The uniforms are one of the most iconic images we remember from classic films. They are the identification of The Greatest Generation. For many of us, the uniforms are entwined with personal family memory; my father, for instance, wore the Army uniform in his formal portrait that my mother kept on the table all the years he was gone in the jungles of the South Pacific. He wears it in snapsots taken the first exhilarating days he finally returned home, hugging his wife and daughter while friends and relatives took turns holding the Brownie box camera (the men were allowed one month before they legally had to return to civilian clothes.) Relatives asked him to wear it on his first rounds of visits to them, including the little nephew who wanted to see his uncle soldier. He wore out his uniform pants and shirts while gardening in the months and years ahead.
All that's left are the medals over the breast pocket, which I still have, and the portrait photo, which sits behind me on my filing cabinet.
They are no more, except in photos.
Until now, apparently. The Army is in the final stages of deciding upon a new uniform, and will move towards a new service dress uniform based upon the old World War II model. According to Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey, published on the site Military.com, "We wanted a uniform that we could re-identify with the American public that was significant in the American public's eye of the sense of pride in their Army," Dailey said.
"That's why we went back in history and said, 'What was the last time when there was this sense of pride and true identification … based upon their uniform?' And that's when automatically we both agreed it was Pinks and Greens during World War II.
"It was a very symbolic statement in America when you saw these young men and women coming back to and from war ... wearing that very distinctive olive drab jacket with pinkish hue pants uniform."
For more on the interview and information about this pending change in Army dress, please see this article on Military.com.