Army to Soldiers: You’ve Got Two Years to Buy This


The U.S. Army is reminding soldiers that they’ve got two years to buy the new physical fitness uniform.

The service’s Future Soldier Center on Monday tweeted that the mandatory possession date for the Army Physical Fitness Uniform, or APFU, is Oct. 1, 2017.

As my colleague Matt Cox has reported, the new design will replace — and cost a few bucks less than — the existing black and gray Improved Physical Fitness Uniform. While troops generally liked the durability of the IPFU, many wanted shorts that better concealed the groin and more female sizes.

The new PT design comes as the service is surveying troops about other uniform changes. Many respondents have said they’d also prefer to wear black PT socks — a trend increasingly popular among professional athletes and civilians.

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Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • RAAFie

    Wait, U.S. Army personnel have to pay for their own uniforms? Please tell me you at least get an allowance which covers the cost.

    • matrangr

      Yes, we have to but our uniforms, but only after the first set. Our initial issue is pretty generous, and at no cost to the service member. After that, every year we get about $450 to replace uniform items.

      • DevilDawg2/3

        I don’t understand why the Army’s always changing uniforms and slogans, ie. Be all that you can be, to an Army of one (kinda like Semper I, for us), to use us to get your GI Bill, and other stuff.

        And why doesn’t the Army celebrate it’s own Bday? I think this lack of historical grounding is the reason you guys are always just flapping around in the wind.

        Kinda like when the US Navy, used a Force for Good–whose good?!!! Get you r head out of your behinds. Decide on a look and stick with it, quit with all the beret color changing.

        • Wake27

          Politics. We’re affected by it more than the Marines. A lot of the recent changes are good, but its partly because of the mess that needed to be fixed. The berets only changed color once. Ant eh Army does celebrate its birthday, I don’t know where you heard that it didn’t.

          • Devil

            It is a bigger bureaucracy.

            As for Army Bday, I’ve talked to Army guys, and a bunch of them didn’t even know.
            You ask any Marine, and they’ll tell you not only the date, but where it happened too.

          • DevildognowSoldier

            The US Army does celebrate its birthday but not all Soldiers know it’s birthdate like they taught us in the Corps. The Army of yesteryear was a lot more similar to the Corps in regards to discipline and traditions but current liberal PC is trying to have the Army create a culture similar to corporate America and I disagree with that. The Air Force has already transformed as such.

        • Some_Dude

          I recall celebrating many Army birthdays, and here’s the kicker: THE ARMY IS OLDER THAN THE MARINE CORPS!

          Hey, who’s flapping in the wind? America’s second land army, who,keeps,calling themselves the marines even though they haven’t done an amphibious landing since the 50s!

          • Devildog

            Tell that to all my buddies that died because we were first to fight!

          • LCplCruz

            If you remember celebrating Army bdays, why don’t many soldiers remember, only Pogues celebrate em or what?

            Better yet, can you describe what transpires in this “celebration”, because I can tell you in detail what happens in ours.

          • LCplCruz

            Look up MEU.

        • jack morrison

          most likely one of two things, someone is making a buck off it or whoever decides the change wants to put his finger prints on something.
          is the new outfit going to make the army fitter? what is wrong with the old outfit? was the troopers not getting the benefit of the exercises?

      • Wake27

        For enlisted. Officers get a one-time allowance upon commissioning and that’s it.

    • ColdWarVet75

      In 1974 when I entered Marine Corps Boot we had our initial uniform issue deducted from our pay. Why is a PT uniform necessary? What about utility trousers, sweat/T-shirt and combat boots?

      • sarge2630

        Combat boots were, are not designed to Run in every day. It has been proven to cause bad knees and feet and ankle issues. This change happened back in the 80’s. The rest of your question ask the Pentagon why we need a PT uniform?

    • ChiefBEM

      Does anyone here remember being issued brown boots that had been died black?

      Those were the days when U.S. Army soldiers were issued and wore 3 types of uniforms.
      Fatigues – work uniform and PT uniform
      Tans – Class B uniform
      and Greens – Class A uniform
      (Note: Whites and Blue formal uniforms also existed. However, whenever there was a formal affair, the Green – Class A uniform could be worn with a Black Bow tie and white shirt.)
      We also had 3 type of footwear.
      Low Quarters
      and shower slippers (barrack showers were always the home to just about every germ/fungus/bacteria known and unknown to man)
      Ohh……………. THE GOOD OLE DAYS!

      • jack morrison

        my dad was a supply sgt back in the good ole days, back then the troopers did not have to buy anything, when something wore out they direct exchanged the item for a new one, if there was a patch on the shirt or jacket dad would take it off and bring it home to me.
        before I got out in 83 I used to get about $6 a month in clothing allowance, did not go far when the army went to the BDU’s which were about $32 a set.

  • CH Smith

    If you are active duty and enlisted then yes you get some clothing allowance, but I don’t think it will really cover the fact that we have changed out our dress uniform over the past several years, our physical fitness uniform, and now our combat uniform. If you are in the National Guard or Reserves and enlisted the Army still issues you some uniforms, unless you want them before they get around to issuing them or want more than one. If you are going to combat you get issued new uniforms. If you are an officer you receive one clothing allowance of $600 and after that you pay everything out of pocket.

  • Jeff the Baptist

    All black? I’d rather not work out in the middle of summer in that.

    • Guest

      Honestly, right before I started my Annual Training I went out and bout a few sets since I wasn’t ever issued any, and quite frankly I like the new PT’s a heck of a lot more than the others. Surprisingly lighter and more breathable

      • Airborne

        So it is a new material? The overall look didn’t change much so I assumed it was just a facelift. I hate those damn PT pants.

    • adrestia

      It’s to ensure the chain of command has continued excuse to have soldiers wear the stupid, redundant reflective belt, which is an industry obviously owned by a bunch of ex-CSMs.

      • DevilDognowSoldier

        i agree. They could of made those same changes with the current PT uniform. Black and Gold sucks and I hope the socks stay white.

    • Jim

      What better way so shed a few pounds than doing Pt’s in the Mojave….in July!!!!

    • LTC Marlowe

      I can only wait till the first ‘heat casualty’ occurs and the Commander loses his command because he didn’t do his ‘risk assessment’ and take ‘black sweats’ into consideration…. Just say’n.

  • JohnD

    Enlisted get a clothing allowance for MAINTENANCE, the bevy of new uniforms costs everyone a ton of money! I was in 3 different uniform changes and unit cdrs and 1sgts have no patience to wait for 2 years and put pressure on troops to get the new stuff so formations look uniform! They don’t care that the expenses are too much! They idiots who design and approve these costly changes don’t think about the individual costs. The last 2 PT uniforms were expensive didn’t fit, wore out too quickly and were crap! You do not need to,have a huge redesign study to,create a uniform that is already out there! Slap,N army or marine sticker on it and call it a uniform! You do not have to redesign the wheel!

    • Airborne

      But, if they don’t reinvent the wheel, how will they get that first star on their shoulders? /sarcasm

    • dockrick

      is this the SAME gen. who keeps changing the cammies?? he must be rolling in $$$ by now.


    New! what was wrong what the old ones?

    • wtpworrier

      Well, they were old.

    • retired462

      New General = New idea.
      Maybe the general’s wife didn’t like the color of the old one; or, black ‘n gold are her favorite colors.


        Black and Gold are the West Point colors. Some GO whose walnut-sized brain is still on the gridiron (maybe he took a TBI on a hard hit while losing to Navy) is behind this.

  • dockrick

    the pict. looks like the rockettes. with that stripe

    • Guest

      Same stripe as the last one, just in a color that stands out more.

  • guest

    Back in the days when the Army was armed with spears and swords, about 30 years ago. Our PT uniform was out BDU pants and a green t-shirt in summer. In winter depending on how cold it was we wore our BDU jacket and maybe field jacket and gloves. Some units allowed you to wear running shoes and most you were your combat boots. Bottom line, no one had to buy special uniforms. We did PT in the same uniform we wore to fight in. A separate PT uniform is silly.

    • Charles Morris

      We did the same in the late 60’s

    • namvet382

      Same here, we did PT in our BDUs. If it was hot we were allowed to remove our jacket. In combat you will not bee fighting in a PT uniform, you will be wearing your BDUs, get used to it, after all I never saw a soldier running through the jungle in shorts.

    • 11CP5

      Back when we fought with rocks and sticks it was combat boots only, white t-shirt and cotton green trousers and green socks. We had shorts (green grousers cut and trimed two inches above knee for summer) I do recall our company getting a unit t-shirt which everyone had to buy and have before we could wear them for PT. Times sure has change. I give the black outfit about 4 years before a change. I would think it will be too damn hot in the summer.

    • FloydE.

      Amen..From a 1969 Infantry grunt..One suit for all jobs..SHEESH.

    • I agree

  • adrestia

    Another stupid dark, this time black, PT uniform to ensure that the yellow reflective belt industry stays in business, despite having reflective material on the uniform. I swear, some retired CSM or GO must own the reflective belt company.

    • Guest

      It’s more along the lines of using the same colors, black and gold, as the colors of the school that most of the Army’s senior leadership went to, West Point.

  • Charles Morris

    As a young officer in Vietnam, when what you were wearing rotted off, the officers and enlisted just grabbed a replacement shirt or trouser from the sling full of cast-offs that was dropped every couple of weeks. There weren’t any undergarments or socks available and no one left any rank or insignia on those. Thanks for bringing back that memory!

    • jack morrison

      as a young PFC arriving in Vietnam, 67-69, what I could not get from supply, ie drivers goggles, socks, I wrote home to my supply sgt dad and within a week or so I had what I needed,
      nice to have a army father

  • IAC

    My PT Uniform in the USMC (84 -88) was a yellow t-shirt with USMC on the front, over Lil red shorts; and old fashioned great sweats.
    Cheap and low tech, but they worked from the California dessert through the Carolinas, onto Okinawa!
    BTW, what was wrong with the ‘old ‘ uniform?

  • IAC

    IMNSHO, the cap should have been kept green for better use afield!

  • IAC

    While the shirt and shorts are cheap; the jacket and pants run $60 & $49 !
    Ouch !

  • IAC

    While the shirt and shorts are cheap; the jacket and pants run $60 & $49 !

  • JT

    So how long will it take for them to realize that an all black PT uniform is a bad idea? It won’t take long for soldiers to start becoming heat casulties. I experienced this first hand when our unit started wearing all black in 2005. It took 2 months and numerous downed soldiers before the CO had us change to a lighter color.

  • Sgt Nobody

    Many years ago, our PT uniform was fatigues, before the BDU uniform was issued. Our unit allowed “college t-shirts to be worn with Pt. I wore a tshirt that said “Atascadero State”, which is not a school. It is a very active “hospital for the criminally insane” located at Atascadero California. One day a Captain from Calif was visiting our unit, and came up to me and asked if I knew what “Atascadero State” was, I had convinced a buddy to apply for admission to their “grad school”, My buddy walked up and told the visiting Captain all about the
    “school”. The captain just smiled and said “it was one of the finest institutions in the state, the goal was to heal and to make better men of the men that were there. Then he told me I was a knucklehead. I just smiled back an said “Atascadero State is number one”

  • denny004

    they should be able to use their soon to be out of regs cammies

  • Zspoiler

    Why is the Army constantly change uniforms .

    • guest

      They cannot think of anything better to do with their time and intellect?

      • guest

        It’s to confuse the enemy so they don’t know what country our troops are from. Also, by the time (two years) have passed, someone will come up with at least 5 new designs for BDU & PT and other bullcrap uniforms. Have a good day. Vote the bastages out.

  • CW4 (ret.)

    Reflective belts… so gay (and useless).

    • macgringo


  • LIAM

    …so GLAD I am OUT!!!

  • atombaxter

    What happened to the concept of ‘train as you fight’?

  • Lars Day

    What a waste of money, time and effort. Does the Military Services only think about changing stupid stuff these days and not more important things like stopping ISIS ! No wonder no one wants to join the services anymore since they have become wimpy!

  • Winney

    Hey, suck up and get with the program.

  • John

    Our PT uniform was banana yellow for garrison, fatigues for in the field. We hated the yellow, but they worked. Why do these knuckleheads think they have to constantly redesign something that is perfectly serviceable? To raise troop morale?! A better way to address morale might be to insure that the command structure is in touch with what’s actually happening down on the platoon level, and reassign those in the structure who are better suited to heading up a laundry supply as opposed to leading soldiers in the field. I agree with John D, they’re spending too much time and resources reinventing the wheel!

  • CTOCS77

    LOL….they will change this PT gear 14 times in the next two years

  • Phillip

    All that reflective built in the uniform and they are still wearing the damn PT belt

    • john

      69 to 72 olive green uniforms were worn for pt, in 72 mwr gave you a sweat shirt and and pants and socks, from 72 to 98 green shorts and shirt smultipule pt uniforms,from then on

  • Fordownr

    Really, Again??!! BOHICA troopers.

  • sullivan013

    To the soldiers on active duty: Consider yourselves lucky. Once upon a time there was thing thing called ‘the banana suit’

    Trust me, given a choice you’ll want this one.

  • Jim37F

    Meh, I’m in no hurry to buy the new PT uniform. Now the new OCP’s vs legacy UCP, I’ll be shelling out, ’cause I think the difference there is worth the dinero! (And to echo everyone else, when there’s already two reflective belts sewn into the jacket, why force SMs to wear a third?!?!? Plus whoever thought black as the new color apparently isn’t gonna have to do PT in them in the summer sun…..)

  • Jim37F

    Also I don’t quite get the whole “They’re changing the uniforms every other year!!!!!!!” malarky. I’ve been in 8 years….They’ve (only just a month and a half ago) changed ACU’s once, and CLass A’s once, and PT’s now just once. That’s hardly an everyother year thing folks…..

  • FormerActionGuy

    Bring back the Banana Suit! LOL. I knew the Army was doomed when the reflective belt was on the packing list to go to war!

  • SWK

    Uniform changes are usually the result of some outgoing high-ranking mucky-muck wanting to leave his/her mark. Agree with many posters, black will make workouts in the sun a little harder.

    Guard & Reserve should like the design, though, it seems to do a better job disguising pot bellies.

    • FormerActionGuys

      Pot bellies are actually “Intestinal Soft Armor”.

  • guest

    Will this new PT uniform be considered a morale booster?

  • Ken Bradley

    Most of these uniforms when they are initially approved for wear the army appropriates the money and the uniforms are issued. They would probably be issued 2 shirts, 1 short, 1 jacket and 1 pant. After the initial issue then you would purchase them with your clothing maintenance allowance. I worked at the place that designed them (Natick Labs)and they design them based normally with the Chief of Staff or somebody along those lines wants like Stormin Norman Schwartzkoff and his Desert Boots. Natick designs them and then purchases a bunch and we send them to several units to test for about 6 months and then go out with Behavior Scientists to get feed back from the soldiers and then redesign them from what soldiers say.

  • 11C-P / 51Mike

    This is the fraud, waste, and abuse American People are talking about. Why are these Generals not in jail? I went into the US Army in 1975. PT uniform was out BDU pants and a green t-shirt in summer. In winter depending on how cold it was we wore our BDU jacket and maybe field jacket and gloves. Units mandated allowed you to wear running shoes and most you were your combat boots. The exact words as “Guest”
    YOU trained as you fight, fight as you trained.
    I am sorry I am NOT buying into this New US Army (More Friendly Army). That is why when Top General Odierno stated we will lose against Russian and Chinese Army. The Top G was real serious and TRUTHFUL about his statement.
    Our US Army Soldiers today are Young and NOT Tough enough to endure and will NOT fight to the end like our soldiers of World War II, Korean Conflict, and Vietnam Conflict. Wow, look how many soldiers we lost in Grenada and Panama (7 Day Conflict). I am sorry Generals and Congress are putting too much that our Special Forces will win all the wars. They got to get their head out of their butts. STOP mis-using American Tax Money. Make our soldiers tough and tougher that we can destroy an enemy with extreme prejudice.