Since the Army announced its decision on Veterans Day to bring back the World War II-era “pinks and greens” service uniform, there have been questions: Who’s going to get them first? What are they made out of? How much will they cost?
Some of those answers are still not available, but we do know this: Flying Cross, an Ohio-based company that manufactures military, law enforcement and other uniforms, is outfitting recruiters, Army band members and senior officials for the initial roll-out of what’s now called the Army Greens.
“We’re very proud to be involved in the process,” Bob Getto, president of Flying Cross’s parent company Fechheimer, told Army Times in a Wednesday phone interview. “We’re very interested in helping the Army launch this.”
The company has been making pinks and greens for decades, and currently for Texas A&M’s corps of cadets.
“We made World War II uniforms for officers, so Texas A&M’s been buying them from us for a long time,” Getto said.
PEO Soldier reached out to them with the nascent service uniform idea in the spring of 2017, senior VP Fred Heldman said. The company made the first prototypes, unveiled at the 2017 AUSA Annual Symposium, and have been helping the Army realize its vision since.
“The Army is accomplishing the transition of the Army Service Uniform to the Army Green Service Uniform in three phases," Lt. Col. Isaac Taylor, an Army spokesman, told Army Times on Wednesday. “As part of Phase II, which is currently ongoing, the Army will conduct a Limited User Test and Limited User Evaluation.”
Currently, the pants (or skirt) and jacket are a 55-percent polyester, 45-percent wool blend. The Army is considering using a non-iron, cotton/polyester blend for the shirt, Heldman said.
Getto declined to comment on the price of the uniforms, as their contract is for the testing phase only, adding that the company hopes to be in contention for the contract to issue them to all soldiers.
The 2019 wear test includes mostly public-facing soldiers, like recruiters and senior leaders. But the members of Pershing’s Own band and the 3rd Infantry Regiment will also don their own sets for a Washington, D.C.-area D-Day anniversary ceremony, Heldman added.
By year’s end, the service expects to review proposals and award a contract for the uniforms that will be issued to new soldiers and sold at on-post Clothing and Sales outlets.
“Based on user feedback, the Army will finalize the uniform design later this year,” Taylor said, in time to start issuing them by the summer of 2020.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT