The U.S. Army's Veteran's Day announcement on the adoption of the "Greatest Generation"-inspired Army Greens may be the softest military dress uniform rollout in the age of social media.
After more than a year of displaying modern prototypes of the World-War II pinks and greens at public events, the Army went public about its new everyday dress uniform with a short post on the Army's official website Nov. 11, the day before a federal holiday in observance of Veterans Day.
Beyond stating that soldiers would not have to buy the Army Greens until 2028, the announcement provided very little information about uniform components, wear instructions and specific cost of the various items. Also absent was any comment from the effort's champion, Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey.
It's quite different from the Army's last major uniform change announcement.
On Aug. 21, 2008, the Army rolled out the news of its adoption of the Army Service Uniform, which was adapted from the service's Dress Blue Uniform.
In addition to a ringing endorsement from then-Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston, the announcement discussed specific wear standards and policies, such as an authorization for Army paratroopers to wear their jump boots bloused with the ASU.
It's still unclear whether soldiers in airborne units will be able to follow this tradition with their current black jump boots, given that the new footwear for the Army Greens is brown leather.
The announcement did say that new soldiers will begin receiving the new Army Greens "as early as the summer of 2020," but it gave no indication of when enlisted soldiers and officers will be able to purchase it.
Marlow White Uniforms Inc., a uniform manufacturer for the Army, has a page on its website that offers limited information about the new Army Greens.
"With the Army's decision to introduce the 'Pinks & Greens' Uniforms, the earliest they would be available for purchase would likely be the end of 2020," the webpage states.
Military.com reached out to the Army with additional questions but did not receive a response by press time.
So far, Military.com readers have reacted with skepticism to the uniform change announcement. One reader questioned why the Army had chosen a 2028 mandatory wear date -- a decade from now. The ASU announcement, by contrast, gave soldiers six years to acquire the uniform.
"Mandatory wear date of 2028?? 10 years??? This uniform will go the way of the dodo bird and the original pinks and greens," the commenter wrote. "Pinks and greens are not driven by a validated uniform requirement. Pinks and greens has bypassed the Defense Acquisition process and is merely a vanity project ... This will go to the [Government Accountability Office] for their review."
Another reader commented that the Army has not made it clear if the new Army Greens service cap, trimmed in brown leather, will replace the current black beret or whether soldiers will have the option of choosing between the two.
"I hope and pray they just go with the bus driver cap instead of trying to wear a beret with those pinks and greens," the reader wrote.
The Army has not released images of the final version of the Army Greens, but last November, Dailey said the uniform would be a historically accurate representation of the uniform Gen. George C. Marshall wore as the chief of staff of the Army during WWII.
There were a few Military.com readers who expressed approval of the Army's decision to bring back pinks and greens.
"Thank God. The [current dress] blue uniform looked like a bus driver's uniform or something an African dictator would have cooked up," one reader wrote.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.