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Army to Revisit "Pinks and Greens?"


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To me the biggest problem with any dress uniform the Army has now is how gaudy they look with all of the badges and ribbons. With very few exceptions for generals, that was never a problem when the pinks and greens were originally worn. At most you would only see a couple of rows of ribbons, if that, and perhaps one skill badge - aviator wings or a CIB and the rare jump wings - and a shooting badge or two.

 

I'm all for allowing a soldier to display the awards he has earned, but it is out of control. You now literally have some enlisted men and junior NCOs with more service medals than Dwight Eisenhower earned in his entire career.

 

And don't get me started on the concept of wearing metal tabs on the pocket flaps in place of the cloth versions on the sleeves.

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To me the biggest problem with any dress uniform the Army has now is how gaudy they look with all of the badges and ribbons. With very few exceptions for generals, that was never a problem when the pinks and greens were originally worn. At most you would only see a couple of rows of ribbons, if that, and perhaps one skill badge - aviator wings or a CIB and the rare jump wings - and a shooting badge or two.

 

I'm all for allowing a soldier to display the awards he has earned, but it is out of control. You now literally have some enlisted men and junior NCOs with more service medals than Dwight Eisenhower earned in his entire career.

 

And don't get me started on the concept of wearing metal tabs on the pocket flaps in place of the cloth versions on the sleeves.

Amen to that! Bringing back a great uniform only to clutter it up!

 

What are the regulations in regards to wearing or not wearing ribbons, badges, etc.?

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

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In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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Right now we are not sure what will change in the regulations reference the wearing of ribbons, ect.

 

As we get more information here at the Sergeants Major Academy. I will be happy to pass the information along as we receive it from the Sergeant Major of the Army and others.

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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To me the biggest problem with any dress uniform the Army has now is how gaudy they look with all of the badges and ribbons. With very few exceptions for generals, that was never a problem when the pinks and greens were originally worn. At most you would only see a couple of rows of ribbons, if that, and perhaps one skill badge - aviator wings or a CIB and the rare jump wings - and a shooting badge or two.

 

I'm all for allowing a soldier to display the awards he has earned, but it is out of control. You now literally have some enlisted men and junior NCOs with more service medals than Dwight Eisenhower earned in his entire career.

 

And don't get me started on the concept of wearing metal tabs on the pocket flaps in place of the cloth versions on the sleeves.

Absolutly Right.

 

An current AF Junior NCO, he got more ribbons then Hap Arnold in 45 and almost as many as Curtis LeMay in 63 :lol:

 

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Absolutly Right.

 

An current AF Junior NCO, he got more ribbons then Hap Arnold in 45 and almost as many as Curtis LeMay in 63 :lol:

 

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Really?

​Don't compare apples with oranges.

​First, the Air Force went to specialty qualification badges, certainly for morale purposes, but more to illustrate that every specialty was important to the overall mission or combat effectiveness of a unit. Kind of like the old saying that behind every pilot or aircrew was a team of at least 50 people who have equally important roles. When branches like the Navy and Coast Guard reflect specialties as rating badges worn with sleeve rates or corps as emblems on shoulder boards, why is that Air Force practice so ridiculed?

​Second, in World War II, and especially during my two decades of service, there were always unofficial -- but very reinforced protocol -- rules that dictated how many ribbons would be worn. In SAC and at one point in AAC, officers were never allowed to wear more ribbons than the commander. Also, I personally knew more than one NCO during my time who refused to wear Vietnam service ribbons, especially the ones awarded by South Vietnam -- guess some things were very personal. In the case of General Arnold, he isn't wearing everything he earned -- just as was the practice of General Eisenhower.

​Third, look at the Staff Sergeant's chest. Not only is he a security forces member, he's a Reservist. You get a pretty good crash course of the operations tempo of today's Reservists. Would hope that he has an understanding wife with all the tours reflected. I'm impressed, given that I only had five rows of ribbons and two badges when I retired.

I'm not a complete fan of all the occupational badges, especially the current Force Protection Badge, but that's because I earned the Security Police Qualification Badge -- that I am fiercely proud of -- and many of the current specialty badges just seem flat and cheap.

​Finally, as for the new Army uniforms. How exciting that the Army is taking a step back into a uniform that once was so popular.

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As I said above, I'd particularly like to see the Army go back to the WWII tradition of tucking the necktie into the shirt.

 

Yeah, if they want to go WW2 traditional, those were nifty little differences: Army/AAF wore the tie tucked in, Marines wore the "field scarf" long, Navy ties were always black.

 

 

With all the talk about resurrecting the Officer's Pinks and Greens WWII uniform, am I the only one who actually prefers the simpler enlisted uniform of WWII? Not saying the P&G isn't a nice uniform but I think the enlisted service uniform looks as good if not better.

 

I agree, a classic, especially when they were well fitted. I don't think that OD shade will ever come back, though, because it's not "fashionable" enough. Of course, Army Green was chosen because it was supposed to be more fashionable...

 

 

To me having khaki trousers (the "pinks") on the uniform makes no sense unless that becomes part of a khaki class B uniform.

 

WW2 color shades can be a can of worms! The "pink" color was different than the cotton khaki color, which was different from the TW shade. If you see color photos from WW2 with officers standing together, you see the uniform shades varied quite a bit. But 99% of people will never notice.

 

 

To me the biggest problem with any dress uniform the Army has now is how gaudy they look with all of the badges and ribbons. With very few exceptions for generals, that was never a problem when the pinks and greens were originally worn. At most you would only see a couple of rows of ribbons, if that, and perhaps one skill badge - aviator wings or a CIB and the rare jump wings - and a shooting badge or two.

 

Well, that's probably one of those things where, once it gets started, it's going to be hard to go back.

 

Justin B.

 

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What are the regulations in regards to wearing or not wearing ribbons, badges, etc.?

 

From Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia:

 

 

22–2. Authorization

a. Commanders may require the wear of authorized awards on the following occasions:

(1) Parades, reviews, inspections, and funerals.

(2) Ceremonial and social occasions.

b. Unless directed by a commander IAW paragraph 22–2(a), authorized awards are worn at the option of the wearer, when not prohibited, during normal duty hours. Personnel also may wear authorized awards on appropriate uniforms when off duty. Personnel are encouraged to wear authorized awards on the service, dress, and mess uniforms.

c. Soldiers may wear authorized awards on the Class B version of the service uniform during duty hours and when off duty, at their option.

 

The regulation states that commanders can order the wear of awards on certain occasions, but at other times it's left up to the individual. What's not expressly stated is whether an individual can choose to wear just some of his awards rather than all or none. I've always taken the approach of wearing what I wanted to; for example, just wearing three ribbons on the Class B uniform shirt. I think this is a reasonable interpretation of the regulations but no doubt there are commanders with a different opinion.

Looking for older Virginia Military Institute items: insignia, uniforms, cadet sabers, documents, and groupings belonging to VMI alumni.

Also interested in Virginia Reserve Militia (VRM) uniforms and insignia, or other items of general Virginia interest.

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Just a quick update to the above: Army Pamphlet 670-1 (the companion to AR 670-1) states "In lieu of wearing all authorized ribbons, Soldiers have the option of wearing three authorized ribbons on the service uniform shirt". So the practice of three ribbons on the Class B uniform is definitely within regulation, but still leaves open the question of whether all decorations must be worn with the Class A uniform.

Looking for older Virginia Military Institute items: insignia, uniforms, cadet sabers, documents, and groupings belonging to VMI alumni.

Also interested in Virginia Reserve Militia (VRM) uniforms and insignia, or other items of general Virginia interest.

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A good example of not wearing stuff you were awarded is the shooting medals by officers. I never got to wear my Expert badge (which I earned every time on the range) as officers just never wore them in any unit I was in or worked with.

I asked around and could never find an official reason for this, but it was just something that wasn't done. The only officer I ever saw wearing one was a National Guard Major I got an award from as an ROTC cadet.

As for awards otherwise, I got out right before 9/11 as an O3 (in a heavy mech unit) and only had one ribbon row as well as a unit award for the other side. The command I spend the most time with wasn't big on awards in general but I did see others that seemed like would give you an ARCOM for just showing up for work on Monday.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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I made a habit of only wearing two ribbons on my class A jacket. No one ever objected. Maybe the regulations ought to be amended to reduce clutter, either dictated or by choice. Some badges are redundant (like weaing jump wings, halo wings, and pathfinder). For ribbons, maybe allow ony the highest valor and service ribbons - if you have an MSM, it represents your highest medal for service, so don’t wear the commendation and achievement ribbons. Just a thought.

 

Oh, and bring back clasps and stars - one medal / ribbon with clasps for various deployments, campaigns, overseas service. No need for a unique ribbon for each thing you do.

 

Stop the clutter!

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A good example of not wearing stuff you were awarded is the shooting medals by officers. I never got to wear my Expert badge (which I earned every time on the range) as officers just never wore them in any unit I was in or worked with.

I asked around and could never find an official reason for this, but it was just something that wasn't done. The only officer I ever saw wearing one was a National Guard Major I got an award from as an ROTC cadet.

As for awards otherwise, I got out right before 9/11 as an O3 (in a heavy mech unit) and only had one ribbon row as well as a unit award for the other side. The command I spend the most time with wasn't big on awards in general but I did see others that seemed like would give you an ARCOM for just showing up for work on Monday.

 

 

Not just officers. In most of the units I was in (several of them Special Forces battalions), wearing a weapons qualification badge for anything other than the "expert" rifle qualification was at least informally discouraged (which translates to: If you wore you "expert hand grenade" badge from basic training or your "marksman rifle badge" from your most recent qualification, you would be mercilessly ridiculed.)

 

There seemed to be a general understanding - maybe unspoken? - that weapons qualification and driver badges were OK for junior enlisted personnel who didn't have much else to put on their uniforms, but once a soldier has been an NCO for awhile he has enough other "bling" on his uniform that he doesn't need to wear his bolo badges* as they were called.

 

Of course, nowadays just by completing basic training and AIT, right off the bat soldiers get at least 3 ribbons: The ASR (Army Service Ribbon), the National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) and the Global War on Terror Service Medal (GWOTSM.) By way of comparison, I didn't have a full row of ribbons until I'd been in 3 years at which time I finally had an overseas ribbon (for a tour in Germany) and an ARCOM from my first duty station to accompany my lone ASR.

 

* Bolo, slang for "blow", meaning you "blew it" or failed. When I was in, at least, any weapons qualification below "expert" was considered a "bolo badge." I don't think I ever saw anybody wear a bolo badge after Basic training/AIT. And at least in the units I was in, you wouldn't DARE show up to an E-5 or E-6 promotion board with anything other than an "expert" badge, (the thought behind this being that if you didn't earn "expert" with your assigned weapon, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to that fact.)

 

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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Hmmm...OK. I can't say I'm a fan of the "50 mission crush" style of the service cap for several reasons. First of all, it looks strange with an enlisted cap device. Second, the one worn by the female SSG on the left looks too big, Third, the way the peak swoops up at the front just looks unnatural and goofy. Finally, the "50 mission crush" cap was really a USAAF thing. I know by the end of the war it had kind of caught on with other officers but most of the WWII service hats retained the stiffener and did not have the 50 mission crush look. The one exception I'm aware of (as I stated above) is McArthur but I'm not even sure he adopted the "Crush" until after the war.

 

Would much prefer the cheaper, easier to wear, easier to carry, and more comfortable WWII style overseas cap:

 

Still, when you compare the example uniforms to the ASU that SMA is wearing, it's clear to me which one is the better uniform (it's not the ASU!)

 

 

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Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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I just can say I like the pinks and greens for enlisted. I think if they put the stiffener back in the hat, loose the belt on the jacket and make the pants the same color for EM's it would look better. I also think the rank stripes need to be darker like they were. The "pinks & greens" are for officer and warrant officers, not EM's!

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I like it just as that last photo shows. Love the crusher look.
Now, as for the maternity one.... ick. But in all fairness, there was no such thing as serving while pregnant back then, so there's no WW2 version of that.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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  • 2 weeks later...

True, Ike jackets look good on certain body types. If they're bringing back this uniform, they should consider putting the DUI's on the collars not above the nameplate, and allow the option of wearing airborne ovals.

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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True, Ike jackets look good on certain body types. If they're bringing back this uniform, they should consider putting the DUI's on the collars not above the nameplate, and allow the option of wearing airborne ovals.

 

Are airborne ovals not authorized on the ASU? I hadn't heard that.

 

Just did a google search and saw plenty of soldiers in ASU's with airborne ovals.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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True, Ike jackets look good on certain body types. If they're bringing back this uniform, they should consider putting the DUI's on the collars not above the nameplate, and allow the option of wearing airborne ovals.

The insignia above the name plate is a Soldier's RDI- Regimental Distinctive Insignia- the unit or corps he identifies with, i.e. Signal Corps, ordnance Corps, etc. or, for Combat Arms Soldiers, their regimental affiliation. Only one is worn.

 

The DUIs- Distinctive Unit Insignia- for a Soldier's current unit of assignment are worn on the coat's shoulder loops. I think it is the latter that you wish to see moved to the lapel. In WW2, officers wore their DUIs on the shoulder loop because their BOS- Branch of Service Insignia- were worn on the lower lapels below the "U.S" devices. Enlisted men wore the DUIs on the lower lapels.

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Are airborne ovals not authorized on the ASU? I hadn't heard that.

 

Just did a google search and saw plenty of soldiers in ASU's with airborne ovals.

 

Yes they do allow airborne ovals to be worn on the current ASU, however Im just saying I hope they dont do away with them because of the possible uniform change. Its highly unlikely but you can never be certain.

 

The insignia above the name plate is a Soldier's RDI- Regimental Distinctive Insignia- the unit or corps he identifies with, i.e. Signal Corps, ordnance Corps, etc. or, for Combat Arms Soldiers, their regimental affiliation. Only one is worn.

 

The DUIs- Distinctive Unit Insignia- for a Soldier's current unit of assignment are worn on the coat's shoulder loops. I think it is the latter that you wish to see moved to the lapel. In WW2, officers wore their DUIs on the shoulder loop because their BOS- Branch of Service Insignia- were worn on the lower lapels below the "U.S" devices. Enlisted men wore the DUIs on the lower lapels.

 

 

Youre absolutely correct, my mistake.

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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