US Army looking to bring back dress uniform from WWII-era

Senior American commanders of the European theater of World War II. Seated are (from left to right) Gens. William H. Simpson, George S. Patton, Carl A. Spaatz, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, Courtney H. Hodges, and Leonard T. Gerow; standing are (from left to right) Gens. Ralph F. Stearley, Hoyt Vandenberg, Walter Bedell Smith, Otto P. Weyland, and Richard E. Nugent.

Common sense may prevail in the Army after all- the most senior branch of the armed forces is considering going back to the beloved “Pink & Greens” dress uniform of World War II.

Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey has once again won the hearts and minds of his soldiers after announcing that he is heading to the next uniform board meeting with the results of an Army Times survey- one that allegedly shows the Army’s desire to return to the uniform worn in the “last good war.”

“That was the uniform of the ‘Greatest Generation.’ There was a lot of prestige and honor associated with that. The American public identified with that uniform,” he said. “We think that is more appropriate than trying to create something new.”

If Dailey has learned anything, it is that “something new” hasn’t been working for some time. The wildly unpopular Army Service Uniform was heavily lambasted when it was announced, with many complaining that the uniform was not only unprofessional looking (some harkened it to a “bus driver’s” uniform), it just didn’t look “Army” enough.

It seems that both Dailey and Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley are admitted fans of the possible uniform change, at least from feedback given when the SMA presented the idea to his superior.

When I presented it to the chief, he’s an advocate,” he said.

Another advantage of the World War II-era Pink & Greens would be a more professional duty uniform when not in the field, not dissimilar to those seen in the US Marine Corps.

“It would give us that daily uniform, that’s not a combat uniform, that’s more business,” Dailey said.

Much like the variation of “dress blues” during the era of “greens” that preceded it, the Army Service Uniform would be bumped up to a ceremonial uniform.

Dailey agreed with the idea, even going so far to admit that the Marines have a corner on the wear of traditional and professional uniforms compared to their counterparts.

“The Marine Corps is very good at this,” he said. “They’re very good at their honor, history, lineage sorts of things.”

According to the Army Times, 72 percent of 5,000 respondents polled said they would like the see the WWII uniform return as an optional item, with around 59 percent preferring it over the current uniform.

Once the proposal makes it past the uniform board, a plan and timeline will be created to phase the uniforms in.

‘It’s quicker than you think,” Dailey said, though he could not set out a timeline ahead of the board meeting.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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