Soldiers now have the option to wear their awards and decorations on the Class B version of the new Army Green Service Uniform, or AGSU, according to uniform officials.
The service sent an All Army Activities, or ALARACT, message to the force Wednesday detailing new wear guidelines for the Class B variation of the World War II-style AGSU, according to an Army news release.
The biggest change is that soldiers don't have to wear the AGSU jacket to show off their accomplishments.
"Army senior leadership agreed that soldiers throughout the Army should have the option to wear insignia and accoutrements on the AGSU Class B," Sgt. Maj. Brian Sanders, the Army G-1 uniform policy sergeant major, said in the release.
Senior leaders approved the new AGSU for everyday wear in late 2018 as a replacement for the blue Army Service Uniform, or ASU, after deciding that uniform is often too formal for everyday business use.
Soldiers have until Oct. 1, 2027, to acquire the new uniform, but the Army and Air Force Exchange Service has started offering the AGSU for purchase.
The new uniform guidance makes the Class B version almost identical to the Tropical Dress variation, which is primarily intended for soldiers in hot climates; the tropical variation serves as the alternative for the Class A uniform, which requires the AGSU jacket, Master Sgt. Quintana Mitchell, a noncommissioned officer for the Uniform Policy Branch, told Military.com.
Like the Tropical Dress version, the Class B can be worn with a long- or short-sleeved shirt. The necktie is optional with short sleeves but mandatory for the long-sleeved shirt.
"The only difference is with the Class Bs, you [now] have the option of wearing your insignia and accoutrements, whereas your Tropical Dress you must have that," Mitchell said.
The Army's AR and DA PAM 670-1 uniform policies, dated Jan. 6, 2021, currently do not reflect the change authorizing awards and decorations to be worn on the AGSU Class B uniform, according to an Army slide presentation included with the ALARACT, outlining the new guidelines. Awards and decorations on the Class B should be worn in the "same manner" as the Tropical Dress variation, according to the slides.
Soldiers may wear no more than two rows of ribbons -- a total of six ribbons -- on the left side of the chest of the Class B. The Army does not limit the number of ribbon rows on the AGSU jacket.
"The reason it's only the two rows of ribbons is because the shirt was not made to hold your full ribbon rack. ... It looked completely awful," Mitchell said. "The shirt just doesn't support the weight of all of it."
The new option to wear awards and decorations on the Class B is "important to me because we get to show exactly who we are as a soldier and some of our accomplishments that we have made," Mitchell siad.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.