By Thomas Brading, Army News ServiceDecember 4, 2019
WASHINGTON -- Soldiers now have more color choices while wearing fleece caps -- but it's at their commander's discretion.
The coyote brown cap is an optional alternative to the black fleece cap while in the Army Combat Uniform, according to a change authorized by Army senior leaders earlier this year.
"Permitting the wear of the coyote fleece cap was a pretty straightforward and common-sense decision," said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston. "We're acting on that now, and I fully support it."
Like Grinston, Sgt. Maj. Brian Sanders, G-1 Uniform Policy Branch sergeant major, agrees the revision is a common-sense change, adding it doesn't break uniformity of troops.
"I was wearing a coyote cap a lot with task force members last year," Sanders admitted, about his 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."
However, the modification has stirred up mixed reviews from Soldiers on social media, mainly due to the commander's discretion caveat. Many troops believe their commanders won't come around to the change.
That said, Sanders believes their qualms will be calmed after they read the official guidance, which will be in the new AR/DA Pam 670-1 scheduled to come out next year, outlining uniform regulations.
According to the current regulation, DA Pam 670-1, "commanders may authorize wear of the foliage green or black or coyote brown 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."
However, the physical training black and yellow uniforms will still sport only the black caps because, Sanders said, "If the same changes were made with PT gear, that's when [the Army] would break away from uniformity."
Troops will still be issued the black fleece cap, but they will also have the option to personally purchase the coyote brown caps. The foliage green cap became unauthorized as of Sept. 30, 2017.
On the horizon, Sanders said, the Army still plans to roll-out its new, updated version of the World War II style service uniform, known as the Army Green Service Uniform.
If Soldiers have any questions regarding the uniform update or have suggested improvements, Sanders encourages them to reach out to their leadership or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.