To better blend in with the locals, U.S. troops in Europe are ditching their camouflage uniforms in order to blend in more with the locals.
U.S. European Command has told troops to "limit to the max extent possible wearing their uniforms off base," according to a directive released on Nov. 10. Troops can only wear their uniforms only while commuting to and from work in their personal vehicles, a rental car or while riding on a government bus.
"In addition, all personnel should review individual social media account security and geo-location functions/settings to ensure their profiles are not overly revealing," the directive states says.
The directive is mandatory for all U.S. troops serving in Europe, said Air Force Lt. Col. David Westover, a EUCOM spokesman.
Commands have until Friday Nov. 21 to comply.
EUCOM has not specified what potential threat prompted has necessitated the move, but installations in the U.S. and overseas have taken extra security precautions amid concerns that the Islamic State terrorist group wants to target troops and their families. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency told security managers to remind building employees how not to stand out to terrorists.
On Nov. 12, three American sailors from the destroyer Ross were attacked by an angry crowd while on leave in Istanbul, wearing civilian clothes. A group of men grabbed the sailors and briefly put white bags over their heads before the sailors managed to break free and run away as the attackers chased them. while being chased by their attackers.
About 12 Turkish nationalists were detained and released in connection with the incident, Reuters reported.
EUCOM's policy on wearing uniforms while off base was announced two days before the attack in Turkey and thus not related to the event, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Alana Garas, a command spokeswoman. The sailors were also wearing civilian clothes at the time.
Stars and Stripes first reported about the uniform directive Tuesday.
The wreck of a storied military ship that served in two World Wars, performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades, and at one point was captained by the first Black man to command a U.S. government vessel has been found.