Soldiers are now authorized to wear either black or white socks with their Army physical fitness uniform.
Effective immediately, black socks can be worn with either the gray-black PT uniform or the new gold and black uniform, according to a recent Army Press release.
Like white socks, the black socks must be plain with no logos. The socks can be calf-length or ankle-length, but must at least cover the entire ankle bone, said Sgt. Maj. Eva M. Commons, Army uniform policy sergeant major with G-1.
The new policy comes as a result of soldiers requesting the change over the last several months, Commons said. Senior Army leaders go out to various installations and receive uniform questions from the field, Commons said.
“One of the ones brought back was the request to be authorized to wear black socks,” she said.
The Army staff then examined the request, she said. The black sock question was also placed into a uniform item survey completed in August by 18,588 soldiers. Almost 67 percent of respondents, or 12,408 said that black socks should be authorized.
Since the black socks will be optional, there was no production requirement, no cost associated, and the logistical aspect was minimal, so this change was able to go through an abbreviated board process, Commons said.
All of the steps of the Uniform Board process were still completed before the change was considered by the Army chief of staff, she added.
“We were able to get through all of the steps much more quickly and get it approved and get it implemented so soldiers can start operating under this new guidance,” she said.
The new guidance is outlined in an Exception to Policy memorandum signed by Lt. Gen. James McConville, Army G-1, Nov. 5. That memo will serve as the authorization for soldiers to wear black PT socks until DA Pam 670-1 is updated in a few months, Commons said.