symptoms of an Army in distress, but a uniform worthy of a soldier might go some ways in making the soldier worthy of the uniform!

    • Kirk says:

      I have to agree with you about the appearance and discipline displayed by a lot of the troops I see in public, but that’s an issue which dates back to the 1980s, to one degree or another.

      And, I’ve never been happy with it, either–I was also rather pissed off when I found that there are a lot of leaders out there who just don’t give a damn about doing anything when some outsider drops a dime on their little darlings who’ve been acting like assholes in public. It’s a full-on cultural problem across the force, and it’s not new.

      Hell, I’ve actually had my ass chewed for “interfering with soldiers” after I dragged them by their ears to their chain-of-command for misconduct I observed. Have that happen enough, and you quit giving a fuck about it–And, I see why a lot of junior NCOs are apathetic about enforcing discipline outside their units. It’s as much the fault of us seniors as anything else.

      The bigger problem with uniforms in public that I see is that we’re doing way too little to prevent recurrences of what happened to SW2 Stethem, especially in the way we’re virtually advertising that the troops taking mid-tour leave from the combat theaters are literally just back from killing the bad guys, and we have them wandering around the airports and transportation hubs of the world in full uniform, unarmed. Brilliant, that…

      And, yeah, I get why that was the policy during the early years, but I don’t like the way it’s continued on auto-pilot without anyone doing a thorough re-evaluation of it, considering the current threat climate.

      My take on the issue is that we either need to have everyone go full-stealth, in civilian clothes and without military ID, traveling on civilian passports, or we mandate that they go in groups large enough to make a difference in case of attack, with full weapons and kit for providing self-protection. It’s actually surprising that we haven’t had some of these transportation venues targeted, or our guys on leave deliberately attacked for who they are.

      If I had to guess, based on what I see going on, there will be attacks on US forces here in the homeland, and they’ll likely be directed at high-visibility/high-value targets like the drone operators or returned combat arms troops. The way we’re operating right now seems to be that we’re relying on distance and disconnection from the battlefield, and that simply doesn’t make sense in a world where Hezbollah is operating drug trafficking rings to our immediate south. If I were a Hezbollah leader, or an Iranian Pasdaran boss, I’d have already infiltrated the Las Vegas area and started strip-mining Facebook and other social media sites for likely targets.

      Given the penetration of OPM by whoever was responsible, I strongly suspect that finding addresses of domiciles and family members would be a relatively simple task, and then I’d wait until the maximally effective moment during a military operation to start taking those people down in their own homes. Every one of those guys doing stuff like operating drones ought to be living in secured military housing, with nobody isolated out in the civilian community.

      We think we’re safe, here in the US, and all the bad guys are overseas, far, far away. As Gomer Pyle would have had it, “Surprise, surprise, surprise…”.

      If the Army and other branches aren’t actively planning for operations in this environment, they should be, because the odds are really good that we already have multiple actors inside our borders ready and able to do these things against us.

      I am, however, pretty sure that we’re only going to lock the goddamn barn door well after the horses are gone. Why? ‘Cos, that’s the way we roll, people… Foresight is for suckers, donchaknow?

  16. Steven S says:

    Damn, the hate is real here.

    Well, guess what, I like this.

    Pinks and Greens for most occasions + dress blues for special events = screams ARMY. However, they should scrap the current ASU/Blues and replace it with something like this: https://i.warosu.org/data/fa/img/0066/37/1375854645973.jpg

    All who hate me for my opinion can ETADIK. :)

    • AbnMedOps says:

      Now that is a soldierly looking uniform! But I would add a polished brass helmet, with a feather plume in Branch colors. And a side arm. And a hidden pocket for a cell phone.

      • Kirk says:

        I like your style. Do you have a newsletter? Because I’d like to subscribe to it…

        If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, the helmet ought to look a lot like the ones the British Army puts on their Life Guards at Whitehall. We could do plumes like they do for the Armor and Cav guys, and then do Germanesque pickelhaubes for the Infantry and other unmounted scum.

        There’s actually some precedence for that sort of uniform item, too… The Army and Marine Corps both wore helmets similar to the British Home Service Helmet from about 1881 to 1901. Pretty spiffy, too…

    • 10thMountainMan says:

      To be quite honest, I rather like high collars, but you know the Marines would scream that we’re copying them as though they invented the practice of wearing them. I’ll give it to them though, their dress blues are superior to ours in several important areas.

      1. The high collar. It looks better than a tie and allows you to wear ribbons/medals without having them climb up your shoulder like a staircase.

      2. The belt. It breaks up the uniform jacket and lengthens the leg. This might seem trivial but if you’re an oddly tall but stubby legged person like me, it makes a difference.

      3. They actually wear their full medals. This is one of the reasons I’m sort of in favor of keeping ribbons to a service uniform like the pinks and greens and wearing medals on the more formal blues. I’d even support limiting ribbons on the service uniform to top three and one badge of choice. Leave all the pieces of flair for the blues.

      Anyways that’s just my two cents.

      • Will Rodriguez says:

        The reason some Marines get away with saying they invented ____ is because all too often most Soldiers don’t know their own history.

        High collars were pretty much the rage in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s and the Marines trace back their uniform lineage the Legion of the United States, an Army unit. Heck, look at West Point cadet’s dress and full dress uniforms if you want to glimpse back into the past.

        All that said the marines get one thing right. They inculcate a deep sense of pride in their traditions in every Marine. THAT’s something the Army should emulate. It’s a building block for cohesion, discipline and esprit.

  17. Gd442 says:

    In order to keep my sanity in the 20 plus years in service in the Army l came to realize several things.
    1. If it made any sense to normal human biengs in any logical sense it will not happen.
    2. The plan has to be overly complicated and not simple in order for it to be blessed off and move forward.
    3. 5 paragraph opords must be a minimum of no less 20 plus pages for simple operations such as an APFT.
    4. Instead of a simple 1 page 5 paragraph opord. Conops and other documents that good idea faries have created have made matters complicated for simple operations such as an APFT.
    5.A composite risk worksheet is an official document to blame someone if a freak accident happens and no one can be found at fault.
    6.The Army has become a CYA organization. For example the army’s mandatory suicide prevention classes everyone signs a sign in roster before, during or after the mandatory classes. So when joe goes and kills themselves leadership always scatches thier heads and wonder why the soldier did it and say: “I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY PVT SNUFFY KILLED HIMSELF WE GAVE HIM A CLASS NOT TO DO IT! LOOK HE SIGNED HERE ON THE SIGN IN ROSTER!”

  18. G3SM says:

    What I thought was interesting was how many times he referred to the uniform essentially hearkening back to a time when we fought to win vs. what we do now.

    • tommytwotimes says:

      I agree. He means back to the days when the Army infantry was the force of choice for large-scale assaults, not the Marine MAGTF? Unfortunately, he gets it and those days are long gone and the conventional army gets sprinkled around the AO fulfilling the large jockstrap mission while Marines (fancy dress uniform they’ll show & tell you all about) and SOF do the heavy hitting. Of course Army training is broken, but that’s not the issue the SMA is confronting here. Having a decent dress uniform is a gnat’s ass-level issue but maybe this SMA is smart enough to realize that recruiting, for all of its faults, is a piece of the puzzle and telling an 18YO kid he’s got to take pride in a silly looking uniform makes the pitch that much weaker.

      • G3SM says:

        Right, it’s much easier to focus on uniforms when you’re not expected to actually accomplish much elsewhere. But at least the Army will *look* like it did, when it was called into action to actually *win*.

      • Mac679 says:

        “…large jockstrap mission while Marines…do the heavy hitting.”

        You sure about that?

      • Will Rodriguez says:

        There are tons of examples where the Army has been the force of choice for large scale assaults. In fact we are more often than not the lead. We just do a TERRIBLE job of blowing our own horn and Soldiers are not taught our own history.

  19. Norbis says:

    A lot of hate for the guy that got us out of UCP ACUs, let us wear headphones in the gym and doesn’t care what color our socks are.

    I don’t like dress uniforms whatsoever but this is one that I wouldn’t be mad as hell seeing Flag Officers wearing at press conferences, recruiters wearing in public or color guards wearing at football games. Yeah I want more training and to see the army going back to the way I remember it to be but those days are long gone. We prioritize gender integration for the sake of being socially progressive, allow people who don’t even associate their anatomy with their gender to hold security clearances, we issue berets to new units with the illusion of being something successful and elite without even deploying them first. Oh and the most crucial block on the NCOER; SHARP is referencing that you aren’t a racist that touches peoples butts and makes sure everyone feels good at work. But at least we can wear a uniform that has some tradition behind it and isn’t just another weak attempt to solicit the melenial generation or the victim class into feeling good. I’m glad to see we will be wearing unit patches and tabs on the shoulder instead of relegating it to a gaudy pin on the same level as a pogues driver badge.

    • J. Thornhill says:

      Actually, everyone who is assigned a vehicle, holds a license for that vehicle, and meets a few other Army requirements are authorized the Driver Badge. It isn’t MOS specific; ipso facto, not all who have the badge are pogues. But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your illusions.

      • Norbis says:

        Lol you completely missed the point and are reinforcing mine. Btw I am not a pogue and have my drivers badge 😉

        • J. Thornhill says:

          I only spent 3 years in the Infantry before re-classing 88M. After years as an 88Mike, I never received the driver’s badge. I didn’t really care, but it was pretty funny when we were in our Class A’s, since everyone kept asking me if it’d been revoked after a traffic crash.

  20. Che Guevara's Open Chest Wound says:

    I’m reading a lot of disgruntled, mediocre veterans whining about how much better the Army would have been “if only they’d listened to me.” Honestly, if this was the level of leadership and attitude you provided, I’m glad I didn’t have to go into combat with you; and I’m definitely glad you’re out of the Army.

    For those of you that still care about properly training and leading troops, please go back up and read Terry Baldwin’s post (maybe even print it out and paste it in the front cover of that stupid green notebook we all carry around). The man just shared some top-level wisdom.

    • Jeremy says:

      I think the green notebooks are being phased out here. Now S4 always comes back with black ones that have an elastic strap to hold it closed, and a little pocket in the back. Pretty much an upgrade in every way.

  21. Moshjath says:

    Based off of the comments I feel like I am the only mid career Soldier out there who is thoroughly excited about this uniform. I enlisted into the Army with greens, commissioned years later with blues, and will have to purchase this out of pocket. I don’t mind though. In the civilian world, the majority of workers out there are not getting any kind of clothing allowance whatsoever to purchase work clothes, yet Soldiers will complain when they have to spend it on a Uniform rather than tobacco or booze.

    This uniform fills an identified gap for an everyday uniform between OCP ACUs and the ASU. It’s a return to the pre ASU status quo, and no different to what the Marines or Navy do for tiers of uniforms.

    For folks questioning the timing, in my opinion the timing couldn’t be better. We have an administration in office and a congress that is not afraid to spend on the military. Strike while the iron is hot. If you are concerned about fraud, waste, and abuse within the DOD, I guarantee you that there are far better places to look than here. F35 anyone? Keep it in perspective.

    And regarding the comment that getting fitted for these uniforms will take away precious time that could be spent on gun drills and other small unit training, go spend some time with the average line unit and tell me if they are truly utilizing their time to such an extent that getting fitted for a Uniform will have an impact whatsoever on that units readiness.

    • 10thMountainMan says:

      You’re not alone at all. The office of the SMA did an army-wide poll with 75% of respondants being positive about the change. The vocal minority bellyaching about this are the same people who were and are bellyaching about every damn thing on Earth since Christ was a Corporal. Im a veteran of two divisions that made their name in WWII. 10th Mountain and the 82nd Airborne. This will be very well recieved in both units as soldiers will be participating more fully in their history looking as as those who fought in their units’ greatest battles while still wearing a modern looking uniform that isn’t anachronistic.

      • Will Rodriguez says:

        Concur.

        Those complaining about never wearing dress uniforms were the same ones complaining about wearing dress uniforms once a month for haircut inspections and payday activities.

        The same ones complaining about Soldiers looking like slobs at the airport are the same ones that complained about requiring wearing a dress uniform during travel.

        Catch the trend yet?

        Good luck to you guys still wearing the uniform and wear it with pride.

    • Norbis says:

      Nah man, like I said I am not big on dress uniforms but the few times I do wear it I would rather be this! 14 years in; I never liked the greens and think they kinda screwed up the blues when they turned them into the ASU. I really hope this one sticks around for a LONG time. I think a lot of guys are frusterated with the constant change more than anything…. in my short time this will be the 3rd Class A uniform, 3rd PT uniform (never wore the old grey but it was still authorized when I came in), and 3rd “utility/battle” uniform. I am looking forward to seeing the full roll out of this uniform including jump boots.

      I happen to like the current SMA and my observation is he didn’t want to be the “uniform SMA” but let’s face it when he stepped in, we were a downsizing Army with a ball of crap; we wore UCP ACUs, couldn’t use headphones at the gym and the tattoo rules we’re ridiculous. I am glad he is taking the time to undo a lot of the damage that has been done.

      • SSD says:

        Few will remember, but the Army updated the shade of the Green uniform in the mid-90s requiring everyone to purchase a new set. They’ve always updated stuff every few years.