The Army Green Service Uniform will not be mandatory for about seven more years, but soldiers will be able to start purchasing the iconic World War II-style uniform by late this summer, according to uniform officials.
Army senior leaders approved the new uniform for everyday wear in late 2018 as a replacement for the blue Army Service Uniform (ASU) but announced an extended phase-in period, which is intended to give enlisted soldiers time to save up their annual clothing allowance to pay for the higher-quality uniform.
Beginning in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, the Army will begin fielding the uniform to recruiters and drill sergeants, Lt. Col. Jonathan Allen, the outgoing product manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, told Military.com in a recent email.
The Army Green Uniform will also be available for purchase at select Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores, beginning in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.
The number of AAFES outlets offering AGSUs will expand over time, said Allen, who did not offer further details on the store locations.
Military.com reached out to AAFES for more details but did not receive a response by press time.
The exact costs of the new uniform items are still unclear, but Army officials have said that the uniform will be "cost neutral to the taxpayer and the soldier in the long run."
The higher-quality fabric used in the Army Green Service Uniform, or AGSU, will give it a service life of six years, compared to the ASU's four years, Army officials maintain. The AGSU jacket features a 55/45 blend poly-wool elastique fabric, and the pants will feature a gabardine weave made of a 55/45 poly-wool blend. The shirt will be made of a 75/25 cotton-poly blend.
New soldiers will be issued the AGSU jacket, two pairs of pants, socks, brown leather shoes, both a short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirt, neck tie, garrison cap and an all-weather coat. Female soldiers will have the option of wearing a skirt and pumps.
The adoption of the AGSU is the Army's second major dress uniform change in less than a decade. The service retired its dress green uniform after 61 years of service in 2014 and replaced it with a version of the Army dress blue uniform, which became the ASU.
Soldiers have until Oct. 1, 2027, to purchase the new service uniform. After that, the current ASU will become the Army's optional dress uniform.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.