Army soldiers will soon be able wear their uniform, the uniform of their country, and even their weapons, according to a recent news report.
The new policy, which was announced last week, is a direct response to the rise in violence in the Army, which has seen more than 30 active-duty soldiers killed and hundreds more injured since the start of the year.
“This is a first step in the right direction, but it’s not enough,” said Lt.
Col. Matthew Nunez, the commander of the Army’s public affairs office, at a recent press briefing.
“The men and women who are in uniform will have a voice.”
The announcement came as part of a broader initiative to encourage the use of body armor, and has been accompanied by a major expansion of the role of the soldier’s families.
“We’ve made it very clear that the family member is not a part of this process,” Nunezzas said.
The move comes as the Army is grappling with the ongoing crisis in the wake of the Fort Hood shootings.
The incident at the base in Texas killed 13 soldiers, wounded at least another 50, and triggered a nationwide national debate over the use and wisdom of the armed forces.
The Army has been under unprecedented scrutiny in recent months, amid a mounting number of deaths and the deaths of two officers.
In addition to the increased scrutiny, the U.S. Army has faced a string of incidents, including a botched suicide mission last month that left four soldiers dead, the suicide of a wounded officer and the suicide attempt of a sergeant in April.