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Old 05-10-2019, 03:01 PM
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Why is the U.S. Army changing the basic color of everyday service uniforms AGAIN?


Just a few years ago, the U.S. Army transitioned away from green service uniforms to blue. I still am getting used to seeing army officers in blue, and I learn that the army is changing back to green. -- https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-...rvice-uniform/

Why is the army changing the base color of its (non-combat) uniforms so often? Isn't one of the points of a uniform to preserve a sense of continuity and tradition?

From my point of view, I want a particular organization, particularly ones as large and old and important as the uniformed services, to look pretty much the same from decade-to-decade.

Even if minor style points or materials evolve a little from year to year for practical purposes, I think the overall impression that the uniform gives should be consistent over many decades. To me, that's inherent in the concept of a uniform.

Why are basic style elements, like color, changing so often?
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:17 PM
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The tradition IS to change uniforms every 5 years or so. I was in the AF for 22 years, and watched the uniform go from regular camo with nametapes, to no nametapes but leather nametags, back to nametapes, new service dress uniform, to everyone having the same US insignia on their collars, back to officers and enlisted being different, to distinctive AF camo uniforms, now some crappy "wartime" camo that people wore in the desert.

Change IS tradition!
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:44 PM
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I defer to others on whether soldiers have ever liked their dress uniforms, but from the folks I talk to, there seemed a special dislike for the current one. I've heard criticisms that they are not durable and that soldiers liked having patches on the shoulders instead of the pins for certain things, like their combat unit, the qualification tabs, etc.

But that's just what I've heard.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
The tradition IS to change uniforms every 5 years or so. I was in the AF for 22 years, and watched the uniform.....

Change IS tradition!
It certainly is in the AF. I grew up an airforce brat and then joined the Air National Guard in the 80s. You'd think I would know all the ranks etc. from when I was a kid? Nope, they'd changed the names of E2 E3 and E4 in the meantime. And E4 had been split into essentially two ranks, Senior Airman and (Buck) Sergeant. Later after I'd been out for a couple years, I went back and visited my old unit and found they'd changed the Master Sergeant insignia.

As for the new Army uniforms, I understand they're going for a WWII look.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:59 PM
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I defer to others on whether soldiers have ever liked their dress uniforms, but from the folks I talk to, there seemed a special dislike for the current one. I've heard criticisms that they are not durable and that soldiers liked having patches on the shoulders instead of the pins for certain things, like their combat unit, the qualification tabs, etc.

But that's just what I've heard.
As I said, changes in material are practical. I'm talking about color, which is a much more prominent and basic design element, one that is fundamental to the idea of a uniform.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
The tradition IS to change uniforms every 5 years or so. I was in the AF for 22 years, and watched the uniform go from regular camo with nametapes, to no nametapes but leather nametags, back to nametapes, new service dress uniform, to everyone having the same US insignia on their collars, back to officers and enlisted being different, to distinctive AF camo uniforms, now some crappy "wartime" camo that people wore in the desert.

Change IS tradition!
What he's talking about isn't the switch from the Woodland/3 Color Desert BDU to the UCP to the OCP/Multicam uniforms, but rather the switch from the post WWII green business suit style uniforms, to the blue Army Service Uniforms, and back to the "pinks and greens" that were used in WWII.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:45 PM
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The new ones look better. My friends in the Army called the old dress uniform "the bus driver suit." For better or worse, the image of the U.S. Army during World War II has become the most iconic in living memory, so they might as well just roll with it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:09 PM
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Just my personal opinion, but I think the blue uniforms look like Navy uniforms.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:32 PM
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And why is the new style called "pinks and greens?" I get the greens part, but where does pink come in? I might have missed it in the linked article, or perhaps they assumed that everyone knows. How could everyone know, it's not an internet meme is it?
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:36 PM
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And why is the new style called "pinks and greens?" I get the greens part, but where does pink come in? I might have missed it in the linked article, or perhaps they assumed that everyone knows. How could everyone know, it's not an internet meme is it?
Khaki shirt and slacks, green jacket (maybe even belted). The khaki parts are called "pink".
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:37 PM
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and back to the "pinks and greens" that were used in WWII.
I like them. They look like USMC service uniforms
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:41 PM
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And why is the new style called "pinks and greens?" I get the greens part, but where does pink come in? I might have missed it in the linked article, or perhaps they assumed that everyone knows. How could everyone know, it's not an internet meme is it?
The new uniform is closely modeled on the WWII-era uniform, which at that time were referred to as "pinks and greens", because the khakis, in some lighting conditions, seem to have a pinkish hue.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:09 PM
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I like them. They look like USMC service uniforms
New Names for the Armed Services

THE ARMY...DEATHFORCE 9000

THE NAVY...SEA DEMONS

THE AIR FORCE...SKYRYDERS

THE MARINES...ASSAULT TEAM: FIREKILL

THE DELTA FORCE...THE OMEGA FORCE

THE COAST GUARD...THE MARINES

--from "Army Man" magazine

Last edited by TSBG; 05-10-2019 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:25 PM
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It definitely has a Steve Rogers/Peggy Carter vibe. So, the Army is cashing in on Endgame, too?
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:35 PM
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I’d have preferred that they kept the WWII colors all along. But enough with the switching. Just pick a color and stick to it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:09 PM
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Just a few years ago, the U.S. Army transitioned away from green service uniforms to blue. I still am getting used to seeing army officers in blue, and I learn that the army is changing back to green. -- https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-...rvice-uniform/
The army didn't change to the blue uniform. There were two uniforms for different circumstances. The green Class A/B and the dress blue uniform existed together for different uses. What happened was the Army decided to use one dress uniform for all situations covered by the previous two. It was essentially the dress blue with some modifications and a new name the Army Service Uniform (ASU). The blue uniform was more expensive and not issued to everyone. Officers were required to have it by regulation. As NCOs moved up to senior ranks there was pressure to purchase the blues for formal events. Some specialized duty positions like the ceremonial guard at Arlington and funeral honor details had troops issued the uniform. The Army is essentially moving back to that old two uniform plan. They are doing it with what had long been a popular proposal to replace the green Class A/B.

There were numerous complaints about it as a daily wear uniform. I didn't mind it as formal wear and never had to wear it as a daily duty uniform. I can imagine many wearing it regularly still aren't fans. Wear without the coat (the Class B wear) really draws the eye to the white shirt ...and all it's coffee and lunch stain showing power. The officer rank shoulder boards seems like they would be a giant pain in the ass for carrying a shoulder bag. I could see officers wearing the ASU and commuting on public transportation around DC hating them for that reason. Replacing the right shoulder worn Shoulder Sleeve Insignia - Former Wartime Service (aka combat patch) worn on the right sleeve with the Combat Service Identification Badge on one of the pockets near a host of other eye catching stuff wasn't all that popular to begin with.

I see this as more falling back to what was probably the more popular change option when they made the ASU change.

Last edited by DinoR; 05-10-2019 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:27 PM
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New Names for the Armed Services

THE AIR FORCE...SKYRYDERS
Skyryders? That sounds wimpy.

From now on, the Air Force shall be known as AMERICAN EAGLES.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:37 PM
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The bottom line as to why the new uniform: Sergeant Major of the Army Dailey wanted it.

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I like them. They look like USMC service uniforms
Well thats because the USMC Service A uniform was copied off of the Army pinks and greens. Pinks and greens were around for almost 20 years when the Marines started wearing Service As.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:46 PM
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The bottom line as to why the new uniform: Sergeant Major of the Army Dailey wanted it.



Well that’s because the USMC Service A uniform was copied off of the Army pinks and greens. Pinks and greens were around for almost 20 years when the Marines started wearing Service As.
When did pinks and greens come in to service?

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Sometime after World War I, the tradition of a "uniform of the day" designated by the unit commander was created to ensure uniformity of troops, now that there was a wide variety of uniforms available for wear. Also born was the tradition of reporting to a new duty station in the Service "A" uniform. In 1926, the standing collar on the service uniform was changed to a rolled-flat collar, but the dress uniform collar remained standing. A khaki version of the service uniform was adapted as well, for use in summer months.
(Wikipedia)

Quote:
The "pinks and greens" uniform was introduced in the 1920s
((Wikipedia)

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Old 05-10-2019, 08:02 PM
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When did pinks and greens come in to service?

(Wikipedia)

((Wikipedia)
The current Marine Service As were issued first in 1943. Thats the uniform that looks like the pinks and greens. There were earlier khaki uniforms but they had a different design. Service alphas have been basically unchanged since 1943.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:29 PM
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The new WWII cosplay uniforms the Army is going to is not exactly like the WWII uniforms. The pinks and greens were only an officer uniform. With the enlisted uniform the coat and pants were the same color. With the new uniform both enlisted and officer will have the lighter colored pants.

Last edited by Loach; 05-10-2019 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:42 PM
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The bottom line as to why the new uniform: Sergeant Major of the Army Dailey wanted it.
The reflective belt wear requirement during daylight hours got killed during his tenure. IMO that earns him at least one other major change, even a bad one, without quibbling or bitching.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:48 PM
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The tradition IS to change uniforms every 5 years or so. I was in the AF for 22 years, and watched the uniform go from regular camo with nametapes, to no nametapes but leather nametags, back to nametapes, new service dress uniform, to everyone having the same US insignia on their collars, back to officers and enlisted being different, to distinctive AF camo uniforms, now some crappy "wartime" camo that people wore in the desert.

Change IS tradition!
When I worked on an airbase the old timers told me tales of how every few years you'd get a new base commander, and their goal was to have something on there 'resume' that they did at the base, and so every new commander would have some new thing the base had to do, just so the commander could have their little check box filled. Wonder if the uniforms isn't the same thing by someone higher up.

Because I'm sure if you asked the troops, they could find far more important things that need fixing than the damn uniform colors.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:04 PM
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As I said, changes in material are practical. I'm talking about color, which is a much more prominent and basic design element, one that is fundamental to the idea of a uniform.
Yeah, I know. I told you what my Army pals have said why they dont like the current uniform.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:07 PM
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The army didn't change to the blue uniform. There were two uniforms for different circumstances. The green Class A/B and the dress blue uniform existed together for different uses. What happened was the Army decided to use one dress uniform for all situations covered by the previous two. It was essentially the dress blue with some modifications ...
The point is that the Army personnel that I see every day went from wearing green to blue and theyre going back to green. From my point of views, thats changing colors from green to blue to green.

And a huge part of the reason to wear a uniform is to be immediately recognizable not only within your organization but also outside it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:31 PM
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What he's talking about isn't the switch from the Woodland/3 Color Desert BDU to the UCP to the OCP/Multicam uniforms, but rather the switch from the post WWII green business suit style uniforms, to the blue Army Service Uniforms, and back to the "pinks and greens" that were used in WWII.
I understand. Same thing in the AF when I was in. The uniforms just change every few years.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:06 PM
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I understand. Same thing in the AF when I was in. The uniforms just change every few years.
From my outside perspective, the common daily Air Force service uniform has been blue and recognizable as pretty much the same uniform—basically a variation of a blue business suit—almost since the Air Force was created. I don't think the shade of blue has been significantly changed, from a common observer's perspective. I recall a brief attempt to make the Air Force uniform look more like a Navy uniform, but I don't actually recall seeing anyone wearing that uniform.

The common daily Navy uniform has been dark ("navy") blue in the winter and white in the summer consistently for many decades. I know there's also a khaki-colored uniform, but I still recognize the navy blue or white uniforms as the commonly known navy uniform.

From my point of view, I don't see Air Force and Navy uniforms changing every few years. The every day uniform worn by officers commuting to work or attending meetings in government offices has stayed very consistent in overall appearance.

There might have been minor changes from year-to-year amounting to an overall evolution, but I don't recall any radical change in basic color, and certainly not multiple times.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:13 PM
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I'm still waiting to see the Space Force uniform.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:19 PM
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I'm still waiting to see the Space Force uniform.
Best uniforms in history. Everyone tells me, they're the best. There have never been, and I know, you can ask me, better uniforms than these.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:07 AM
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Just my personal opinion, but I think the blue uniforms look like Navy uniforms.
Meanwhile, Navy came up with working uniforms with camo, making them awfully Army- or Marine-esque.

The rationale for a service needing camouflage uniforms when its personnel rarely see the folks who are trying to kill them? It hides grease spots better.

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Old 05-11-2019, 11:16 AM
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I like the classic, WWII look. I'm glad they're reverting to the classic Army look.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:24 AM
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Meanwhile, Navy came up with working uniforms with camo, making them awfully Army- or Marine-esque.

The rationale for a service needing camouflage uniforms when its personnel rarely see the folks who are trying to kill them? It hides grease spots better.
You wont be laughing when the seeker on a Kalibre missile is spoofed by the sailors camo.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:26 AM
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Best uniforms in history. Everyone tells me, they're the best. There have never been, and I know, you can ask me, better uniforms than these.
I think it a reasonable conjecture that United States Space Force (USSF) soldiers will wear orange space suits. Like astronauts.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:33 AM
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I like the change--frankly the color mismatch between jacket and pants on the dress blues has always driven me buggy. It looks like laundry day when you're grabbing whatever's clean whether it matches or not. Either make the pants match the jacket or go for a stronger contrast that's actually in the same family of blue, just...not that. Matching blues is deceptively difficult and whoever okayed that combo was basically color blind.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:51 AM
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I think it a reasonable conjecture that United States Space Force (USSF) soldiers will wear orange space suits. Like astronauts.
Even if it is created, the odds of a Space Force trooper going into space not under the auspices of NASA are zero.

They are all just going to sit behind different varieties of desks. Maybe some will do inspections of satellite factories or whatnot, but otherwise, they will wear whatever is most comfortable for the real chair force.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:06 PM
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As mentioned there is always a tweak here and a tweak there -- nut I have noticed an increased frequency that IMO is a phenomenon of the 21st Century Army seeking some look that will distinguish them from the Army of the 80s and 90s (AG office wear, BDU field wear), whose look got too quickly copied by every Fudd and Blart out there, AND that would become iconically recognizable. Plus for some reason I can't fathom, there seems to have been an intense multigenerational dislike of the AG class A suit by some in the Army for decades.

In the early 80s they had followed the Air Force's lead in doing something sensible: use one single pattern and color of "office wear" uniform whereby you could switch from dressier to business casual by ditching the jacket and to summer by losing the tie with a short sleeve shirt. But then as they keps expanding the situations in which you could just wear the camo fieldwear, in the 00's they decided to go one step further and consolidate the officewear version with the special-ocassion dress version, and they kind of botched it by upgrading all the way to the Dress Blues. Originally the everyday version was supposed to have a grey shirt, but there were procurement problems so they went completely to what had been the ceremonial version.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:23 PM
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The WWII 'pinks and greens' were changed in part because after the war there were millions of surplus uniforms, and they were sold to the public for work clothes. So the military suddenly had the problem that their uniforms looked like the clothes farmers were wearing, and there could be confusion if civilians in surplus army uniforms wore the same as current soldiers.

But it has now been long enough that all that surplus clothing is gone, so the army is free to go back. And I'm glad they did - I always thought the pinks and greens were great looking uniforms.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:27 PM
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The WWII 'pinks and greens' were changed in part because after the war there were millions of surplus uniforms, and they were sold to the public for work clothes.
Now that's interesting. Does that explain why you see pictures from the 50's where everyone from milkmen to truck drivers wore a uniform? They were surplus?
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:25 PM
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Huge quantities were sold off, and many state institutions bought them for clothing road workers. Prisons also issued them to inmates on work parties, which didn't do anything for the uniform's image.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:35 AM
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The new uniform is closely modeled on the WWII-era uniform, which at that time were referred to as "pinks and greens", because the khakis, in some lighting conditions, seem to have a pinkish hue.
Yep, my dad had actually commented on the pants being called 'pinks' back in the 1980s, when we went to a football game at our alma mater (Texas A&M. The cadets were wearing the winter dress uniforms, which for all intents and purposes have been the 'pinks and greens' ever since the end of WWII, probably because they were able to get them cheap.

Last edited by bump; 05-13-2019 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:44 AM
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From my outside perspective, the common daily Air Force service uniform has been blue and recognizable as pretty much the same uniform—basically a variation of a blue business suit—almost since the Air Force was created. I don't think the shade of blue has been significantly changed, from a common observer's perspective. I recall a brief attempt to make the Air Force uniform look more like a Navy uniform, but I don't actually recall seeing anyone wearing that uniform.

The common daily Navy uniform has been dark ("navy") blue in the winter and white in the summer consistently for many decades. I know there's also a khaki-colored uniform, but I still recognize the navy blue or white uniforms as the commonly known navy uniform.

From my point of view, I don't see Air Force and Navy uniforms changing every few years. The every day uniform worn by officers commuting to work or attending meetings in government offices has stayed very consistent in overall appearance.

There might have been minor changes from year-to-year amounting to an overall evolution, but I don't recall any radical change in basic color, and certainly not multiple times.
The USAF switched up the cut of the dress uniform some years ago and tried to go to Navy-ish cuff rank insignia, and a jacket that was more civilian-cut.

Needless to say, this didn't go over well- there was a lot of racket about it looking like an airline pilot uniform, etc...

Here's a site that actually shows the uniforms over time- basically from inception to the early 1990s they had the same uniform, just in slightly different shades of blue. Then they sort of switched to that janky airline pilot uniform, and then since 1994, they've had one that looks more or less like the original, except minus the upper pockets.

Last edited by bump; 05-13-2019 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Forgot link
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
From my outside perspective, the common daily Air Force service uniform has been blue and recognizable as pretty much the same uniformbasically a variation of a blue business suitalmost since the Air Force was created. I don't think the shade of blue has been significantly changed, from a common observer's perspective. I recall a brief attempt to make the Air Force uniform look more like a Navy uniform, but I don't actually recall seeing anyone wearing that uniform.

The common daily Navy uniform has been dark ("navy") blue in the winter and white in the summer consistently for many decades. I know there's also a khaki-colored uniform, but I still recognize the navy blue or white uniforms as the commonly known navy uniform.

From my point of view, I don't see Air Force and Navy uniforms changing every few years. The every day uniform worn by officers commuting to work or attending meetings in government offices has stayed very consistent in overall appearance.

There might have been minor changes from year-to-year amounting to an overall evolution, but I don't recall any radical change in basic color, and certainly not multiple times.
Sure, but there is more than one AF uniform. Perhaps you didn't see it, but those of us actually in the AF, the changes were annoying and sometimes pointless.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dana Scully View Post
I like the classic, WWII look. I'm glad they're reverting to the classic Army look.
The classic Army look is to wear blue uniforms. Since 1775.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:14 AM
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Well....
https://youtu.be/n3Q6RyDFAJI
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:16 AM
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Meanwhile, Navy came up with working uniforms with camo, making them awfully Army- or Marine-esque.

The rationale for a service needing camouflage uniforms when its personnel rarely see the folks who are trying to kill them? It hides grease spots better.
Not sure why they went away from the classic denim dungarees/chambray shirt/dixie cup uniforms... they're classic, they probably weren't terribly expensive, and they looked comfortable.

Apparently with the phase-out of the NWU Type 1 (that weird-ass blue camouflage), they're looking at alternate two piece uniforms (as opposed to the coveralls like sub crews wear), one of which is reminiscent of the dungarees uniform.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger Jeff View Post
Khaki shirt and slacks, green jacket (maybe even belted). The khaki parts are called "pink".
Yeah, I have my dad's old WWII uniform, and I used to wear his "pinks." I wasn't sure it was his actual uniform, though, because I didn't have to hem them. He was 6' and I'm 5'4" on a good day. But the fabric definitely has a certain pinkish tint. Subtle, but it's there.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
Not sure why they went away from the classic denim dungarees/chambray shirt/dixie cup uniforms... they're classic, they probably weren't terribly expensive, and they looked comfortable.
I found them to be so. When I came in, they were transitioning from the dungaree work uniform to what was called a utility uniform (not seen at all in this article; it must have been short-lived). It consisted of a a blue cotton pullover shirt with a couple buttons at the neck, kind of like a polo shirt, and dark blue trousers, also cotton. It could be worn with the dixie cup hat but I preferred a ballcap.

They were what I was issued in boot camp in 1972 and the story we were told was that they offered better protection against flash burns which is why they were cotton instead of a cotton-poly blend. The shirt came only in long-sleeve but any exchange tailor shop could convert them to short sleeve for a nominal fee. You could still get on your own dime and wear the dungaree uniform with the denim bell bottoms and light blue chambray shirt, so I did.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:43 AM
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So all military personnel have to discard their uniforms and buy/get all new ones? What happens to the old ones? That's an awful lot of serviceable clothing. Do they just get pulped?
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
So all military personnel have to discard their uniforms and buy/get all new ones? What happens to the old ones? That's an awful lot of serviceable clothing. Do they just get pulped?
Usually, the old ones are still valid for a transition period that is often measured in years. After that, they remain the property of the service member; they simply can't be worn as uniform. If they're "de-milled" (de-militarized, stripped of all identifiable military insignia) they can be worn as civvies, but for the service uniform that isn't very useful. (Who would wear that under any circumstance other than direct orders?)

Old utility or battle dress is often repurposed as casual clothing. My little ones used my old Air Force blues shirts as finger-painting smocks after I retired. I wore out my forest camo BDUs as gardening clothes.

As to the costs of buying the new uniforms, enlisted personnel receive an annual uniform allowance that they can save up to buy what they need. Officers pay out-of-pocket (but they get paid appreciably better than most enlisteds).
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:32 AM
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They have to find something to do with the phenomenal amount of money they are getting from Congress. If you complain, though, you are a bleeding heart liberal who doesn't give a damn about the security of the nation and want to weaken our defense and make us vulnerable.

So, as a result, we give out contracts that have a phenomenal cost factor, and we get rid of designs for which we pay millions and even billions before they are even turned into practical equipment that can be used in battle.
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