Convert the date format from mdy to ymd in column of file

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# 8  
Old 07-26-2011
see the below example and modify your code

$ echo "3" | nawk '{printf("%02s\n",$1)}'
$ echo "30" | nawk '{printf("%02s\n",$1)}'

no need to check the length
# 9  
Old 07-26-2011

Thanks itkaraj and Murphy...That was really helpful....

Final Code for converting date from M/D/YYYY to YYYY-MM-DD

awk 'BEGIN {FS="|"; OFS="|"}
     {        if (NR > 1)
{nbr = split($2, a ,"[\047/ ]");
       $2 = sprintf("\047%s-%02s-%02s %s %s\047", a[4], a[2], a[3], a[5], a[6]);}
       print $0
'  a.txt > b.txt

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