No more battle fatigues for Joint Staffers
02-19-2010 05:49 PM
Battle fatigues will be off limits as of March 1 for all 1,200 members of the Pentagon-based Joint Staff, according to a new policy issued last week.
The Feb. 12 policy letter, signed out by Rear Adm. B.E. Grooms, vice director of the Joint Staff, requires that all service members assigned to the staff wear their service’s Class B-equivalent as the uniform of the day.
For the Army, that’s the Class B uniform. Airmen will wear their service uniform blues. Marines will wear their service B or C uniform, while Coast Guardsmen will wear their service dress blue or white uniform, depending on the season.
The change will have no effect on members of the Navy, who already wear winter or summer khakis in the Pentagon.
In general, the uniform of the day will be a dress shirt, slacks or skirt, and dress shoes. Utility uniforms will be permitted only when service members are performing manual labor or are in direct support of contingency or exercise operations, Grooms said.
Dressier uniforms will be worn on special occasions, such as official visits of dignitaries, visits to Capitol Hill or official formal occasions.
The change follows a review of Joint Staff uniform policies ordered in early February by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Mullen had prohibited his half-dozen or so front-office personnel from wearing fatigues or flight suits since he became the nation’s top officer in October 2007, but that policy did not affect the rest of the Joint Staff, said Mullen’s spokesman, Capt. John Kirby.
Joint Staffers currently follow their respective services’ Pentagon uniform policies.
Under those policies, airmen wear their dress or service blues on Mondays and Airman Battle Uniforms the rest of the week. But unlike the other services, Air Force fliers can wear their dark green flight suits instead of ABUs. Army soldiers wear the Army Combat Uniform at all times. Marines wear seasonal service or dress uniforms on Fridays, but Combat Utility Uniforms on other workdays.
The Joint Staff uniform change comes on the heels of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ decision to require his front-office military staff to wear service uniforms, a move Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said was made to present a more professional image for the many visiting officials and dignitaries who come to meet with Gates.
Gates’ and Mullen’s decisions represent a turnaround from an unofficial but widespread Pentagon shift to battle fatigues following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, reflecting the nation’s new war footing and showing solidarity with forces in the fight — something Morrell said was “not lost” on Gates.
Morrell said Gates did not intend his decision, which affected only a dozen or so service members, as a signal that others in the Pentagon should follow suit, and none of the services indicated they were considering a change to their policies following Gates’ move.
[Clicking on more will open up a popup box with the complete news story from the news source. MilitaryWoman.org is not responsible for content.]