Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How did I miss this?

When did the Army decide that it'd be a great big morale boost to make our troops dress like AFJROTC cadets from the local VooTee High School?

Going from the snazzy WWII "pinks & greens" to the dull green business suit in the fifties was bad enough, but this new uniform seems expressly designed to make its wearer look a total dork. I'd expect something like this from, say, the Navy or the Air Force, where making servicemen wear clown suits has a long and respectable tradition, but Big Army?

We're down to only one branch of service with a decent looking set of class Bs... This is a serious national defense issue.


Ken said...

Side hats and gaiters, says I (the cavalry can wear blue if they want). :-)

Either that, or let the Inhaber of each regiment outfit the soldiers as he or she likes.

Hypnagogue said...

I like! Add a liberty cap, and they would look like Papa Smurf.

Roberta X said...

So, where's them injuns?

I don't care how they dress, I still ain't walkin' to Oklahoma. Just sayin'.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

They hardly wear Class B's at all anymore. Even in an office job most of the soldiers I see are wearing that new BDUs with suede combat boots (no need to polish) on a daily basis.

It's like you wear Dress A yearly and Class B (or however they call it these days) quarterly, and that's it.

Anonymous said...

It looks the bastard spawn from the unholy union of Cub Scout Leader and UN Peace Keeper.

The sailors I work with are laughing and pointing.


Joanna said...

Eh. I've seen worse.

DaddyBear said...

They just got rid of the old Green Class A uniform and made the Dress Blue uniform the Class A and Dress uniform. They actually look pretty sharp if worn correctly. TBolt is right, the only time I wore my dress uniform was for dining in's, inspections, and promotion boards. I wore class B's maybe twice a year.

staghounds said...

For serious, this is an example of the craven behaviour instilled into our soldiers in ADMINISTRATIVE matters.

I expect that every soldier in every focus group thought, "This looks stupider than stupid. They might as well have put "kick me"* on the back.

But the Boss presented it, so he must like it. Plus, they will think I'm gay if I say anything about how it looks."

They should have asked Carson, Trinny and Susannah.

Or the "Let's get jet skis and dune buggies!" ten year olds who run DARPA. No one who can appreciate a flying Roomba with spy cameras and lasers would have approved this.

Bill Blass is dead.

But my old neighbor Ralph L. isn't, and I feel confident he would have been thrilled to do it for nothing, not even credit.

*That might be the new nickname!

"Crap, the uniform of the day is kick mes. Guess the Marines will be getting all the action AGAIN."

Fred said...

They're supposed to cut down on how many "dress" uniforms you (well, officer types...) need. No more dress blues, dress greens, class A's, dinning out uniform, etc; just the one dress uniform. And the blue color is more traditionally what the Army would be wearing (think back to the Revolution and Civil War times.)

Granted, I'm not to thrilled about it, it does have some very "un-uniform" aspects to me, like no unit or combat patches, and I only have to wear a dress uniform maybe once a year. But then again I am still bitching about the beret...

rickn8or said...

Try wearing a Dixie Cup with a flight suit...

Tam said...

"But then again I am still bitching about the beret..."

Don't get me started.

I knew a vet from the 75th when that whole snafu went down, and you couldn't even say the "b" word in his presence without triggering a tirade that went on until he ran out of oxygen.

BobG said...

I grew up in the fifties and sixties and was in the company of a lot of people from all the branches of the military; I liked their uniforms a lot more than the modern ones.

Myles said...

Haha! Oh how I wish I could hunt down the Army guys at Osan that used to tell us that we looked like "bus drivers" when we had to wear our AF dress blues. Who looks like a metro bus driver now suckas!

Anonymous said...

Man, I knew that middle get-up looked familiar...

Ya'll need to get with it...the Muammar look is what's happenin' in ArmyOne couture this spring!


Stretch said...

Dad enlisted during the Korean War and retired 31 years later as an O-6.
He HATED giving up the Pinks and Greens. And no matter what branch insignia he was forced to wear he ALWAYS wore his Corps of Engineer buttons on his tunic.
He equipped his battalion in 'Nam with black side hats. You do not what to know what he has to say about the beret.

WV= momie. self explanitory

Ed Foster said...

I'm glad the Marine Corp still has it's greens.

My cousin Dwayne always was a show stopper in his class A's. He was an Annapolis grad who spent 6 years in submarines. Then he reupped in the Air Force.

Ever seen an Air Force officer wearing the twin dolphins? Jaws dropped.

tomcatshanger said...

the class A's make me think military police.

Anonymous said...

My favorite uniform comment was from a USMC Sergeant Major referencing the Army ACU's as, "They look like bags of nose hair."
However, as long as they are going retro it is a shame that they uniform stripe on the pants is one color instead of a different color reflecting cavalry, artillery, etc. as was done in the past.

Tam said...

"However, as long as they are going retro it is a shame that they uniform stripe on the pants is one color instead of a different color reflecting cavalry, artillery, etc. as was done in the past."

Tell me about it.

That E-8 with a crossed rifles, a pink sock on his head, and cavalry yellow trouser braid looked absolutely jarring to my sensibilities. Would they actually make him go out in public looking like that? There aren't enough scare badges in the world to make that getup look dignified.

GeorgeH said...

It's the beret that makes it look so dorky. Replace it with a fore @ aft overseas cap and it wouldn't be too bad. Bloused combat boots don't make much sense with it either

Geodkyt said...

1. It beats the crap out of the pickle suits I had to wear.

2. I still would have preferred if they had adopted khaki, or perhaps khaki trousers and shirt with an olive blouse. My Dad hated replacing his Pinks & Greens as well, and bitched until well after retiring in 1976 about it. I do like the new Navy khaki blouse for Chiefs and officers.

3. It beats the new Navy uniforms. Black pants with a khaki shirt? A camoflage uniform (pattern -- "Rough Seas", so the man overboard blends right in), becuase, well, we wouldn't want oil stains to show on a WORKING UNIFORM. Gee, more money, becuase some people don;t understand a Machinist mate MIGHT just get dirty. (The Coast Guard has it ALL over the Navy with their ODUs -- blue SWAT BDUs with full color insignia, shirt tucked in. Smart, sensible, functional, cheaper than a unique digital "camo" pattern of BS.)

4. The ACUs beat the USAF Bungleflage (i.e., Bluebird of Happiness Tiger Stripes). But Multicam (which the army is phasing in quietly, to avoid admitting they screwed the pooch with the ACU Digifeldgrau) beats both of them and MarCam. Of course, all the bloody velcro and zippers on the ACUs are still made of lose. (Hey, genius REMF privates who lobbied for velcro and zippers? There's a REASON that zippers were taken out when they switched from fatigues to BDUs, and why velcro wasn't added to BDUs. It doesn't cost that bloody much to sew on name, "US Army", current unit, and rank -- only two of those things are likely to change.)

5. The bloused jump boots are traditional for Airborne. I feel they should have dropped them with the Blues, becuase they look stupid, and it means the ONLY time you will be wearing jump boots is in your "dressy" uniform.

6. Garrison caps with a blue uniform make you look like teh Air Force. Period.

7. I agree the black beret was a stupid idea. for one, "black and gold" (despite what Shinseki thinks) are NOT the Army colors -- they are the colors of West Point. The Army colors are Blue and Gold. That would be why the dress uniforms and most insignia have ALWAYS been blue and gold. . . If Shinseki wanted to give everyone a beret for garrison wear, maybe he should have assigned khaki to the general run, and left teh Rangers in black.

8. The brimmed service cap should have been dumped. If we were going to change the uniforms anyway, might as well have told officers and senior NCOs to get the black brimmed Stetson for their formal headgear when berets just won't do. Why copy a Russian/prussian design from the Napoleonic era, when an instantly identifiable AMERICAN design that is just as practical was available? And for darned sure, no one would confuse a guy in a blue uniform in a Stetson with an Air Force offcier or bus driver.

9. They should have just carried over the regs on wear of unit patches and tabs. The pin on miniature badges just look dumb.

10. Why, oh why, did they stay with a WHITE shirt? White shirts made sense when Army Blues were purely a dress uniform.

Jason said...

Holy crap, when did the Army let Merrill *spit* McPeak on their uniform board? I knew we should never have released him into the wild with just a tracking collar and a pension!

Brian Dunbar said...

We're down to only one branch of service with a decent looking set of class Bs.

There is a lot to be said for tradition. Semper fi!

I'm still irked about having to sew on name and service tapes in the early 90s. Violates a fundamental leadership trait (know your men) and .. if you can't tell the guy is a Marine just by looking at him then something is wrong with the Marine, not the uniform.

Matthew said...

In the early '90s if you worked in an office you were in Charlies or Bravos. One negative side-effect, to this Sgt's mind, of Grey's "Every Marine a Rifleman" was the change from cammies only in field units to making it the uniform of the day for Marines who only saw dirt in the flower beds outside their offices.

I thought it made sense to have that professional public face contrasting with the "work uniform" for people who actually got dirty.

Marines are supposed to be the best dressed in peace and the best killers in war.

mariner said...

re: Navy

Watch yo' mouf, woman!

mariner said...

"But the Boss presented it, so he must like it. Plus, they will think I'm gay if I say anything about how it looks."

The Boss wants our enemies to think you're all gay.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

The sailors I work with are laughing and pointing.

I dunno - that jarhead-looking work uniform the Navy just switched to isn't all that great....

Try wearing a Dixie Cup with a flight suit...

I'd rather not wear a dog dish with anything, thankyouverymuch. Ball caps with working uniforms, and bring back flat hats for dress uniforms!

But then again I am still bitching about the beret...

Hear, hear!

D.W. Drang said...

Decision to phase out OGs and replace with Blues was announced last year.
The Army colors are Blue and Gold.
The National Colors are Blue and Gold. Don't ask me who gets (got) to decide that, or how it was established, but I think it dates back to the Revolution, and the point was resurrected when they made this decision, which, as noted above, was intended to reduce the number of uniforms you have to haul around.

20 years and I never even contemplated purchasing a set of Blues. Honestly, I never wore my OGs enough to make that purchase worthwhile, either, but I had to have those.

Agree that the white shirt w/the Bs look silly, but, again, hardly anyone wears that anymore.

Um, by "decent looking Class B's", are you voting Marines or Navy? (I know women who lose it when they see a guy in Crackerjacks.... At least it's distinctive.)

global village idiot said...

Meh. To tell the truth I haven't worn B's or A's since 2003. Even when I was in Active Duty, I only ever wore the dress uniform on a regular basis in the 82nd (EOM payday formation). After Eighty-Deuce, I wore them precisely twice on Active Duty and once in the Reserves. Next time I wear them will be for my DA photo and it'll probably be the last time.


reflectoscope said...

I'd go with George C. Patton's remarks on the subject, if this apparently no further role for restraint and good taste.


Ragin' Dave said...

The beret -

There aren't words in the English language to adequately describe how Soldiers feel about wearing the beret. Let's just say it's unpopular.

ACUs - Once again, had anyone asked real Soldiers about it, the velcro wouldn't have ever been added. I don't know a single troop who was polled. I guess velcro is real big in the Pentagon.

The ASU - Frickin' third world general look-alike wanna-be crap. They need to take all that crap off the uniform. Blue is the traditional Army color. Great. Take the gold off the pants. That's for the Cav. Take all the shiny crap off the front. A badge for wartime service? What the hell?

There should be nameplate, regimental crest and unit awards on the right - individual ribbons and awards on the left, unit crest on the epaulets, rank on the sleeve for NCO and on the shoulder for officers. Done. Simple. I would institute a grey shirt instead of a white one, just for the simple fact that grey won't show any dirt as easily as white will.

But then again, I wasn't asked.,

AM said...

The part of the new ASU that ticks me off is that it does away with the full color cloth tabs. Now if you are Ranger, Sapper, SF, or Pres 100 qualled you can only wear the miniature metal tabs.

I've been thinking that the DOD could save a lot of money by going to an "All Service" dress uniform in slate gray or black that the individual services could snazzy up as they saw fit.

It would sure make the bean counters happy.

docjim505 said...

Say what you will about the new dress blues, but they are MILES ahead of the lime koolaid shirt and doubleknit polyester greens I had to wear once every year.

IMO, part of the problem with ANY uniform is the propensity of the services (especially the Army) to junk them up with as many ribbons, badges, tabs, stripes, and other assorted gewgaws in order to make even the most accomplished chairwarmer look like he's tougher than Alvin York.

As for everybody getting new uniforms... Eh, it happens. Americans have twin fetishes for "new and improved" and "keeping up with the Joneses", so all the services decided that they just HAD to have new duds even though what they had was, for the most part, perfectly adequate.

Boat Guy said...

Uniform stuff gets personal - as it should if one has any pride in self and service.
Pile on; Beret as still the worst offense against the US Army, the wearing of field uniforms by office pogues of all service, the Navy's decision to make everybody look like the Serbian MUP - and copy the USMC Charlies in an ineffective manner ... and, and, I won't even get started on the USAF...
Thank God USMC still has decent Service and Dress uniforms but this idea of green/winter, brown/summer cammies is an even dumber manifestation of "green side out/brown side out" for helmet covers and shelter halves.
Glad - for the first time - that I'm not wearing a uniform anymore

Cargosquid said...

You should have seen the looks one of my guys got. Former infantry, now Navy. Infantry combat badge, jump wings, surface warfare, and he was trying for subs......just to get the full set.

Hate the new Navy uniforms. Should have stayed with the dungarees for work or gone to coveralls. Salt and Peppers for office:black pants/white shirt.

Dixie Cups with dress uniform. Outstanding. If you don't like the Dixie, why did you join the Canoe club? Besides, they make great "pick up" presents.....

Army berets? Even the Navy sympathized.

Everyone is supposed to make fun of the Air Force. They just make it so easy.....

Coast Guard is looking alot better.

And the USMC, as usual....classic.

Dixie said...

Army uniforms died when the Brown Shoe Army did. Everything since then has been progressively less "war fighter" and more "bus driver."

J.R.Shirley said...

I think they look better than the green Class A...except for looking too much like the Marine dress uniform! But you're right, in Class B mode, they look pretty dippy. A light blue shirt would have looked better. I don't like the green uniform, but the Army green Class B does look better.

And the stripe on the pants is retarded.

mts1 said...

The only time I see a need for BDU's is some guard duty and to be packed in the bags you take to the field for either practice or the Real Thing, with one set available to throw on in the event of an alert call. Other than that, have a garrison uniform (B's), and coveralls for working in muck. I hated the pickle suit, and would've much rather had a basic shirt and pants for 80% of what mundane crap I had to do, and that was in a combat MOS.

I thought we were color coding the services, and here get a Navy style uniform. And a white shirt will be hell for inspections. Whenever I see beret I think Samuel Jackson and jazz sax players, or coffeehouse poetry slams. Special Forces and Rangers are so bad assed they can wear a beret and make it work. Not so for Chairborne Rangers, or the rest of the Army in general. Have a ballcap for B's and garrison cap for A's.

I'd like to see the OD green and khaki that we came out of WW II with be brought back, Ike Jacket and all. Practical. Even have the tie tucked in the shirt halfway down instead of dangling.

But no one asked me, and so they have the ultimate Horse Designed by Committee. Looks like a damn marching band.

C Sherman said...

Why? Because we are at war, and some Pentagon nabob needed an accomplishment for his evaluation...besides, there's lots of money, right?

It's not popular in the ranks, I promise. And the officers are REALLY happy to pay to add another expensive uniform to the closet.

Honestly, if Secretary Gates would gather the leaders of the services together and tell them to figure out a common combat uniform, or else, you would probably hear soldiers cheering from anywhere in the country. Every service has introduced at least one new 'combat' or camouflage uniform in the last several years, and some have come up with several. The sums of money spent to develop and field all of these uniforms is staggering, and no one is telling them to STOP!