WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 15, 2006) - The Army announced yesterday that in certain geographic areas for the next six months the black Intermediate Cold Wet Boot will be authorized for wear with the Army Combat Uniform in lieu of the tan ICWB, which is currently in short supply.

"The temporary policy affects Soldiers in cold regions of the continental United States, Korea, Europe and Alaska," said Sgt. Maj. Katrina Easley, branch chief for Uniform Policy at Army G-1.

The policy "will ease short-term demands and allow the supply system time to meet worldwide requirements," she said.

The first version of the ICWB, a black boot fielded in the early 1990s, filled the void between the standard-issue leather combat boots and the extreme cold weather "Mickey Mouse" boots. All versions of the ICWB allow Soldiers' feet to breathe and keep warm while operating in cold, wet environments.

Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston said that suppliers are working to get the new tan ICWB fielded as soon as possible.

"We do not want Soldiers to suffer through the winter months with their summer, light-weight tan boots," said Preston.

The temporary exception to policy is expected to last through April 2007, and allows Soldiers in the designated areas to wear the black ICWB with the ACU immediately.