More than 70 percent of the soldiers who responded to an exclusive Army Times survey like and support the return of the World War II "pinks and greens" uniform.
The survey, conducted at the request of Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey, was emailed to about 28,000 active-duty Army Times subscribers on Feb. 7. Respondents had about a week to respond, and more than 5,000 of them did.
The results were very much in favor of the old school uniforms.
Overall, 77 percent of the 5,093 respondents – all of whom said they were active-duty soldiers – said they like the pinks and greens.
In addition, 72 percent said they would like the uniform to come back as an optional item, and almost 59 percent said they prefer it over the Army Service Uniform worn today.
Army Times shared the results of the survey with Dailey.
"Thanks to the Army Times for hosting this survey, and thanks to everyone who participated with their feedback," Dailey said in a statement to Army Times. "We’re glad to know what our soldiers think about this uniform."
The pinks and greens are "a favorite of mine," Dailey said.
"It’s timeless, it represents tradition and history, and presents a professional soldierly appearance that I think our force is currently missing with only the ASU," he said. "I think we need something in between our current uniforms that serves as a ‘business suit’ that can be worn by our soldiers on occasions that require a more formal appearance than the [Operational Camouflage Pattern Army Combat Uniform] and not quite as formal as the ASU."
Overall, survey respondents were in favor of the pinks and greens uniform. However, the uniform seems to be more popular among men.
More than 80 percent of the survey’s male respondents said they like the uniform, while about 54 percent of female respondents said the same.
The World War II uniform also has a slight edge over the ASUs that are worn today.
Almost 59 percent of respondents said they prefer the pinks and greens, compared with 41 percent who prefer the ASU.
Among the male respondents, 62 percent preferred the pinks and greens to the ASU, compared with just 38 percent of the women.
Dailey stressed that no decisions have been made about whether the pinks and greens will make a comeback.
It "is something that we want to discuss as we review uniform policies and standards," Dailey said. "Knowing how soldiers feel and what Army Times readers think is certainly something that we will take into consideration."
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.