Recruiting students from the US Army post Fort Knox became the first to be issued the service’s new “Army Green Service Uniform” earlier this month.
Considered a nostalgic nod to the greatest generation — who fought in World War II — the green and beige uniform has caused strong reactions among civilians and soldiers.
The uniforms are being manufactured by the Kentucky-based company Flying Cross which also specializes in uniforms for law enforcement and firefighters, among others.
“This is kind of cool, especially for these students, because they’re going to be the face of the Army when they go out there,” said Sgt. 1st Class Wesley Wills, career recruiter and Army Recruiter Course instructor. “To put them in the new uniform makes sense to me because they’re going to be engaging the public. It’s going to be good for the Army.”
In Week 4 of the six-week recruiter course, the 70 soldiers attending were divided into two groups so Army & Air Force Exchange Service personnel could effectively issue all pieces of the uniform set. The set issued to the recruiters includes a service coat, two pairs of pants, a long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirt each, a pair of shoes, socks, tie, belt, gloves and the distinctive cap.
“This uniform goes back to our historical identity,” said Wills. “When I was out recruiting and wore the Army Service Uniform, a lot of times I was asked if I was in the Air Force. Whereas, I believe these are a little truer to who we are.”
Already a recruiter in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Sgt. Rochelle Walsingham said she was excited to be part of the class that gets the uniform. She noted some differences from other uniforms.
“It’s a little heavier than the other ones. The jacket’s a lot heavier and more durable than other jackets are,” she said. “But the AGSUs are more form-fitting for the females. That was a big problem for the ASU for the females. These actually fit more to your form, and we were told you are able to take them out more or bring them in more, so it helps a lot.”
Uniforms became available to other soldiers who want to buy them beginning July 10. Drill sergeants are expected to be the next group to receive the uniforms, and new recruits are expected to be issued the uniforms in the fall. AAFES officials say other installations will begin receiving them shortly afterward.