Every Soldier wants to maintain a high standard of military appearance, and one of the more common practices done to achieve this appearance is to have the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) pressed with heavy starch.

However, the days of 'breaking starch' are over. Starching the ACU is not authorized.
All Army Activities Message Date Time Group 2022002 April 2005, announced the instructions on the wear and care of the wrinkle-free, universal camouflage pattern ACU ensemble. In these instructions it clearly states Soldiers will not starch the ACU under any circumstances. The use of starch, sizing and any process that involves dry-cleaning or a steam press will adversely affect the treatments and durability of the uniform. It is designed to be ready to wear. Removing the uniform immediately from the dryer and laying it flat or hanging it up may help reduce wrinkling.

It is each Soldier's responsibility to adhere to the standard and to set the example for others. When a Soldier takes his or her uniforms to the cleaners to be pressed and starched, the Soldier is violating the standard. Leaders who do not correct this are not only violating the standard, but setting a new unauthorized standard.

Although Army Regulation (AR) 670-1 does authorize the mix and match of the Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU) with civilian attire, it is only when authorized by the commander. For all Soldiers assigned to Fort Sill, in accordance with the Fort Sill Blue Book, the IPFU may only be worn as part of a complete uniform and may not be mixed with civilian clothing on or off the installation. Leaders need to ensure the proper wear of this uniform according to environmental conditions and maintain uniformity of personnel in the uniform during physical training.

The IPFU is authorized for wear while conducting physical training or participating in sports events on or off the installation. It is not authorized to be worn in the Fort Sill Post Exchange (to include food court area and adjoining establishments), PX-tra or Military Clothing and Sales. It may be worn at Fort Sill AAFES gas stations and associated shoppette facilities.

For more information refer to AR 670-1 dated Feb. 3, 2005, with Rapid Action Revision May 11, 2012; Fort Sill Blue Book dated January 2011; and ALARACT MSG DTG 2022002 April 2005.

The people at the Fort Sill Inspector General office are interested in answering questions on any Army-related matters. For more information on the subject addressed here or for questions for future articles, contact the IG office at 580-442-3224 or email usarmy.sill.fcoe.mbx.fort-sill-inspector-general@mail.mil.

Page last updated Thu December 13th, 2012 at 00:00