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Army changes Class A uniform to blue
Posted by: McQ on Monday, August 25, 2008

The Army is tossing its green "Class A" uniform in favor of its older "Dress Blue" uniform. Stratfor would like you to believe it is because the Army envies the Marine's dress uniform.
After a century of green uniforms, the last one is being retired from the U.S. Army. The new "Class A" uniform, as of August 21st, 2008, will be the current blue "Dress Uniform.". By 2010, troops graduating from basic training will be issued the "dress blues" as their "Class A" uniform. The "Class B" uniform will be the dress blue trousers and a white shirt with decorations (ribbons, combat badge and so on). For both enlisted and officers, rank will be worn on epaulets. The new uniform "system" is similar to the one the U.S. Marine Corps has been wearing for decades, and that's no accident.

All this in response to decades old efforts by the troops, to drop the green "Class A" uniform (green jacket and pants, with light brown shirt and tie) and go to something, anything, more impressive.. The new Class A uniform is simply the existing dress uniform. This uniform, unlike the green Class A's, that were introduced in 1954, is based on the 19th century dress uniform. Most enlisted troops do not have the dress blue uniform, because they have to buy it themselves, and that is optional for most troops. But over the next six years, the old Class A will be phased out completely.

All this is the result of longstanding "uniform envy" soldiers have had for marines.
Essentially the blue uniform returns the Army to its tradition of blue uniforms.

In the Civil War, the color was blue:

In the Indian Wars the color was blue:

It was around WWI when the color began to change, first to brown and then decades later (1954), to green.

The Army dress uniform always remained blue - the same blue uniform which now becomes the Class A uniform.

The new "dress" uniform now, I presume, will be the mess blues.

It isn't so much that the Army has envied the Marines - it has simply hated the green uniform with a passion. I'm glad to see this change.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Don’t forget that George Washington commanded the colonists, who became the Continental Army, wearing buff and blue. The tradition goes all the way back.
Written By: Bryan Pick
"Army Blue, Army Blue, Hurrah for the Army Blue"

Written By: looker
URL: http://
As a former infantry officer (1/46, Vietnam) I detested the "AG44" (green) uniforms, but loved donning the dress blues, although the occasions were too infrequent. From the shoulder epaulettes (sp) to the blue cord representing the infantry, when donning the "dress blues and tennis shoes" I stood taller.
Written By: Skip Fendley
URL: http://
I agree with Skip. I still have my dress blues in the cedar closet with the epaulets on. It is a great looking uniform with a great tradition.

It has nothing to do with the Marine uniform. Whoever wrote that article never wore dress blues.
Written By: vnjagvet
Having now read the article, I retract the snark about the author, but I still don’t think the motivation was Marine uniform envy.
Written By: vnjagvet
I hated the dress green uniform and ESPECIALLY the lime koolaid green shirt. Gack. OTOH, I’ve always thought that the WWII-era "pinks and greens" worn by the officer corps looked pretty spiffy.

Now, if only the Army will go back to an "undress" uniform (like the old suntans) and end the practice of allowing troops to wear the utility (ACU) uniform when not on field / fatigue duty. I would think it would be cheaper, too: I seem to recall that the ACU costs almost $200.
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
Part of the rationale for the combo is that soldiers are in utility/warrior uniform almost all the time now and it simply doesn’t make sense to keep two. If you’re only keeping one, it might as well be the one that’s 1) nicer looking and 2) has a tradition behind it.

When I was on active duty (1988-92) I wore my blues more often than my greens. The only time I wore the latter were for my DA photos and for inspections. The latter were for dinings out and whatnot.

Written By: James Joyner
Great item - except where it’s wrong.

To wit: "All this in response to decades old efforts by the troops, to drop the green "Class A" uniform (green jacket and pants, with light brown shirt and tie)"

Sorry. Haven’t had the light brown shirt since around 1981 or so.

And Marine envy? Please.
Written By: js
URL: http://
I always thought the green uniform looked too much like the Air Force blue uniform, especially when we went from a light brown to a light green shirt. Having said that, I think the Army blue uniform is great for ceremonial and social occasions, but for everyday wear (and when this war ends I’m sure the ACU will go back to the field where it belongs!), it is very impractical.
Additionally, now that the blues will be worn with a white shirt, the Shinsecki movement to make the entire Army over in the mode of his beloved West Point (black and gold star anyone!) is continuing!
Written By: MAVERICK
URL: http://
There’s a fine line between looking like a bus driver and looking like a Polish Admiral, but I’m not sure that the Army has found it with the "B" white shirt and blue trousers.

I always thought that the old open collar short sleeve khaki’s were a good compromise.
Written By: bud
URL: http://
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