ARLINGTON, Va. — When Gen. Peter Schoomaker visited troops in Iraq last week, an alert reader noticed he was wearing sleeve patches the opposite of how they were told to put them on.

The Army chief of staff had his U.S. flag patch above his combat patch, contrary to Army regulations.

The reader sent an e-mail to Stars and Stripes: Had Army regulations changed?

No, said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty. Schoomaker is wearing the digital camouflage test uniform.

In February, Schoomaker directed soldiers to wear the flag patch on the right shoulder of their battle dress uniform, or BDU — sewn below the combat patch, if they had one, so soldiers didn’t have to rip a patch off and re-sew it on, only lower.

The new BDUs have Velcro fields on both arms to eliminate the sewing of rank and patches.

The regulations governing the wearing of those BDUs, including the mandatory adoption phase-in date for the entire Army, “will be released within the next several weeks,” Hilferty wrote.

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