As the 37th Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA), General Martin Dempsey has repeatedly stated, our Army…our profession…is made up of people. The people, particularly our Soldiers, have spoken: change the Army Combat Uniform.
On 14 June 2011, changes were made after GEN Dempsey received input from Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) Raymond F. Chandler III, who was tasked to gather opinions from Soldiers in the field.
Army Directive 2011-11 (Changes to Wear of the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) Items) outlined changes that will be incorporated into the next revision of Army Regulation 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia). Effective 14 June 2011, the ACU patrol cap is the primary headgear for all Soldiers as the duty uniform headgear.
Additionally, Soldiers may now sew on the U.S. Army tape, name tape, and rank insignia. Authorized skill and identification badges may be sewn on once supplies become available. Soldiers are not authorized to mix sew-on with pin-on badges. Soldiers will not sew on shoulder sleeve insignia-current organization, shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service, tabs, or the U.S. flag.
All Army Activities (ALARACT) message 140/2007, dated 19 June 2007, determined that subdued pin on or sewn on rank is worn on the ACU sun (boonie) hat and the ACU patrol cap. The beret will be retained for wear with the Army Service Uniform.
As professional Soldiers, we are obligated to accept, embrace, adhere to and enforce standards outlined by regulations and directives. During this period of transition regarding changes to our duty and service uniforms, it is imperative we remain educated, alert and make informed corrections to our fellow Soldiers when necessary.
A professional is a skilled expert living according to a specific ethos and abiding by strict standards; and standards, are a cornerstone of our Army. All that we do as an organization is focused on meeting defined standards. It is a profession that allows wide discretion to its leaders, whether conducting combat operations or making routine decisions in garrison. This discretion incurs great responsibility on each member of the Profession of Arms…a responsibility to regulate itself and hold to strict standards.
Having said this, I am interested in hearing your feedback on the changes to our uniforms. Do you believe we are headed in the right direction? If not, what would you recommend?