Even More Useless Army Uniform Items in Your Home


How often do you think I look in my husband’s closet and think “what we really need here is even MORE obsolete uniform items?”

If you guessed “never,” you’re on target.

But apparently the good people of the US Army don’t know that. Based on the recent camo, boot and now PT uniform decisions and announcements, it sure seems like they are sitting around wondering how to best make us buy as much new Army gear as possible. Think the ones we don’t need anymore can be used as home insulation in our walls or something handy like that?

The Army announced Aug. 11 that they will be rolling out a new PT uniform over the next three years. The change, Army officials said, is being done in response to soldier feedback that the current uniform, a grey top and black bottoms paired with a grey jacket and green skull cap in cold weather, is not sized well and is made from fabrics that do not wick (cotton). They also complained, officials said, of “modesty issues” with the shorts.

The new uniform will be available at Clothing and Sales by December of this year, and it will start being issued to soldiers between April and June of next year. The uniform will be mandatory starting in the fall of 2017.

Read more about the new Army PT uniform over here on Military.com.

In mid-July Army officials announced that camo uniforms will soon be in a new pattern, similar but not the same as the one already used downrange now, and totally different from the one worn in garrison.

And last month Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler clarified an existing boot regulation to block troops from wearing boots many of them already own and have worn both overseas and stateside for years.

That means by the fall of 2017 you could reasonably be rocking in your closet pieces of three uniforms that are no longer permitted, and any holdover boots that you just couldn’t part with. If for some reason you still have the Class As lurking in there, you’ve got even more useless clothing items to deal with.

Beyond the boots, the cost of replacing these items isn’t really concerning to me. Uniforms wear-out, and three years seems like plenty of time for those already ratty looking cotton PT shirts my husband wears to be good and done. But it does seem like a tremendous waste of time and resources to continually develop new uniform items even when, admittedly, the current PT shorts show a little too much information when you’re doing sit-ups if you know what I mean.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • Elizabeth

    My personal and admittedly very cynical opinion is that all of these changes have much less to do with the safety or comfort of soldiers and more to do with paying back some politicians’ donors. I cannot prove this of course, but if I had the resources I would follow the money just to make sure that some political donor isn’t directly or indirectly benefiting from forcing military families to purchase all of this new gear.

    • Lisa

      Personally I don’t care what donors may or may not benefit because when it comes down to it, the changes would make the uniforms safer and more comfortable for Soldiers and being one myself, I’m all for that.

    • crystal

      I agree this is waste of money, their grey ones are just fine. We are broke and government is spending money useless stuff that military does not need. Then we here news stories that vets can not see a doctor for goodness sakes. Again, we people (all military community) tell them this kind stuff needs to stop.

  • Brent

    The last paragraph makes this whole article useless and all you’re doing is creating click-bait. Sadly, I took it, and read this pathetic article, and wasted five minutes of my lunch.

    • Jim

      It took you five minutes to read that? It wasn’t a waste then. You need any practice you can get.

    • Amy_Bushatz

      Do the shorts not show too much on you? Because I think you may be the exception. But thanks, anyway, for your unkind comment

  • Ashley

    Brent, the point is that constantly re-designing the various uniforms that soldiers are required to have is annoying, a waste of time and money and resources. Especially with all the DoD budget complaints and issues. Most will have to spend money, yet again, to replace perfectly good uniforms, while millions will be spent issuing them to new recruits.

    I’m like Amy, I find myself constantly looking at the clutter that makes up all the extra stuff we have in and around our home that my husband can no longer use. And what do we do with it? What CAN we do with it?

    We still have our BDU field jackets hanging up in the coat closet right next to Class A uniforms, Dress Blues, ACUs (both for Garrison and deployment and of course the worn out ones for the field), PT uniforms (hot and cold weather), and several pairs of boots and running shoes, dress shoes, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

    Honestly, I have no idea what to do with all the stuff we can’t use. I hate to throw it away, and I wish there was a way to recycle them.

    As far as the PT shorts go, I agree, they do show too much, but when I was on active duty and wearing them every morning, I always wore spandex shorts underneath.

    • hcconng

      Sell them online. Seriously, cosplayers really need military stuff, you can sell it pretty easily on the right site.

    • Announcer Ace

      Donate them to a Veterans group for the homeless or needy.

    • Dan

      Sell it to Ranger Joe’s or donate it to charity. If you itemize, you can get some of the cost back through tax credit.

    • Donna

      Ebay? Goodwill? Salvation Army?

    • Lisa

      If you were active duty then surely you’d understand the need to have uniforms that are actually practical compared to the useless garrison pattern we currently have? The current one doesn’t work anywhere especially at night where you might as well be wearing a beacon broadcasting your location. Sorry but I can think of FAR more useless things the DoD has spent the budget on than creating more practical uniforms for Soldiers. IMO, the current uniforms aren’t “perfectly good”, they’re useless in combat, uncomfortable, and impractical. I personally don’t wear spandex under the PT shorts but I also don’t care about the “showiness”, it’s more a dislike of the way they feel (and they look sloppy IMO too).

  • Retire SFC

    As a new retired senior non-commissioned officer, I find that what you seem to forget is that each year all enlisted soldiers recieve a clothing allowance to purchase new uniforms and boots to replace those that are worn out or unserviceable. The old clothes can be sold to surplus store for some money or you can donate them to less fortunate people thru goodwill or local clothing drop offs.

  • Lisa

    I hate the idea of having to spend tons more money on new uniforms (it’d be nice if they increased everyone’s clothing budget for at least the year that they’re released to help out with that since it’s highly unlikely they’d be issuing us any pairs for free). However, I don’t know anyone who is actually a Soldier who is unhappy to get rid of the current uniforms. The current garrison uniform pattern looks stupid and never should have been made for us in the first place. The new one they’re making for us that looks similar to the multicam is WAY better than our current pattern and I can’t wait to get them. If only we could have gotten the rights to keep the multicam but this is close enough. In regards to the PT uniform, the current one isn’t very comfortable either. I don’t care if someone can see up my shorts, it’s the fit of them and the weird style that I don’t care for (I have to cut out the lining so they don’t fit funny and even then they aren’t very comfortable to run in to me). These new shorts may or may not be more comfortable but I can already see they look better so hopefully the comfort level increases too. The biggest thing I am happy about is the long sleeve summer PT shirt will no longer have that stupid mock turtleneck. I HATE running in the winter with that thing clinging to my neck. Hell even if you’re in a unit that doesn’t throw a fit if some people want to fold the neck down, it’s still annoying to have to do so and I look forward to a more comfortable collar. I’m sure many spouses are more likely to just look at it from a money perspective (and maybe wanting/hoping their spouse still looks good in the new patterns I suppose) but changing up the uniform IMO truly is something that’s been needed for a long time now. It’s about Soldiers being able to wear clothing that fits comfortably as well as works on a tactical and technical level. If we’re going to get uniforms that more consistently work in different environments compared to the useless current uniform that actually GLOWS in the moonlight (our interpreters who were wearing the current garrison pattern instead of multicam stood out so much when we did dismounted night patrols due to the moon highlighting their positions).

  • SGMBob

    Heck, after 28 years active duty I’ve now been retired since 1989, and I STILL have all those old uniforms packed away. I may need them someday…… :-))

  • Anonymous

    Truth in titles…