Cadets trade ACU’s for dress blues

Whitt Van Tassell

Georgia Southern ROTC is shaping up to a new standard of dress this month in response to new uniform policy out of Cadet Command.

“Military cadre will wear the Army Service Uniform (ASU), Class A, or Class B, when presenting classroom instruction and performing all other duties … except physical fitness training, field training exercises, and labs,” Policy Letter #17 of US Army Cadet Command, the governing body of the more than 275 ROTC Battalions inside and outside of the United States, reads.

Cadets of Eagle Battalion will be wearing a blue dress uniform known as an Army Service Uniform (ASU) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the days they were previously required to wear Army Combat uniforms (ACUs).

“We’re not always training in a field environment, you know, sometimes we’re training in the classroom environment. Well, there’s no need to wear ACUs, a field uniform, in a classroom environment,” Lt. Col. Gary Morea, professor of military science said.

Morea adds onto the policy from Cadet Command, requiring instructors to wear Class B uniforms from Monday through Wednesday. An exception is granted for Thursday, when cadets have lab and Morea doesn’t want them changing uniforms into their ACUs to participate. On Fridays, instructors will wear slacks and a Georgia Southern collared shirt.

The order was effective as of Oct. 20, with most cadets already equipped to implement the change. Cadets missing pieces of their uniform will wear business attire to class in the interim. Eagle Battalion is expected to be totally inline with the policy by the end of the month.

“It’s good that cadets experience change during their time here,” Morea said “Because there’s going to be many things that change in their future. They’ve got to learn how to embrace it.”

In addition to the positive experience of change, Morea sees the change as a learning experience.

“If you have a beret, you have to shave it, you have to shape a certain way, it’s gotta molded to your head so to speak. They’ve got to learn how to do that, which is great. They’ll have to do that as lieutenants, so they’re learning it now, so there’s a practical application of this whole process as well,” Morea said.

“The new uniform standard is an added touch of professionalism that every big organization needs,” Eagle Battalion Cadet Command Sergeant Major Elizabeth Ontiveros said.

As the United States exits a period of persistent conflict and the Army transitions to a more professional force, Cadet Command will be going through many changes, including changes in curriculum and testing,

“I think this puts an outward appearance on the changes happening internally,” Morea said.