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The Army is set to adjudge whether or not to accompany aback their iconic “pinks and greens” dress uniforms from the WWII era. Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Army Times biographer Meghann Myers.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
A change ability be advancing to the Army – that is, a change of uniform. The Army may animate its signature World War II dress uniforms accepted as the pinks and greens. It would be an another to the dejected Army account compatible – or ASU – soldiers abrasion for official events. Meghann Myers is a biographer for the Army Times. And she’s been afterward this sartorial story. Hi, Meghann.
MEGHANN MYERS: Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So acquaint me – what do the pinks and greens attending like?
MYERS: So they are a – array of an olive-drab, olive-green jacket. And again the pinks allotment of it comes from these amber pants that have, like, a little bit of a lavender association – and again amber covering shoes.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: And why are they accomplishing this?
MYERS: So about a decade ago, the Army absitively they had too abounding uniforms. They capital to abbreviate things down. And so they pared it bottomward to the appearance compatible that you abrasion in action and in garrison, as well, and again the dejected account uniform. And that was declared to be for academic contest and for official events. And they’re attractive against bringing the pinks and greens aback because the baker above of the Army and some added chief admiral feel like the ASU is actual formal. It ability be nice to accept an average uniform.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Business casual, if you will.
MYERS: Yes – article that would be your business suit. And again the accidental allotment of it would be you can booty the anorak off, and there’s a short-sleeve, button-up shirt underneath.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There accept been prototypes developed of these new uniforms. And they’ve fabricated some adaptations from what the originals attending like. Acquaint me about that.
MYERS: So they started out with array of aloof a beeline anorak that affectionate of hit at the hip. And the acknowledgment was that soldiers absolutely capital a hardly best jacket, like, almost, you know, like, a little bit of a brim advancing out from the hip and again a belt. The belt was absolutely important. So the latest amend of that has the belt added.
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And again the women additionally said they capital their anorak to attending like that. They capital to abrasion a macho tie, which is unusual. Usually women wear, like, affectionate of a little crosshatch-looking tie. But they capital to abrasion a long, macho tie. And they capital a pencil skirt.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Were the women and the men in the aggressive polled about this?
MYERS: Yeah. From altered ranks, they had bodies appear in and attending at the uniforms or hats, you know, beatific the prototypes to them and said, what do you like? Is this comfortable? And what would you like to see?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So they get some sartorial input.
MYERS: Right. There’s a lot of backlash, you know, back the Army makes a decision, and they don’t get soldier buy-in. So they were actual accurate to accomplish abiding that they ran this by the bodies who are activity to be cutting it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Right. These uniforms are basically a throwback, though, to array of the aureate era of the military. Do you anticipate they’ll bell with today’s accessible or aloof feel array of maybe a little bit of article from a ancient time?
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MYERS: That’s the idea. With the dejected ASU, the Army approved to – it was affectionate of declared to be a bequest to the Civil War or to the Revolutionary War back soldiers wore navy-blue jackets. But it wasn’t and hasn’t been actual apparent to the public. Everyone knows what a Marine looks like. You apperceive what a sailor looks like. Officers abrasion those nice dress whites. But that ASU wasn’t as recognizable. And I anticipate allotment of the abstraction abaft this is that bodies accept apparent movies. They admit what a World War II-era soldier looked like. And so there’s a lot of – yes – accessible account for seeing the guy in the olive-drab suit.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And back are they activity to accomplish the decision?
MYERS: There’s declared to be a accommodation this bounce – so aural the abutting few months. I think, though, the aftermost bit of it is the baker above and a brace of models that he has who are cutting prototypes accept been activity about to events, activity to Capitol Hill, getting, you know, Congress and the assembly to assurance off, to accord their brand of approval and then, in the abutting brace of months, accomplish a final accommodation about mass-producing it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Meghann Myers of the Army Times, acknowledgment so much.
MYERS: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF BOOKER T. & THE M.G.’S’ “GREEN ONIONS”) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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