Army Service Uniform
The Army Service Uniform (ASU) is a military uniform worn by United States Army personnel in situations where formal dress is called for. It can be worn at most public and official functions, and as an analog for business dress. In combat situations, the Army Combat Uniform is used.
The blue ASU replaced the "Army Green" and "Army White" service uniforms. Originally created in 2008 as a secondary uniform to the former army "class A greens", in the autumn of 2010 it started being issued to all soldiers and now is worn army-wide as the official service uniform. It is based on the older "dress blue" dress uniform. Older antecedents include the uniforms of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and the Union Army's during the American Civil War. Their influence is apparent in the overall blue theme, the officers' passants (shoulder-straps) and trouser design.
On Veterans Day 2018, the Army announced that a new version of the Army Greens, based on the "pinks and greens" uniform worn in World War II, would be brought back as the everyday service uniform starting in 2020. The current Army Blues Uniform will return to being a formal dress uniform. The new service uniform will include khaki pants and brown leather oxfords for both men and women, with women having the option to wear a pencil skirt and pumps instead. There will be a leather bomber jacket as an outerwear option.
The blue Army Service Uniform has been used since the late 2000s. According to Army Regulation 670-1: Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, the Army Service Uniform seeks to combine dress and Service uniforms through wear stipulations. The ASU was announced in 2006 by then-Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker, and serves as the Army's dress, garrison, and ceremonial uniform. The blue ASU made its "debut" at the 2007 State of the Union Address, when General Schoomaker wore his blue uniform.
The ASU used the preexisting "army blue" uniform as a model. In terms of color the ASU resembles the campaign uniforms worn by soldiers during the Mexican–American War, American Civil War, Indian Wars, and the Spanish–American War prior to the introduction of khaki uniforms in the 1890s and olive drab uniforms in 1902, relegating the blue uniform to use as dress uniform. Dress uniforms of dark-blue tunics and light-blue trousers were worn by all ranks until 1917 and reintroduced in a modernized form (with open collar and tie) for officers and warrant officers in 1937.
Since 2010, enlisted soldiers have received the blue service uniform as part of their basic clothing bag issue when they enter the army during initial training. The Army further provides active-duty enlisted soldiers an annual clothing allowance to maintain their basic clothing bag issue items. The Army included a series of stipends in this annual clothing allowance to replace the green service uniform for already-serving soldiers. Commissioned officers are given a one-time stipend when commissioned to purchase their required uniform items. The Army requires officers to purchase and maintain only the blue service uniform. Possession and use of the blue ASU has been mandatory for all soldiers since October 1, 2015, when the green Class A was retired.
The ASU includes a midnight blue coat worn with lighter blue low waist trousers for male soldiers and a midnight blue coat worn with either lighter blue slacks or midnight blue skirt for female soldiers. The trousers/slacks for non-commissioned and commissioned officers Include a stripe of gold braid on the outer side of the leg. Generals wear midnight blue trousers/slacks with gold braid instead of the lighter blue used in lower ranks. The fabric for the ASU consists of 55% wool and 45% polyester material. The ASU is worn with short- or long-sleeved white shirts with permanent military creases and shoulder loops. Compared to the Army's previous uniforms, the blue ASU does not include a garrison cap; soldiers continue to wear the Army's berets.
The dress blue ASU configuration for males includes the blue coat and trousers and a long-sleeved white shirt with black tie. The dress blue ASU for females includes the blue coat, skirt, and a long-sleeved white shirt with black neck tab. Females in army bands, honor guards, and female chaplains are authorized to wear army blue slacks in the performance of their duties. The black beret and service cap are authorized for wear with this uniform. Combat boots and organizational items, such as brassards, military police accessories and distinctive unit insignia are not worn. When the dress blue ASU is worn for social events in the evening (i.e. after retreat), men may wear a black bow tie rather than a black four-in-hand necktie, and commanders may direct that headwear is not required.
The class "A" ASU configuration includes the blue coat and trousers/slacks/skirt, a short or long sleeved white shirt and four-in-hand necktie (male)/neck tab (female). Ribbons instead of medals are worn to indicate awards. Soldiers in select units are allowed to wear black combat boots with bloused trouser legs instead of low-quarter shoes.
The class "B" ASU configuration includes the blue trousers/skirt/slacks, a short or long sleeve white shirt, omitting the coat of the class "A". Soldiers wear the black necktie with the long sleeve white shirt when it is worn.
- The ASU consists of the following items:
- Coat, blue shade 450
- Trousers, blue shade 451, low waist with belt loops (male soldiers)
- Slacks, blue shade 451, Los waist (female soldiers)
- Skirt, blue shade 450 (female soldiers)
- Belt and buckle
- Black combat boots (optional for wear with class "A" and class "B" uniforms for soldiers authorized to wear the tan, green, or maroon berets, those assigned to air assault coded positions, and military police soldiers performing MP duties.)
- Black bow tie (worn after retreat)
- Black cape (officer only)
- Blue cape (officer only)
- Chaplain's apparel
- Gold cuff links and studs
- Black all-weather coat
- Black leather dress gloves (worn with black all weather coat or black wind breaker)
- White dress gloves
- Black handbag
- Black shoulder bag
- Black clutch
- Drill sergeant hat (authorized for wear with class "A" and class "B" uniforms)
- Judge's apparel
- Military police accessories (not authorized with the formal class "A" ASU)
- Black necktie (worn on duty)
- Neck tabs
- Black scarf (only with black all weather coat or black windbreaker)
- White long-sleeve shirt
- White short-sleeve shirt
- Black shoes
- Black pumps
- Black cushioned socks (worn with boots only)
- Black dress socks (worn with trousers/slacks)
- Sheer stockings
- Black pullover sweater
- Black unisex Cardigan
- White undershirt
- Black umbrella (female soldiers may carry and use an umbrella, only during inclement weather, when wearing the dress blue ASU. Umbrellas are not authorized in formations or when wearing field or utility uniforms)
- Black windbreaker (only with class "B" uniform)
Insignia, awards, badges and accoutrements
- Service aiguillettes (officers only) (not authorized on the class "B" ASU)
- Airborne background trimming
- Branch of service scarf (not authorized on the enlisted formal class "A" service uniform)
- Branch insignia (not authorized on the class "B" ASU)
- Brassards (not authorized on the dress blue ASU)
- Combat service identification badge (CSIB). Worn when available in place of the Green uniforms shoulder sleeve insignia. The CSIB will be worn centered on the wearer's right breast pocket of the ASU coat for male soldiers; female soldiers wear the CSIB on the right side parallel to the waistline on the ASU coat. The CSIB is ranked fifth in order of precedence below the Presidential, Vice-Presidential, Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badges. The CSIB can also be worn on the shirt when wearing the class "B" versions of the ASU
- Decorations and ribbons
- Distinctive items authorized for infantrymen
- Distinctive unit insignia (enlisted only) (authorized for wear on the class "A" and class "B" uniforms only)
- Foreign badges
- Fourragere lanyards
- Gold Star lapel pin
- Headgear insignia
- Rank insignia
- Officer candidate and warrant officer candidate insignia.
- Organizational flash
- Overseas service bars (optional)
- Distinctive regimental insignia (optional)
- Service stripes (enlisted personnel only)
- Unit awards
- U.S. badges (identification, marksmanship, combat and special skill)
- U.S. Insignia (not authorized on the class "B" ASU)
- Black, brown, maroon, tan, or green beret. (Compared to the former green uniform, a garrison cap is no longer issued.)
- Service cap (male/female; corporals and above)
- Stetson (U.S. Cavalry)
- On the new ASU, service stripes are authorized for wear on the left sleeve for enlisted soldiers and Overseas Service Bars on the right sleeve for both officers and enlisted soldiers. The service stripes and Overseas Service Bars are similar in size to the ones previously worn on the army green uniform, but are gold in color and trimmed in blue to match the ASU.
- "U.S. Army to roll out new Army Greens uniform". www.army.mil. U.S. Army. November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Garland, Chad (November 11, 2018). "What's old is new: Army rolls out 'pinks and greens' service uniform". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Myers, Meghann (November 11, 2018). "It's official: Army approves 'pinks and greens' uniform on Veterans Day". Army Times. Sightline Media Group. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- AR 670-1, Wear and Appearance of the Army Uniform Insignia
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- Cite error: The named reference
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- Army service uniform website
- Army page
- Army Clothing History articles from the Quartermaster Foundation