I was wondering why everybody in the Army wore camouflage uniforms instead of dress uniforms? I don’t have a problem with it, just curious. I think I have seen that uniform at memorials at Ft. Bragg too.
Not every soldier owns a dress uniform. Top generals don’t want to look like overly-polished REMFs amid a sea of ACUs, so everyone dresses down, is my guess.
Unless something has changed soldiers get a dress (green uniform) in Basic Training. The cost of it is deducted from their pay, but trainees really don’t notice since they can’t spend it onanything else anyway. (at least that was my experience)
I think you may have confused it with Dress Blues. You do have to buy those and they ain’t cheap. But soldiers are not required to have them. I have Dress Blues but I was a recruiter and recruiters are required to have blues. But the gov’t paid for them.
Sadly I’ve been to far too many memorials in the last year. we were usually told
“duty uniform” which for the najority of the military is the cmos you saw.
Sort of a tangent but they make enlisted guys buy their green dress uniform? One would think that somewhere in that massive defense budget they could afford to give those out for free. Is the same true for the AF, Navy and Marines - basic dress uniforms are not free?
Enlistees receive at no cost an initial issue of required uniforms during initial training. They then receive an annual uniform allowance (I don’t recall if it’s paid annually or divided into monthly payments) which is intended to cover the costs of maintaining and replacing the initial issue.
IIRC, the US Army is moving to (or maybe even has already moved to) having a single type of dress uniform for all members.
You get it on the anniversary of your enlistment, so it’s sometimes called “birthday money” and usually goes toward beer.
I don’t understand the Army uniform system where it seems like you can mix-and-match whatever the hell you want, but my understanding is they are phasing out Army green in favor of blues which can be used for different occasions depending on if you wear a jacket or not. An Army type would be better qualified to comment here.
There’s an old cadence that goes, “they’ll give you a hundred dollars but take back ninety-nine.”
How much are we talking here?
Civilian translations for dopes like me:
REMF=rear echelon motherf*****
ACUs=Army combat uniform
Every soldier owns a dress uniform. The dress uniform is part of a soldier’s “Clothing Bag” which he must have at all times. This list includes 4 sets of ACUs and a complete Dress Uniform. If, at any time, a soldier is found lacking an item on the clothing bag lists, he has two options: Either he immediately goes out and buys a replacement, or he gets written up for violation of regulations.
Every soldier is issued their entire clothing bag for free. Enlisted soldiers do not pay for their initial set of uniforms–to include their dress uniform.
All the information about the annual, lump sum, clothing allowance is correct. The Army also offers a Clothing Line credit card through AAFES at the PX. Every soldier qualifies for 500 dollars of INTEREST FREE credit toward purchases of uniform items. Regardless of their credit, everyone gets 500 bucks for clothing. Being interest free, a soldier can use this card to purchase uniforms and accessories throughout the year, pay 10 dollars a month (remember it’s interest free, so who cares if you only pay the minimum), and then pay off the balance when they get their annual allowance.
The answer to the OP is simple: It’s the easiest way to do a ceremony on short notice. Though every soldier is supposed to have a dress uniform, their dress uniform does not techinically have to be ready to wear at a moment’s notice.
Now, a squared away soldier would ensure his Class As were always ready, but the fact is, the majority of that base (for whatever reason) would not have their uniforms ready to go and could not get them ready in such a short amount of time.
There are plenty of reasons why you wouldn’t have your uniform ready to go:
It’s wrinkled and/or needs to hit the cleaners.
You need to get another service stripe sewn on and haven’t gotten around to it.
Your jacket still has your old unit’s patches sewn on it.
Your jacket still has your old unit’s citations on it and you haven’t gotten around to purchasing your new unit’s citations yet.
(Remember, a soldier will change units every 1-3 years on average)
The PX is out of unit crests and you need to purchase two sets of them (need 3 crests for the uniform, but they come in packs of two…)
The base clothing store is completely sold out of 1 or ALL of your missing medals, citations, accounterments, appurtenances, etc (BIG issue right now where I am!!)
So anyway… it’s pretty much accepted that an entire post, especially one of the biggest in the world, would not be able to square away all their dress uniforms in a week’s time. So, service uniform it is.
It should also be mentioned that pretty much all ceremonies are done in a service uniform unless you’re actually part of the ceremony. Were the people involved with the ceremony (not just watching it) wearing ACUs as well? Because I would expect that at least they would be wearing dress uniforms. But again, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they weren’t.
The Army is currently getting rid of the green uniform and moving toward the Army Blue uniform for office wear. All new graduates from basic training are now getting the Army Blue, but lots of soldiers still have the Army Green. During this period, any attempt to use the Army Blue would result in a most un-military mish-mash. The other choice would be to exclude soldiers who only have the wrong uniform.
===let’s all sing===
The Army Blue!
The Army Blue!
To wear the Army Blue!
Someday to put away
The Kay-det gray
To wear the Army Blue!
In the pictures I saw everybody had the camo uniforms.
The camo uniforms have pretty much become the defacto all-purpose, any setting, any event, uniform. In fact, some of the more recent All Army Correspondence memos I read allowed for commanders to prescribe the wearing of colored Class A/Dress Uniform unit patches on ACUs during formal ceremonies. Thus, if commanders want the ceremony to look more formal than normal, soldiers only have to slap on some colored velcro patches in place of their subdued ones. They won’t even have to polish their boots!!
ACUs are not the camos of yesterday. Hell, even recruiters stopped wearing dress uniforms years ago.
Paul, the Army is not moving toward wearing blues for office wear. The Army has moved so far away from wearing dress uniforms as duty uniforms, I don’t think they’ll ever go back! The camo uniform will always be the duty uniform even for those working in offices. The blue-colored Service Uniforms are replacing the green-colored Class As, but they are not replacing the ACU as the garisson/office uniform.
Also, while the Army Service Uniform is blue and resembles the Dress Blues, they are different. They are worn more like the current green Class A, Class B, and Dress Green.
Yes, I know, but did not want to get overly-technical.
No problem. Can never be too sure.
I wish they would prescribe a dress uniform for normal office wear. I think it would look much more professional. There are no more shiney boots or crisp uniforms. The Army is promoting a sloppy, uncaring, unconcerned rag-tag group of spoiled, lazy brats. And then they wonder why soldiers lack attention to detail and discipline. . .
I should have clarified a bit…they do or at least did when I enlisted deduct the cost from your pay, but annually you get a uniform allowance. So it does kinda pay for itself.
The only time I really had to spend my uniform allowance was during recruiting duty. We wore Class B uniforms at first (until it switched to basic ACUs just before I left). I went through shoes fast…I guess it was all of the schlepping around.
Let me add to my last post: Honestly, I was told that it was deducted from my pay but initially I was ARNG, so maybe the rules 20 or so years ago were different. So Bear is probably right.
As for dress blues and the dress greens…the most expensive thing about them always comes down to how much crap you need to put on them. I’ve been in a long time…if I need to wear all o my ribbons (medals) its 50 or so bucks just to replace them. It cost me over 60 bucks to get new service stripes and rank insignia for my blues.
But I’m cheap. I hate paying for my bi-monthly haircuts. If it were up tp me, I’d have dreadlocks.
Bi-monthly??? Lucky bastard! If I don’t get a haircut every week between Saturday evening and Monday morning, I’m fucked!
Seems like the Army is following the trend to business casual clothes for the office. That does surprise me because I figured they still wore the green dress uniforms when they were not outdoors training or fighting.
Doesn’t matter what the Soldier spends it on; the thing that matters is that they got it.