Enlisting In The United States Army? Here's Some Advice Regarding Your Uniforms

Posted on: 26 October 2021


When you serve in the United States Army, the uniform will represent your devotion as a soldier and your commitment to selfless service, integrity, readiness, and professionalism. That's why during basic training and AIT, as well as throughout your entire military career, you will prepare your uniforms every night so they were ready for the next day.

Here's what you need to know if you are enlisting in the United States Army. 

Shining Brass & Boots

When your older friend or family member first served in the United States Army, there's no doubt they remember shining their insignia and spit-shining their boots to pass inspection when you tell them you've enlisted. Today, however, things are a bit different.

Then, they used a brass polish to shine their army rank insignia pins. Now, soldiers can purchase rank or grade insignia that doesn't need the intensive shining and application of polishes. And boots today aren't the black leather boots of old. Today, boots are suede and do not get polished to a high shine. 

Use the Correct Pattern

There are so many different patterns when it comes to the uniform. As a civilian, you may get confused as to which camouflage pattern your uniforms will be, particularly during the current year in the middle of a transition from the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) to the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP). It's important to order the correct rank insignia because it's based on camouflage patterns. Also, service uniforms are being updated in 2021, so it's important to seek help from your squad and platoon leaders during your enlistment to ensure that you are within the uniform regulations. 

Pinned-On or Sewn-On

When it comes to uniformity, you'll hear the phrase "dress right dress" repeatedly throughout your time in the military. This means that everyone lines up in formation and looks as uniform as possible, including with their uniforms and the insignia on them. Your squad leader and platoon sergeant will inform you on whether or not your company commander prefers everyone to have pin-on or sewn-on rank and insignia.

It's important to read through, understand, and implement U.S. Army regulation 670-1 in your daily wearing of the United States Army uniform. According to Army regulations, all of the patches and insignia on a uniform should be the same. That is, all should be either sewn-on or pinned-on. When in doubt, always ask your chain of command, beginning with your squad leader.