Army Combat UniformThe U.S. Army, a.k.a. THE Army, made a bold fashion statement this month by setting an official wear-out date for the venerable Battle Dress Uniform and its many variations.

As of 30 April, soldiers in the active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve will have to give up the BDU in favor of the Army Combat Uniform (pictured at left) introduced in 2004.

While the ACU has its detractors, due mainly to durability issues, the Army is addressing this problem by re-stitching millions of uniforms and feels the ACU will not only function effectively in any environment but will even provide savings in time and money to soldiers due to its always-pressed appearance and stitch-less patch attachments.

Along with the BDU, other items getting the 30 April shit-can treatment include:

  • 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 30 September, 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 30 September, 2010.