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The Uniforms of the United States Army serve to distinguish soldiers from members of other services. The two primary uniforms are the utilitarian Combat Uniform and the garrison and dress Service Uniform.

Contents

Current uniforms

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Combat uniform

The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) is the utility uniform worn in garrison and in combat zones by the U.S. Army. The uniform features a digital camouflage pattern, known as the Universal Camouflage Pattern, which is designed for use in woodland, desert, and urban environments.[1]

Service uniform

The standard garrison service uniform is known as "Army Greens" or "Class As" and has been worn by all officers and enlisted personnel since its introduction in 1956, when it replaced earlier Olive Drab (OD) and khaki (and Tropical Worsted or TW) uniforms worn between the 1890s and 1985.[2] The "Army Blue" uniform, dating back to the mid-19th century, is currently the Army's formal dress uniform, but in 2009 it will replace the Army Green and the Army White uniforms (a uniform similar to the Army Green uniform, but worn in the summer for events of an exceptionally formal nature) and will become the "new" Army Service Uniform, which will function as both a garrison uniform (when worn with a white shirt and necktie) and a dress uniform (when worn with a white shirt and a bow tie for "after six" or "black tie" events).[3] The blue uniform will be a mandatory wear item by fourth quarter, FY2014. The beret, adopted Army-wide in 2001, will continue to be worn with the new ACU for garrison duty and with the Army Service Uniform for non-ceremonial functions.

Mess uniform

GEN Richard Cody in the Army Blue Mess uniform
GEN Richard Cody in the Army Blue Mess uniform.

Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. This is generally worn as the military equivalent of white tie or black tie. The Army Blue Mess uniform is composed of an Army blue jacket, high-waisted trousers, black with two gold stripes for General Officers and light blue with a single gold stripe for all others, white semiformal dress shirt with a turndown collar, a black bow tie, and a black cummerbund.

Physical training uniform

The U.S. Army currently uses the Army Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU), manufactured by UNICOR. It is essentially a tracksuit, marked with the ARMY name. It is required during Army physical training.

Special Branch Uniforms

The United States Army also issues special uniforms to Soldiers in aviation fields if they serve as pilots or flight crew members. These uniforms historically include the one-piece flight suit, constructed of flame resistant Nomex fabric, which have been issued in Olive Drab Green or Desert Tan, depending upon the area of intended use. The current flight-approved uniform is the Army Aircrew Combat Uniform (A2CU), which is outwardly similar to the ACU. Outside differences to the ACU include: Sleeve pencil pocket flaps, velcro closures on all pockets, flight-suit style thigh pockets, and the addition of lower leg pockets, oriented in similar fashion to the flight suits. The A2CU is also constructed of Nomex, similar to the flight suit so as to present a smaller risk of fire-related deaths in aviation accidents.

Past uniforms

Past uniforms include the M81 Battle Dress Uniform, replaced by the Army Combat Uniform. As of fiscal year '08, or 1 October 2007, the BDU and its desert environment counterpart Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) had been phased out of normal wear.[1]

See also

References


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