a. The Continental Army was created 14JUNE1776 and was primarily made up of civilians. They endured hardships but they had little organization. General Washington enlisted the help of the Prussian officer Baron Friedrich Von Steuben through Benjamin Franklin to teach the men drill. Discipline became a part of military life for these selected individuals as they learned to respond to command without hesitation. As the Americans mastered the art of drill, they began to work as a team and to develop a sense of pride in themselves and in their unit.
b. Regulations published in 1779 establish the Army uniform as blue with colored facings based on region: white for New England; red for the Mid-Atlantic; and blue for the South. Musicians wore uniform coats in reverse colors. In 1782, blue coats faced red became standard for everyone except generals and staff officers.
c. The Advanced Combat Uniform (ACU) started replacing the Battle Dress Uniform(BDU) and the Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) as the combat and garrison uniform in early 2005.
d. In 2010, the MultiCam ACU was approved to wear for soldiers deploying to Afghanistan.
3. Importance of Uniformity as a Leader-
a. The Army is a uniformed service where discipline is judged, in part, by the manner in which a soldier wears a prescribed uniform, as well as by the individual’s personal
SUBJECT: History and Importance of Uniformity as a Leader appearance. Therefore, a neat and well-groomed appearance by all soldiers is fundamental to the Army and contributes to building the pride and esprit essential to an effective military force. A vital ingredient of the Army’s strength and military effectiveness is the pride and self discipline that American soldiers bring to their Service through a conservative military image. It is the responsibility of commanders to ensure that military personnel under their command present a neat and soldierly appearance.
Therefore, in the absence of specific procedures or guidelines, commanders must determine a soldier’s compliance with standards in this regulation. Soldiers must take pride in their appearance at all times, in or out of uniform, on and off duty. Pride in appearance includes soldiers’ physical fitness and adherence to acceptable weight standards, in accordance with AR 600–9.(AR 670-1 Paragraph 1-7a, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia 03 February 2005)
b. Every soldier has certain duties, responsibilities, and most have some level of authority. You should know what these are and how they apply to you. One of your obligations as a soldier is to carry out your duties to standard and the best of your ability. Bear your responsibilities knowing that you are part of a great team that only works well when each of its members do their best. If you are in a leadership position, exert authority to build the team and develop your soldiers. Your fellow soldiers are depending on you each and every day to make tough decisions based on your rank and duty position. (FM 7-21.13, Chapter 3-1, 15 October 2003)
c. Uniformity helps keep soldiers safe. By creating a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), soldiers will know where to find important items to help their comrades when injured during battle.
e. Keeping a soldier on track is the key element in solving performance problems. Motivated soldiers keep the group functioning and training productive. Ultimately soldiers accomplish the training objectives, and most importantly, the mission. Some leaders believe that soldiers work as expected simply because that is their job. That may be true, but soldiers and leaders also need a simple pat-on-the-back once in a while, for a job well done. Good leaders praise their soldiers and care about the job they are doing. Soldiers not performing to standard need correction. (FM 7-21.13, Chapter 3-45, 15 October 2003)
f. Pride in self starts with pride in appearance. Army leaders are expected to look and act like professionals. They must know how to wear the appropriate uniform or civilian attire and do so with pride. Soldiers seen in public with their jackets unbuttoned and ties undone do not send a message of pride and professionalism. Instead, they let down their unit and fellow Soldiers in the eyes of the American people. Meeting prescribed height and weight standards is another integral part of the professional role. How leaders carry themselves when displaying military courtesy and appearance sends a clear signal: I am NGOK-RTI-GSO SUBJECT: History and Importance of Uniformity as a Leader proud of my uniform, my unit, and my country.