Women soldiers told the army they wanted pants, not a skirt, for the Greens’ uniform
When developing the ArmyOf the much-vaunted new service uniform, officials took an unprecedented step: They convened an all-female panel to assess the uniform’s fit and feel and provide feedback.
As a result, the new Army Greens uniform will have pants as the default option for women, rather than a skirt, as with previous clothing sets. While women will still be able to purchase an optional uniform skirt, the board preference indication was important, said Col. Stephen Thomas, project manager for soldier survivability at PEO Soldier.
“The whole all-female board of directors decided, ‘Hey, so we want pants rather than a skirt as the main uniform because we want all of us, as soldiers, to look the same,” Thomas told the reporters at a roundtable Tuesday. “And I thought it was pretty deep, that this all-female council make that decision.”
The board, which was assembled “early in the development process,” according to Defense Logistics Agency officials, also helped assess fit and comfort, comparing the new Greens to the current blue service uniform. of the Army.
Greens, which are based on the iconic WWII-era pinks and greens uniform, won’t become mandatory for soldiers until October 2027. Officials say they’ve coordinated a long delay for that to happen. enlisted soldiers can save their uniform allowance to purchase the items, which are more expensive, as well as more durable.
But military leaders have already been working for more than a year to promote enthusiasm and anticipation for the new uniform, which they say embodies the “pride and heritage” of service.
General Mark Milley, then the army’s chief of staff, played a personal role in the design of the first uniforms, officials said on Tuesday.
Milley visited the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts in 2017 to discuss with designers what the uniform should be, said Annette LaFleur, team leader for design, model and prototype , soldier protection and survivability at the Combat Capabilities Development Center-Soldier Center. within the Army Futures Command.
“General Milley told me about his vision for the uniform while watching an original world war [II] example of a uniform, ”said LaFleur. “The team then created modern design options for several uniform components in a briefing book for General Milley, with updated versions of the uniform.
The conversation was brief, LaFleur said, and Milley gave broad guidelines.
“He spoke about the pride and heritage of this uniform and the history of our army, and wanting to bring it back,” she said. “He wasn’t very specific in terms of the exact design details. He just spoke specifically about the fit, the aesthetics, the look. Uniting everyone with this uniform.”
It was Milley’s idea, she added, to pay special attention to the fit of the female uniform. Woman dress uniforms have long been a bugaboo for military services, with many iterations generating complaints of poor fit or female-specific components that are impractical or less crisp than their male counterparts.
The Marine Corps is in the midst of a multi-year effort to put on a unisex blue coat with the iconic high mandarin collar, replacing the traditional feminine blazer-style coat. Just this month, the Aviation announced that he would allow women should wear pants instead of the standard floor-length skirt with their formal mess dress uniforms, a decision officials said was due to “overwhelming feedback” from the force.
The desire for more unisex uniforms, however, has not been universal; the The Navy in 2019 said it was slowing down a full transition to common equipment for men and women – an initiative initiated by then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in 2015 – over concerns about fit and other issues.
The The army is already making the Greens’ uniform available to soldiers. This month, drill sergeants for basic training at Fort-Threshold, Oklahoma; Fort Jackson, Caroline from the south; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Wood of Fort Léonard, Missouri, will get all Greens, officials said. And by this fall, new elementary combat training and unit training soldiers at a station will also receive the Greens as their ceremonial uniform.
By December, most Army and Air Force exchange services locations across the force should have the uniform items available for sale.
“The military is ready for this uniform,” Thomas said. “I constantly receive positive feedback about the appearance of the uniform. And the next question I get, after they say how beautiful the uniform is, is, “When can I get one?” “”
– Matthew Cox contributed to this report.
– Hope Hodge Seck can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.
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