After nearly a century of wear, the U.S. Army’s iconic olive drab uniforms are finally getting an update. The new “pinks and greens” uniform, inspired by the service’s World War II-era attire, was approved by the Pentagon in 2018 and will begin rolling out to soldiers in 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about the Army’s new look.
The History of the Army’s Uniforms
The Army has gone through a number of uniform changes since it was founded in 1775. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers wore a variety of colored uniforms, including blue, buff, brown, green, and even red. It wasn’t until 1814 that the Army standardized its dress code and began issuing all soldiers blue tunics and trousers.
In the 1850s, the Army adopted a “fancy dress” uniform for ceremonial occasions. This uniform consisted of a dark blue coat with gold buttons and epaulets, white trousers, and a white waistcoat. This uniform was worn by Union soldiers during the Civil War and continued to be used for dress occasions throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Army’s current olive drab uniform was first introduced in 1902 as part of an effort to standardize military dress across all branches of service. The original design featured a dark green wool coat and trousers, with a brown leather belt and leggings. Over the years, the uniform has undergone a number of small changes, but its overall look has remained largely unchanged for more than 100 years.
Why the Change?
So why is the Army making such a big change after all these years? According to Major General Malcolm Frost, chief of public affairs for the Army, it’s all about improving soldiers’ appearance and boosting morale. “Our goal is to make sure we have a sharp-looking force,” Frost told reporters during a press conference announcing the new uniform. “We want people [to] look at us with pride when we’re in our communities.”
What’s Included in the New Uniform?
The new pinks and greens uniform will consist of an Ike jacket with notch lapels, slanted pockets, and two breast pockets; olive drab trousers; brown leather shoes; tan shirts; herringbone twill fabric; and either a green or tan necktie. Officers will also have the option of wearing a medium olive drab green overcoat.
When Can Soldiers Start Wear It?
The first phase of the rollout will begin in 2020 when new recruits report for basic training. Enlisted soldiers will then have the option to purchase either the new pinks and greens uniform or their current olive drab uniforms until 2028, at which point only the new uniforms will be available for purchase. Officers will begin transitioning to the new uniforms in 2022.
After more than 100 years of wear, army soldiers are finally getting an update to their iconic olive drab uniforms. The new “pinks and greens” uniform, inspired by the service’s World War II-era attire, was approved by Pentagon in 2018 and will begin rolling out to soldiers in 2020. The updated look is sure to boost morale among servicemen and women while also improving their appearance when out in public representing their branch of service.