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SMA, Enough with the Uniform Changes
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Army News Service, Nov. 20, 2015) -- Dozens of
noncommissioned officers, or NCOs, applauded when one of their own asked Sgt. Maj.
of the Army Daniel A. Dailey to try and "hold off making any more uniform changes for a
Dailey replied to the NCOs - half of whom were wearing Operational Camouflage
Patterns, or OCPs, the other Army Combat Uniforms, or ACUs - "I don't want to make
any more changes."
He then qualified the remark: "I'm working hard to minimize changes, but I'd be lying if I
promised you there'd be no more changes." He joked that he's becoming known as the
"black socks and tattoo" sergeant major.
Dailey fielded questions at the end of the chief of staff of the Army-sponsored
Noncommissioned Officer Solarium II, held at the U.S. Army Command and General
Staff College here, Nov. 20.
When changes are made, the Dailey said it's normally by consensus. As a rule of
thumb, a consensus is roughly 60 percent. He said he gets that percentage by
surveying Soldiers, a process of informing leadership from the bottom up.
As for examples of consensus in action, Dailey referred to a uniform survey conducted
Soldiers were surveyed about making the blue service cap be the required headgear
with the Army Service Uniform for senior NCOs, officers and warrant officers, instead
of the beret. Just over half of the respondents favored the change, but the 60 percent
threshold wasn't met.
A female NCO seated nearby then told Dailey that she was passionate about the need
for one cap for all.
Dailey said he'd heard from others who agreed with her and some who just as
passionately didn't. For example, one female Soldier he spoke to said she appreciates
the two version because she likes the genders to be differentiated in their apparel.
There could be times in the future when changes will be made without survey or
convention, irrespective of opinion, he said. A good example would be a change to the
uniform that results in providing the Soldier a greater level of protection.
Dailey then provided insights into what he and the Army chief of staff's personal
favorites are. He said they both have nostalgia for period uniforms, like those worn
during World War II. They both were happy to see the return of the Ike jacket, for
instance. However, he said their own biases would not have much of a bearing on any
Regarding the change from ACUs to OCPs, Dailey said that in a way, enlisted Soldiers
are fortunate to have a clothing allowance that will completely pay for the new uniforms
over the phase-in period. Officers bear that expense from their own pay.
Lastly, Dailey advised having an open mind to changes of any type to avoid stagnating.