Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville has approved the “coyote brown” fleece cap for optional wear by soldiers in their combat uniforms.
The policy adjustment was announced Monday by Army Human Resources Command through social media.
The change will be reflected in Pamphlet 670–1, Guide to the Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, beginning in 2020.
“Permitting the wear of the coyote fleece cap was a pretty straightforward and common-sense decision,” Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston said in an Army news service release. “We’re acting on that now, and I fully support it.”
It was also a pretty easy uniform authorization for Sgt. Maj. Brian Sanders, the G-1 Uniform Policy Branch sergeant major.
“I was wearing a coyote cap a lot with task force members last year,” Sanders said in the release, recounting a deployment. “I didn’t realize it wasn’t an authorized item, it just made sense because it blended in with the fleece jacket and combat uniform.”
The brown fleece cap is an alternative to the black cap for soldiers wearing their combat uniforms. As such, the new policy mainly addresses the color of the fleece cap. Some post commanders are already permitted to put in place fleece cap policies during poor weather, such as when temperatures are below freezing.
“Commanders may authorize wear of the foliage green or black fleece cap with the combat uniform in field environments when the Army combat helmet is not worn, on work details, or in other environments where wearing the patrol cap is impractical,” Pamphlet 670–1 previously read.
“Installation commanders will determine temperature, wind chill, and extended duty time warranting wear of the cap in nonfield, nondeployed environments," the document explained.
However, even the new uniform authorization will be at the discretion of commanders, which sparked some frustration among soldiers responding to the social media announcement.
“Do us a favor and STOP making it at the discretion of the Commander," one individual wrote under the HRC Facebook post. “News flash not all Commanders agree with the Chief of Staff therefore some Soldiers will never get to wear the fleece cap.”
While wearing their black and yellow physical training uniforms, soldiers are still required to wear the black fleece cap, according to the Army release.
Black fleece caps will still be issued to soldiers, and the brown cap will be an optional purchase soldiers can make on their own. The foliage green caps have not been authorized since Sept. 30, 2017.