Leaders Book Note - ASU

This message announces the implementation of our transition to the blue Army Service Uniform (ASU). Soldiers have told the Army for the last two years what they want and expect in an ASU. The ASU must reflect and provide pride of service, tradition, and functionality; all essential traits and a culmination of many efforts from across the Army. These changes include authorizing paratroopers to continue wearing the black jump boot with the ASU, the authorization of a Combat Service Identification Badge to recognize combat service, Overseas Service (Combat) Bars authorized on the jacket sleeve for both enlisted Soldiers and Officers, the wear of Distinctive Unit Insignia and the decision to retain the white shirt with the ASU.

I attached the ALRACT message with detailed information about the implementing instructions and wear policy for the ASU.

This transition streamlines the number of uniforms Soldiers must purchase and maintain throughout their careers. During our Uniform Transformation period, the current Dress Blue Uniform is the Army Service Uniform. This allows our Solders to migrate their current Dress Blue Uniform to the ASU at minimal cost by using their annual clothing allowance. Soldiers who currently have a blue service uniform can immediately begin wearing this uniform as their ASU.

The new fabric for the ASU is heavier and wrinkle resistant over previously manufactured uniforms and will consist of 55% wool and 45% polyester material. The new ASU coat will use a tailored, athletic cut, to improve uniform fit and appearance. The ASU will include a new improved heavier and wrinkle resistant white shirt with permanent military creases. We anticipate the new ASU items available for purchase in our Military Clothing Sales Stores in the 2nd Quarter FY 2009.

We will place the new ASU items in the Soldier's clothing bag for initial entry Soldiers in 2nd Quarter, FY 10. The mandatory possession date for the new ASU items is 2nd Quarter, FY 14.

Effective 2nd quarter, FY 09, enlisted Soldiers in the grade of corporal and above will wear trousers with a gold braid sewn on the outside of seam of each trouser leg of the new blue ASU. The braid will be sewn from the bottom of the waistband to the bottom of the trouser leg. (Soldiers assigned to the Old Guard are authorized the gold braid regardless of grade).

Beginning in 2nd quarter FY09, Soldiers have the option to take their official DA photo in the ASU. This is strictly optional on the Soldiers part. Soldiers can still continue to take their DA photo in the Army green service uniform until the mandatory possession date of 2nd quarter FY14. During this transition period, official DA photos can be in either the Army green service uniform or the ASU.
The wear out date for the Army green service uniform with accessories is the 2nd quarter of FY14.
All new insignias worn on the ASU will be designed and developed by the Institute of Heraldry.

During our uniform transformation period, we again will have different versions of uniforms in our formations similar as to when we phased in the Army Combat Uniform. I ask leaders especially commanders and first sergeants to be tolerant during our uniform transformation period.

More than three years ago, former Chief of Staff Gen. Schoomaker asked me to lead an effort to help us simplify the Army's Service Uniform (ASU) while maintaining tradition and utility in a way that provides quality and a tailored appearance for our Soldiers. Through talks with many leaders, command sergeants major, Soldiers in the field, and members of the extended Army family, Gen. Casey and I conclude that the best way to maintain the tradition, to increase the utility, reduce cost to the Soldier, and to simplify our service uniforms is to eliminate the Army green and white service uniforms, and stay with the Army blue service uniform.

As uniform items become available I encourage each of you to proudly wear the Army Service Uniform at every appropriate occasion. You will find information about the uniform and its composition at the Web site http://www.army.mil/symbols/uniforms/.

Thanks for all that you do for the Nation and for the Army. Army Strong!