February 25, 2008
Wear out dates for Army BDU, other items announced
By Michelle Tan
Courtesy of Army Times
Arlington, Va. — Soldiers will no longer be allowed to wear the battle dress uniform, the desert battle dress uniform and eight other uniform items beginning April 30, the Army announced Jan. 8 in a worldwide message to all commands.
The April 30 wear-out date applies to Soldiers in the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. The wear-out date for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is April 2009.
This is the first time the Army has announced a wear-out date for the BDU and desert BDU, Army spokesman Dan Baggio said.
The BDU and desert BDU were replaced by the Army Combat Uniform in 2004, and virtually all soldiers now wear the ACU.
The transition to the ACUs was not seamless, when Soldiers complained almost immediately after the uniform’s debut in combat that the ACU wasn’t sturdy enough for the harsh conditions on the battlefield.
The Army is now re-stitching 1 million pairs of ACU trousers in an attempt to fix the problem of crotch seams ripping open in theater. The work, which began in the spring, likely will cost $3 million to $5 million and take about 18 months to complete.
In addition to the BDU and desert BDU, these items also have an April 30 wear-out date:
• Brown T-shirt
• Black leather combat boots
• Woodland and desert camouflage pattern caps
• Olive drab green name tape and U.S. Army tape
• Subdued olive green shoulder sleeve insignia and subdued combat patches
• Black rigger belt
• Web belt with open-faced black buckle
• Green and black jungle boots
Beginning Sept. 30, 2009, active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers also must stop wearing the black knit cap and black micro fleece knit cap. The woodland camouflage field jacket will have a wear-out date of Sept. 30, 2010.
The announcement was made in an All Army Activities message, which is issued periodically and between formal revisions of AR 670-1, “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia.”
The next formal revision of AR 670-1 isn’t expected until after Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey announces his decisions on pending uniform issues such as how wartime service is displayed on the new Army Service Uniform.
The Army has announced the move to ditch the dress greens in favor of the dress blues, but the official change will not take place until Casey signs off on all the details. No timeline has been set for that change.