I applaud that decision and it got me thinking about uniforms and uniform changes in general and, in particular, those of my service, the Army, which seems to be 1) always changing its uniforms and 2) getting a uniform that is worse than its predecessor. In this regard, I have to admit a certain jealousy of my colleagues in the Marine Corps. I'm no expert, but I believe that the "Jarheads" have, basically, had the same uniforms since WWII.
Contrast the changes (or, non-changes) in uniforms that the Marines have made over time with what has gone on in the Army. The leadership of the senior service, it seems, is always looking to change its uniforms to something "better" (witness the famous black beret debacle*). And in so doing, they disregard the old adage that "Better is the enemy of good". What follows is based on my imperfect memory of a few of these really dumb changes.
In WWII, for service dress, the Army had "Pinks and Greens" with a Sam Browne belt: they also had khakis (shirt and trousers). Both were great looking and very serviceable, but then, toward the end of the war, the "Ike" jacket was introduced. I'm not sure why this was done, but soldiers of that era have told me that the major characteristic of that garment was that it assured that your shirt was always sticking out of the gap between the waistband of the jacket and the top of the trousers and looked really sloppy!
In the late 50s, when I had my first contact with the Army, it still had khakis and was just introducing a new class A uniform---the Army Green (AG-44). (What was wrong with Pinks and Greens?) At that time, we also had, for summer wear, a khaki tropical worsted (wool) uniform which, of course because it was so good looking, was being phased out just as I was commissioned. The AG-44, however, stayed around for quite a while until the recent decision to replace it as the uniform for everyday garrison wear withn the "Army Blue" uniform which, in my day, was to be worn at formal and semi-formal (depending upon the tie worn) social events. When used for everyday wear with its dark blue jacket, shoulder boards (reminiscent of the Civil War) and contrasting light blue trousers with gold stripe, it looks ridiculous. Almost as silly as those Gilbert and Sullivan outfits that were introduced for the Army Band's Herald Trumpeters during, I believe, the Nixon Administration.
Of course, the AG-44 was not immune to some tweaking even before they did away with it entirely. Army Green had originally been worn wih a tan shirt, but the uniform trolls decided it would be better (there's that word again) with a light green shirt and that the new shirt would have epaulets so that badges of rank could be worn on the shoulders and one would still be in uniform when the blouse was removed. (Not removing the blouse was, apparently, never considered as an option). At that time, khakis were still around, and they (khakis) came in both long and short sleeved versions. But somebody bucking for an Army Commendation Medal decided that only the short sleeved version was needed, so soldiers were directed to cut the sleeves off of their long sleeved shirts. This was fine until the next autumn when everyone in short sleeves got cold and there was, then, a mad scramble to develop and issue a windbreaker to protect the soldiers who would have been just fine in long sleeves. Talk about unintended consequences! The point here is, as my old Sergeant Major used to say, "IF IT AIN'T BROKE---DON'T FIX IT!!!"
* PS For those of you unfamiliar with the "black beret debacle" cited above, it occurred during General Eric Shinseki's tenure as Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA). I'm told that the general decided (presumably with advice from someone) that it would increase the morale of the average soldier if he could wear some distinctive headgear---for as we all know, hats make the man (or woman in the modern Army)! The distinctive headgear chosen to be issued to all soldiers was a black beret. Now, a little background on Army culture. If you have been in the Army more than 15 minutes, you know a couple of things for sure: 1) the Special Forces guys wear green berets; 2) the Paratroopers wear Maroon berets; and 3) THE RANGERS WEAR BLACK BERETS! Not only that, but these three groups are very protective of their unique headgear. So, why in God's name, you may ask, would the CSA take one of them and issue it to the entire rest of the Army thereby causing a not-so-minor furor in the active duty and retired Ranger Community? But, fellow citizens, that is exactly what was done and the gnashing of Ranger teeth could be heard across the country. And to add insult to injury, the "bazillion" berets procured to support this program were made in China! You can't make this stuff up!!