MultiCam for Everyone?

I posted a story on earlier today that talks about the Army’s plan to recommend that MultiCam become the service’s new camouflage pattern.

Officials running the camouflage effort are now looking at two options to recommend to the service’s senior leadership this fall.

One option would be to make MultiCam the Army’s official camouflage pattern, sources tell The second option would be to make MultiCam the service’s pattern for garrison and general deployment use, but also to have a family of approved camouflage patterns that could be issued for specific areas of the world.

It’s strange that Army uniform officials would develop these two courses of action when they are still evaluating the four finalists selected from Phase IV of the camouflage effort. But it’s not really surprising when you look at the allegations being raised about how the Army selected its Universal Camouflage Pattern.

Earlier this week, UCP came under fire again in a story by The Daily, an online news site, which quoted several Army scientists from Natick Soldier Systems Center, Mass., alleging that the Army selected UCP long before testing was complete.

I have covered Army camouflage efforts since before the UCP was adopted in 2004, and this is the first time Natick officials have come out on the record criticizing Army uniform officials and the Brass for jumping too quickly on the UCP decision before all the facts were in. Apparently senior leaders at Natick are livid over the statements made by their engineers, but I say they all deserve a medal for having the guts to say what everyone has known for a long time.

There are a lot of opinions out there about how much the UCP decision has been overblown in the mainstream media and on the blogosphere. Well, here are a few facts to consider:

— The leadership at Program Executive Office Soldier chose UCP over the Scorpion pattern, which was developed by Crye Precision for Natick and was very similar to MultiCam.

— Since then, MultiCam has outperformed the UCP in three separate Army studies. Two of the studies came out of Natick — one was completed in 2009 and the other in 2006. MultiCam emerged as the clear winner over UCP and other patterns in late 2009 as a result of PEO Soldier’s Phase III effort to find better pattern for Afghanistan.

— The Army has invested a lot of money fielding UCP-patterned uniforms, body armor, packs, pouches and other gear to every deploying soldier between 2004 and 2010. Now the Army has to pay for MultiCam uniforms and equipment for Afghanistan and UCP for everyone else.

Now to be fair, no pattern lasts forever. The woodland pattern on the BDU lasted 20 years. It appears that UCP is on its way out. It would be interesting to see how long it would have lasted if it was as effective as MultiCam or the Marine Corps digital patterns.


About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at He can be reached at
  • Lance

    I knew the UCP was a army flop before it was officially adopted. This is pure logical conclusion. Multicam is Well debate is over UCP is gone and now Multicam is going to be standard issue. My opinion this could be better with depending on theater using older woodland and desert in tandem but this is a good camo and will work fine.

    Overall the digi movement is a waste since other camo work far better than UCP and other digi camos. Good job army brass.

  • FormerDirtDart

    “– The leadership at Program Executive Office Soldier chose UCP over the Scorpion pattern, which was developed by Crye Precision for Natick and was very similar to MultiCam.”

    To be accurate, UCP was chosen over “Desert All Over Brush.” The Scorpion pattern ranked as third in the 2004 Universal Camouflage analysis.
    1. Desert All Over Brush
    2. Woodland Track
    3. Scorpion
    4. Urban Track (which was closest in colorway to UCP, but unrelated pattern)

  • oscar

    If the U.S. Army is going for multicam, then why not adopt a MC woodland variant and MC desert variant? That way, “regular” MC uniforms and all the related pouches, gear, packs, etc can still be used. The original MC pattern could still be used as the transitional pattern. That will at least make the money that was spent for acquiring MC uniforms and gear for A-stan well spent. Maybe this suggestion is a bit too simple?
    Lastly, All this talk of camo uniforms would be moot if weapons are still colored black. Hopefully, the army could dole out a little more cash to camo the weapons. Or at least, use tan or FDE Stocks, grips and rail covers just to break the outline of the M-16/ M-4 family of weapons.
    Just my 2 cents.

    • I couldn’t agree more!

  • Joe Schmoe

    Here’s my question; why doesn’t the U.S. Army adopt a dual-sided/reversible pattern like the Israeli’s use; one side for woodland/brush, the other side for desert and rocky terrain?

    That way you don’t have to buy new equipment for every theater.

    • oscar

      that’s an overgarment, they are still wearing olive green underneath. and what about vests, pouches and packs?

      • Joe Schmoe

        I know it’s an overgarment currently, the IDF is investigating the possibility of turning it into uniforms soon (double sided) but the budget is holding them back.

        As for equipment, do what the Marines did and choose a neutral color like Coyote Brown or Olive Drab Green.

        • oscar

          Coyote brown or OD green for the gear should work, especially the coyote brown. But then, that would be spending money for gear again, won’t it? I’m not a huge fan of MC, but at least money spent on MC gear puches and packs wouldn’t go to waste.
          But for the uniforms, they have to sew on pockets on both sides of the coat and trousers wouldn’t they if they will go to the reversible camo approach? doing so would make it really uncomfortable. It’s probably the reason why the US ditched the reversible camo approach in WW2.
          But maybe somewhere down the road, garment design would make it more feasible for reversible uniforms. But then again, money would be spent again in the R&D.

          • Joe Schmoe

            I saw a pants design over on Soldier Systems the other day that had the outside nearly entirely covered in velcro so you can attach pockets and pouches to it.

            I would venture a similar system (just more mature) so you can put on the inside some flat panels (like a regular shirt inside) and on the outside re-attach the pouch; do vice-verse when changing patterns and sides.

            And to be honest, some of the gear (smaller ones) already bought in multi-cam can be kept with such a universal system, for the rest there is a one time purchase (minus replacements) for two camo patterns, can’t be worst than what they are suggesting here.

          • oscar

            even if you use velcro with flat panels for the inside of the coat/trousers, that would still be really uncomfortable. especially with vests or load-bearing equipment. Those extra panels on the inside of the coat/trousers would rub and chafe the skin so badly even if you wear an undershirt. And for jungle ops, one doesn’t wear skivvies or undershirt if you want to operate for extended periods in that environment.
            And in the jungle, chaffed skin will quickly turn into sores. Sores will fester and if not treated promptly can be debilitating.
            Even in other environments, there’s a chance of this types of injuries. But if medevac is available most rickety-tick, it’s another story.

          • FormerSFMedic

            The pants over at Soldier Systems were for R&D, not for operational use. They used them to save money and decrease prototyping dozens of different designs.

          • Joe Schmoe

            You’re probably right.

            What say you to overalls then? :)

    • Dave UK

      I believe the Brits experimented with a reversible smock, with woodland and desert DPM at about the same time as the Pecoc trials. I have an anorak with hood and chest pockets – like the old WWII German one. Apparently only 100 were made. Of course, the SS used reversible smocks, some with pockets, for years.

  • Paralus

    “Apparently senior leaders at Natick are livid over the statements made by their engineers”

    Well, if senior leaders at Natick were doing their f***ing job in the first place, they wouldn’t have Forage green egg on their face and go around hassling their subordinates for stating the obvious about what some General Officer Weapon Systems did.

    No wonder Army procurement is *********.

  • majrod

    Matt – excellent analysis of the Army’s backazzwards approach. Selecting MC before the camo competition is over is plain DUMB! You nailed it but go a little further. Consider the minor dust up of two days ago could there be a correlation in the announcement?

    Cheryl Stewardson, the ONE Natick official that stated the decision “got political” was working on the Scorpion uniform for Objective Force Warrior at Natick at the time (’02-’04). EIGHT years later she says the decision got political and she’s a hero deserving a medal? Maybe but swallowing the whole story is a bit premature. What were her duties at the time and her insight into the decision becoming political? Why talk now? Considering the camo competition timing, the article, ALL the controversy that UCP is and the EXTENSIVE efforts of defense journalists to get to the bottom of how UCP happened wouldn’t a bit of skepticism be healthy? MANY folks are jumping ship right now. She might be a hero but the timing is incredible, no?

    I was working in the Infantry Battle Lab at the time on Objective Force Warrior, Land Warrior and Future Combat Systems. One of my primary responsibilities was modeling the soldier on the future battlefield in analytic simulations to gather quantifiable data to support decision making. I had quite a bit of visibility and interaction with PEO Soldier and Natick. If I told you what I heard as a MAJOR and project officer about UCP and multicam it would differ with what “the daily” and Cheryl reported. For a long time I believed what I was told but after a decade I have yet to find any concrete proof of the conspiracy I was told. (I’ll share offline if you’re interested)

    Finally, you’ve repeatedly made a great point about Multicam beating out UCP in three competitions. How did MARPAT do?

    The Army’s wasted effort with UCP is news and should be reported, HEADS SHOULD ROLL!!! but it’s no worse than ABUs, NWU and a little research on why the Navy had to develop/field AOR 1 & 2. Those issues have only been superficially addressed. I wonder why? Well actually I don’t.

    • FormerDirtDart

      Here is some of the documentation on the ’08 analysis

      And some of the ’10 analysis

      • majrod

        Wow Dirt Dart! INCREDIBLE! Even though these tests were years after the decision to adopt UCP, I was very surprised and even more curious about the near total lack of reporting about how well MARPAT performed when compared against Multicam! From the ’08 analysis (p15), ELEVEN of twelve tests a version of MARPAT beat Multicam! In EIGHT of twelve (75%) Desert MARPAT beat Multicam. In three tests BOTH MARPAT patterns beat multicam. We always hear how Multicam did so well vs UCP. UCP was more effective than Multicam in ONE test, the same number of times Multicam was more effective than MARPAT. That’s incredibly strange that no one picked up on that! hmmmmm?

        In the ’10 analysis Soldiers rated MARPAT and Multicam about the same across the board but again the reporting was exclusively about how Multicam was better than UCP. I wonder why there’s a total lack of interest in reporting that result?

        • Majrod,
          I did a story on second Natick study when it came out and reported that MARPAT, like MultiCam, outperformed the UCP. I’m not sure why, but no one with any power has ever asked the obvious question — Why is the Marine Corps allowed to keep a very effective camouflage pattern to itself? Someone at the Pentagon ought to put a stop to this service-branding nonsense and make sure everyone has effective camouflage.

          • galloglas

            So Matt ya think maybe the Army or Navy might also like to begin issuing and wearing the Marine Dress Blues someday?
            My $0.02 says, Issue Olive Drab Sateen or Khaki/coyote brown and then issue the Camo only for combat forces in theater in the pattern that matches the surroundings.
            The Cammies should be a part of the 782 gear and is NOT kept or retained by forces ripping back CONUS.
            But what do I know I’m just a lowly poster on a military forum about clothes.

        • FormerDirtDart

          Here is some of the ’04 Universal Camouflage info:
          power point:


          I’ve always thought the UCP colorway selection was somehow overly influenced by the NIR performance, and some bureaucrat’s ability misinterpret the whole “Own the Night” stuff coming out of Building “*****”

  • majrod

    Systems seems to be locking up. If it double posts please delete double posts. My apologies. I’ll check back in a couple of hours

  • Right now the USAF is sitting in the corner…quietly hoping 1) that no one will notice how terrible their ABU pattern is and/or 2) that the USN’s move to blending it’s sailors in with the sea (should they fall overboard and not want to be seen, I suppose) will take the next hit on those seeking out poor uniform/pattern selection processes.

    MC is a good pattern. Different variations for theatre of use is a good idea. USAF should piggy-back USA uniform decision. As for MARPAT woodland and desert, both are fine…what was really necessary was the change in uniform cut, pocket position, materials, etc. I think USMC hit that on the head and deserve credit for it. Use of hook and pill by USA is a terrible idea…loud and wears out after washes, mud, etc. Buttons, steel zippers and steel snaps are the way to go. How many of you have tried to quietly adjust the cuffs or wind guard on a Gortex parka? Like crinkling a garbage bag while rubbing sandpaper together…anyway, I’m drifting off target.

    Whatever the pattern or service rifle or issued footwear, the American soldier is a force to be reckoned with. The man makes the uniform, not the other way around.

  • APAC

    In my early years in the Army, officers would cut the buttons off their BDUs and sew velcro in place so when you iron/press it, the buttons would leave a bump and look unmilitary! Of course on patrol when they opend a pocket, the RRRRIIIIPPPP sound is sooo natural that it gave away your patrol! It was then deemed garrison only. Now the ACU is nothing but velcro! Does anyone in the entire military read their history?? The LTs I knew way back are now General and said when I make Gen, I won’t do stupid stuff,well they are and do!!

  • JohnnyB

    Does anyone else notice that, while the Army is publicly taking it over the head for selecting UCP before all the testing was done, there is a story out now about selecting MC before the current testing is done?

    Does no one EVER learn anything???

    And you know what, I kinda like the idea of a MC woodland and MC arid, keeping the current MC as garrison/OCIP/PPE patt. That makes practical and financial sense at this point. Which means it wont happen.

  • ian

    Whatever the testing says is the best, budgetary constraints will ultimately guide the decision.

    With the Sequestration looming, you can be sure the big contractors will get their pork, the republican senators will get their campaign contribution kickbacks and save home district jobs, and the Joes will get the table scraps.

    Multicam is the cheapest, politically easiest option. You don’t even have to scrap all that OCIE. The “Family” of Cammo will probably be AOR1 & AOR2.

    In addition, nobody Knows what Crye has submitted in the current testing, but if they’re smart, the transitional will be the current issue multicam. This may be another way of saying they already chose Crye.

  • Jim

    always felt good amount of money, testing time, etc… could be saved if all the branches wore the same when down range no matter what the pattern.

  • Jim

    Different insignias, etc.. of course.

  • Jim

    If its proven to be the best then its the best for all. Everybody plays in the same sandbox!

  • Andrew

    Speaking of uniform, how does the USAF get away with a terrible uniform? It’s not good for maintainers it’s not good for security forces who sit and wear their gear all day. (most leadership won’t allow the combat tee shirts or the absg either because they don’t look professional). I wish someone put pressure in the airforce for once when it came to uniforms.

  • galloglas

    I have MARPAT desert and woodland, I have the old chocolate chip desert and woodland BDU’s I also have one shirt in UCP I’ve worn them CONUS in the woods behind the house to see which hides better during all seasons in the south east US.
    The desert chocoChip does the worst in all seasons even against brown fall leaves it glows. Marpat is dark in fall winter but still blends in well, MarPat desert does well all season also.
    UCP works as long as the background is not dark.
    Olive green is just as good at blending in as any of the cammies.
    I know conditions here in my back yard are far removed from any combat scenario’s but it is a way I can test for myself what works.
    MultiCam works very well here also at least the one Cap I have blends well and works as well as MarPat.
    What works in my part of the US year round better than any of the above is Walmart’s Mossy Oak patterns for Hunters.
    The reason for Service branch only distinctive patterns is Esprit DE Corps and pride, which may win the war and battles no matter what pattern and color the troops wear.
    No matter what ever uniform is worn even plain old Olive Drab or Khaki tan it will after two or three days in the field will begin to take on the appearance of the surrounding terrain through wear, collecting dirt and crawling around in and on it.

  • Go Navy!

    If we are going to go with Multicam, make it across all branches. Back in my days (90s), we had woodland BDUs across all branches (patrol cap vs 8pt cover, rolling up of the sleeves) But we all had the same camo color. Now, we have a different camo pattern for every branch. I wonder other countries’ military think of us and how many different camo patterns that we have.

  • Ha! Just Republicans you say! I see what you did there.

    • majrod

      Yep, he’s not partisan. Just blew his credibility and making a good point to take the cheap shot.

      • ian

        An argument is valid or invalid on logic regardless of the messenger. Try not to fall into ad hominums.

        Just look at Every politician has his sugerdaddy. Democrats are no different either. If your a southern democrat, you’ll fight the Army try to keep a base in your area so your state’s pole dancers have a job

        But who’s the worst offender at pushing weapons programs even the pentagon doesn’t want. Who’s best at keeping underperforming procurement projects from the budget axe? Republicans

        Anyway, I think Cyre has it in the bag. They submitted a woodland and desert variant of Multicam and used the current issue as the transitional and OCIE. This gives them a huge cost leg up.

        • majrod

          OK Ian, which Republican Senators will be getting kickbacks? Cricket… Cricket… Cricket …

          BTW, Crye Precision the makers of multicam are out of Brooklyn N.Y. Charles Schumer & Kirsten Gillibrand are NY’s senators. Yep, both Democrats. Who pushed for the replacement of UCP in Afghanistan? Yep, straight as an arrow Sen. Murtha. What party did he represent?

          Republicans are by no means clean but your allegations that they push for defense spending in their districts more than democrats is a fallacy. Boeing, Wash. State Democrat Senators. Who won the tanker contract? Colt, Conn. yep two Democrats. M4 contract?

          I don’t think any of these cases are based on the Senator’s party affiliation but if there is a correlation democrats have plenty to answer for also. Let’s leave politics out?

        • Lance

          Dont forget Maj Rod the current new Maker of the M-4 is Remington which is based in NY also another Democratic state like Conn.

        • FormerDirtDart

          And Ilion, NY is in the NY 24th US Congressional District, currently served by Rep Richard Hanna(R).
          So, maybe we can just stop with all of this moronic nonsense.
          Members of Congress, both in the Senate and House of Representatives, will always try to steer government programs to their constituents.

          Enough already

  • majrod

    The system is not letting me post. I have to cut them to single paragraphs.

  • majrod

    Matt – To be clear I’m not saying you are responsible for this mess. One journalist can’t cover eveything. I didn’t read the story you wrote but it doesn’t surprise me that you went outside the narrative that seems to have been created. My posts’ intent are to expand beyond this narrative and ask why everyone has missed huge issues. WHY?

  • majrod

    gallogas – that’s absurd. Dress uniforms are branch specific.

    The rest is a potential solution though it doesn’t address pouches etc.

  • majrod

    Reversible uniforms are typically quite hot (ink/fabric) on bith sides. Might be fine for the battlefields of Europe but oh well, you know where I’m going…

  • majrod

    In my experience that practice wasn’t limited to officers. I’ve seen a lot more NCOs do it and promote it for a STRAC look. Sounds like you saw the officers that learned that lesson just like some would sew the bottom pockets of the BDU closed since they were never used.

  • majrod

    “The reason for Service branch only distinctive patterns is Esprit DE Corps and pride, which may win the war and battles no matter what pattern and color the troops wear.”

    BS flag. We’ve been wearing the same patterns since WWII across the branches and done fine. Now we need differentiation to win? Silly.

    • Go Navy!

      Agree with your there Major. We don’t need special uniforms to distinguish each other. Having all of these individual patterns only raises costs to the country and to the individual soldier. If we have one pattern, then we can use Global Leverage on the supplier (drive costs down) instead of all of these various patterns and types. Let’s go back to BDUs and DCUs when it was much simplier.

      • Matt

        I was always of the opinion that marpat woodland and marpat desert should have been the DOD replacement for the BDU/DCU.
        I miss the BDU days when every service used them…..but still lead the little tweaks that made us unique the army had its patches on the shoulders, the corps had its eagle globe and anchor on the pocket, while the navy and air force had its unique badges on there.
        wish we could go back to that.
        as for this new pattern….I’m not holding out hope……budget matters may stop this quick, I’m so used to the ACU now…it really doesn’t bother me anymore, and with some of the new additions to it…(sew on badges and button pockets)
        my complaints about it were addressed.

  • Axel66Alpha

    My guess is that they are doing this as a backup plan, if the test phases do not work out and also, to please the media. Again, this is just a guess. Also, I would go for “option #2”, it seems like a more “prepared” set.

  • majrod

    Excellent point but that would just confuse the talking point that UCP was selected over multicam.

  • majrod

    System still dropping multiple posts and acting squirrely.

    If I was inclined to believe in conspiracies I’d be wondering if my posting difficulty are being caused I’m scaring the Illuminati. ;)

  • DigTw0Grav3s

    Here’s what I don’t understand; why can’t the Pentagon find the best patterns for each environment, buy them in tremendous bulk, and save, instead of trying to find compromise patterns?

  • Riceball

    In all fairness to the Navy, the blue digicam pattern wasn’t designed with concealment in mind, the only reason the NWU has camo is to hide dirt, paint, grease, and otherwise extend the time in between cleanings allowing the uniform (in theory) to be worn for longer before it starts to really actually look dirty. It’s not like sailors would stand out all that much in their old dungarees or their navy blue jumpsuits commonly worn so the blending into the sea argument is really pointless. If you want to argue the merits of AOR 1 & 2, that’s something entirely different but seeing as how they’re essentially modified versions of MARPAT I don’t see much room for argument there.

  • Riceball

    Are you talking about the design of the uniform itself or the camouflage pattern it comes in? As I understand it, AFSOCOM made a whole bunch of suggestions for improving the ABU design when it was undergoing testing and the Air Force brass decided, in their infinite, decided to ignore all of their input and not implement any of their suggestions. As for the camo pattern, tiger stripe as a pattern is not that bad, it’s supposed to work very well although the choice of using pretty much the same color pallet as UCP wasn’t that bright. But I do understand (sort of) what the AF brass was thinking, their idea was that AF personnel working with the Army would stand out less because of the similarity of the colors of their uniforms. With that thinking, whatever the Army changes to all the Air Force has to do is redo the digital tiger of their ABUs using the same or similar colorway(s) as whatever the Army adopts.

    • Andrew

      Design: it’s terrible, heavy and poor lay out of pockets. Why do they ignore the input of those who have to wear the uniform? Its the ones further down the chain that wear the uniform more often while doing work not sitting in a an office(well there are a lot of office jobs in the airforce your right).Pattern: it’s not terrible your right. Why not just copy the army and change the name on the uniform to USAF in stead of army. Saves more money than creating and producing own uniform

  • oscar

    Well, in the Philippine Army, there are four camo patterns. 1) DPM for regular troops. The Philippine Airforce and to some extent, the Philippine Navy. 2) The Scout Rangers have their ceremonial black BDU’s which are now replaced by a black pixelated pattern. P.A. SOCOM which the Scout Rangers are a part of, have their own distinct pixelated pattern as well as tiger stripe cammies. P.A. SOCOM units have also the option of using DPM.
    The Philippine Marines have their own pixelated pattern which is exclusive for them. The Philippine Navy Special Warfare Group use a reddish/brownish tiger stripe pattern.
    The Philippine National Police have a pixelated pattern for it’s Special Action Force and a derivative of the US chocolate chip pattern for the Regional Mobile Groups. This derivative has a different colorway of course, which is predominantly green with splashes of brown and grey. There used to be a blue derivative of DPM for regular police officers who are assigned to the hinterlands. But when policemen started dying because of that ridiculously blue camo, it was scrapped really fast.
    Even the Philippine Coastguard got into the camo circus by issuing a DPM derivative that’s similar to the Omani’s. I even saw some coasties using woodland brick pattern.
    Not to be outdone, the Jailguards of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology are now using gray dominant pixelated camo.
    The elite units of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police refuse to share their pixelated camo to the regular troops/police because they believe that they worked hard for it. Ditto for the Philippine Marines.
    So if you guys think that you’re alone in this camo clustercircus, think again. LOL. Thing is nobody’s complaining about it because the regular grunts/policemen have effective camo. With exception to those ordinary policemen who had the extreme badluck of being issued blue DPM. Sadly it took more than a few dead policemen to let PNP brass see the error of their ways. The main reasoning for that blue DPM by the way is that blue is the color of the PNP.

    • Omaha In June


      Since the Philippines were molded in the U.S. image in some parts, it comes to no real surprise. The Filipinos are definately the baddest MF’ers in the Pacific. Although I’m a bit biased as I’m half Pinoy.

      • oscar

        Omaha In June,

        General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was rumored to have said; “Give me 10,000 Filipinos and I will conquer the world.”
        The Moro Islamic Liberation Front are good fighters, but when confronted by the fury of the Philippine Army Scout Rangers, the **** lost most of their major base camps. A lot of Scout Rangers fell during that campaign. Despite mediocre equipment, the Filipino fighting man has no lack of courage and detemination.
        The sad part was that despite the loss of life of Filipino soldiers, then President Gloria Arroyo returned some of these camps back to the enemy.
        Inept civilian leadership, some corrupt brass and poverty are the only reasons why the Philippines is still fighting the longest running insurgency in Asia.

    • oscar

      The US is not alone in this whole camo circus brouhahaha. Here is a link:

  • Omaha In June

    +1. This is a great idea, and since it is, it obviously won’t go anywhere.

  • Joshua

    Joe, what is it with you and your love affair for Israel?

    I swear if Israel uses it, its the best ever made……..

    • Joe Schmoe

      Joshua, what’s your issue with Israeli equipment?

      I brought forward here a legitimate question for a solution, you’re the only one implying that it’s invalid since it’s from Israel.

  • xcalbr

    i can see certain army units playing **** **** games with “go change into greens! now tans! etc, etc, ad nauseum

  • oscar

    Overalls would be a bit hot. The US experimented with overall reversible camo uniforms in the Pacific in the Second World War. One of the reasons why it wasn’t adapted because for that environment, the uniform was hot for the wearer. Much more so I imagine if it would be used in arid environments. And Majrod is correct. Ink on both sides would make the garment uncomfortably warm for the end-user.

  • Uncle Chewy

    AMAZING- If an Enlisted member screws up, they get strung up the pole and usually lose their career.

    A senior staff officer (through his bumbling of his department or program) screws up to the tune of millions of dollars and at the most gets an early retirement or VP advisor job with a company he “worked” with while on active duty.

    And they wonder why enlisted don’t respect them…

    • majrod

      Yeah, trash the WHOLE officer Corp because of a supposed decison by a yet unnamed officer.

      • Uncle Chewy

        How is pointing to senior staff officers trashing the entire officer corps? Did I hit a little too close to home for ya?

        • majrod

          No not at all. I had a great affection for my troops and often preferred their company over officers. I was popular at times (which is of secondary importance to troops/mission). It always depended on what was going on but I was always respected. Of course theer was the occasional malcontent that the NCOs couldn’t fix and they’d bring him to my attention. He didn’t do too well after being singled out.

          You said “And they wonder why enlisted don’t respect them…” “Them” is plural. You were addressing ALL staff officers and speaking for all enlisted.

          Am I hitting too close to home?

    • xcalbr

      its not a matter of officers getting more favorable circumstances over enlisted men (they do), but rather it is a problem of double standards throughout the whole army, politics, and bureaucratic stupidity. these are the reasons why many talented soldiers are leaving.

      • majrod

        Are you saying officers always get more favorable circumstances? In my personal experience I was among the first to be there and often the last to leave. I ate after the troops in the field and was expected to move towards the front in every engagement to see what was going on and decide upon a course of action. I never considered myself “special”. I dug my own hole, cleaned’ my own weapon and shined my own boots. This wasn’t uncommon among Infantry officers (nor was it among the excellent NCOs’s I had the privlege to share a tree trunk as a seat with). What favorable “circumstances” was I granted that my troops weren’t?

        Admittedly, there’s some excellent examples of injustice out there. Its fashionable and cool to beat up on officers as a whole. The same kind of stereotypical comments about enlisted men or NCOs would appropriately raise howls of protest. You might want to qualify your statements somewhat. I’ll join you in slamming the slugs but don’t group me with them unles you want to compare the details. You might find my circumstances weren’t as favorable as you think nor the path to get there a yellow brick road.

        Great officers are leaving the service also.

  • Doc

    Didn’t they test MC a MC woodland version and a MC desert version all in Afghanistan. And didn’t the two different versions do the best in their perspective environments?

  • Shawn McFadden

    The UCP pattern was a compleate wast of money. I never liked that pattern to begin with. To think I had to buy 2 sets of that uniform when I was stationed in Fort Lee, Virginia. There was absolutely no way a Soldier could blend in 3 different environments (woodland, desert, urban) with one uniform. Whoever pushed this idea for that pattern needed to be shot. The multi-cam is truly a better pattern. However my concern is it has proven its worth in Afghanistan. It should have been tested in woodland environments as well. But I like that pattern none-the-less.

  • ding

    I’m an AD Marine and I love MARPAT. However when all this is said and done once the army picks their official pattern, the pentagon is gonna tell us to adopt it and we will carry out that order.

    More than likely it will be Multicam which is a good pattern hands down.

    • majrod

      Your MARPAT is actually better. Check the test results Dirt Dart shared above. I would not support making Marines switch to a less effective pattern. Makes more sense to go the other way and save money.

      • ding

        It won’t be about which one is better, it will be based our big brother the ARMY going with multicam and then the DOD telling everybody else to switch to it

        • majrod

          There’s some truth in that. If we were going for the “best” pattern we’d all be wearing MARPAT. If your prediction is right it would prove DoD is even more strange than we thought. Why would they choose to act now when a big brother changes patterns instead of when the little brother made the first change a decade ago?

    • orly?

      I agree, Multicam is imho the better pattern for all services.

  • Matt M.

    Possibly the best idea in quite a while, very boss sir, very boss indeed.

    • oscar

      Matt M. Thank you sir.

  • xcalbr

    you could always have a situation like Russia, where troops stationed in various districts throughout the big *** country wear like 20 different uniforms.

    • crackedlenses

      Or South Vietnam, who didn’t even have a standard issue uniform for a time……

  • xcalbr

    those are fascinating links formerdirtdart. like i have said before, if MARPAT is apparently better than multicam and UCP, and the pattern is copyrighted by the marine corps, why wouldnt the other branches just standardize the AOR woodland and desert? correct me if im wrong, but it seems to retain the effectiveness of MARPAT while being different enough not to step on the marine corps toes…

    of course, the army always seems adamant about reinventing the wheel. well have to see how the next camo patterns are.

  • Olly

    in the British army we have recently switched from DPM (two uniforms but same pattern: Woodland and Desert) to Multicam. Multicam works great in Afghan but is **** in Britain when we use it on exercise etc. i preferred Woodland DPM for temperate environments. Multicam is really too beige. the pattern is great but it really needs some darker colours to be effective in Britain. i have no idea what was wrong with two uniforms anyway, its not like we have to wear both at once

    • Bob

      ive seen dpm and mtp side by side in the british countryside and what your saying is completely wrong. the mtp does better in all circumstances except for jungle and swamp lands. the multicam copy (mtp) blends far better in fields especially when theres any sunshine as the dpm starts to stick out in light. in the night and evening however the dpm starts to blend in better but the mtp still holds up.

      • bob

        im not saying that the dpm is bad, but it doesn’t perform as well in open ground. it works better in woodland depending on the season (spring and summer-dpm) ( autumn and winter- mtp)

  • Big Daddy

    The cammo we used stuck out like a sore thumb, that was BDUs in Europe. About early 1980s, you could spot someone with a fresh pair a mile away. When they were washed out not as bad.

    The fact is cammo does not work better than one color if that color is correct or close enough. Cammo is all about breaking up the pattern not the pattern. That’s why the Israelis wear those funny baker’s caps. They did plenty of testing and the truth is the truth.

    The DOD wastes millions on uniforms to find the coolest looking cammo. SO many nations are about their military looking tactiool in their really awesome looking cammo patterns as they march down the avenue. Not many militaries are in a real shooting war, we always are(the USA).

    It’s really simple, olive green for jungle, light tan for desert, field drab for forest or something similar. Break up your silhouette/outline that’s more important. In case of shortages you can mix and match as they will work in almost all terrain. In the sand drab pants with a tan top works fine. Why do snipers wear Gillie suits? If cammo really worked there wouldn’t be all this try and try and try again, they would have found the magic pattern a long time ago. There is NO magic pattern.

    I read that for vehicles in the desert pink worked best. What it’s all about is how the human eye sees, this is what should be studied. Take a scientific approach and make your uniforms. I’m sure plain old medium olive green or olive drab would work fine in most places. A light tan would be fine in a sand enviroment. It’s not rocket science. Again it’s about breaking up the outline, study the way the eye sees things not what looks cool.

    In WWII officers lead their men into battle, now they just point and say go there. That’s one of the problems in the US Army. People who never had combat experience making decisions about what soldiers should use, wear and fight with.

  • Olly

    in the British army we have recently switched from DPM (two uniforms but same pattern: Woodland and Desert) to Multicam. Multicam works great in Afghan but is **** in Britain when we use it on exercise etc. i preferred Woodland DPM for temperate environments. Multicam is really too beige. the pattern is great but it really needs some darker colours to be effective in Britain. i have no idea what was wrong with two uniforms anyway, its not like we have to wear both at once

  • Big Daddy

    The problems of the military won’t be solved here, I guess it’s a good place to vent though.

    The camo issue really bugs me, it’s a sore point. I remember our vehicles, the troop commander Cowboy Bob wanted more black in the pattern. What an A hole. Black is not a natural color in nature. Those M113s and ITVs stuck out everywhere we went. It was a joke. Big black spotches!!!

    In fact these new camo patterns actually look like old BDUs washed out.

  • xcalbr

    ah…i see it now. forgive my typo in the parenthesis. What it was supposed to say is (they don’t).

    any officer worth his salt will have the attributes like what maj rod said above.

  • Olly

    pink is very effective in an open desert environment. the Great British SAS call their landrovers “pinkies” because during WWII, Oman and more recently the Gulf Wars they painted them pink because it was found to be the best colour through experience.

  • Big Daddy

    Dirtdart, They wear that over thier uniform which makes sense. It is NOT their uniform, you can see their olive green uniform underneath their smock, shmuck.

    • FormerDirtDart

      Its spelled *******, *******.
      Don’t get pissy because the Israelis have determined that a single color uniform is in fact ineffective.

      Grow up you child.

      • Big Daddy

        Oye, give me a break, shmuck. Don’t you mean dirtbag not dirtdart?

  • oscar

    gallogas. It would be deja vu all over again. In the Vietnam War, ERDL developed an early version of the Woodland Pattern. There was a green dominant and brown dominant pattern. Green for the lowlands and brown dominant for the highlands. There was even the tiger stripe pattern for Special Forces/ SEALS. Thing was, even in a combat zone, not all combat troops were issued cammies.
    Ther’s the issue also of transitional camo.

  • oscar

    Separately starch and iron the flaps of the pocket. Make a starch mix and lightly apply it on the flaps and build it up. Do not iron the flaps when it is buttoned to the pockets. Done correctly, it won’t leave a bulge.

    • xcalbr

      LOL yeah officers werent the only ones doing that. the last time ive seen sewn BDU pockets was some air force guys and gals a number of years ago.

      for ***** sake, leave off the starch. :D a plain old iron can do the job nicely.

      • oscar

        out-STRAC the Tac-O, out-Marine a Marine, hence the starch. yeehaa!

  • william9487

    We can only hope that the Army will authorize wearing MultiCam in garrison soon. Most of us already have uniforms and equipment in MultiCam. It works, it looks sharp and the soldiers love it. EVERYONE SATISFIED! Case closed. What is the hold up? The Army already has open contracts producing uniforms and equipment in MultiCam so they can stop wasting tax dollars on ANOTHER uniform. AUTHORIZE MULTICAM NOW!

    • william9487

      This whole subject is just simply mind boggling.

      • Big Daddy

        Your tax dollars at work. They spend it like it grows on trees and there is a never ending supply. When will that end?

        Eliminate a few high dollar toys that don’t work from inventory or even the upkeep and the troops that really need the equipment would have them.

        Too many generals putting themselves in a position for post service employment. Conflict of interest, but that’s OK these days everybody seems to look the other way and nothing ever changes, it’s been going on forever.

        Famous words ignored, Beware the Military Industrial Establishment.

        • william9487

          The mind-numbing part of this is the fact that tax dollars already bought the MultiCam uniforms and equipment we already have.

          You don’t have to take funds from other projects to do this. Simply cancel/defund the UCP contracts and ramp up the MultiCam contracts already in place. This is not rocket science.

          It boggles the mind!?!?

  • majrod

    Went through that back in the day. After four or five uniform changes they’d have a room inspection.

  • william9487

    Why does this have to be tested? It’s already being used by this list of governments around the globe. That should be enough tests.

    Czech Republic
    Hong Kong
    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    United States: Special Operations Forces (That should be enough in and of itself)
    Dutch Special Forces

    I think it’s been tested and found to be superior(stop wasting money testing). We already have it issued(stop wasting money producing other uniforms). How many soldiers could be sustained for a year with these funds rather than continuing on with the drawdown of troops? My two cents.

  • Don

    I think the military should decide on one uniform. Instead of spending millions fielding one uniform for soldiers stateside and entering IET. And then spending the money to field another completely other uniform to field those overseas. I’ve spent a cpl of tours in in Iraq and afghanistan and the uniform I had didnt hold up and we stuck out like sore thumbs. Multi-cam came out for deployed soldiers after I returned from my second deployment. The money being spent on two different uniforms is ridiculous. that money should be going to are servicemen and women and our vets returning home who are disabled and are unable to work.

  • Matt Cline

    Good idea Oscar, I hope the Army pays attention. I actually hope DOD pays attention. With a few exceptions, for the first time in our Military’s History we now have a different field uniform for every service, and multiple uniforms for most. BDUs and DCUs may be out, but for 20+ years all four services wore them, name tags seemed to work just fine to tell us apart (and the Navy and Marines unique Covers). Before that OG’s and OG 107s.

    The weapons camo is also a great idea, just make an ALCON from the Chairmen of the Joint Chief’s office allowing unit commanders to adapt the weapons to the environment.

  • Cameron

    Well when i deployed which was last year with the Army we painted all of our weapons. Most of our brass actually required it, so in a sense multicam weapons has already happened.

  • Jim

    Think your zeroed in Big Daddy!!!

  • robert

    If the army is going to MultiCams, it should give the ACUs to the Army Junior ROTC program. Army JROTC is a non-deployed units (High School program). This would cut down on the cost of uniforms for this type of program. Also, the JROTC Instructors, who are retired members of the US Army don’t need MultiCams; they can wear the ACUs. This is something that HQ’s DA, G-4 needs to look at.

  • Big Daddy

    Thanks, I try to use common sense not emotion.

    The people in Washington both military and civilian elected officials are out of touch. They live in towers separated from the common man and soldier. They have no problem wasting funds, there’s always more where that came from, well NOT anymore. They still don’t get it, those types never do.

    I think there’s a saying about making great towers and forgetting to make great men to put in them. I heard it in a movie, “Seven Days In May”. I haven’t yet found the writer of that saying if there is one.

  • 18x

    Actually I heard that when you fall into the ocean it changes to a bright orange color. Something about the salt composition in the water changes it. Not sure if that’s true

  • NavyData

    Doubt this will be read, but here’s my two cents. I have about eight and a half years in, training, 5+ years on a submarine, tour in Afghanistan, now I do something different in the navy. I’ve worn many different uniforms.
    1.I started in the Navy Utilities; they looked like ***, uncomfortable, stained easily, and lasted maybe four months but cheap.
    2. Submarine coverall how I miss you
    3. NWU type 1, comfortable, can be worn off base, cost about the price for two sets of utilities but lasts much longer and cheaper in the long run, but fabric is a bit heavy.
    4. UCP ACU, (worn in training for Afghanistan and almost deployed in) the cut of the uniform works great I loved it, but to much Velcro and it as UCP.
    5. Multicam ACU, (issued the day before flying out so that was a fun day of gear turn in and gear issue.) MC worked great, the addition of the combat shirt made the IOTV much more comfortable and the pants had buttons of the butt and cargo pockets.
    6. NWU Type 3, love them, similar cut to the ACUs, pockets have both buttons and Velcro so you can choose, I want to say made of NYCO 50/50 ripstop, only bad thing I can say about them is the elastic in the waist ban.
    All said and done NWU Type 1 are great for what they were designed for. Army got the cut of the ACUs right but failed on UCP and the navy took many of the lessons learned and applied them to the Type 2 & 3. Now if they would just apply them to the Type 1 all would be right in the Navy uniform world.

  • NavySub2Shore

    Doubt this will be read, but here’s my two cents. I have about eight and a half years in, training, 5+ years on a submarine, tour in Afghanistan, now I do something different in the navy. I’ve worn many different uniforms.
    1.I started in the Navy Utilities; they looked like butt, uncomfortable, stained easily, and lasted maybe four months but cheap.
    2. Submarine coverall how I miss you
    3. NWU type 1, comfortable, can be worn off base, cost about the price for two sets of utilities but lasts much longer and cheaper in the long run, but fabric is a bit heavy.
    4. UCP ACU, (worn in training for Afghanistan and almost deployed in) the cut of the uniform works great I loved it, but to much Velcro and it as UCP.
    5. Multicam ACU, (issued the day before flying out so that was a fun day of gear turn in and gear issue.) MC worked great, the addition of the combat shirt made the IOTV much more comfortable and the pants had buttons of the butt and cargo pockets.
    6. NWU Type 3, love them, similar cut to the ACUs, pockets have both buttons and Velcro so you can choose, I want to say made of NYCO 50/50 ripstop, only bad thing I can say about them is the elastic in the waist ban.
    All said and done NWU Type 1 are great for what they were designed for. Army got the cut of the ACUs right but failed on UCP and the navy took many of the lessons learned and applied them to the Type 2 & 3. Now if they would just apply them to the Type 1 all would be right in the Navy uniform world.

  • Jay

    I agree with Oscar. The gear should be coyote brown so it can be universal and will not have to be changed every time they switch cammo patterns.

  • MN

    Everything Oscar said! That is the most sensible set of ideas I have heard yet, so of course they can never be implemented by anyone except maybe SOCOM…maybe. While Oscar is obviously a sharp guy, is it really too much to ask that the hundreds of people spending millions of dollars in “research” be this bright too? I say we do everything Oscar said, give him $1,000,000.00 to say thanks, and call it good. We would save a whole lot more money and blood in the long run.

    Coloring weapons via the plastic furniture is nothing new or revolutionary. Europeans had NATO green furniture on some HKs by the 1960s. All high-grade American makers of accessories make Flat Dark Earth molded products at a minimum, and foliage green and OD are common. Anodizing in FDE or OD has been around for some time in high-end optics and rifle receivers and parts. Simple paint-over-parkerize coatings are old and may be colorized. Advanced ceramic or polymer coatings also are well evolved and enhance the durability and weather-resistance of the weapon system. FN’s SCAR series rifles, featuring a fairly large surface area, are prime examples of how a simple shift in plastic components and surface finishing colors dramatically reduced it’s threat as a potentially large target indicator. For that matter, hydro-dipping is no longer a curiosity, but is widely used throughout the sporting goods industry without adding dramatic expense when volumes are large. As noted, using standard Multicam in the same vein that the USMC uses coyote brown as the intermediate color way/pattern across different uniform patterns would be functional and cost-effective. The most special forces of many nations have long been allowed to modify their weapon’s appearance for the greatest stealth, which would seem like common sense to many of us. But the most special people are pretty few and far between. Meanwhile, even specialized units, such as Airborne or Rangers, are still largely seen saddled with carrying large, geometric, “here I am!” black shapes across their vital zone. Regular units have no hope being allowed to modify anything. This camouflage issue has frustrated me because aside from wasting billions and actually getting people killed, it is actually a microcosmic example of many larger problems in how we have chosen to do this business.

    • Lance

      Under current fiancal strain and every dollar of the army budget sent to JLTV and Network programs this would NOT happen for some time. It be better to have 3 camos. old fasion woodland for North American and Europe Desert 3 color for Middle east and muti cam for every where else.

      But the Army lost logic ten years ago so expect fights delays and even worse camo than UCP being adopted.

  • Lance

    Old fashion woodland always did a good job MARSOC readopted it two years ago and most NATO army’s use it still digi is overrated.

  • m16a4ish
  • Jack

    amazing this idea hasn’t hit the big dogs. the pattern is great, one could just tweak with the coloration and we’d be golden.

  • ken badoian

    Can anyone who is good with numbers add up all the $$$’s spent in the past 20 some years on this cammy that cammy – USN, USAF,USA,and USMC. I USCG still wares a basic dark blue cammy type. I bet all the money spent by the different ego’s is the individual services could buy a few Little Crappy Ships LCRs, a couple (or maybe just one F35 A,B,C), more secure storage for the USAF, or more training on holding what you got, and for the USA well enough said. Oh to be a cammy manufacture…growth industry MMCS(SS)(SW) USN ret.

  • For women again the worst case is to have the freedom of my food choices.

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  • Pvt Prynne