MARSOC adopts woodland Crye Precision uniform

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Kit Up! switched out the previous photo at the request of a MarSoc operator due to PersSec concerns. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.]

Back in April Kit Up! reported on MARSOC placing a large order with Crye Precision, 950 uniforms per year for five years in fact.  Now we see the first pictures of MARSOC Marines using them in theater.  Looks to me like we’ve got one shooter and one designated marksmen in this picture.  The woodland pattern Crye uniforms are previously reported upon, but still interesting.  More than likely the Marines want to match their host nation counterparts in appearance as much as possible.  This is something we wanted to do in Special Forces for many years but were forbidden to do so until relatively recently.  Of course many SOF personnel blew off the regs anyway but sometimes you have to wonder…  At any rate, it’s good to see that policy reversed and that the Marines are utilizing some of the best kit available to get the job done overseas.

Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger, Special Forces Soldier and is the author of the military thriller Reflexive Fire.

68 Comments on "MARSOC adopts woodland Crye Precision uniform"

  1. At least someone is getting good uniforms in a camo pattern that works.

  2. I would have loved to have seen Caleb Crye's face when that order came in.. ;-)

  3. FormerSFMedic | August 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply

    This makes good sense to me. The MARSOC operators have been doing FID missions recently in parts of the world that still use woodland as the standard. Not to mention the ANA in the Stan are wearing woodland. I'm just glad to see the Marine Corps has operators that can do what needs to be done for the mission. God knows anyone in the conventional Corps can't even get away with aftermarket socks!

  4. More Camo…

    Looks normal to me but I don't know much about camo. Looks like the green Camo that kids wear, except with longer blotches.

  5. That guy on the right have hand tattoos? I don't care that he does, I just didn't think they relaxed that standard for anyone.

    • It's possible that he was grandfathered in. Anyone who had tattoo's before the new standard gets to keep them I believe.

    • Ink will not hurt you from fighting the enemy.

      • Ink (along with big obvious scars and other uniquely identifying traits) will prevent you from doing certain field activities. These activities often draw on SOCOM individuals so it seems he might have precluded himself from some portion of his career path.

  6. OK, so just so that I can this straight. I was first issued BDU's in Germany in 1984. Used them for 25+ years and EVERYONE (all services) were happy with them. Then 9/11 occurred and the rocket scientist generals in the Pentagon got their bungholes in a tizzy wanting "unique" look for their services. So each service spent umpteen gazzilion dollars developing the ACU, ABU, ABU-G, NWU, et. al. which pleased very few people. More of our tax dollars wisely spent.
    Since then, the services have (collectively) decided that those "unique" and very expensive uniforms just weren't effective in pursuing the military services core responsibility – going to war – so another uniform had to be developed; the Multicam which pleased just about everyone. or so I thought.
    Not so apparently, now MARSOC has to have their own "unique" uniform. One that is so cutting edge and high speed that no one else is using it. A uniform pattern that was designed almost thirty years ago?
    So, do I have that down right? Did I lose something there?
    I mean, everyone KNOWS that the DOD is so flush with money that newer and more cutting edge uniforms using obsolete patterns developed during the Cold War is a great way to spent those abundant tax dollars.

    • Chill, What's your problem ?

      1 ) The Marines also operate in theaters where Woodland is a better choice than Multicam. It's not just about Iraq and Afghanistan ….

      2 ) The Marines want the quality and functionality of the Crye designs.

    • Pretty sure the Marine Corps has changed it once and loves the MARPAT pattern

    • CSAR – I agree with you completely! "What's old is new again?" The whole uniform issue is getting crazy, and wasting way too much money. No matter what uniform MARSOC guys wear, they will never look like ANA troops. For one thing, each Marine is about "one head" taller than the tallest ANA guy . . .

      Oh well, let them have their "new" uniforms if it makes them feel better.

      • "each Marine is about "one head" taller than the tallest ANA guy . . "
        Does that matters when laying on the ground to avoid being shoot? If MARSOC or SOF or whoever is using Woodland to "blend" with ANA's Commando Kandaks, good for them, pretty sure is cheaper than buying AOR1, AOR2 or Multicam to all Afghan Commandos.

        Also, there are pics out there of US SOF using ANCOPs dessert pattern, both to blend with them and because is a great desert pattern for West Afghanistan.

  7. Battalion Commander | August 22, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply

    This is honestly such a brilliant idea; good job Marines, forward thinking!

  8. The clothing being showed may not be the crye uniforms that the marines solicited months ago. I've seen guys take their pants or jackets to a sewer and have them add knee/elbow pad pockets so they can use crye's knee/elbow pads. There's photos here on the internet of guys running around with army's standard issued ACU cut pants with the AUC pattern and those knee pads installed.

  9. Personally, I don't care what pattern anyone wears as long as its effective but I do remember a bit of a tizzy when the Army looked at MARPAT as a pattern so much so that the CSM of the USMC said, “The main concern for the Marine Corps when it comes to other services testing our patterns is that they don’t exactly mimic them… The MARPAT design is proprietary, and it’s important those designs are reserved for Marines. We just need to make sure each of our designs is unique to each service.”

    I predict there won't be any gripes from the Army about this decision by MARSOC or claiming a propietary right to woodland pattern since it was developed by the Army and rightly so. Our troops should use whatever is the best tool. They all bleed red.

  10. Looks awesome woodland still works well despite no digital pattern. It works well too.

  11. My SGTMAJ saw this picture and just about shit a brick, something about not shaving, having boots unbloused, not wearing a 3 point sling, not tucking your shirt in, wearing high speed gear, and not shaving is attributing to Marines losing the war on terror…….. I wish I can make this up….and he's a Grunt from the desert storm days and is seriously trying to contact whatever unit's command this is to "light" them up. I told him that they're MARSOC but he doesn't believe me :-)

    • Your SGM needs to retire! I wonder how many soldiers have been wounded, or worse, killed in theatre because they all had to be uniform. Maybe soldiers don't have to look like these guys in the pic. But, they should be able to wear their equipment in the way that best works for them. That includes boots unbloused.

  12. I'm surprised at how well the MC chest rigs blend with the woodland. The Army may be on to something with that "transitional pattern" combined with the family of camos to go with specific theaters. It seems like the best solution to the camo problem. I think the Brits were doing something similar with their MTP right?

  13. Three point slings…really? Doesn't he know there are better options out there?

  14. Alright everyone, lets just use our tax money so that Cyre can make old washed out woodland bdu's for our special forces! Looks like we don't have any in our inventory anymore.

    • Crye's designs are not just the camo FYI.

      New material, moisture wicking, pads, flame retardant.

      Were those in the issue woodland BDU's of old?

  15. I like Major Rods comments and it holds true, myself being an advanced dishwasher i was able to work with all the services in many restaurants around the globe. It's not the uniform or the high tech (even though it helps) but the men who fight. I can honestly say America has some of the best men and women in the services out of any military around the world.For those trying to judge from one photo about how they look? don't. You don't know were they just came from? maybe they have been humping for weeks and putting down allot of the enemy. So yes you sometimes get a little rough looking, myself guilty of this because washing dishes can get very hairy at times.

  16. Why are we spending $300 on a combat uniform? Is that really a good use of the money given to them by the taxpayer?

  17. Since when did this become a tea party? People are seriously bitchin about these guys getting a $300 uniform? Is that worse than spending BILLIONS on fighter planes that can't fly?

  18. Yeah it is. Because they buy these $300 uniforms in five different camo schemes. I don't care if they're SF or regular Joe's, a $300 uniform is a bit ridiculous.

  19. So the SF guys are the only ones who should get flame retardant uniforms? None of my military uniforms have that because I've seen ACU's go up in flames.

    • I said "special operations." They get what they need, but with tweaks.

      AFAIK, infantry/deployed units get the flameretardant stuff.

      Everyone else gets issue stuff.

      Why else do you think most Army is still in UCP in CONUS, while most Army is in OCP deployed in Afghanistan?

    • Its not just SF that get flame retardant uniforms. I know for a fact that all MC units are issued FROG gear when deployed. Might have to wear traditional cammies on base but we wear FROG gear when we go out on missions, convoys, etc.

      • VTGunner said ACU's, so perhaps big army doesn't care as much as the USMC?

        • orly – Maybe the "big army" is bigger? (More numbers in the field). Maybe big army units don't come out of the field or return stateside to draw replacement uniforms as often as spec ops and Marines? 12 mo tours vs. 7, 6 or 3 mo tours. Sometimes the regular dogfaces have to suck it up in different ways. I would wager most combat arms leaders care for their troops as much as any compnents.

          Implying big army doesn't care as much as the USMC is about as accurate as saying the USMC is spoiled. There are a lot of other issues to consider.

        • orly – Maybe "big army" is bigger? More uniforms to issue? Maybe dogfaces don't get back stateside as often to get new uniforms (12 vs. 7 mo tours).

          Implying big army "doesn't care as much" is as accurate saying the USMC is spoiled.

          • mods – you can delete one of the above. They are redundant. Thought you were cutting my comments. My bad. (delete this post also but not the apology part)

  20. Oh and probably 4-6 sets for each operator. So while it may be a drop in the bucket compared to the waste of the JSF, waste is still waste no matter you want to justify it in your head.

    • Great point VT. We DO spend too much and sense of frugalty is missing. That might change quite abruptly in the near future.

      It seems that in the last ten years that has been an incredible focus on toys (sights to uniforms) and a mild ambivalence on fieldcraft and training. There's a lot of reasons for that. We Americans just love technology, there's the fanboy quotient and we have had a very permissive spending environment.

      At one time, operators wanted to blend in with the conventional guys. Maybe a weapon or ragged appearance was enough to differentiate elements. Today it seems EVRYTHING has to be different and NEW.

  21. The guy on the right is the only one in a Crye AC style combat uniform, possibly. The guy on the left has a homebrew top and standard woodland BDU pants. The reason I say the guy on the right is "possibly" in a combat uniform is that there are issues with the way his shirt is laying, and where the torso material meets the sleeves that makes me think it's a custom combat shirt, same with the pants, there are a few things that just don't look right, mostly the location of the cargo pockets; they are too large, too far forward and too low on the legs; and the lack of stretch paneling, unless it's patterned and difficult to make out. Granted MARSOC did make a custom order, so they could have their own version rather than the AC style that is so common.

    It is also interesting to see JPCs in use, nice PCs.

  22. Sir u took the words right outta my mouth. As a citizen I want my military to have what ever they want/need. As a tax payer I'm ****** at all those wasteful spending

    • Yep, the public is pretty ignorant about the uniform frenzy we tend to focus on. Some congressperson is going to catch on and when they do ALL the services are going to catch heck. That's why we all went to woodland in the early '80s (and it wasn't this bad). The right spin and B O O M!!!

      This is a powderkeg waiting to go off and woe to the guy promoting a "new" uniform when it does. They are drawing straws as I speak over at PEO Soldier for who announces the camo findings next month (joking).

  23. Well put, sir. :)

  24. Definitely not 3 point slings. Those look like quick adjust 2 point slings to me.. couldn't specify which but certainly those aren't 3 point slings since these have a strap running all the way from the front point to the rear one…

  25. I was an Intel REMF. NMITC was kind of like imagining that everyone higher than E-5 was a SgtMaj. Non-reg socks get people killed. Not having your dogtags on you AT ALL TIMES meant that when the whole base exploded because you hadn't shaved during your week-long liberty, no one would be able to identify you. Also, why exactly did MARSOC authorize tax dollars to buy woodies when, you know, you can go to pretty much any surplus store in the world and get USGI woodie sets for about 10 bucks? Did I miss something?

  26. C'mon SFMedic. Wounded or killed because they had to be uniform? That's about as extreme as some CSM or officer chasing down these operators because they aren't uniform. There's something to be said for uniformity. Some leaders go overboard, some don't do enough and the majority do what they have to considering the troop, conditions etc.

  27. good point

  28. Uncle Knuckles | August 23, 2011 at 9:25 am | Reply

    I don't think thats a crye uniform, It looks more like modded woodland bdu's.

  29. Let's keep a sense of perspective here. The snake-eaters are a breed apart from the regular USMC and Big Army, etc. The general services pay for their camo out of their annual uniform allowance so it's not really a budget issue.

    One thing for CSARMedic, the Marines' decision for MARPAT was predicated well before 9/11 after "Blackhawk Down" when word reached CMC that the Somalis didn't mess with the MEU. Anecdotes relate to "crazy black boots" (Marines wouldn't have had desert boots in that period) as well as the inside-out rolled sleeves and that CMC wanted to capitalize on the reputation and ensure Marines were distinctive on the battlefield.

    The other services seems mostly a me-too thing. ACU has been widely regarded as a failure. Big Army should have went to Multicam for use in theater and stayed with M81 camo though certain improvements like slanted pockets and overuse of velcro were probably inevitable. No reason at all for the Tiger Stripe absurdity from the USAF, though PJ's could/would/should use whatever the Army is using. NWU is equally silly. Corpsmen and Chaplains would use MARPAT and SEALS will use whatever they want.

    • You're reaching. MARPAT was adopted in 2002, field tested in 2001 (same year as 911) and started testing in 2000 and was selected from 150 different paterns in two down selects. There's nothing to correlate the Marines propietary treatment of MARPAT with how the Somalis treated the MUE in 1992. The MUE wasn't conducting offensive ops against Aidid's militia. Given the horrific casualties inflicted on the Somalis during Black Hawk Down the case could be made for the relative quiet after the fight. Had the Marines gone into the Mog the Somali response would have been the same. Uniforms "scare" just so much.

  30. The soldier on the left looks like he is wearing a green t-shirt with camo coveralls and has camo sleeves attatched to the ends of the t-shirt sleeves. I swear, both of them look like a couple of deer hunters from East Texas. They could have put these rigs togither at Gander Mountain. What is the deal with changing everyone's uniforms every 6 months?

  31. For all who have not been to the Stan and have had the "pleasure" of working with the ANA, these people are not Iraqis, a lot of them are very tall and a lot have white skin and green eyes and look like they are caucasion. Also, this is not MARSOCs new cammo pattern, as stated in the article, the majority of the ANA wear the old tri colored cammies and MARSOC uses it to blend in with the host nation.

  32. Well I'm a Marine not a soldier, and I'm kind of glad the photo was taken down b/c I was just yelled at for a picture I don't even have, or haven't seen until I was yelled at. Yes some of you are right…I'm the left guy and all I did was took a Tri BDU's to some Afghan last deployment and had him sew the sleeves onto a under armor type T-shirt. The pants are just regular old tri colors or Mr. 1984 CSAR specials. Crye's version is nice…really like the internal knee pads (not a fan of the elbow pads) but they really don't hold up for shit especially the pants. Sling guy Jones, its not a 3 point dude (only faggots use 3 points), its a Huskey sling made by one of my buddies who modified it after the Kyle Lambs VTAC its a super dynamic 2 point which you should give a shot, and the sling on the right is a VTAC. Hands down though my favorite comment is "My SgtMaj saw this picture and almost shit a brick." Anyways later pipe hitters, fair weather and smooth sailing.

  33. Awesome primary source info.

    "Crye's version is nice…really like the internal knee pads (not a fan of the elbow pads) but they really don't hold up for ****.

    Was beginning to think it was against regs to say anything against Crye or Arc'Teryx. In my experience, both decent, but nothing worthy of the reverence.

    Read more:
    Kit Up!

  34. EXCELLENT insight

  35. Your point? Why pay that much money for the same thing again?

    Do you know what the uniform actually is?

    It's not a design, it's a concept. Get that in your head.

  36. orlyisadumbass | August 24, 2011 at 1:41 am | Reply

    Make a better product? Civilians have made way better products than all these stupid contracts FYI.


  37. I was referring to this guys comment about 3 pointers.

  38. You guys want to keep nitpicking on price, blame the FREE MARKET.

    Simple supply/demand.

    You think flame retardant synthetics are as abundant and easy to create as cotton?

    If spec ops just wanted old cotton bdus that cost $30, you think they wouldn't have gotten them?



  39. reflexivefire | August 24, 2011 at 5:50 am | Reply

    I know, I got scolded by Soldier Systems for saying that Arc'Teryx is over priced…

  40. Well never said I believed it, just that the anecdote reached CMC and would have reinforced other reasons. Seems we agree that the decision process to move to MARPAT predated 9/11 instead of resulting from it.

  41. In the Nam any type of uniform would have been nice. Coming back through fence with just your undies on was a benefit. War is hell and life is hard but its harder when your stupid. The Sgtmaj would have had enough bricks to build the W/H. There's a time to chill and a time to kill at some point most figure it out.
    Semper Fi

  42. What's with the low rating? It's just my opinion, stop hating.
    I didn't say anything offensive at all, what the heck?
    Is it because my name is Mexican?
    Y'all be drinkin some haterade =D

  43. Again…why blame the officers. the officers usally give a **** less…the the SNCO who do all the ******** and complaining

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