Morale: Uniform Reforms


March 9, 2006: All this talk of "military transformation" is perhaps most visible in the new uniforms that are increasingly showing up. The U.S. Air Force has introduced new work uniforms, which employ a distinctly "air force" type of camouflage pattern (lots of blue.) Now the U.S. Navy is doing the same thing, with a blue and grey camo pattern for the work uniform. For more formal occasions, junior enlisted sailors will wear a khaki shirt and black pants (an arrangement the U.S. Marine Corps has made famous). The navy "dress blues" remain unchanged. That has got some folks in the Army wanting to drop the green "Class A" uniform (bus driver like green jackets and pants, with light brown shirt and tie) and go to "dress blues" for all occasions, with appropriate changes in tie, shirt, etc. This new Class A uniform would be based on the current fancy (lots of 19th century touches, with gold braid and rank insignia) dress uniform, which most enlisted troops do not have (because you have to buy it yourself). All this this is part of the long time "uniform envy" soldiers have had for marines. The USMC has always sported the most impressive dress uniform, and young enlisted marines were glad to spend at least $300 to buy themselves one. Many career army types have been campaigning for a spiffier Class A uniform, and something in blue, perhaps with a belted jacket, is now a leading contender. This ensemble would, presumably, include a dark blue beret, which would make the Special Forces folks (with their green berets) happy.




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