WASHINGTON – Following calls from U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, the United States Military Academy at West Point announced that its next class of female cadets will have the opportunity to be issued better-fitting Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs) – reversing a policy that provided only unisex uniforms to incoming West Point cadets. The previous policy also resulted in female cadets having to pay for the ACU-Female uniforms, which are tailored differently to fit some women better, while providing the unisex uniforms for free.
“I am grateful that the Army has agreed to change its uniform policy at West Point to be more inclusive for female cadets,” Senator Hassan said. “Uniforms are an important part of military academies’ culture, and ensuring that female cadets have uniforms that fit is essential to making them feel included in a space that has been historically male-dominated. A properly fitted uniform is also important to a cadet’s ability to perform competitively and effectively during their training. I appreciate the crucial role that military academies play in molding the military's future leaders, and this is an important step as we continue working to fully support the young women and men who step up to serve.”
In her letter to the Army Secretary earlier this month, Senator Hassan called on West Point to change its uniform policy, citing concerns that the policy may unintentionally send a message to female cadets that they are second-class citizens.
In response to the Senator’s outreach, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Darryl Williams, who serves as the Superintendent of West Point, wrote: “Although West Point sizes every uniform issued to the individual cadet, offers female options for many of its uniforms, and custom tailors the dress uniforms for each individual cadet, I recognize the ACU issue policy may create a perception of exclusion among our female cadets. That is never our intent.”
LTG Williams committed to Senator Hassan that the Army would change West Point’s uniform policy so that future incoming West Point cadets have the opportunity to receive an ACU that best fits their individual body type during Cadet Basic Training.