It may be necessary to change the dimension to a date. To do this, right click on the date dimension in the data box and select Change Data Type-->Date or Date & Time.
Hope this helps!
Thank you for the response,
However that isn't what I am trying to figure out. Natively on my version of Tableau, when connecting to sql server where all dates have been casted accordingly, only my version is automatically displaying the data as date fields. all other instances (running the same tableau version) display them as string data types.
is there a setting that I have turned on that the other tableau instances don't?