The Army's new uniforms are a nod to the "greatest generation"

New Army uniforms a nod to WWII

Natick, Mass. — The old guard is getting a new uniform. In addition to his dress blues, Lieutenant Colonel J. Todd Burroughs is being fitted for something in an olive green. "I'm a big fan of the uniforms of the greatest generation," he said.

The uniform you see soldiers wearing in World War II movies is exactly what Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley told Annette LaFleur he wanted her to design.

"He told me how much that he admired the uniform, that it was a great time in our history and that he wanted to bring back that esprit de corps," LaFleur said. 

Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey has become the chief model for the new uniform, wearing it to see and be seen events like the Army-Navy game. It will be several years before every soldier is wearing it, but the new uniform is coming, like it or not. This is, after all, the Army and Staff Sgt. Catherine Gerhiser didn't get a vote.

The Army is getting new uniforms CBS News

"If somebody thinks that we need another uniform, then, we need another uniform," Gerhiser said.

The new uniform is being phased in starting with Army recruiters in New England under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Anzalone.

"It's what we grew up on hearing stories about. It's iconic," he said.

If clothes make the man, a uniform identifies him, and those blue ones just didn't say "Army."

"I would get a couple questions, 'Are you an airline pilot,' you know, 'Is this, is this Air Force or Navy?' I was like, 'No, i'm Army,'" said Army recruiter Staff Sgt. William Lawhon.

Nobody understands the importance of a distinctive look better than the brander, make that, commander-in-chief.

"In the Army, we're even getting new uniforms and those beautiful new uniforms with the belt. It was a big deal, the belt," the president said.

"This was actually worn in World War II and that's why the belt's here," Anzalone said. "It's kinda good to turn some heads again."

Just like his grandfather did in 1942.

  • David Martin

    David Martin is CBS News' National Security Correspondent.