The United States Army’s uniform has seen numerous changes in recent years. In fact, the change to what is commonly known as ‘Multicam’ (a combination of other camouflage patterns) only recently replaced the ACU patterns much maligned by ground troops.
But the Sergeant Major of the Army, Dan Dailey, has continued pushing for a change to the Army’s dress uniform as well, and it seems like it may be catching on. SMA Dan Dailey presented the uniform, dubbed ‘pinks and greens’ and reminiscent of World War II-era uniforms to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, January 31, trying to get approval for the change.
For military units, holding on to the history of those who came before them is important. Unit patches and even certain uniforms still showcase the history of the unit. For example, the 1st Cavalry still allows the wearing of Stetson hats and spurs for certain members, even though the unit hasn’t had horses in decades.
So, for many soldiers, a return to a dress uniform that looks more similar to the World War II-era uniforms of yesteryear is a welcomed thing.
SMA Dan Daily brought four enlisted soldiers with him to Capitol Hill, all decked out in new options for the greens and pinks uniforms.
One female enlisted soldier, a staff sergeant, wore the ‘green’ jacket and ‘pink’ pencil skirt, along with a curved cap bearing what appeared to be the U.S. Army’s logo.
A male sergeant first class wore the green jacket and pink slacks that would be standard for men.
A male staff sergeant showcased the uniform the same as worn by the sergeant first class, but this time with a folding cap, similar to what U.S. Airmen wore.
Finally, a pregnant major showcased the new maternity outfit, which appears to be a smock over the regular undershirt for the uniform. This is not much of a change from the current maternity uniform, which is essentially just a blue smock worn over the uniform.
The uniform would be a welcome change to the current ‘dress blues’ uniform of the United States Army, and most troops seemed in favor of the change.
SMA Dailey said that the new uniform could be approved as soon as the spring.
After approval, there would be a three-year period over which the new uniform would be phased in. This would give current soldiers the opportunity to save money from their uniform allowance for the new uniform.
If the uniform is approved, new recruits would be issued the greens and pinks uniforms when they report to basic training.
However, some soldiers and military observers, as well as some veterans, question the spending on new uniforms and other programs that do not help to improve the lethality of the United States Army.
The Army has issues elsewhere that they could be spending money on, according to these individuals.
For example, the Army’s new pistol, the M17 and M18 (known on the civilian market as the Sig 320) has minor issues with its performance according to units that have utilized and trained on it, including the stored 101st Air Assault.
The Army has also repeatedly wasted money on programs to find ‘replacement’ rifles, or to develop weapons for specific purposes.
Perhaps most famous of these programs was the attempt to replace the Army’s M16’s and M4’s with a ‘next-generation’ rifle. The program wasted millions, and it produced the Mk17 and Mk18 rifles, which were only utilized by special operations units.
It failed to replace the average infantryman’s rifle or to provide a meaningful update to the weapon.
The Army also recently launched a program designed to acquire a ‘battle’ rifle for the Army. This was meant to be a weapon that could bridge the gap between long-range rifles, such as the M110, and short-range rifles and carbines, such as the M4 and its various variants.
Essentially, the Army wanted a lighter M14 EBR rifle. Instead, the program fizzled out with no one being declared the winner.
It’s true, the Army has a spending problem and an even bigger problem with following through with their programs.
It’s also true that the Army has been cycling through uniforms at a shocking speed.
They abandoned the desert tricolor BDU’s used in the beginning of the Global War on Terror in favor of the ACU (sometimes known as the UCP) uniform, which was much maligned by ground troops.
Just as troops got used to the improved versions of the ACU, it was replaced with the OCP, commonly known as Multicam. Phasing in that combat uniform will be completed in 2019.
The pinks and greens are a nice throwback to vintage Army uniforms, but perhaps it’s not the best thing to spend money on at this moment for the United States Army.
However, they certainly have a much better look to them than the current dress uniform.