In a wide-ranging interview on Army uniform policy and changes, the new Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III said he has recommended that the service change the ACU to incorporate buttons on the cuffs and neck instead of the current Velcro hook-and-loop closures.
The reason we have Velcro on the cuffs is to prevent what's called a 'fire chimney' which is if you have an open collar the chances of a fire being pulled up along your shirt sleeve and burning your skin are higher. So if you can close that area the risk of fire and burns is reduced. Most Soldiers don't like the Velcro.Chandler spoke to military bloggers today about the major reversal implemented on the Army's birthday last week that ditched the much-hated black beret for wear in all but the most formal circumstances. Also the Army made it optional to sew on name tapes and other badges instead of using the hook and loop system.
Chandler said the options to reintegrate buttons on the ACU are in the final stages of design and explained that the Army uniform board will make the go-no-go on how that will be changed.
There are options instead of having the buttons on the outside like we had on the BDU, where you could put it on the inside of the collar and still prevent the chimney effect of fire.Interestingly, he was unapologetic about bypassing the AUB on the beret and velcro decision, saying "that was an relatively easy call to make," for the Army secretary and the new COS.
Stay tuned to Military.com tomorrow morning for a look at what Chandler said about the fate of MultiCam...