February 6, 2008:
The U.S. Army is approaching another one of
those major changes, of uniform, that will enable people in the future to look
at undated photos, and be able to make a good guess as to when it was taken.
This time around, the quarter century tenure of the BDU (Battle Dress Uniform)
is over. There were two flavors of BDU, the green "woodland" camouflage
pattern, and the tan colored desert pattern. Also disappearing are the brown
t-shirts, black combat boots (and multicolored jungle boot), the green name
tags and shoulder insignia. By the end of the year, all of this will be gone,
even from the reserves. But not from military surplus stores. Hunters, hikers
and students will be wearing the old stuff for years to come, until most of it
is worn out and discarded. This is the third major change in army field
uniforms since World War II. For the last century or so, it's become fairly
common for a nation to change its military uniforms, or at least the combat
uniforms, every 20-30 years. That's in peacetime. In wartime, the uniform
changes tend to come much more quickly.