The United States Army is taking a nostalgic step forward by bringing back the iconic “Army Greens” as the new service uniform. Drawing inspiration from the “Greatest Generation” that wore it during World War II, this move is more than just a nod to history.
A Closer Look at the Army Greens
- Positioning: The existing Army Blues Uniform will now serve as a formal dress uniform. In contrast, the Army Greens will become the daily business-wear uniform for soldiers.
- Existing Uniforms: The Army Combat Uniform, also known as the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), remains as the Army’s duty/field uniform.
Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor’s Perspective
Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor emphasizes the uniform’s potential in recruitment, stating, “This uniform has the potential to inspire a new generation to serve.” He adds that associating it with the “Greatest Generation” of World War II will enhance soldiers’ esprit de corps.
Key Features & Benefits
- Cost Neutral: Enlisted Soldiers won’t face any additional expenses; the annual clothing allowance will cover it.
- Gender Options: Female Soldiers can choose between skirt or pants versions and have additional shoe choices.
- Fielding Date: The Army Greens will be available for Soldiers joining their first units by summer 2020.
- Mandatory Wear Date: All Soldiers must wear the new uniform by 2028.
- Made in USA: The uniform will be domestically produced without any additional burden on the American taxpayer.
The Way Ahead
The Army will initiate the distribution of the Greens uniform to new Soldiers as early as the summer of 2020, with a mandatory wear date set for 2028.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is This New Uniform Historically Accurate?
- Absolutely. It aims to inspire trust, recognizing one of the Army’s most admired uniforms.
- Will There Be A Difference Between The Men’s And Women’s Uniforms?
- No, each uniform will be individually tailored. However, female Soldiers have more options in terms of design and footwear.
- Why Does The Army Need A New Uniform?
- Unlike other services, the Army lacks a uniform for everyday business environments. The Greens will fill this gap, while the current Blue Army Service Uniform (ASU) transitions to a formal dress role.
- Cost Implications for Soldiers?
- It’s cost-neutral for enlisted Soldiers. The high-quality design also ensures a longer lifespan for the garment.
- Total Cost to The Army?
- There’s no added cost to the taxpayer or enlisted Soldier.
- Feedback From Soldiers?
- Feedback has been a mix of positive and negative, especially on social media.
- Did The Army Address Negative Feedback?
- Yes, the Army Uniform Board, which also included an all-female panel, took all feedback into consideration during the design phase.
Transition Timeline for New Army Green Service Uniform
PHASE I – DECISION
- Date: Nov. 11, 2018
- Army announces the introduction of the new Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU).
PHASE II – TESTING AND EVALUATION
- Duration: November 2018 – May 2021
- Phase II Features:
- Limited User Test 1:
- Distribution of 200 uniforms to recruiters.
- Limited User Test 2:
- Provision of 500 uniforms to recruiters.
- Limited User Evaluation:
- Distribution of 500 uniforms to Army Senior Leaders, Old Guard, and Army Band.
- Limited User Test 1:
- Phase II Features:
PHASE III – ROLL OUT
- 4th Quarter, FY20:
- AGSUs are available for purchase in select Army and Air Force Exchange Service locations.
- 1st Quarter, FY21:
- Roll out begins for Initial Entry Trainees at Brigade Combat Training/One Station Unit Training. The distribution will be through the Central Initial Issue Points at select locations.
- 2nd Quarter, FY21:
- AGSUs are available for purchase at all AAFES locations.
- 3rd Quarter, FY21:
- Reserve component Soldiers start receiving their AGSUs through the Replacement In Kind program.
- Date: Oct. 1, 2027:
- All Soldiers are mandated to wear the AGSU. The previous Army Service Uniform (ASU) will transition to become an optional, formal, and ceremonial uniform.
Origin and Inspiration
- Origins: The AGSU is inspired by the uniform worn by the iconic “Greatest Generation” during World War II. The modern version aims to outfit the next generation of America’s leaders in the military, encapsulating the ethos of the Army Vision.
- Authenticity: The AGSU is one of the most iconic uniforms in Army history. It was proudly donned by Soldiers during World War II and the Korean War. The reintroduction seeks to instill trust and bolster the Soldiers’ image of professionalism and readiness.
- Men vs. Women: An all-female Army Uniform Board decided that both male and female AGSUs will be virtually identical, with the exception of minor fit differences. However, women will have added options, like choosing between skirts or pants, and varied shoe choices.
Rationale for Introduction
- Need for Change: The Army is the sole service without a uniform suitable for daily business interactions. The AGSU will address this gap, allowing the ASU to be reserved for formal occasions. The aim is to align the Army with other services which have multiple dress uniforms.
- Proponents of Change: The directive to consider a more business-appropriate uniform came from the Department of the Army’s Headquarters. Polling data reflected overwhelming support for the AGSU.
- For Soldiers: The AGSU will be cost-neutral for enlisted personnel, and its superior quality ensures longevity (estimated lifespan of six years). Active component enlisted Soldiers will maintain their annual clothing allowance.
- Transition Costs: Transitioning to the AGSU will be at no extra expense for the Army. Reserve component Soldiers will get the AGSU through the current “replacement in kind” process.
- Total Army Cost: The introduction of the AGSU will not impose additional costs on the Army or American taxpayers.
Future of Current Uniforms
- Army Service Uniform: The existing ASU will be transitioned to an optional ceremonial dress uniform.
Feedback and Recommendations
- Received Feedback: Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve components all contributed to the uniform recommendations. The all-female Army Uniform Board played a significant role in the design of the female AGSU.
- Results from User Evaluation: Design adjustments were made based on feedback from Soldiers who participated in the evaluation. This includes design modifications to the service cap, fit alterations to slacks and trousers, and performance enhancements to socks.
Production and Rollout
- Phase III: Full-scale production is already in progress with the intention to start issuing the AGSU to new Soldiers in 1QFY21.
- Initial Recipients: During the current phase (Phase II), a limited number of Soldiers are receiving the AGSU to collect feedback and drive improvements.
- Contractual Details: Presently, there are two main contractors, both of whom have multiple subcontractors. The Defense Logistics Agency is in the process of awarding long-term contracts.
- Mandatory Possession: By October 1st, 2027, all Soldiers must possess the AGSU.
Distribution and Purchasing
- Purchase Venues: Starting 4QFY20, select AAFES stores will stock the AGSU. Online purchasing is slated for spring 2021.
- Production Quantity: The current contract is designed flexibly to meet the Army’s first-year requirements, which is anticipated to be 133,000 uniforms.
- Overseas Availability: Soldiers stationed overseas can expect AGSU availability in late 2020.
- ROTC and JROTC: ROTC Cadets will receive the AGSU at the onset of FY24. However, JROTC Cadets will continue wearing the ASU.