Out with the old, and in with the new. Sept. 30 isn’t just the last day of the fiscal year. It’s also the wear out date for the old, grey Improved Physical Fitness Uniform.
According to Army regulation, all Soldiers must be in the new standard Army Physical Fitness Uniform at physical training on Oct. 1. However, they should not wait to the last minute to purchase the updated gear.
“If they don’t have it on Oct. 1, it’s not the Soldier who has failed, it’s the entire leadership,” said Master Sgt. Scotty Messer, senior military justice operations noncommissioned officer, XVIII Airborne Corps. “It’s the bigger picture.”
Soldiers have known about the upcoming change for years, explained Messer, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. Those Soldiers who do not have the uniform after the wear out date will receive a counseling statement.
The new APFU includes a jacket and pants, trunks or shorts, and short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, according to Army News. All incoming Soldiers receive the updated model during basic training.
Those who did not receive the updated uniform can purchase it on the installation at all Army and Air Force Exchange Service Clothing and Sales stores. The APFU is also available at AAFES online. The cost is similar to the IPFU.
Soldiers do have the option of purchasing upgraded, moisture-wicking items that fit a little tighter, said Messer. These clothing elements will cost more than the standard APFU offered by the Army.
Overall, the APFU has 32 improvements, including identification/key pockets, a four-way stretch panel inside the trunks and female sizing. The colors are now a “West Point black and gold,” Messer explained.
“I think this uniform is a more professional PT uniform,” he said. “It brings us in line with the Army’s colors at West Point and it just presents a more professional look.”
The Army instituted the APFU after extensive Soldier feedback and testing. Program Executive Office Soldier and the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center worked together to develop the new gear.
(Editor’s Note: Some information for this article came from www.army.mil.)