Army Chief Says New Camouflage Coming


The U.S. Army’s top officer says the service is poised to pick a new camouflage pattern for uniforms.

The selection comes after tests showed the existing design, a grayish-green digital pattern that appears on the standard-issue fatigues known as the Army Combat Uniform, or ACU, was poorly suited for environments such as Afghanistan, according to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno.

“It’s the wrong color,” Odierno said during a May 7 breakfast with reporters. “It’s not the right patterns,” he said. “Every test we’ve done [says] it’s wrong. So we’re going to come up with a new pattern.”

The service may spend as much as $4 billion over the next five years to replace its uniform and related protective gear, according to a September report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. last month reported that Army Secretary John McHugh was briefed on Gen. Odierno’s recommended replacement for the so-called Universal Camouflage Pattern, which the service adopted in 2004 to replace its woodland and desert camouflage uniforms.

The Army last year awarded contracts to develop new camouflage designs to four companies: Crye Precision LLC, ADS Inc., Brookwood Companies Inc. and Kryptek Outdoor Group.

Odierno didn’t specify which design or designs he recommended, only that the existing pattern was insufficient.

“All the testing we’ve done say it doesn’t work in environments,” he said. “It puts our soldiers at risk. That’s why we changed the uniform in Afghanistan. So to me, it’s a low-cost, almost no-cost, solution to change it. It’s the right thing to do.”

The Army in 2010 selected a design called MultiCam, which is popular with Special Operations Forces, for soldiers deploying to Afghanistan.

All four services wore the same Army Battle Dress and Desert Camouflage patterns before the Marine Corps introduced their own digital patterns in 2002. The move left Army, Air Force and Navy scrambling to provide their troops service-specific camouflage patterns, the GAO said.

Government auditors recommended for the military services to work together to develop camouflage uniforms. By not doing so, they stand to lose “millions of dollars in potential cost savings,” according to the report.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Liam

    go to OD green like the ones they had in Vietnam…worked well! Tiger Stripe works well also!!

    • I have always been a fan of the solid colors also. Think of the cost savings. Always has worked well for me. I am guessing it will end up being Kryptek (but which pattern?) or MultiCam. MutliCam has the benefit of already being issued. Kryptek is nice in that it has different flavors for different extremes but still a great transitional pattern (Kryptek:Highlander) that works well everywhere.

      • John

        Multicam isn’t in the running.

        • colby

          Multicam is in the final 4 though isnt it called crye precision

          • Nance, Elliot

            Crye is the company. IIRC they made up camo for the competition instead of using Multicam.

            The problem with solid colors is they are limited in terms of colors they will blend in with and don’t break up the outline at all.

          • Sam

            Solid colors have their place in camouflage and can be better than patterns depending on the circumstances. Anything with a pattern stands out more any time it moves. A solid color moving behind trees is just a temporary color change between them.

            The problem of colors that do not blend in a given environment is exactly what is wrong this the so called Universal Camouflage Pattern (which universally failed everywhere). Some idiot thought they could take a green from a woodland pattern, a tan from a desert pattern, and a grey from an urban camouflage and make a pattern that would blend everywhere. What they got was a pattern with at least one color that contrasted in any environment.

    • joe

      you idiot that was then this is now od green doesnt work every where like the deserst

      i was deployed it iraq

      • DB Cooper

        In the first Gulf War our helicopter pilots found the hardest soldiers to spot on the ground were the Brits. They wore plain one color Tan Khaki uniforms.

        Whats going on is PM Soldier is trying not to have to shrink his staff so every few years they do BS testing and come up with useless uniforms/uniform changes that serve no practical purpose other than to maintain a LTC or higher Billet assigned to that command. Whether or not a good uniform is produced for the soldier is totally irrelevant. That’s not the purpose.

    • luke Gilbertson

      will not work in the desert

  • Mike

    O.D.Green fatigues were the reason for the change to BDU’s in the early 80’s: They sucked. A Soldier in that uniform usually stuck out like a sore thumb…and, just to make it more surreal, we had a camo cover for our steel-pot helmets, with spit-shined jump boots on. No, the Army is, at least, TRYING to move in a more tactical direction, IMHO. Eventually they’ll get it right…after the Military Clothing Industry has soaked every last dollar from the troops trying to stay in the proper uniform…

    • Sev

      Why are you blaming the camo industry? In the end it’s the army making the stupid decisions. I’m in favor of a reversible camo. One for dry environments and one for woodland. The Navy camo was a retarded decision with no logic whatsoever. Who in the hell thought that you would need camo on a frickin ship where if you fell in the ocean you’d want to be as visible as possible to be rescued?

      • somebody

        The purpose of the Navy’s camouflage isn’t to blend in with the surroundings, it is so stains blend in with the uniform so it doesn’t have to be replaced as often (wet paint and other things that can stain their uniforms are common on ships).

        • WoodrowUSMC

          You’re kidding right? That’s what all the services have coveralls for; “wet paint and other things that can stain their uniforms” whether there on ship or shore. Don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out! Geez, even civilians know that…

    • balais

      Thats not true whatsoever

      There is no difference between solid colors or disruptive ones when proper camouflage techniques are used, just as the Ranger Regiment in the 80s or anybody who has served in any capacity in SF.

      Camo uniforms are gucci trends, nothing more.

  • Rokuth

    It is interesting to note that the Israeli Defense Forces do not use a camo pattern on their BDUs. It’s just OD…

    My second choice would be the ubiquitous Khaki. It kind of blends in most environments, except for Artic… Close relation to Coyote Brown…

    • CamoReader

      Solid colored uniforms are a thing of the past. Just because Israel still uses OD doesn’t mean shit.

      • SFC YOUNG

        Isreal uses the solid color because it is cheaper. When you have a policy that requires all citizens to join the military then you need to clothe them on a budget.

  • WRG001

    What concerns me is that the same process for choosing the last pattern may be choosing the next pattern.

  • Snuffy

    How about a woodland and desert camo with a solid color for kit that works with both…..oh sorry, the Marines already did that……made too much sense anyway.

    • To read comments, si

      For the 4 billion spent on the failed ACU, we could’ve probably designed workable active camo.

      • straps

        That $4B was on product that was used/used up in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        UCP was one of the “cheapest” camo patterns ever developed because it was MARPAT with a double hit on one color developed completely outside a comparatively low-budget development program.

        Active Predator-type camo is a ways off, but under active development.

        • WhiskeyGlider

          There is a company in Canada that has actually developed a camo that bends light around it and acts as a “predator” like camo, and is working solely with the US, Canada, and British. Though it is years of from being produced on a mass scale.

  • Moondawg

    A shade of OD green, or a form of coyote, has a lot of benefit to it. It got us through a couple of major wars and police actions. Also, everyone should be wearing the same uniform, except for the Navy aboard ship. If SpecOps needs a camo special uniform, they have funds to buy them The main thing is get everyone that is involved in ground combat, or ground operations wearing the same uniform. That goes for the USMC, they are the smallest of the services and the one we could most easily do without, or merge with one of the other services. If the various services want their own distinctive class A uniform that is one thing, and they can have their own distinctive hat. For a work/combat uniform they should all be the same. If a distinctive camo for different terrain and/or climate must be issued, make it a reversible smock, common to all services.

    • mpower6428

      “everybody should be wearing the same uniform”. so the bad guys know who to shoot at.

      i am giving you a new name, “gianni versaci” do you like it…?

      no, his fashion choices didnt help him either. maybe he should have accessorized*.

    • DesertFox

      The Marine Corps is not a separate branch that needs to be absorbed into another branch. In part AKA the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) It has been part of the Navy since its inception back in 1776. That is why you will find that their paychecks and ID cards all have or had Department of Navy on them. That is also why the Navy provides all medical/dental support to them. You will also find Marines on all capital ships in the Navy. At one point in their history they wore the same uniform before adopting an uniform similar to the British Marines. In other words they are like what the Air Force was when it was the Army Air Corps.


      Et secundum diversitatem unitatis pro scientiam / Einheit durch Vielfalt und Wissen

      LPN/ret, HM2(FMF)/USN, Sgt/USAR, ACM/olc, CWVet, VNeVet, GWVet, DAV/VFW Life Member

    • Axel

      Everything you just said was BS wishful thinking. The Coprs “…merge with one of the other services.” ? “…everyone should be wearing the same uniform…”, w/ all due respect there is a reason why we have different branches of the mil. and why they are so competitive w/ each other. The solid colors of OD green and Coyote did not help us through the wars such as WW and WWII, if it worked so well we wouldn’t have been engaging in trench warfare.

    • WhiskeyGlider

      Coming from an Army guy, you just went full retard, we could easily do without the Marine Corps? Are you naturally a fucking joke or did you have to work at it?

    • Grantdawg

      Marines are better than the army… Training harder there like specop compared to the Army.

      • al

        You got to be kidding me, it doesn’t take make to train someone just following the smell of the chowline.

  • Joe-in-the-Stan

    How about just sticking with the pattern that actually works, is widely in use and already in the Army stocks: MULTICAM! Soldiers have been using it for years, there is an abundance of gear available in it, IT IS VERY EFFECTIVE in a myriad of environments and did I say the Army already has plenty of gear for it?

    • 97B50

      My time in the Army was long ago when rip stops and tiger stripes were issued in Vietnam only.

      If MultiCam is the choice of the Special Operations community, why not make it the military standard? I think it would be odd to have two different patterns in the same theater of war.

  • Matt

    Why dont all services have the same pattern with maybe a different style for the bouses/pants? This should also lower the cost on accessories that are used. Same color boots etc. More produced should lower overall cost and create more R&D into the actual pattern.

  • Peally

    New camo “coming”, doesn’t mean they’ll ever adopt it!

  • Canadian

    Single colours are GARBAGE! In Canada we had OD as our uniform until the early 2000s. By comparison the OD stick right out, and requires more work to camouflage once in a static position.

    Multicam or some other multi-environment uniform makes sense, as does multiple uniforms for different environments. One is just cheaper than the other.

    • balais

      Single colors make perfect sense because they are economical, and when soldiers apply facepaint, use proper lighting camouflage, and other long forgotted infantry fieldcraft, they are just as well camouflaged as soldiers clad head to ankle in multicam or any other pattern.

      Whats funny is that digital patterns look the same as solid colors past 50 meters.

      What the problem with canada was that they didn’t properly replace unifrom items as they wore out, due in no small part to budget concerns, which continue to exist today even with something as basic as boots.

  • mpower6428

    camo patterns have become the least important thing about warfare in the last 12 years. this may come as a shock to some of you but… our “oh so important” camoflage aint fooling anybody, least of all the people who shoot at our men and women in uniform.

    flat, mat olive drab/khaki, and if a state-side douche bag wants to add some starch… more power to him. awww hell, lets go with some confederate chestnut, or maybe a subdued cavalry blue, and some yellow leg stripes.

    the point is NOBODY gives a shit. 4 billion dollars for a fashion show…?

    • straps

      So, what you’re saying is that the move from UCP (the ACU pattern all these chickenhawks and internet toughguys are blathering about) to OCP (Crye Multicam) for our forces in Afghanistan was a whole lotta nuthin’?

      You’re half right. If you ride to a Key Leader Engagement in an MRAP you’re not exactly maintaining much stealth. However, that security element that needs to blend with the high ground (or walls, rooftops and treelines) NEEDS a camo pattern that works.

      Being able to dominate on the water and in the air means SQUAT if you aren’t applying the fieldcraft to prevail on the ground.

      When no more of our Soldiers come to harm via IED or SAF I’ll CONSIDER agreeing with you…

    • straps

      3.75 billion of that is OCIE that’s worn out in 10 years of war in two theaters of conflict. As GEN Odierno said, pretty much cost neutral. If we were at peace during this ill-executed transition there would be something to talk about. Or maybe not, because we wouldn’t likely be obsoleting gear or wearing it out at NEARLY that pace.

      The folks who have a beef are the Soldiers who bought their own gear.


      I once tried to low crawl at night through knee high grass while wearing the ACUs but the uniform almost glows in the moonlight. Not everyone does mounted ops. Many hike the valleys of Afghanistan and many hiked the lands of Iraq.

  • j i hawaii

    ru u kidding me? odierno just figured this out? grey in the desert works for aircraft (which we said we would do but did not) and not for troops. please please stop spending my tax payer dollars on new uniforms. i retired and cif refused anything green, tan, desert tan, abdu, or anything other than acu. now it’s a myriad of uniforms no one has control over. one uniform. now. 12 yrs and 5 changes. each less effective until milti cam…which resembles usmc. howabout we all get on board and use the same stuff for the same mission?

    • straps

      No he didn’t “just” figure this out.

      Woodland to 3CDC to UCP to OCP to ???? is at most 4 changes. When Afghanistan kicked off anyone with a brain went with Coyote because you could wear it with Woodland and 3CDC–as do the Marines. I bought some UCP gear but when OCP/Multicam hit the scene I just pulled the Coyote gear out of the box.

      I’m pretty sure that most of us who have been around for a minute will close out our careers with what we now own, whether we overdye our UCP gear (which we will do if Army goes to US4CES) or rattlecan it to match Kryptek or Brookwood. Zero info about Crye but I’m betting that rattlecanning multicam will push the pallete into their transitional pattern.

  • Sam

    When will they ever stop?

  • Chris

    A HUGE waste of money….how many times are we going to change the camo for each branch of service because it doesnt match/blend into the environment we are fighting in?? This is yet ANOTHER reason why we are BROKE and cant even afford anything besides multi-billion dollar defense projects like waste of space JSF.

    • Doubtom

      Yours is the only comment that makes any sense at all. This is a HUGE waste of taxpayer’s money and almost childish. Seems each new generation requires a new outfit; what the hell is this, a modeling contest??

  • bugkill

    Why not adopt the Marine Corps patterns? I could care less if the Marines developed it first because we all work for the same bosses and chew the same dirt. If we don’t go with that, just issue the multicam. Pretty simple and it don’t take years to decide this.

    • defensor fortissimo

      Since when does ripping off Canada qualify as developing it first?

    • pumapride

      but but…. the Marines won’t like that! That’s why it was patented in the first place :P

  • The Oberst

    LOL….. I still support the body painting idea.

    • leftoftheboom

      That is the ticket! Just issue spray paint. The troops can make up thier own camo for each environment.

      But then we would need an entire regulation on forbidden camo patterns and a seperate IG office just to track down the offenders.

  • Rich

    Yeah, tha current ACU is “insufficient.” Yeah, that’s why our troops are getting slaughtered in foreign lands by non-state combatants wearing bedsheets and sandals. And what qualifies Odierno to be wasting this much money on a new camo pattern? Oh yeah, he’s a general officer in charge of a full-time standing uniform board of senior officers always looking for something to spend mony on. Perhaps SecDef Hagel needs to call somone on the carpet to answer a few basic budget issues. Hey Chuck?

  • CamoReader

    I am going to say a few things…

    1. Solid colored uniforms are stupid. They do not disrupt the human axis symmetry and does little to match the texture of the environment.

    2. It has been a long time with a lot of waste. The Army will get it right this time for the most part.

    3. Israel may be using OD uniforms still but that doesn’t prove anything. At best is shows that they can’t afford camo or just too ignorant.

    4. All branches should wear the same camouflage pattern (except for special operations)

    • sigmund

      “At best is shows that they can’t afford camo or just too ignorant.”

      youre kidding me right?

      yeah, the IDF, who is only the most well-versed in urban and asymmetric warfare in the world.

      • Axel

        You should see how they hold the X95s and TARs…

      • CamoReader

        Sorry to burst your bubble but Israel is not perfect just like everyone else in this world. Single colored uniforms are a thing of the past. Israel on this point fails to catch up.

        • Sam

          You don’t know as much as you think you do about camouflage. Camouflage patterns only work for stationary objects. Any pattern, when moving, is at best a moving bush and how many bushes have you seen walking down the street?

        • balais

          Single colored unifroms are less popular now because infrastructure to produce disruptive patterns (textile technology) is more commonplace and cheaper to manufacture than it was 30-40-50 years ago. It has nothing to do with ‘suepriority’ or anything else.

    • balais

      Im going to say a few things

      1.) Solid colored uniforms are more economical and work just as good as disruptive patterns when proper camouflage techniques are employed, which means more than simple patterns on cloth. Your ‘axis symmetry’ blah blah is just guy cramer hyperstealth woo woo pseudoscience.

      2.) Israel isn’t ignorant about anything or is money for patterned cloth uiforms a issue. If you had a single inkling about their doctrine and environment, you would come to the conclusion that there is a reason why patterned cloth uniforms (WHICH THEY DID HAVE PREVIOUSLY) are really unimportant.

  • Glockster20

    Carhart tops and bottoms? Would be cheaper. But on a serious side we have nothing but fools running the show. It will be interesting. The other issue I have is why does everything have to match!! Maybe we should do like the Marines and have IBA, Rucks and so on one colour.

    • CamoReader

      Single colored equipment such as body armor and rucksack act as a silhouette target when worn on top of camo.

  • USMColddawg

    If Army leadership is smart; they will select US4CES camo since the Marine Corps is being stingy with theirs.

    • Greg

      Precisely my gut feeling! The eventual end game of this camo bid, is to put everyone back in the same thing to save $$$$. This effort is alot more than just getting Big A back in the proper colors again. One huge fact (I think will happen) is that the Corps still realize digital is still verry effective, and if any other besides ADS is chosen, they won’t take it. Then were right back to square one.

    • Axel

      Kryptek is by far the best i’ve seen.

      • CamoReader

        I am not a fan of the appearance of Kryptek but it does have a effective macro pattern.

  • Bob

    Keep multicam for transitional pattern with od green vests.

    • garyd3

      go with the multicam and stop changing things.

  • FMFDoc

    The military, as a whole, needs to get rid of this “reactionary thinking”! Instead of choosing a durable material firstly, then a servicable/practicle pattern, then a dye which will last in operational care conditions, and LASTLY two patterns (one desert/one forest)……. well, these starry-shouldered chair polishers want to choose a new pattern every few years, which matches the “current operational theater” the best.

    The obvious second flaw in all this: Having administrative desk-flyers make the decision, instead of those Soldiers,Marines,Sailorws,and Airmen who have to wear and maintain that uniform in the worst of conditons. Those people who live the field-experience, instead of manning an office in a big building, within the Beltway!

    Choose a uniform that is practicle and durable, and let it be! I’m beginning to think that these Generals hold stock in the manufacturers which spin-up these disposable uniforms which they force on the troops every few years!

    • smitty

      I would be interested in the post-retirement employment plans of those officers and senior enlisted who were involved in the ACU and ASU.

    • Ghostrider47

      Well said, REMF’s and Pentagon Brass and bean counters shouldn’t be the ones picking out the needed patterns. Matte reflective material would be nice if that could be developed. That way you would be the same color as the environment you were standing in. Theater Specific patterns would be helpful as well. White/grey/darkgrey for the snow covered areas. Multicam for areas with low plant life, Tan pattern for desert, Jungle pattern for jungles, BDUish for conus/euro. Then something Utility for the Fobbits and REMF’s. Mufti for the SEALS and SF gps seemed to work well also. It needs to be flexible for specific MOS duties. Infantry needs are different from Medics at a MASH or Admins runnin finance or intel reports. If a FOB were to get over run then what your wearing is not gonna be real important anyway.

  • retired 462

    Don’t do anything ’til ONE PATTERN can be used for ALL!

    Stop playing these games every other year. The next chief of staff will more than likely have a say on the same subject. Needless to mention what it cost to change paterns per person.

  • Robert

    Regrettably I’m not a solider so maybe I’m just talking out of my ass. The first thing that comes to mind is why not make it a consensus and let the troops decide or at least have input?

    Next thing that comes to mind is counterfeiting; maybe not a good idea to use OD or any solid color because of how easy it is for the enemy to copy? The thing is, why can I as a citizen go to and order a field coat with the ACU pattern (and others)?

    Lastly maybe the best idea is to rotate the patterns on a semi-yearly basis or some other time frame so the enemy can’t get used to what to look for. The human eye is pretty good at learning how to pick out patterns – any patterns – given enough time. With a modern enemy that doesn’t wear uniforms we may want to focus on blending in vs. hiding (e.g. camouflaging). On a archival/reflective note: Remember first years in Afghanistan the Special Ops guys grew beards and we got complaints? If we’re setting them up to fail why bother wasting money on uniforms – just put them in day-glo orange with a 12×12 American flag on their backs.

  • Robert everhart

    Again with the army-then the Navy-marines. Why don’t we change the uniforms of the boy scouts to. This money should go to help wounded troops that wore the uniform of what ever color. You top brass just need to get your head out of your a$$.

    • garyd3


  • leftoftheboom

    It’s funny that the posts get so uptight. All camo patterns will be affected by the environment. Soldiers may start out clean but they don’t stay that way (unless you are behind a desk). The environmental color blurs the lines anyway.

    Movement negates camo. So who exactly is evaluating the effectiveness? Are our snipers telling us that our troops stick out (because that would be my vote for operational testing, so long as they don’t shoot me)? Or are we asking the Taliban?

    My problem with the ACU is the zipper, the crotch seams, and the stupid velcro.

    If I am not moving, and not wearing International Orange, I stand a good chance of not being spotted even in jeans and a t-shirt.

    Forget the color games and just make one that doesn’t wear out or fail all the time and has to be held together with hand sewing.

    If you must have a color, make them reversable. coyote and olive drab changed environment and turn your cloths inside out. Each pocket is accessible from both sides and has a button. DIRT will give you blending. Who evaluates camo that is clean anyway?

  • Jonny_V

    One Garrison uniform (can be service specific)

    One CONUS Camo uniform (because camo in garrison looks unprofessional)

    and whatever theater Camo is appropriate

    Really, how difficult is that concept???

  • John D.

    It took 10+ years and tons of money to realize that the ACU is bad!!?? What are these idiot generals thinking!! They should be fired!! They allowed this to happen and put soldiers lives in danger!! Now they want promotions and medals!! The modern general is more of a corporate CEO than a tru combat leader. Almost allof our current generals never heard a shot fired until they made multi stars and that was an echo in the Green Zone!! These guys won’t take a dump unless it enhances their careers!! Sure they have lots of combat hash marks indicating their time spent in the big bases living large and in comfort. They are NOT true combat leaders all those who are got retired or fired!! Even McCrystal never got shot at!! I’m reading his book, very dissapointing. Look @ Petreus what a shame!!

  • Jamie Scheirer

    Yeah! Another fine example of useless, waste, and borderline abuse of government funds to replace something that is nowhere near in need. Aren’t we suppose to be cutting OUT frivalous spending? And top leaders and politicians wonder why we’re broke and where the money goes…what the price tag on this flipant adventure?

    • garyd3

      Cutting out frivalous spending… that will be the day the military is run by Logistitions instead of infantry and pilots.

  • Brandon

    Well they spent this money so they might as well pick what was most effective in each environment. I love both OD Green and Coyote but you can not dispute how effective MARPAT woodland and desert patterns are in their respective environments. You ALSO can not dispute how well multicam performs in different environments compared to solid color uniforms. SOCOM paid for a pretty bad a** teir one team to develop a more “universal form of MARPAT” so it would still have a high degree of effectiveness in one area with some ability for transition. That unit actually uses concealment on a daily basis and is the best of the best in NSW so I am sure their sniper/recon guys had a clue as to what they were doing. If they don’t choose a new pattern that they paid for, they should at least go with the MARPAT or AOR patterns and at the least, the Air Force should be forced to follow along (since they should be apart of the Army anyway).

    1. Body armor and pouches can be made of a combination of coyote and OD Green to prevent that one big solid color that stands out.

    2. Troops need to be allowed to purchase AND USE their own gear if they want to pay for camo pouches and the like. Helmet covers can be reversible with the woodland and desert pattern on each side but soldiers should be allowed to add netting to adapt their camo to the environment.

    3. Soldiers should be trained on properly painting any solid black gear and weapons as to not interfere with function. They should be encouraged to take active camo measures rather than discouraged.

    4. A reversible, elastic and/or waterproof ruck cover should be issued to the troops so a transitional only or solid color ruck (OD or Coyote) can be covered with the best concealment pattern for the area. The British have been doing this for years and it still shocks me that we don’t. It would also help in floating your ruck.

    5. Boots should either be OD green, Coyote or in the transitional pattern with Coyote.

  • T McGarry

    Wish the Army was a better stewart of taxpayer money-especially after spending oner 3 million on the last camo design and now saying it’s no good.

    • garyd3

      no doubt!!!


    I think constant changing of uniforms has become more of a fad than a necessity.

    • garyd3

      Not a fad. It’s a power play by Generals who just want thier signature on something.

  • DovaDawg

    This was basically my understanding of how it went down. USMC was tasked with developing a new pattern for all services. MARPAT hit the scene at a development cost of $300k +. Army decided they wanted their own pattern, so USMC said screw you and stuck the EGA in limiting its use. Air Force not wanting to be left out blindly pushed ABUs at a development cost of about $4 mil. The uni is ineffective in 70% of test and too thick. This caused USAF to issue light weights (more money) and MultiCam to deployers (more money) resulting in an absolute bust for ABUs. Meanwhile the Coasties attempted to team up with the Navy for new unis. The Navy felt they were getting left behind and jumped without the USCG resulting in the Navy foregoing huge cost savings associated with the partnership.

    In the end USAF has been advised to follow suite with the Army in whatever decision they make to take advantage of potential cost savings. MultiCam has some advantage in that it is already being issued and inventory has been built up. This means that a lot of the initial cost with implementing a new uni has already been absorbed. The GAO directed the services to have their uniform agreements in place by end of Q3 FY13, so we should start hearing details soon.

    • Geodkyt

      Close, but not quite right.

      USMC struck out on their own, and basically copied the Canadian CADPAT.

      US Army had been thinking about a new pattern, saw what the Marines were doing, and said, “Hey, that stuff works, let’s adopt it DoD-wide!”

      Eighth & I said, “SCREW YOU! You’re not MARINES, you can’t use it!!!”

      Which kicked off the camo wars.

  • garyd3

    Can’t we just all switch to the OCP (aka multicam) and be done with it?

  • i will like to join the army!

  • majrod

    Joe-stan – The reason is that it will cost just as much to issue the Army multicam as it would to issue it a more effective pattern. BTW, According to the ’08 Army camo analysis ( multicam beat UCP in 11 of 12 tests (p.15) but desert MARPAT beat multicam in eight of those 12 tests! (and another two if you include woodland MARPAT). The new patterns are supposed to be even better than MARPAT.

    97B50 – Many SOF are wearing AOR 1 & 2 along with certain units even wearing ATACS as well as the old woodland pattern. We only see the pictures of Multicam.

    • sigmund

      As ive once discussed before, majrod, your link doesn’t conclude anything other than multicam is the best overall “universal camo”.

      Comparing it to single, niche specific patterns is not exactly apples and oranges.

      The army needs to figure out what it wants: a universal camo or two or three niche specific camo patterns. compromise on cost or camouflage flexibility.

      • majrod

        You aren’t looking at the link or reading my post. On the contrary, Desert MARPAT is a more effective pattern. Check out p15. Multicam ranked higher than UCP but Desert MARPAT ranked higher than multicam.

        Also as you’ll see we are comparing THIRTEEN different patterns across 12 different backgrounds. One can see trends where those camo patterns with green did better. It’s not a question of what is THE best niche pattern. One pattern is never a 100% solution.

  • majrod


  • majrod

    bugkill – great question and very much ignored in the whole camouflage fiasco.

    • SSG Skygod…11B3P

      defensor fortissimo…We didn’t “RIP OFF” the Canadians, the Canadians assisted the USMC and the US Army “develop” MARPATS and UCP…and even the Canadians laughed their @$$3$ OFF at “big Army” for the decision to go UCP…

  • Guest

    Oh, NOW they want to do the right thing! ACU has never been good. The Congressman who’s wheels were greased must have moved on. Pricks.

  • Al Miller

    More waste of tax payer money. $4 billion that doesn’t need to be spent.

  • majrod

    “slaughtered?” That’s a “bit” of hyperbole. We lost almost as many in one day as we have in over a decade of war. The rest of your point is valid but you hurt your case with the “slaughtered” bit.

  • Peter Gonzales

    It would make equal sense for black for night, white for artic and some neutreal grey/beige the rest. The military should stop wasting dollars it does not generate and take the money wasted and will continue to waste on some hi tech camies that are nano or LCD based to change with the terrain which the operator is in..

  • majrod

    camoreader – Have you heard of paint?

    Solid colors aren’t obsolete and have many advantages like COST. Patterns are great and nice to have but the mindset of many is finding a material solution to a training issue.

    Many think “camouflage” is only a noun. It’s a verb also and by and large we suck at it.

    There’s a lesson there…

  • Interest Only

    I think I need my secret decoder ring for your post :-)

    • Nance, Elliot

      Moving messes with it regardless of if it is a solid color. Not saying that it is just as much as with a pattern but trying to move and trying to blend in doesn’t really work. It also doesn’t change the fact that breaking up the outline is a pretty big deal, in my opinion, at the cost of being more noticable while moving which would be the case regardless of what camo you have apart from active camo.

      Yeah but patterns have multiple colors some of which could blend in with areas that other colors in the pattern don’t while a solid color obviously can’t. Not that it really matters but the green is more of a green-gray.

  • majrod

    Army Times asked soldiers back in ’02. They picked MARPAT.

    • Don

      If you were to ask these days, they’d pick Multicam. What they WOULDN’T pick is UCP.

      • majrod

        Multicam is a great pattern but we don’t know what soldiers would pick. The patterns being tested have been kept pretty close hold.

  • Allan

    Where is A-tacs I love that camo pattern

  • majrod

    You’re right except the Corps was never tasked with producing a camo pattern for all services. I have never seen any reporting that the USAF was advised to follow the Army.

    It will cost the same to continue fielding multiam or a new pattern. The cost for new patterns is already sunk.

    • DovaDawg

      2013 GAO Report:

      GAO directs the Secretaries of the military departments to identify and implement actions necessary to enable the Joint Clothing and Textiles Governance Board to develop and issue joint criteria for uniforms prior to the development or acquisition of any new camouflage uniform;

      GAO directs the Secretaries of the military departments to actively pursue partnerships for the joint development and use of uniforms to minimize fragmentation in the development of uniforms and to seek to reduce inventory and overall procurement costs.

      DOD agreed with GAO’s recommendations. DOD stated that draft joint criteria for camouflage uniforms have been developed and are going through the DOD approval process, which DOD estimated will be completed by March 2013. DOD also said that the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) will disseminate policy guidance to the military departments that will include direction for using joint criteria and ensuring equivalent levels of performance and protection by the 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2013. Finally, DOD stated that it will use the Joint Clothing and Textiles Governance Board and the Cross-Service Warfighter Equipment Board to provide additional oversight and further pursue active partnerships for joint development and use of uniforms.

      • majrod

        I’ve read the report but thanks.

        You do know that “joint criteria” is just using the same factors to evaluate a uniform? The uniform or patterns could be entirely different.

        Then there’s the little point that the GAO has no authority over the services. GAO can’t direct anything. Reread the document. The GAO made recommendations.

        DoD agreed to measure future uniforms the same. Not a big deal after a decade that took us from two shared camo patterns to eight different ones. This is only progress in DC.

  • jonathon

    cant wait to what it looks like because i leave in 4 weeks for army bootcamp and hopefully by time i retire ill be wearing these new ones.

  • sigmund

    ive never said that israel is perfect, but to say that “they’re ignorant” is one of the most laughable things i have ever seen in my life.

    Israel DOES have camouflage Btw. theyre designed to be worn over the uniforms like Russian KLMK camo suits, which make far more sense in my opinion.

    I cannot really say why Israel fields OD green. Perhaps it is to distinguish them from the plethora of camouflage patterns Arab soldiers wear, or simply because they’re inexpensive. Unlike the Iraqi and other Arab armies (and the american army in many instances), they rely on substance rather than appearances.

    • CamoReader

      “yeah, the IDF, who is only the most well-versed in urban and asymmetric warfare in the world.”

      This statement kinda makes them look like the best or perfect. lol

    • CamoReader

      Also, look my reply to M. Hatch.

  • sigmund

    “Aren’t we suppose to be cutting OUT frivalous spending? ”

    No because if you suggest that, you are a dirty commie, pinko liberal muslim socialist that will lose your seat in congress because thousands in your state depend on a government jobs program from their sacred cows.

    Oh and dont forget, without a increase in military spending every year (blown out of proportion as “budget cuts” even though the growth isn’t cut), the North Koreans are going to invade and occupy the united states /sarc

    • Poopies

      Why can’t we just develop some kick ass underwear armor, and just wear knee pads and elbow pads??? It’s getting hotter every year anyways because of global warming.

  • sigmund

    hey guys look at the bright side. at least the army doesnt wear that disgraceful joke they call the ABU (tigerstripe in ACU color with dark green boots…W….T….F…)

    • DovaDawg

      Yeah, Unfortunately I switched from MARPAT to ABUs and I can say this is the most worthless uni ever. But if it gets me to 20 years I’ll wear flaming pink!

  • Don

    The ACH helmet cover is covered in dozens of little eyelets that allow the user to insert things like small twigs, and blades of grass if they need to use that kind of camouflaging (and if they are allowed to) they are allowed to paint parts of their weapons, the problem is that when they go to turn them in they can’t be painted, and no one wants to have to figure out how to get that paint off without scraping off the weapon’s black enameling, too. The current desert tan boots are perfectly acceptable; if for some reason they were not, I would recommend Coyote over OD green, since it blends into more environments.

  • M. Hatch

    NOTHING, @ this point can beat MULTI-CAM..not for all-around camo.

  • Keith

    Multicam works great. I’ve used it in Afghanistan and its hard too make out Soldiers beyond 100 meters. Some of the Terps and Afghan Solders were using ACU and they stood out like a sore thumb. You could adjust Multicam with more brown for desert and more green for jungle/woods. The current Multicam is a great in between uniform….and the Army already has some on-hand. This is just the opinion of an Infantryman with three years downrange.

  • M. Hatch


  • Don S.

    I don’t care what pattern they go to as long as they get rid of the Velcro and zippers. That was the worst design on a uniform I have ever seen.

    • SSG Skygod…11B3P

      Even the USMC got rid of their zip on/off sleeves…I hated the zippers and velcro…almost as much as I hate the pin on badges…and the “LEG BERET”…

  • john

    The navy uniform turns a bright orange when it is soaked saltwater…

  • M. Hatch

    Yeah..that comment about Israel and “ignorant..”, DUMB. When they’ve had to literally fight ‘everyday’ since ’67 or there-abouts. My guess, because I don’t KNOW, is they DO HAVE an Israeli-BORN/natural citizen military requirement to serve their country and with the ‘probable’ intent of SAVING money, they utilize OD. Can’t think of another reason for the draw to OD..

    • CamoReader

      “3. Israel may be using OD uniforms still but that doesn’t prove anything. At best is shows that they can’t afford camo or just too ignorant.”

      There is only two most likely reasons why Israel wouldn’t use camouflage patterns in their uniform. The first and most probable reason I listed is because they CAN’T AFFORD CAMO. The second reason is a less likely but still probable is that they are ignorant of it.

      It looks like a lot of people got Butthurt when I put Israel and ignorant in the same reply.

  • M. Hatch

    The REASON we have so many different camo choices and the evolving of camo over the years is NO different than the discussions on this forum. Nobody can AGREE and EVERYBODY has an opinion on what’s best. The biggest difference/problem is they spend ALL this damn money…to DO IT OVER AGAIN several years later!

  • James

    I always thought it was so they could camouflage the ship in an air raid… lol

  • James

    Um John, that is a myth. They don’t really turn orange when exposed to salt water… if so, my NJROTC SNSI’s uniforms would have to have been replaced at least 5 times by now.

  • sigmund


    no F*@#(ing way!?

  • Mike Burke

    In the Navy we have Three separate colors of Cammies…. If you want to invade the smurf village we’ve got the Digital Blues, Desert Digital NWU Type II is very good pattern, and the Woodlands NWU Type III is good to Go. Just ask and the Navy will give you the patent. Hell, I wore the Tri-color woodland BDU’s up till 1.5 years ago.

  • Trevor

    Hello Bill Jordan, I hear opportunity knocking…..

  • SSG Skygod…11B3P

    Israel is not ignorant about camo…they have the best helmet cover around, it may look tacky or whatever, I know numerous CSM’s that wouldn’t approve…but it works…I also say bring back the “Manchu Doo”…

    • CamoReader

      Look at my reply to M. Hatch

  • SSG Skygod…11B3P

    Robert…the reason you can go to is the fact that big Army didn’t trademark, patent or restrict development/sale of the pattern…which is exactly what the USMC and the Canadians did do…the only thing you are not legally able to purchase is the glint tape and IR Reflective flags…

  • SSG Skygod…11B3P

    I for one was glad when they got rid of that damned “LEG BERET”…there were way too many out of shape pogues looking like chef boyardee…

  • SSG JJ

    Israel also does not deploy so they can get buy with OD accented by netting and other things they use in their battle rattle. When you only have one environment to blend with it gets easier. However the USA has several climates within its own borders and we are a global force.

  • DaveJ

    Has anyone added up the costs of these repeated and mostly unnecessary uniform changes? In a time of limited and declining funding these constant studies and constant changes are ridiculous. Put everyone in OD, and have pre-set brigade size packages for the few situations where a specific camo pattern really is needed, i.e., artic or desert. Issue only for combat deployments or perhaps major training exercises.

  • Doug

    Just what we need to be spending money on AGAIN. How many different camo uniforms have we had in the past 10 years? I’ve lost count. DOD is just keeping a bunch of textile and clothing manufacturers in business. And the money that is spent on “testing” the new patterns??? Give me a F—ing break. Someone in the upper echelons needs his or her ass kicked.

  • Gqshire

    The coveralls would still be another “uniform” to issue. Doesn’t the NWU replace two different uniforms (the “gas station attendant” looking thing and the jumpsuit)?

  • Gqshire

    It wasn’t that cheap. The Marines spent $319,000 to develop MARPAT. The Army spent $3.2 million to develop UCP and $3.4 million on developing OCP (Multi-cam). The Air Force spent $3.1 million to develop ABUs. The Navy spent $435,000 to develop the NWU type II/III.

    • OneMan

      When I read your comment I realized $319,000 for a uniform patter is cheap. On the aircraft I work on, a single digital display is $179,000. Multiply that by 4 that are in the aircraft and you just spent more than it cost to develop a uniform pattern.

  • Gqshire

    Either way the Marines plan on using MARPAT for another ten years. There’s no real need for the Marines to change anything right now. The Army would be better off getting the Air Force on board to reduce costs.

  • Ray Nixon

    Where do I start…. The military is talking about cutting troops. how about cutting wasteful spending? It is stupid to that the military changed uniforms three times while I was in from 1999-2001. First it was OD Green. Then it was desert tan for Iraq and two years later we went to the ACU. Rather stupid I think! Then they required the trrops t get berets, that they later got rid of. Now they are talking sequestration to cut costs, but what they fail to realize is that cutting troops won’t fix the problem, the need to cut wasteful spending in Washington D.C.

  • JBAR

    So, the only submission example MIA is Crye. It seems like US4CES has the best blend between the gear and all 3 variants. It also seems to be the best at using a distinct disruptive patterns that still works greater than at close range. Kryptek is good, but I can imaging that some may think that it is too radical of a design. The woodland variant’s colors seem to blend in too much to break up. Their temperate is excellent, but maybe not green enough. I do not see any advantage in Brookwood’s entries. They still look like watercolors when seeing the arid uniform. The other is extremely similar to the old woodlands. Not that that really matters as long as it works, but I do not see it. I am not sure how they could have beat A-TACS and Pencott. As long as they pick the best based on research this time, all is well. Just get rid of the ghost UCPs.

    As for the Navy’s blue NWUs, as stated before, it is in no way used for camo. It was adopted because the Navy and Sailors wanted a military uniform, not a prison or garage uniform. Secondly, the colors were chosen based on traditional blue, and the other colors to mask gray paint spots, dirt, grease, etc. The Canadians, US Marines, Army, and Navy all use the same pattern, but with different colors.

  • Bryce

    I believe the Army should go to a polo and tactical or khaki pant for normal garrison activities. In fact some commands, including NORTHCOM, already use this type of uniform for meetings and events. The army could provide 4 or 5 polo style shirts with an emblem and area for rank and 2 pairs of khaki stule pants for a fraction of the cost. Then, pick a tactical uniform for the field and mobilization. There is a lot of traction for this idea in the units I work with.

  • Just another way to spend more money, now the Army is going thru budget cuts and they don’t want buy a replacement rifle for the M-4. Now the Army is going to have to buy new body armor, flight suits and every thing else. I wonder who/ what company is pushing this great new idea??? And how much they will benefit too; and how many soldiers are going to have to buy new uniforms.

    It really sounds like a total, total, great awsome plan now with all the budget cuts??? Hoah.

    • 11b12b67j

      I don’t know the company but I could believe that there is a politician on an arms committe somewhere and said company happens to be in his/her district.

  • CamoReader

    Actually, camouflage patterns can conceal movement to a significant degree.

  • CamoReader

    “You don’t know as much as you think you do about camouflage.”

    I know much more than most people in the world on the scientific and designer point of view. In the tradecraft perspective of a military servicemen, I know very little.

  • CamoReader

    The Army screwed up the first time so they have to restart the whole thing again. This time they made the program even bigger in hopes of getting it right this time.

    Once this is over, the Army will have the biggest collection of scientific data on all aspects of camouflage in the world.

    • majrod

      Actually the case can be made the USMC screwed up when for the first time in 60 years it refused to share its camo pattern after borrowing Army patterns for 60 years. It also pressured the Navy to limit its AOR1 to Navy Special Warfare and not other sailors at the risk the Marines wouldn’t be “unique” (documented in GAO report). Strange that an EGA on a chest pocket was enough for Marines to be unique at Iwo, Chosin and Hue but today a whole uniform is necessary.

      No doubt the Army screwed the pooch with ACUs but it didn’t start the mess that resulted in eight camo patterns.

      • CamoReader

        Yeah, I was just focused on talking about how the Army itself screwed up in my previous reply to M. Hatch. He was talking about having to start the process all over again (UCP) and costing a lot of money ($5 billion now this).

  • CamoReader

    Blame the Marines for causing this fashion show and then blame the Army for screwing up by developing a shitty pattern and thus having to start the whole process over again.

    • majrod

      Camo – that’s an accurate assessment.

  • Chris

    Multi-Cam all the way!!! The people (Generals and Fat cats) should realize that to use the Multi-Cam would be cost saving since it is an effective uniform. Otherwise why would we be using it in Afghanistan?… Common sense plays a part… Or are we going to get another ‘garrison’ uniform and keep issuing out the ‘real’ uniforms for deployments?

  • Will

    It’s like everything else, we can’t have one thing for all branches. Never should have spent all the money developing Stryker, when the LAV is in the inventory ( and with as big a gun as a Bradley), How about this time you let field soldiers design them. No velcro, no pen pockets, make it so you can roll the sleeves like we used to and the other branches still do. If you put buttons on the pants put them on the shirts, if you put zippers on the shirts put them on the pants. And for the love of God get rid of the Ghost uniform these things suck said it from the first day I saw it.

    • majrod

      You do know the LAV can’t carry a nine man squad?

  • Paralus

    Unfounded and unreasoned.

    One simply has to look at UCP and the four new proposals (comprising 12 different camouflage patterns [arid, transitional, temperate) to see that the Army won’t make the same mistake.

  • Paralus

    The company is called Hyperstealth and they worked with ADS to develop one of the four finalists in this contest, the US4CES pattern.

    the predator camo is a ways off.

    US Army needs a new camouflage ASAP and can’t wait for sci-fi.

  • Paralus

    haters got a hate, even if they don’t know why. This is the least expensive of any Army program.

    Uniforms will need to be replaced because they wear out. Why keep replacing them with a pattern proven to be unsuitable in nearly every environment?

    If you are going to buy a new uniforms, then those uniforms should be the best possible pattern.

    Apart from the R&D, it is cost neutral.

  • Paralus

    Anyone who says the IDF doesn’t use camo as weak Google Fu.

    They use camouflage mesh oversuits worn OVER their nifty OD fatigues.

  • Paralus

    A large part of the testing of the patterns was having thousands of soldiers look at the photographs of the patterns in different environments and selecting the patterns which worked best.

  • SSG Skygod…11B3P

    CamoReader…I am not “butthurt” as you stated in the defense of yourself…I am just pointing out the obvious…so pull your cranium from your fourthpoint of contact before you suffer oxygen deprivation…or don’t…

  • crackedlenses

    “a dirty commie, pinko liberal muslim socialist”

    Actually, the politician you described sounds more like a racist, homophobic, xenophobic gun nut patriarchial fundamentalist Christian 1 percenter who hates kids, women, and old people, who’s going to get voted out because Obama said 90% of Americans support background checks…..

  • Jen

    that’s a relief – i thought they were going to add a touch of pink to it….

  • Is it just me or does the Army sounds like a 17 year old girl who just can’t pick out her prom dress?

  • majrod

    Paralus – Recheck your sources. Don’t believe “thousands” participated in the study.

    The patterns are not common knowledge. Try and google them. It will take some work and not everyone reads SSD.

  • Tom Dean

    >>The service may spend as much as $4 billion over the next five years to replace its uniform and related protective gear, according to a September report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.<< 4 billion, really....

    • 11b12b67j

      They have better luck getting sharks with lasers on their heads for 4 BILLion dollars.

  • maddog

    I am sure that I am not the only one who has figured out that the companies that make military uniforms, have a very strong lobby in Washington and given the fact that a large number of our high rqanking officers have asperationsl of becoming lobbyist and in seeking other high ranking government jobs on their retirement, they respond to every whim of these lobbist’s no matter what the cost, more time is spent trying to figure out what camo pattern is best for the areas we have troops fighting in then how to win the war or save money to give them a descent salary for what they are doing. The lowest pay raise in god knows how many years and now we need new uniforms to fight in a country we are leaving by the end of next year??? Of course the Afghani’s will need to be well equipped perhaps this is what is driving the train. God help us!!!!

  • sigmund

    you arent understanding my point

    my point is that comparing one “universal” camouflage to two specific niche patterns (MARPAT desert and woodland) is apples and oranges. The only way for the comparison to be fair if there was a “desert” and “woodland” multicam, which contradicts the intent of multicam to begin with.

    that doesnt change the fact that multicam is the best overall “universal” camouflage and MARPAT the best pattern of camouflage with its combined woodland and desert patterns. the army has to ultimately make a decision whether to compromise on a universal camo that is less effective across a wide range of environments, but offer a single uniform, or two different patterns that are very effective within specific environments.

    i agree. one pattern is not a 100% solution. anytime you see the world “universal”, it basically means marginally effective across all terrain.

  • sigmund

    ignorant is not even remotely correct.

    israel fielded camouflage uniforms before. they still do now with the oversuits. that should tell you something.

    personally, i believe the oversuit is the best solution. of course, that would mean we learned something from the soviets and well…that is “BAD!”

  • Paralus

    You are right, it is was thousands of pictures by soldiers.

    But being ignorant is no excuse, SSD or not. Anyone can do a google search for “Army Camouflage improvement” and get juicy results.

  • SLMD

    They will spend BILLIONS trying to come up with a different design, and yet there is not enough funding for the basics like training and maintenance…They will spend BILLIONS on this and they can’t hire enough pharmacists at Ft Hood…They will spend BILLIONS on this and yet our soldiers only get a 1% raise…

  • majrod

    You obviously didn’t look at the study did you? Desert MARPAT (one pattern) did better than Multicam (one pattern) across the 12 different environments tested in the study. In the 4 categories where multicam did better than desert marpat, woodland marpat beat multicam but even ignoring woodland Marpat, Desert Marpat was better than multicam, eight to four (twice as better). Desert MARPAT is the better “universal” camo pattern if you want to go down that road.

  • majrod

    Agree ignorance isn’t an excuse but the question is what would soldiers pick. Someone said multicam. I’m saying one doesn’t know unless soldiers are asked and show like Army Times did back in ’02. (they were likely ignorant back then also as MARPAT hadn’t been adopted and most didn’t know it was existed, though it still got picked)

  • Kevin

    A no cost solution, really 4-billion, he mst be making millions, big dud!

  • T. Jefferson

    OD green for jungle and forest, khaki for desert. Both take advantage of natural shadow while every “camo” pattern I have ever seen sticks out like a sore thumb by putting shadow where it doesn’t belong.

  • sigmund

    “You obviously didn’t look at the study did you? Desert MARPAT (one pattern) did better than Multicam (one pattern) across the 12 different environments tested in the study. ”

    Im looking at the median on page 15, which is what ultimately matters when you are forming a conclusion based on what camo a military should adopt. Im not doubting the effectiveness of desert MARPAT, especially in, well, desert environments. It performed better in the desert and urban environments than multicam. Its comparative overall inferior effectiveness in the woods makes it less than ideal as a universal camo.

    “Desert MARPAT is the better “universal” camo pattern if you want to go down that road.”

    With page 15, table 8, im not sure how you can draw to this conclusion. especially when you go to page 20, “MultiCam’s performance in the desert and urban environments was not as good as the Desert MARPAT and Desert Brush patterns; however, it was significantly better than both patterns in the woodland environment.”

  • sigmund


  • Rudiger

    Well, the army was forced into multicam by congress, perhaps they’ll do the same DoD wide when the announcement is made.

  • majrod

    How can I say MARPAT is a better “universal” pattern? Because I’m looking at the test results and interpreting for myself vs. cherrypicking quotes that I think support my bias from a study whose focus was UCP. Eight is bigger than four (the number of times Desert MARPAT beat Multicam) ALL day. BTW, your last quote implies a tie, not that multicam is the best.

    Let’s be clear, I was never promoting a universal pattern. I’ve always wanted to give the service member the most effective pattern(s) whatever that may be.

    My point here is that Multicam fans have been saying for awhile that multicam is the best when it clearly isn’t. The study I’ve shared is evidence vs. opinion. The fact is the Army said the heck with testing and selected UCP because it was someone’s fav, just like multicam fans are doing over MARPAT.

    So it’s hypocrisy to ding the Army for emotional unsupported decisions when one is doing the same in championing Multicam.

  • J Jiménez

    Yet AGAIN another change of uniform pattern to waste te tax payers dolars to make richer the oligarch owners of this contracted companies which include top service leaders. What about education for the troops ? What about taking real concern on te disabled veterans and lowering the suicide rates in the ranks, what about making the army stronger morally that would really help the future of the army and America’s future by making veterans that can go back to the workforce and can contribute to their communities .

  • Walker Knight, LTC (

    The British use to hace a good idea. In the late 1900’s the standard field uniform was Olive Drab (OD). In combat a soldier in a combat position was either in the prone position or in a fox hole. Only the upper body would be partically exposed. So instead of developing an entire camouflage uniform, the British developes a large size jacket like camouflage park. Differeny patterns could be used according to the terrain in the combat area. A light weight shell for hot areas and a heavier one for colder zones. Soundes much more economical than redesigneing the camouflage uniform every 10 years.

  • stefan s

    OMG! Stop with the OD! I know, lets go back to M-1 Garand’s, steel pots and no body armor too! Personally the sharpest uniform we had was the 1942 Paratrooper Jumpsuit rigger modified. I’m thankfully retired and could give a rats ass what those Obama cheerleaders pick!

  • ZD


    In terms of motility and tactical value, the Marine Corps is indispensable. They are a unified, cost-effective, holistic solution for the ‘small’ wars we have been fighting in the last 30 years. Marines incorporate air, naval, and infantry warfare into a single package with a more streamlined chain of command than inter-service operations can usually manage. This means that you can have a centralized operation with greater effect, simplicity, and communication. The ‘small’ size of the corps streamlines this as well. Additionally, there would be no advantage to dissolving the corps, and they are already incorporated into the Department of the Navy at an administrative level. While a universally agreed upon camo design (or set of designs) MIGHT be more cost effective, the individual uniforms should be discrete between branches to meet individual needs and foci and to promote ease of inter-service recognition. Finally, with all due respect, I suggest you take some time to read about the principles behind camouflage design: solid colors just ain’t the best idea; reversible uniforms are only useful in rapidly changing environments (6 months in a single theater doesn’t require too much versatility) and may suffer from impracticability or increased costs; and smock / hat differentiation is just dorky. I appreciate your attempts at a simple solution, but you may wish to understand WHY choices are made before you lambast them.



  • sigmund

    i understand your point and i agree that universal camo patterns are compromising effectiveness to maintain only one single camo pattern.

    and cherry picking? its not cherry picking, those are conclusions based off of the test results. if anybody is guilty of cherry picking, it is yourself because to concede that desert MARPAT is a “better” universal camo than multicam is ignoring table 8 and ignoring the conclusion paragraphs.

    and i honestly do not care which pattern the army adopts. but comparing two camouflage patterns to a single one is not a fair comparison.

    to me, camo uniforms are a waste of time and the US needs to adopt a pull-over camouflage in the likes of what the Israelis and Russians have developed. Of course, the service will never do that because our military is focused on appearances rather than substance.

  • sigmund


    enough with the OD camo calls!

    solid color uniforms were largely abandoned for a reason: disruptive patterns reduced casualties and well, worked far better. jesus christ, this is basic shit learned during the early days of world war II.

    I guess we have two logical choices if we want to save money:

    1.) tell the marine corps to fuck off and issue MARPAT to everybody. If the secretary of defense orders it, what will the marines do about it??? oh thats right. jack shit. they should shut the fuck up and take it.

    2.) ignore MARPAT, give the marines the finger, and adopt the NWU III woodland and desert patterns. Go back to brown t shirts and coyote brown boots.

    but no. the army will continue to waste money and the air force will continue walking around looking like a bunch of fucking idiots in their joke ABUs. This whole goddamn thing is a debacle.

    • CamoReader

      I would have been in favor of adopting MARPAT 9-10 years ago. Now, there is better camouflage patterns out there.

  • majrod

    Your conclusion from page 20 states MARPAT did better than Multicam in two out of three categories. Again 2 is greater than 1 ALL day (twice as better in fact :). It’s all pretty simple.

    I am not unfairly comparing two patterns against one. I compared Desert MARPAT against Multicam alone AND added the woodland version also. Those are two stand alone comparisons.

    Pullover camo doesn’t allow you to get to equipment quickly. It’s also an additional piece of kit where we have too much anyway. Our military may be interested in appearance but to say it does so over substance is unsubstantiated opinion. BTW, the Russians commonly issue camo uniforms.

  • sigmund

    idk. i dont understand your perception then. it was pretty clear to me.

    Im aware of what the russians do. thank you. like the us military, there are certain aspects of them that are up to date and others…not so much…

    unsubstantiated opinion in regards to “looks over substance”??? bullshit major.

    you fucking know better than that. When you have a army that adopted the UCP to begin with; the stryker, the bradley, soft skin humvees during the initial stages of iraq, and the MOLLE system, you know it is about appearances rather than substance.

    the only apologists that exist are the apologists for the big boys.

  • SSG Skygod…11B3P

    Ok..Having read this blog and all the comments, I have 2 questions…1)Do you really think the powers that be will actually read these comments?…2) Then will they give a rat’s butt?…just asking…

  • Scarface

    Could do without the marines? One example for you…Heroshima.

  • Scarface

    1.) Have a few sets of reversible uniforms, each side for a different environment.

    2.) Each branch having environmental uniform sets specific to were they will be mostly.

    3.) make something that confuses people, we have all these optical illusions why not make a uniform that works much the same way?

    4.) Definelty not solid color, imagine a group of green smudges running through a field…hmm noticeable much?

  • 1USMC

    Best camo out there A-TACS FG and A-TACS desert, 25 dead yotes can’t be wrong! Blends in well with woods, desert, grasslands. Must have both styles no one uniform covers all environments, my 2 cents.

  • Spiff

    I wonder which Nobama Dumocrat got this deal going…Another waste, like so many others!


  • People with a lot of these comments don’t understand how things work. Buncha retired Master Sergeant Major Ranger Commanders who drive cabs.

    3 patterns is best. It is better than the Marines. Why not do it? Either way we make new shit. We can make it patterned at no additional cost.

  • Roy Holbert

    The ODs I wore in Viet-Nam and still wear hunting still works in any wooded environment.

    Those wearing OD can hide in the shadows. Cammo is designed for a specific type of forest,grassland or desert. Not all cammos will work in all areas, ie; importing woodland cammo to Viet-Nam. Designed for the hardwood forests of the eastern U.S., it didn’t work too well in the teak forest of SE Asia. There is NO ones size fits all for BDUs, unless it is

    olive drab. Save our military and our money; go back to what works.

  • Another uniform change to benefit who?

    Newer, better, faster??

    Who pays? Does the clothing allowance cover this change?

    My thought … net needed, unnecessary, too costly.

  • DB Cooper

    During Desert Shield helicopter pilots said the hardest soldiers to see were the Brits. They wore plain kaki uniforms. The US soldiers in the Choclate Chips were by fare the easiest to see. Even the ACU’s were better than what we force our soldiers to wear right now. I have faith in our army and they will screw up this uniform too.

  • BTDT

    At Least CSA Ray Odierno admits the ACU’s don’t work and is on a path for solutions rather than just going with the flow on “it’s not my problem”. It’s only lives at risk. For the most part, 85% of the Army is made up of support people who don’t give a rat’s azz about camo, because they really don’t have to… so surveys by them is what failed us in the first place…. the REMF’s telling the Spartans what to wear. Change the color of Grays to Olive drabs and tans… just change the colors at least, tans, browns, olive drabs… get rid of the Gray… I had to lie to my middle eastern counterparts who I was advising because the first impression we gave them were: “what do you Americans have to teach us? You can’t even dress in the right uniform for the desert… You guys are idiots stay away from our fighters, we at least can dress in olive drabs and tans for fighting in the desert, you Infidels are idiots who can’t even dress in the right colors for this environment… you have nothing to teach me or my men.”

    Not exactly helping our mission overseas as advisers and mentors by dressing us up in clown gray. We can not even give the ACU’s away to 3rd world nations… they won’t accept it… can you imagine if we ever went to war down in South America? We would be screwed. We actually have had our Soldiers put the ACU’s in the mud and dirty them up to “dye” them temporarily brownish to blend in. At least CSA Odierno will at least admit ACU’s are a disaster. Look at some pics of some poor soldiers going through the Jungle Warfare school in Hawaii and that is what they will look like under enemy fire in a jungle environment – screwed.

    It only took 6+ years to admit it, I could tell you my first day wearing it. It only was billions with a “B” wasted. If we do not stop it now, it will be billions spent stockpiling it and to keep producing a failure. We have to stop now and at least cut our losses. Keep producing a $100+ uniform that doesn’t work? That would be a real dumb azzed way to bury your head in the sand. Go figure some people are willing to do that- I call them sheep. They are already spending your tax money, at least do it right in olives and tan colors. If you don’t want to give the royalties to crye, change the ACU dye colors, that doesn’t cost anything.

  • moe

    I have a pile of Army gear that was issued from CIF worth thousands of dollars; most of this gear i never even used. If the defense department want to save money on gear they need to stop issuing unnecessary gear to service members.

  • smitty

    If we are to believe the DoD and that they are intent on fiscal responsibility, I humbly recommend the following:

    1. The DoD enforce a service agnostic tactical pattern which would reduce cost due to the volume of production. The last 10 years of frequent uniform and equipment changes resulted in corresponding requirements to remain within service standards, a requirement that service members have had to fund frequently out of pocket. The only loser with this course of action would be the vendors who have benefited the most. A common service uniform would be more cost effective, efficient, and save the soldier money at clothing and sales.

    2. The military could go back to basics in how and when the camouflage uniform is worn. It makes no sense to require camouflage in a garrison or office environment unless on a detail or conducting a task that would require it (post clean-up, ammo detail, raking dirt at Forts Bragg or Benning). While many may have to pony up for another dress shirt, this would still save money in the long run on replacing fatigues instead of having “field sets and garrison sets.”

  • smitty

    3. If we must replace the current ACU in the Army, and in my opinion the ACU was a disaster from the start, use something basic, durable, and test it using combat arms branches within IBCTs and ABCTs and other service equivalents in a wide range of environments (wooded, jungle, desert, urban, etc). As for the Navy and Air Force, there is no reason (other than an OER bullet and pork spending) why they required camouflage outside of the SOCOM and security communities. The only purpose to the current Navy camouflage pattern is to make personnel recovery more difficult when a sailor falls overboard. The Navy and Marines have been the best services in embracing its traditions and maintaining traditions. Are you listening Army? A dress uniform change during combat operations in two theaters was unnecessary and a waste of time and money.

  • Jeff

    There was nothing wrong with the old BDU’s. They have worked well for so many years and would still work better than all the digitized crap they’ve come out with. IMO the old BDUs with foliage green gear, body armor, and desert tan suede boots would work just fine for the rest of the services minus the marine corps.

  • Patriot scott key!

    Usa ! Usa! Stop complanig,. Bunch of old ass bitches.

  • Peyton

    Probably should have just stuck with the BDU camouflage in the first place!

  • NFA Lawyer

    Maybe someone will get the Army to allow the M4 to be a little less visible too. Not applying camouflage to weapons makes no sense.