Army Combat Uniform Coat
The ACU coat refers to the clothing article worn over the undershirt. Sometimes referred to as a shirt or jacket, coat is the official nomenclature used in the AR 670-1.
DA PAM 670-1 4–8. Combat uniform coat
a. The combat uniform coat is worn hooked or looped or buttoned and zipped. The coat has hook-and-loop fasteners for wearing the full-color U.S. flag [state flag for SDFs] or tactical flag insignia, skills tabs, SSI, SSI–MOHC, rank insignia, U.S. Army tape [SDF branch tape], and nametape. The ACU coat has a zippered front closure, tilted chest pockets with hook-and-loop closure that must be closed at all times, hook-and-loop or button sleeve cuff closure that must be closed at all times, integrated blouse bellows for increased upper body mobility, and shoulder pockets that must be closed at all times.
b. The coat should fit easily over chest or bust and shoulders, allowing free use of arms without discomfort. Coat fronts should be smooth and even at the bottom edges. Bottom edge of the coat must extend to the crotch near the top of the trouser’s cargo pocket flap.
Click here for the ACU Coat Fitting Guide
d. The coat is normally worn outside the trousers, but may also be worn inside the trousers when directed by the commander (that is, when wearing the outer tactical vest, mission oriented protective posture gear, and so forth). The tan 499 undershirt is worn underneath the coat. It is tucked inside the trousers at all times. The coat will not extend below the top of the cargo pocket on the trousers and will not be higher than the bottom of the opening of the side pocket on the trousers. Uniforms equipped with elbow pouches for internal elbow pad inserts must be closed at all times. Permanent infrared feedback squares affixed to each shoulder [if equipped] for nighttime ID will be covered, unless in a field or deployed environment and prescribed by the commander.
Can I sew patches onto the ACU Coat?
You may sew all patches onto the ACU coat, with the exception of the flag patches or SSI-MOHC (combat patches) on the right sleeve, or shoulder sleeve insignia (unit patches) or tabs that go on the left sleeve.
When personnel sew on badges, the following must also be sewn on the combat uniform coat: nametape, SDF branch tape, and grade insignia. If a nametape, branch tape or grade insignia is sewn on, then personnel must sew all three of these items on the uniform coat.
If worn, badges must be all sewn on or all pinned on. Soldiers are not authorized to mix sew-on badges with pin-on badges. Soldiers may wear pin-on badges with sewn-on nametape, branch tape, and grade insignia.
DA PAM 670-1 4-8 f. Soldiers may sew on the U.S. Army tape, nametape, rank, and all authorized badges as an option. Hook-and-loop fasteners for U.S. Army tape and nametape may be left on or removed when sewing on the uniform. If worn, badges must be all sewn on or all pinned on. Soldiers are not authorized to mix sew-on badges with pin-on badges. When personnel sew on badges, the following must also be sewn on the combat uniform coat: nametape, U.S. Army tape, and grade insignia. If a nametape, U.S. Army tape or grade insignia is sewn on, then personnel must sew all three of these items on the uniform coat. This requirement does not apply to the patrol cap. If Soldiers choose to sew on U.S. Army nametape, rank, or authorized skill badges, it will be at their own expense. Soldiers may wear pin-on badges with sewn-on nametape, U.S. Army tape, and grade insignia. Soldiers are not authorized to wear pinned-on badges in a field or deployed environment.
SD-Supply offers a sewing services for all patches. If you need guidance on what can or cannot be sewn onto a uniform cap, we are glad to assist. Sewing services can be added at the time of purchase for additional cost.
What is the difference between Male and Female sizes?
SD-Supply offers the full catalog of sizes for the ACU-Female uniforms. Females may choose to wear either male or female sizes, depending on their body types, but the female sizes are different to accommodate the female bust and hips, and us different measurements than the standard male ACU sizes.
DA PAM 670-1 4-7 o. The ACU–female is an authorized alternate ACU designed in a wider range of sizes. If worn, it must have the same general appearance and fit as prescribed for the ACU.
Can I roll the sleeves of the ACU Coat?
Rolling the sleeves of the ACU coat is authorized in the AR 670-1, however, the DA PAM 670-1 states it requires authorization from the commander. Rules regarding sleeve rolling may differ form SDF to SDF, so check with you CoC to ensure it is authorized.
DA PAM 670-1 4-8 e. Commanders may authorize Soldiers to roll up the sleeves on the combat uniform. When Soldiers wear the sleeves of the ACU or IHWCU coat rolled up, company-level commanders will determine if the unit will roll sleeves with the camouflage pattern exposed or turned inside out. Personnel will roll sleeves neatly above the elbow, but no more than 3 inches above the elbow. Upon approval of the commander and only during field training exercises, the sleeves may be down and cuffed inside the coat one or two times. The coat sleeves may be cuffed inside or outside the coat. Personnel will not exceed two rolls or cuffs of the coat.
What's the difference between the ACU Coat and the IHWCU Coat?
The IHWCU (Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform) Coat is the most recent utility uniform authorized for wear by the U.S. Army that modifies both materials and construction of the ACU Coat. The most noticeable of the changes includes removal of the breast pockets, replacement of the front zipper closure with buttons, and the shoulder sleeve pockets have been replaced by top-flap pockets with horizontal button closures instead of vertical zippers.
According to the instructions in the AR 670-1 4-4, "soldiers will not mix the outer elements of the IHWCU and ACU."
For more information on the IHWCU components and wear, click here.
Can I make alterations to the ACU Coat?
Alterations to the ACU Coat are not permitted. The DA PAM 670-1 says that only alterations authorized by AR 700-84 are permitted, but that regulation states that the only authorized alterations to the ACU are to the length of the trousers.
DA PAM 670-1 4-8 q. Only those alterations authorized by AR 700–84 and TM 10–227 are authorized.
AR 700-84 Table 13.1 Alterations to uniforms, ACU are limited to shortening the trouser length.