Army Combat Uniform (ACU)

Utility uniforms are issued as field, training, or combat uniforms and shouldn't be worn as all-purpose uniforms when other uniforms are more appropriate (such as memorial services and funerals). Soldiers are permitted to wear Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs) while on duty, when prescribed by the commander. ACUs may be worn off post unless told by the commander or the following circumstances: 1) during commercial travel and 2) in establishments that primarily sell alcohol.

Fit and Appearance
Uniforms are designed to fit loosely and soldiers are not authorized to alter them tighter. The ACU needs to fit loosely to allow for proper airflow for ventilation and cooling.

The trousers are to be worn bloused. Use the draw cords or blousing rubbers to do this if the trousers are not tucked into boots. The legs should not be bloused tight enough to give a pegged appearance. The bloused material should not extend any further down the boot than the third set of eyelets from the top of the boot.

Rolled up coat sleeves should be no higher than three inches from the elbow. When rolled, the camouflage pattern should remain exposed.

A soldier's commander may require that the uniforms of the unit are pressed for special occasions such as parades, reviews, inspections or other ceremonies. Commanders may not require the starching of uniforms, but soldiers are authorized to do so with their ACUs. Soldiers are also allowed to press military creases in the ACUs coat, but the creases must be centered on the chest pocket on each side.

The basic headgear for utility uniforms is the patrol cap. It is preferred over the beret now. Those soldiers authorized to wear the green, tan, or maroon may still wear them in accordance with AR 670-1.

Commanders can still request the use of the beret for special events. It is not to be worn in the field, in training environments, on deployments, or where impractical. When worn, the beret is positioned so that the headband goes straight across the forehead, parallel with the ground, about one inch above the eyebrows. The flash patch should be positioned over the left eye. Excess material is draped over the right ear and should extend to between the top and middle of the ear. Soldiers may not have hairstyles that distort the shape of the beret. Soldiers are to wear the black beret unless assigned to units or positions authorized to wear the tan, green, or maroon berets. Officers and warrant officers wear non-subdued grade insignia centered on the beret flash and enlisted personnel wear their distinctive unit insignia centered on the beret flash.

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