String date to date variable

#1
I have a string variable containing dates (1/28/15) (DAateToday) and would like to make it a real date variable. I tried:

gen RealDate=date(DateToday, "MDY")

But it didnt work.

After I have my date variabel I would like to create a variable that only includes the month and year.

dec2015
jan2015

I would appreciate any help.

Best,
Marvin