June 28, 2013

ACU, Army Combat Uniform, Velcro, Beret, Patrol Cap

“The official U.S. Army website reported in June on recent changes made to the Army combat uniform (ACU). With input from soldiers in the field and through social networking sites like Facebook, the Army hopes these changes reflect what soldiers wanted to see.


ACU, Army Combat Uniform, Velcro, Beret, Patrol Cap

The top complaint about the ACU from soldiers was the wool beret worn worn with the uniform, according to Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III. Chandler was tasked with gathering input from thousands of soldiers by Army Chief of Staff Martin E. Dempsey.

“”The soldiers didn’t like the fact that the beret was hot,”" said Chandler. “”And they didn’t like to carry two pieces of headgear to do different functions during the day.”"

The wool beret was the standard headgear for the ACU, but for certain jobs, like mechanical work, soldiers were forced to carry the beret along with their work patrol cap. These new policies will prevent that, although the beret has not been discontinued entirly. It remains the the official headgear for the Army Service Uniform.

In addition to pleasing many soldiers, the new headgear policy is expected to save the Army $6.5 million over the life-cycle if the ACU. Previously, the Army issued each soldier two berets, but with the new policy they will only be issued one.

The second change, reflecting soldier complaints, allows soldiers to sew on insignias, name tapes and badges to the uniform. Previously, these were fastened by Velcro but soldiers had difficulty lining up some of the badges to the Army’s exacting standards. Velcro will still be a part of the uniform but soldiers now have the option of sewing some of their accoutrements over the Velcro.

The current ACU was first introduced in 2008, replacing the old Battle Dress Uniform. Updates over the old uniform included a change in the location of the uniform’s pockets, a different cut of fabric and a new digital camouflage design.”

For more information, click here:

Army Changes Combat Uniform

Wikipedia Entry for Army Service Uniform

Army Ditching Fatigues for Formal Uniform at Pentagon

U.S. Army Official Site