GORE-TEX

Army Gets Early Birthday Present

The Army announced on Friday two significant changes to the Army Combat Uniform. While the Army’s birthday isn’t until the 14th of June many held their birthday balls over the weekend where it was announced to the troops by unit leadership.


Army Photo: Susanna Avery-Lynch

First and foremost, the Chief of Staff of the Army, Martin E. Dempsey announced that the Patrol Cap will become the default headgear for the ACU. According to Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, who sees himself as the CSA’s “Scout”, the “The voice of the Soldier has been heard”.

“I am a scout for General Dempsey, who asked me to look into everything a Soldier wears from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet,” Chandler said. “These are changes that the field said they wanted to see.”

In a press release found on army.mil, SMA Chandler went on to explain he had spoken with “several thousand” Soldiers and also received comments via social media sites, like Facebook. “I have also discussed this with my board of directors — the most senior sergeants major of our Army,” Chandler said. Post-deployment combat uniform surveys were used as a basis for the changes.”

Please note that the Black beret is NOT going away completely but rather, only as the primary headgear for the ACU. It will however, remain the primary headgear for wear with the Army Service Uniform. The clothing bag will change slightly as Soldiers will only receive one issued beret. Berets may still be worn with ACUs at the direction of the unit commander. As far as we can tell this new direction only applies to the Black beret and not the Maroon, Green, and Tan worn by Airborne, SF, and Rangers. Although most of those guys wear PCs in ACUs already anyway.

The second big announcement is that Name tapes, US Army tapes and skill badges may now be sewn on. But get this, the Name and Army tapes have to be sewn-on OVER the Velcro. Unit patches, skill tabs, and the American flag will still be velcroed onto the ACU. Additionally, pockets will still be closed with Velcro so tell mama to separate her drawers in the wash if she doesn’t want them torn up by the Velcro.

Skill badges, which have been pin-on only up to this point may now be sewn-on as well. Of course this means that your “combat” uniform won’t be so combat if you sew them on, but the garritroopers should all be jumping for joy.

So, despite any goofy rumors you might have heard from someone who read a headline somewhere or half listened to an announcement, Velcro is NOT going away on the ACU.

Oh the irony. It was just a few years ago that the regular Army guys were sewing it on their BDUs and DCUs to look all special anyway. Now they all complain about it. Go figure.

Interestingly, the Army Uniform Board that normally decides such issues doesn’t meet until July so the past assertions by the Army leadership that uniform changes must wait for an AUB are bunk. Apparently, it’s ok to make unilateral decisions when it suits them.

As with all directives from on high, wait for implementing instructions from your unit leadership before complying.

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22 Responses to “Army Gets Early Birthday Present”

  1. Bobby says:

    “Of course this means that your “combat” uniform won’t be so combat if you sew them on”

    The ACUs you wear in CONUS aren’t “combat” uniforms anyway. You are issued flame retardant ACUs before you go into a “combat” environment and are only allowed to wear the flame retardant uniforms while deployed.

  2. Pleasantly pleased says:

    I guess the irony of the name Army COMBAT Uniform is lost on you.

  3. Strike-Hold! says:

    Does the “C” stand for “combat”? I thought it stood for “camouflage”. It would be a bit of a stretch to class the ACU as a proper “combat” uniform…

  4. DugFin says:

    ACU stands for Army Combat Uniform, and this is merely a description of the layout of the uniform, e.g. pocket placement, zippers, velcro, etc. The actual camouflage pattern and construction material are separate. You can an ACU pattern uniform in UCP, MultiCam, or theoretically even day-glo orange. You can also have an ACU made out of materials that aren’t approved for a particular combat theater, e.g. regular ACUs in a Nomex-mandatory theater like AfPak. The as-issued ACU is still a combat uniform. If the Moon Men were to invade Germany, we’d go to war in our regular issued ACUs.

  5. Strike-Hold! says:

    Either way, its still FUGLY. Give me back my old Woodland BDUs any day…

  6. KeepinFrosty says:

    I am so glad I won’t have to look at POG’s with no pride wearing their beret like a bunch of fags… I wish we would get rid of the black one all together they are for those who have earned them and simply joining the Army doesn’t mean you earned a dang thing… and Velcro shouldn’t be on a real combat uniform any way I wore BDU’s when I came in and that was a uniform you could be proud of… you could tell the dirt bags on monday morning when you had inspection by the way their boots looked and the creases in their uniform these just plain SUCK!!! everyone looks like they where hit by a wrinkle bomb if you wanna bash me go ahead but I have pride in my country and pride in my uniform and a uniform that doesn’t show that is just plain trash to me… I hate wearing freaking ACU’s

  7. Some Guy says:

    “Garritrooper.”. Really? The reason the badges are issued are not to look cool but to show qualification in a certian subject. Since the ACU (aka the botched abortion) was issued, NCOs have to take the extra time to put some fresh OBC grad or some S3 whinner in their place when discussing things like HLZs on mountian tops in the Stan or Sling Load ops. I agree with you guys 99% of the time but I think you might of missed the point here. The point, as I see it, is the Army is finally taking a moment and thinking things out and waking from the Preston/Casey nightmare. Once you hit rock bottom, only up from there.

  8. Tim Thomas says:

    Superficial Bullshit…
    Your enemy doesn’t need all kinds of special “High Speed Gear” to KIll you… He is whole heartedly devoted to killing infadel’s, even if he isn’t issued any futuristic equipment, or uniforms… Living in some shit hole, on the side of a mountain, with very little, and with no hope of ever having more, he never looses sight of the big picture, because he’s unhappy about uniform changes… He just lives every day hoping to put a bullet through that classy “whatever uniform”, you happen to be wearing…

  9. Administrator says:

    Yep, garritrooper. They always seemed to be more worried about looking good than being good. I worked with plenty of guys over the years who never wore scare badge one on their BDUs or ACUs. Didn’t detract one bit from who they were as Soldiers.

  10. wil says:

    Nice %$ng post Tim. Keep it in perspective. While we are worried about playing army dress up, our enemy is spending all of his time figuring out how to defeat us. Maybe its time we all started doing the same.

  11. 101bill says:

    Hey frosty how many Airborne Pogs are there? Majority of the 82nd Airborne troopers are POG’s(Non Grunt types) . So your insult to non Paratrooper types don’t wash. There are plenty of hard charging black beret wearing combat arms Soldiers out there. Heck 3 of em earned the Medal of Honor.
    Besides no one earns a beret, it’s unit headgear. You don’t leave your Paratrooper unit for a non paratrooper unit and continue to wear the maroon beret. You wear that units headgear.

  12. 101bill says:

    Hey frosty how many Airborne Pogs are there? Majority of the 82nd Airborne troopers are POG’s (Non Grunt types) . So your insult to non Paratrooper types don’t wash. There are plenty of hard charging black beret wearing combat arms Soldiers out there. Heck 3 of em earned the Medal of Honor.
    Besides no one earns a beret, it’s unit headgear. You don’t leave your Paratrooper unit for a non paratrooper unit and continue to wear the maroon beret. You wear that units headgear.

  13. Daniel C. says:

    The AD I read today doesnt not say that the hook and loop must be left on either the rank or the name or branch tapes.

  14. Daniel C. says:

    -not.

  15. Administrator says:

    It has to be left on the ACU.

  16. CJG1836 says:

    Get it together. The Universal Camouflage Pattern is a farce…it needs to be done away with, period end of story. The sooner someone gets called out for allowing it the better. However doing more with less…get ready for it.

  17. Administrator says:

    CJG

    Do a search on SSD for “Army Camouflage Improvement Effort”. Something is being done to replace UCP. As for blaming someone. Why? How is it going to fix what’s already broken?

  18. CJG1836 says:

    Your site is phenomenal at providing information on improvements and whats happening in industry. Something is being done, now. Amazingly it appears that the test on the UCP were flawed from the beginning and as far as “blaming,” its more so “how was this a good idea? Ever?” Fixing the problem is the correct answer and ensuring that the “yes men” are removed from the problem. Thanks for the forum.

  19. Administrator says:

    The real problem is that no testing was done of UCP prior to its adoption.

  20. […] his unit had authorized this interesting uniform modification. Perhaps he had misunderstood the Army’s announcement that the beret would no longer be the default headgear for the ACU and decided to create his own. Or, maybe someone didn’t get the memo announcing that the […]

  21. […] prior to the Army’s 236th Birthday Bash they announced a couple of distinct changes to the ACU. Namely, the Patrol Cap is now the default headgear and that service/name tapes, rank and skill […]

  22. […] been a month since the SMA announced changes to the wear policy of the ACU. By now Soldiers have begun to have their BOS and Name tapes as well as skill badges sewn on their […]