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Army to Revisit "Pinks and Greens?"


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Wonder of the SMA realizes that enlisted men and NCOs never wore the dark green jacket / pink trousers. Those were worn exclusively by commissioned and warrant officers. Enlisted men & NCOs wore an OD jacket and OD trousers. In the 1950s, there was a brief effort to have everyone wear the 'pinks & greens,' but it never gained any traction. The Army Green uniform was adopted, in part, to have everyone in the Army (officer, NCO, enlisted) wear the same uniform. Same for the change to the Army Blue uniform in the 1950s -- same style uniform for officers, NCOs and enlisted, vice the significant differences of the pre-1938 versions of the blue uniform.

 

If we are nostalgic for the uniforms worn back during WWII, then at least the SMA could advocate for the uniforms that were actually worn by the Army from 1927 - 1954.

 

Would love to have the SMA produce a photo of any enlisted man wearing pinks & greens before/during/after WWII.

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While it would be great to adopt a retro type uniform, I wonder how accepting it would be once the "newness" wore off. Do you notice the odd cut of the women's jackets and the fake pockets?

 

It may be popular only because it is something new that everyone has to have.

 

The Air Force tried that with the "Tony McPeak" uniform and look how long the original version lasted. The one that eventually resulted? Well, look at how many changes have been made and continue to be made. The Air Force also experimented with a return to 30s and 40s era uniforms.

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No need for the SMA to produce any images. He and the other senior leadership are aware of who wore and who did not wear "pinks and greens."

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No need for the SMA to produce any images. He and the other senior leadership are aware of who wore and who did not wear "pinks and greens."

They're starting a new trend, setting a new precedent as it were, that's what we get out of all this.

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A waste of time, money and resources. Why can't the Army pick a uniform and stick with it? The Marine Corps has not changed their uniforms and they are the best looking of all branches IMO.

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It's all about the legacy these folks want to leave the military with and how they will be remembered. It's a bit of a contentious debate right now... Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Wonder of the SMA realizes that enlisted men and NCOs never wore the dark green jacket / pink trousers. Those were worn exclusively by commissioned and warrant officers. Enlisted men & NCOs wore an OD jacket and OD trousers. In the 1950s, there was a brief effort to have everyone wear the 'pinks & greens,' but it never gained any traction. The Army Green uniform was adopted, in part, to have everyone in the Army (officer, NCO, enlisted) wear the same uniform. Same for the change to the Army Blue uniform in the 1950s -- same style uniform for officers, NCOs and enlisted, vice the significant differences of the pre-1938 versions of the blue uniform.

 

If we are nostalgic for the uniforms worn back during WWII, then at least the SMA could advocate for the uniforms that were actually worn by the Army from 1927 - 1954.

 

Would love to have the SMA produce a photo of any enlisted man wearing pinks & greens before/during/after WWII.

 

I doubt that the SMA needs a history lecture on Army uniforms from anybody. :rolleyes:

 

This is not a "return" to the P&G it is an all-new uniform that is BASED on the P&G officers uniform of WWII.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I think the WWII P&G officers uniform was one of the best looking uniforms in the US Army's history, period.

 

As to why only officers wore the P&G while the enlisted had the OD green uniform, there are a number of reasons:

 

1. Cost. AFAIK officers were required to purchase their own uniforms, which means that the additional cost of the P&G was borne by the officers themselves, not by the Army as a whole. It would have cost the Army dearly to outfit every troop in the P&G uniform so it made sense that enlisted uniforms (which the Army paid for out of its own money) would be the cheaper uniform.

 

2. As much as we might like to pretend that the Army of WWII was all about "camaraderie" and "esprit de corps", the reality is that the US Army prior to WWII had a very strict "caste" system where Officers and Enlisted men were considered to be very different (and officers very much "superior.") During WWII there were often separate mess facilities for officers, certainly officers had superior quarters and except when they were on the front lines (when they shared the misery of their men), officers generally had it much better than enlisted men, to include better quality, better looking uniforms.

 

It wasn't until the Doolittle commission after WWII that the Army realized that having separate officer and enlisted uniforms was counterproductive to morale within the service and they eliminated the practice of having different uniforms for officers and enlisted (though IIRC the P&G was still "optional wear" for officers right through the Korean war.)

 

Overall, I think the REAL reason people like me are reacting so favorably to the "new" P&G is because of the abomination that is the ASU. The Army took a perfectly good service uniform (the dress greens) and got rid of them, and then took the never-that-great dress blues and made them into the hideous ASU. So now American soldiers in dress uniforms either look like a door man in a fancy hotel (class A) or a mall security guard (class b.)

 

To be honest, I would actually rather see the Army go back to the dress greens but the P&G is a nice way to resurrect a very good looking uniform that soldiers can be proud to wear.

 

Really, anything's better than that awful ASU blue uniform. :wacko:

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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I doubt that the SMA needs a history lecture on Army uniforms from anybody. :rolleyes:

 

This is not a "return" to the P&G it is an all-new uniform that is BASED on the P&G officers uniform of WWII.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I think the WWII P&G officers uniform was one of the best looking uniforms in the US Army's history, period.

 

As to why only officers wore the P&G while the enlisted had the OD green uniform, there are a number of reasons:

 

1. Cost. AFAIK officers were required to purchase their own uniforms, which means that the additional cost of the P&G was borne by the officers themselves, not by the Army as a whole. It would have cost the Army dearly to outfit every troop in the P&G uniform so it made sense that enlisted uniforms (which the Army paid for out of its own money) would be the cheaper uniform.

 

2. As much as we might like to pretend that the Army of WWII was all about "camaraderie" and "esprit de corps", the reality is that the US Army prior to WWII had a very strict "caste" system where Officers and Enlisted men were considered to be very different (and officers very much "superior.") During WWII there were often separate mess facilities for officers, certainly officers had superior quarters and except when they were on the front lines (when they shared the misery of their men), officers generally had it much better than enlisted men, to include better quality, better looking uniforms.

 

It wasn't until the Doolittle commission after WWII that the Army realized that having separate officer and enlisted uniforms was counterproductive to morale within the service and they eliminated the practice of having different uniforms for officers and enlisted (though IIRC the P&G was still "optional wear" for officers right through the Korean war.)

 

Overall, I think the REAL reason people like me are reacting so favorably to the "new" P&G is because of the abomination that is the ASU. The Army took a perfectly good service uniform (the dress greens) and got rid of them, and then took the never-that-great dress blues and made them into the hideous ASU. So now American soldiers in dress uniforms either look like a door man in a fancy hotel (class A) or a mall security guard (class b.)

 

To be honest, I would actually rather see the Army go back to the dress greens but the P&G is a nice way to resurrect a very good looking uniform that soldiers can be proud to wear.

 

Really, anything's better than that awful ASU blue uniform. :wacko:

 

Well said, Martin! B)

I don't understand why people are getting their knickers in a twist over Enlisted soldiers never having worn P&Gs in WW2. I've read that there was a plan to have everyone wear them once WW2 was over but have never found any hard data on that.

As for the ASU/blues, nobody argued they don't look exactly like the 1800 uniforms, now did they? No, everyone got that they were a tip of the hat to the 'yankee blues' of the 19th century, didn't they?

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...

I have come across enlisted men's uniforms, that were Air Cadet uniforms. These were probably cadets who washed out, and kept their blouse, and bought trousers to match. Never ever seen an enlisted in the real P and G uniform. There is a military academy or was one that the cadets wore these uniforms, but actual soldiers, don't think so. What Martin said was right. The Doolittle commission came to the conclusion that the Army had a terrible caste system before and during WW2. One of the main points was what many called the drab Army olive blouse for the E.M.'s compared to the very nice officer's uniform. You still see the P and G uniform up into the fifties, but I am sure this was up to who the commander was, and when it could be used. The Army also allowed NCO's to wear the sun tan uniform with the o.d. chevrons for quite a while after the war. If u get a hold of an Army clothing catalogue you will see this uniform was very expensive in WW2 dollars. If it is made the way they make Air Force and Army uniforms now, it will look like crap. The 100% gabardine wool uniform made today will surely set the soldier back hundreds of dollars.

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They really only have to go check out Texas A&M's cadet program, as those P&Gs are made from thinner materials (for that crushing heat they have) but still look decent. In fact, I use a former A&M cadet cap with my WW2 officer/war correspondent P&Gs for living history.

Oddly, you hardly ever see surplus A&M uniforms getting out into the public. I heard about a surplus place in College Station many years ago and called them, ordering a class A jacket and a visor cap. the jacket wasn't up to my standards for living history, though, and I can't recall ever hearing of anyone getting P&Gs from an A&M cadet for that.

But the longer this goes in in theory, the less I think they'll actually do it. usually, these changes happen pretty fast, and the rumor mill doesn't have long to catch up before people read in Army Times that they're coming any day. The blues and ACUs came pretty fast like that if memory serves.

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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Still looks like a UPS drivers uniform...

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Yes...personally would prefer one color rather than a mash up.

 

But I guess it like a football team that tries to wear a modern version of a old school uniform.Just looks silly and these constant changes are part of the "feel good" culture?

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Those Texas A&M uniforms are sharp looking (except for the riding breeches - wearing riding breeches while MARCHING in formation just looks wrong.)

 

I also like that the A&M cadets still tuck the necktie into the shirt. That's a very WWII-GI-looking trick.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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  • 4 months later...

 

Perfect if you are going to take up your gunner's position on a B-17 or land on Omaha Beach.

 

Not my first choice, but at least they are returning the Dress Blues back to a dress uniform, the way it was meant to be.

Gil Burket
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of the Vietnam War

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"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

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So basically back where it was ten years ago, but with a new color scheme and redesign for the Class A. It's even going to be called the "Army Green" uniform! In other words, making the dress blues a multi-purpose uniform was a bad idea.

 

I am a little surprised they went with the dark buttons. Gold is historically accurate and already in the supply system.

 

Overall it looks good, and the return of garrison caps and color SSIs is positive IMO. Mainly, I hope it works out better for the troops.

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I like the new uniform but that's only, as I've said here multiple times, because I hate the ASU (I never liked the Army blue uniform.)

 

A few observations/comments:

 

Footgear is brown leather oxfords? Does this mean paratroopers will wear brown jump boots? I would imagine so. Welcome back to the "Brown Shoe Army" I guess.

 

Is the men's garrison cap/overseas cap pleated in the middle? I hope so, I always thought the stiff "C-Cap" (If you don't know, don't ask what the "C" stands for) of the Army green uniform was its worst feature. Still, if it means the "black beret for everybody" is gone then I'm OK with a garrison cap.

 

Not crazy about the "50 mission crush" service cap, to me it looks too "casual" for an Army dress uniform.

 

Now, my biggest fear is that the Army is going to screw up a nice uniform by contracting out to a cheap supplier who is going to make crap looking uniforms and/or the Army is not going to make an effort to ensure that soldiers get a properly fitted uniform when issued. To me this is the biggest failing of military uniform changes, they come up with a great "concept" but then they cut corners on the "execution" of the idea.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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  • 4 months later...

Update on the pinks and greens uniform change:

 

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/03/26/heres-an-early-look-at-the-new-officer-army-greens/

 

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. ― The sergeant major of the Army and several enlisted models have been showcasing the new Army Greens Uniform at public events over the past year, but the officer version has kept a much lower profile.
Gen. Robert Brown, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific, debuted his set Tuesday at AUSA’s Global Force Symposium, telling Army Times that several senior leaders have been fitted for their new service uniforms, and should be showing them off soon.
“I debated wearing it here, because I thought, only a few people have it ― but I thought, what the heck!” he said. “I’m proud of it, and they gave it to me for me to wear it!”
Brown got fitted for his uniform two months ago and had it quickly tailored last week before taking it for a spin in Alabama, he said. His only instructions were to wear it to events where he’d normally wear his blues.
“I’d be asked ― I can’t tell you how many times, in the blue traditional Army Service Uniform ― a million times on the road, ‘What airline do you fly for?’ Especially if you’re in the Class B’s," he joked.
The service officially announced its decision on the new service uniform on Veterans Day, planning a roll-out that begins with senior leaders and recruiters in 2019. U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Maj. Gen. Frank Muth told Army Times that he expects to have his in the next couple of weeks.
"I thank Sergeant Major of the Army [Dan] Dailey every time I see him, because I think it’s one of his greatest contributions,” Brown said.
Next year, new soldiers will get a custom-fit AGU when they report to their first units, while those currently serving will have until 2028 to replace their ASUs.
“I think it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to be one of the first to try it out, because I’ve said from the beginning that I’m very excited.”
For the record, the officer variant is nearly identical to the enlisted, except for the rank pins on the shoulders rather than embroidered patches on the upper sleeves.
And, different from the ASU, there are no oak leaf clusters on the service cap, nor stripes down the sides of the pants, to differentiate officers from enlisted.
“When I think about it, that’s how we are. The officers eat last. It’s about the soldiers,” Brown said. “I think that’s why they did it back then, and we kind of got away from it and started being too separate.”
The World War II-era service uniforms, of which several designs were mixed to create this current version, inspired Brown to choose West Point when the basketball team was recruiting him decades ago.
"There was a poster at West Point, and it was this uniform, and it was MacArthur, Patton, Bradley, Eisenhower ― and this uniform. And it said, ‘much of the history we teach was made by those we taught,’ " he recalled. “So now, how ironic, 42 years ago, I have a uniform similar.”
He’ll wear it there in a couple weeks, he added, when he addresses the Corps of Cadets on a visit.
“It just gives you incredible pride,” Brown said. “You know I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve never been so proud to wear a uniform.”

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“When I think about it, that’s how we are. The officers eat last. It’s about the soldiers,” Brown said. “I think that’s why they did it back then, and we kind of got away from it and started being too separate.”

 

LOL! This is when people don't know their history! There was a VERY distinct class system back then, even more than today. The good general is forgetting that the Pinks and Greens were an officer's uniform, not enlisted and that they were custom tailored and expensive while the enlisted force got the plain Jane wool service uniform. Issuing Pinks and Greens to enlisted is rather ahistorical but understandable. I certainly hope the enlisted stripes get another look over as they look too close colorwise to Canadian stripes. They do not look like the WWII stripes whatsoever. They also need to do away with the BOS distinctive insignia as it is completely redundant..... Just my 2 cents.

 

-Ski

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“When I think about it, that’s how we are. The officers eat last. It’s about the soldiers,” Brown said. “I think that’s why they did it back then, and we kind of got away from it and started being too separate.”

 

LOL! This is when people don't know their history! There was a VERY distinct class system back then, even more than today. The good general is forgetting that the Pinks and Greens were an officer's uniform, not enlisted and that they were custom tailored and expensive while the enlisted force got the plain Jane wool service uniform. Issuing Pinks and Greens to enlisted is rather ahistorical but understandable.

 

What, I can barely tell them apart!

 

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I thought the same thing, Ski.

 

And it still looks wrong to me with the dark buttons.

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Actually, the dark buttons may be historically accurate.

 

My uncle's WW II overcoat had dark plastic buttons. That coat was cut down as sort of a waist coat that went perfectly with his Ike jacket -- wonder if that's something we'll see next.

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