I'd like to have Two Armies: One for display with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, staffs, distinguished and doddering Generals, and dear little Regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their General's bowel movements or their Colonel's piles, an Army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country.This was inspired by the news that the US Army has ended the wear of the hated "Monica", the black beret, with the duty uniform, i.e., ACUs1, 2, flight suits, and the like.
The other would be the Real One, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, who would not be put on display, but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That's the Army in which I should like to fight.
Soldier & Writer
RIP 23 FEB 2011
I've pretty much ignored the issue of the Monica, even when I was blogging about uniforms, partly in hopes that, if I ignored it, it will go away. Now it has, mostly...
Anyway, Tamara felt it mete to point out that The 'Monica' is gone. Sorta., and, in comments, some complained about GIs wearing their ACUs everywhere, for everything.
Now, I admit it seems odd to me to see troops going into the mall, or checking in for a commercial flight, wearing their field uniform. OTOH, it was not until halfway through my career that it was legal to hit MacDonald's for lunch in BDUs. I'm not certain that this is really an improvement.
I think I also let it slip by un-noted here that, a few months ago, the Army announced that the Green Service Uniform, AKA "Dress Greens"3, was being done away with in favor of what we used to call "Dress Blues". (I never owned a set of Blues; I wore my Greens so rarely--once every two years or so--that it seemed like a pointless expenditure.)
This simplifies the "clothing bag", but I'm not sure I have any opinion beyond that.
FWIW, I do think the Army should consider bringing back a khaki "Class B" uniform.
1. The pattern of the clothing is called the Army Combat Uniform, it has been worn for several years now in the Universal Camouflage Pattern, or UCP; although tests are currently underway in the field of the same uniform in Multi-cam and (I believe) A-TACS patterns.
2. The Wikipedia article linkned to above still shows the Monica being worn with the ACUs.
3. Technically, only a "dress" uniform when worn with a white shirt and either the black necktie or a black bow tie.