[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    February 8, 2008

Army Battle Dress Uniforms to be retired from wear April 30

      WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service) -- The Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for G-1 (Personnel) announced in late January that the final wear-out date for the Army Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert BDUs will be April 30 for both active-duty and reserve-component Soldiers.

Photo: The Battle Dress Uniform in woodland camouflage was first issued in 1981 and has a wear out date of April 30. (Photo by U.S. Army Military History Institute)
The Battle Dress Uniform in woodland camouflage was first issued in 1981 and has a wear out date of April 30. (Photo by U.S. Army Military History Institute)

      The Army began phasing out the woodland and desert-pattered uniforms on June 14, 2004 with the debut of the digital-patterned Army Combat Uniform (ACU).

      "Our Army is always looking to constantly improve on everything we do, both on and off the battlefield," said Sgt. Maj. Katrina L. Easley, uniform policy sergeant major at G-1. "We took a look at the combat usability of what was once a good uniform, and based upon feedback from the field, decided to improve it and fix the many problems reported. There were at least 20 changes made and the result is the current ACU."

      "Response has been fantastic. Soldiers have adapted well to the new uniform and they tell us they truly appreciate the improvements that were made. This uniform was designed by Soldiers for Soldiers."

      All brown T-shirts, black combat boots and green and black jungle boots, woodland and desert-camouflage caps, olive-drab-green name and U.S. Army tapes, subdued-olive-green shoulder-sleeve insignias and the black rigger belt and web belt with open-faced black buckle also will become obsolete April 30.

      Active-duty and reserve-component Soldiers can continue to wear the black-knit cap and the black micro-fleece-knit cap with the cold-weather woodland-camouflage field jacket until Sept. 30. The Army ROTC  wear-out date for these items is April 9.

      According to Easley, there haven't been any official surveys to determine how many Soldiers still have the BDUs or Desert BDUs, but she said it's probably hard to find many who aren't wearing the ACU.

      Fort McCoy Installation Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin Dubois said Troop Program Unit Soldiers are issued the ACUs through their units.

      Active Guard/Reserve Soldiers, Soldiers mobilized for more than 365 days and any other Soldiers who receive a clothing allowance are required to purchase ACUs.

      Active- and reserve-component Soldiers each were required to have two sets of ACUs by May 1, 2007 and will be required to have four sets of ACUs by May 1, 2008.

      If Soldiers are hanging on to any of the BDUs, they can save them for posterity or dispose of them. They aren't required to turn them in.

      "Thousands of our great Soldiers spent many years defending our country wearing that honorable uniform. I know it means something to them, just as wearing the ACU will mean something to today's Army," said Easley.

      Soldiers can take all the insignia off the old BDUs and wear them for  purposes other than as a military uniform, Dubois said. The only requirement is that they know the wear-out date for the BDUs and report for duty in ACUs May 1.

      The wear of the ACUs will be governed by Army Regulation 670-1 (wear and appearance of Army uniforms and insignia), which can be accessed at the Web site http://www.usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/r670_1.pdf and any All Army Activities (ALARACT)-related messages.

      For more information about the wear of ACUs in the Fort McCoy community, contact Dubois at (608) 388-3605.


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