I bought my ACUs today. Since I hadn't actually seen anyone in the uniform before, I was a bit confused when I got to the store and tried them on, especially since the collar has to be velcroed down. It also turns out they were out of quite a few of the smaller items such as patrol caps (which I won't need until I'm in the field) and the normal issue socks. The ACUs don't look or feel like real uniforms to me yet, but I'm sure I'll adjust. The velcro is actually more convenient than I expected: all the patches just attach to the uniform so that will save money on sewing (and it's also much easier than getting the Class A uniform ready since all the areas are pre-marked - no need for a ruler or anything). However, I'd still feel safer if the patches were attached by something more than velcro. I'm a klutz, so I could definitely see myself walking into a thorn-bush or branch and accidentally ripping off random patches.
I've also never actually bought boots before since I always just used what they issued at school. A lot of the cadets that were also in the National Guard seemed to be into buying their own gear and special boots but I was never that interested. The only thing I ever got non-issue was my poncho liner. As a result, I was standing in the back room, looking at the boots with absolutely no clue. My solution? To call every single 1LT whose phone number I happened to have in my phone (fortunately, the list is pretty short at only two). I ended up with a $130 pair of boots and two $10 pairs of socks (Thorlo Brand) so hopefully I won't blister up too badly during road marches.
My university's mascot was the Chief. There has been a long on-going controversy about the Chief and whether or not he is a degrading stereotype, or a symbol that honors the Illini tribe. Personally, I was always on the anti-Chief side of the debate, but it was not an issue I was actively involved in. As it turns out, my future unit's nickname is the "Indian Head Division" due to the symbol on the patch. I think I was the only one in my class that was anti-Chief, and I'm the one who gets assigned to the unit that has a chief of its own. Talk about irony. I wonder if there has been any controversy about the Army patch like there has been over the mascot?