New uniform changes have been authorized for soldiers who have earned multiple identification badges, as well as for women who'd like an alternative to the uniform skirt at social functions.
Effective immediately, soldiers are authorized to move identification badges to the opposite side of the Army Combat Uniform coat in order to wear two badges normally prescribed for the same side of the ACU, according to a
memo from the Army G-1
. Soldiers remain limited to a total of two badges on the ACU, one on each side.
The change affects these badges: The Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Badge, the Military Horseman Badge, the Drill Sergeant Badge, the Army or Army Reserve Recruiter Badge, the Career Counselor Badge, the Army National Guard Recruiter Badge, and the Instructor Badge.
The Army also announced that
, female soldiers are allowed to wear either the blue Army skirt or slacks with the Army Service Uniform during social functions.
"This helps a lot of soldiers," Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey told Army Times on May 9.
Previously, the identification badges were only authorized for wear on the right side of the ACU, meaning soldiers had to play favorites and pick only one to display.
"So what we said was, 'Hey, soldiers earned this stuff. Who cares which side it’s on?'" Dailey said.
Under the new rules, for two badges normally worn on the right side, a soldier may move the lower precedence badge to the left side of the ACU coat. Soldiers are only allowed to wear one recruiting badge on their uniform at a time.
Leadership has also smoothed out a wrinkle with dress uniforms. When the Army fielded the ASU, uniform regulations evolved to make it a multi-purpose dress uniform that can be worn both in official and formal settings, in place of buying a dress mess uniform.
"When we came to one single uniform, it was an oversight," Dailey said.
Because the dress mess uniform requires a long skirt for women, the "formal configuration" rules were written with only the knee-length ASU skirt in mind, despite women having both pants and a skirt as an option in other ASU configurations.
"The new policy will allow them to wear the skirt or pants," to formal events, Dailey said.
Those are two of the latest uniform updates to come across SMA's desk, while some remain in the works after months of deliberation. Allowing nail polish in uniform, for example, is still being debated.
"I'm having trouble getting a consensus on it," Dailey said.
He plans to run the idea by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley once more before making a determination, he said, adding that with clear standards, there "shouldn't be a problem" with allowing female soldiers to paint their nails.