Morale: U.S. Army No Longer Green

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June 19, 2006: The U.S. Army is no longer green. After a century of green uniforms, the last one is being retired. The new "Class A" uniform will be the current blue "Dress Uniform". This in response to decades old efforts by the troops, 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. The new Class A uniform is simply the existing dress uniform. This uniform, unlike the green Class A's, that were introduced in 1954, is based on the 19th century dress uniform. Most enlisted troops do not have the dress blue uniform, because they have to buy it themselves, and that is optional for most troops. But beginning next year, troops will be issued dress blues in stead of the old green uniform. All soldiers are expected to have the new blue uniform by 2011.

All 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, preferably with a belted jacket. But instead of a new uniform design, the army simply made the current dress blues the new Class As.

The army had, unofficially, decided to finally get rid of the 1950s era green "Class A" uniform two years ago. These green Class As were disliked from the beginning, because troops thought it made them, "look like bus drivers." For years the proposed replacement has been the current army dress blue uniform. The only modifications will be the color of the shirts. For formal occasions, a white shirt would be worn instead of a grey one. The Class A uniform is not actually worn that much, with most troops wearing BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform, with the camouflage pattern) or the Class A uniform without the jacket. The BDUs come in several different shades, none of them featuring much green. So after a century, the green is gone. The army is also eliminating the all white tropical dress uniform, which was rarely used.

 


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