Army Unveils New Combat Uniform - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/08/05

Army Unveils New Combat Uniform

Spec. Cynthia Broughton in the new ACU. Spec. Cynthia Broughton in the new ACU.

When it comes to fashion, we don't often think of the United States Army. But thousands of Georgia soldiers are the first to wear the new Army combat uniform. Members of the 48th Brigade at Fort Stewart picked up the ACUs this morning.

On a post covered in green camo, Spec. Cynthia Broughton is a trend setter in the new uniform.

"It was different," she told us of her first impression. "It took a little getting used to when we first put them on."

Members of Georgia's 48th Brigade are the first to get the new threads as they prepare to deploy to Iraq. The Army will use the new digital design to replace the old camouflage pattern. They say these soldiers will be harder to see in urban, desert or wooded areas.

Designers say they changed more than just the pattern. From how it opens and closes to the location of pockets to how it fits, everything is different.

Many changes adapt the uniform to the soldiers' body armor, so collars can protect the skin and pockets underneath that were hard to reach aren't anymore. The tan no-shine boots that have been desert use only will be regulation full time. The Army says it will take years to phase in the changes.

"In October, it goes in the soldiers' bag for basic training and drill sergeants, and the following April it will go into clothing sales and go to mandatory uniform by April 2008," said Sgt. Jeff Myhre with the Army Design Team.

Broughton says the little differences, like better fit and comfort, will mean one less distraction in Iraq.

Army designers say it replaces three color versions. The wash-and-wear material needs no starch or ironing and will last longer. The new combat uniform should reach our Third Infantry in late spring or early summer.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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