Army soldiers to receive official face masks in 2021

Image: U.S. Army

Army soldiers are all set to receive official face masks by the second quarter of the fiscal year 2021.

The Combat Cloth Face Covering (CCFC) will be army-designed, tested, and refined. This development was provided to the Army Uniform Board (AUB) during their 152nd meeting.

As a measure to the ongoing pandemic, the Army was provided disposable or reusable solid face masks. They were also permitted to use neck gaiters, bandanas, and scarves to cover their faces.

General James C. McConville, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, and the Army Uniform Board recommended and approved Combat Cloth Face Covering to soldiers at Initial Entry Training (IET) as part of their clothing bag.

As opposed to the normal 18-24 months timeline that is required for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to make an item available once the design, technical specifications, and components are available, the CCFC was produced in an expedited timeline of less than a year.

As reported, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will provide 2 CCFCs to each new soldier come second quarter of FY2021.

The new CCFCs will also be made available for purchase at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) uniform stores at a later part of 2021.

With that said, it is important to note that the existing guidance on face coverings for current soldiers remain the same.

The AUB was also provided updates on the implementation status of four other uniform changes. They are:

  • Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform-Female (IHWCU-F) is expected to be added to the clothing bag by FY2021 and made available for purchase by the second quarter of FY2022.
  • Hot Weather Army Combat Boot-Improved (HW ACB-I) will be transitioned to the DLA Troop Support in the second quarter of FY2021 and made available for purchase by FY2024.
  • Black Athletic Socks is expected to be made available in the clothing bag by the second quarter of FY2022.
  • Army Physical Fitness Uniform-Maternity (APFU-M): Form, fit, and function evaluations are expected to happen in the third quarter of FY2021.