Soldiers in the U.S. Army over the years have worn a lot of different uniforms. In the past 20 years there has been an uptick in uniform variations and soldiers have worn the Battle Dress Uniform, Desert Camouflage Uniform, Army Combat Uniform (ACU), and the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP).
Deployments in the aftermath of 9/11 presented problems for some of these uniforms when worn while forward. In particular, there were issues with camouflage and durability, and thus began a long experimentation with field uniforms. There is hope that the OCP is here to stay, at least for a little while.
Then for some reason, in 2018, the Army decided it should turn its attention to the Army’s service uniform. When I was in, we had the green Class A uniform. I hated it, but luckily, I only had to wear it when I was working in D.C. and every now and then for boards, pictures, that kind of thing.
Shortly before I retired, the Army started tossing around the idea of a new service uniform that more closely resembled the mess blues. Known as the Army Service Uniform (ASU), or dress blues, there is no doubt that they looked sharp, but that does not translate to applicability in everyday military life. The complaints came in and many said that the uniform wasn’t practical for everyday business wear. It was too formal.
Enter the Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU), also known as "greens" or "pink and green uniform."
After a few years of testing, feedback, more testing and modifications, on July 8, 2020, the Army began to issue its newest uniform, the AGSU, to recruiting students at Fort Knox. Sales for other soldiers who would like to buy them began July 10. According to the Army, the AGSU is a “nostalgic nod to the greatest generation — who fought in World War II.”
The Army said drill sergeants are expected to be the next group to receive the uniforms, and new recruits in basic combat training and one-station unit training are expected to be issued the uniforms in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021.
Fort Sill, Oklahoma, will be the first training location to issue the uniform, followed by Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Army officials said.
Active-duty enlisted soldiers, including Active Guard and Reserve soldiers, will continue to receive their annual clothing-replacement allowance to offset the new uniform’s cost. Other Guard and Reserve Soldiers will begin receiving uniforms no later than the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021.
The Army will stop issuing the ASU and the uniform will continue to be optional and serve as a dress uniform for all soldiers requiring a formal attire. The mandatory wear date for all soldiers is Oct. 1, 2027.
“For the past year, I’ve been wearing the Army Greens,” said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph M. Martin. “Wherever I go, people tell me they love the uniform.
“As we transition to the next phase of the rollout,” Martin said, “I’m excited for the soldiers who are about to receive the uniform. I think that when they see themselves in the mirror, they’ll feel connected to the soldiers of the past and realize they’re writing the next chapter of what people feel about our Army.”
For more information about the new AGSU visit: https://www.army.mil/uniforms/?from=hp_spotlight