Army to Retire BDUs
The Battle Dress Uniform in woodland camouflage was first issued in 1981 and has a wear-out date of April 30. The Desert Battle Dress Uniform and many of the uniforms' matching accessories are also being retired. They have been replaced by the digital Army Combat Uniform.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 23, 2008) - The Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for G-1 (Personnel) announced this month that the final wear-out date for the Army Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Battle Dress Uniform will be April 30 for both active-duty and reserve-component Soldiers.

The Army began phasing out the woodland and desert-pattered uniforms on June 14, 2004 with debut of the digital-patterned Army Combat Uniform.

"Our Army is always looking to constantly improve on everything we do, both on and off the battlefield," said Sgt. Maj. Katrina L. Easley, uniform policy sergeant major at G-1. "We took a look the combat usability of what was once a good uniform, and based upon feedback from the field, decided to improve it and fix the many problems reported. There were at least 20 changes made and the result is the current ACU.

"Response has been fantastic. Soldiers have adapted well to the new uniform and they tell us they truly appreciate the improvements that were made. This uniform was designed by Soldiers for Soldiers."

All brown T-shirts, black combat boots and green and black jungle boots, woodland and desert-camouflage caps, olive-drab-green name and U.S. Army tapes, subdued-olive-green shoulder-sleeve insignias and the black rigger belt and web belt with open-faced black buckle will also become obsolete on April 30.

Active-duty and reserve-component Soldiers can continue to wear the black-knit cap and the black micro-fleece-knit cap with the cold-weather woodland-camouflage field jacket until Sept. 30.

The Army Reserve Officer Training Corps wear-out date for these items is April 9.

According to Easley, there haven't been any official surveys to determine how many Soldiers still have the BDUs or Desert BDUs, but she said it's probably hard to find many who aren't wearing the ACU.

But if Soldiers are hanging on to any of these uniforms, they can save them for posterity. They aren't required to turn them in. The only requirement is that they know the wear-out date and report for duty in ACUs May 1.

"Thousands of our great Soldiers spent many years defending our country wearing that honorable uniform. I know it means something to them, just as wearing the ACU will mean something to today's Army," said Easley.

Page last updated Wed January 23rd, 2008 at 13:53