Camo1When asked what he thought about the order from Congress to stop creating service-specific camouflage patterns, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said U.S. forces look like an “American Baskin Robbins” in the combat zone.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia was speaking at a town hall meeting Aug. 5 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii when Marine 1st Sgt. William Banks asked if the military would adopt a universal combat uniform.

“Are we in fear our forces are going to lose our cultural identity with the addition of a universal uniform?” Banks asked Battaglia according to a Marine release on the meeting.

Battaglia responded saying the different uniforms in the combat zone are confusing for allies. He then compared the combination of uniforms to the popular ice cream chain known for its 31 flavors slogan.

The senior enlisted adviser then hinted that the service-specific camouflage uniforms might survive for garrison wear.

“The idea is to find a universal uniform for the battlefield, whereas branch garrison uniforms will most likely remain the same,” Battaglia said according to the release. “Talks concerning a distinct universal uniform are currently a work in progress.”

The debate over a universal camouflage pattern has come since members of the House Armed Services Committee voted in June to require the services to settle on a joint combat uniform by 2018 and restrict the creation of any new camouflage patterns unless it’s designed for a joint uniform.

Frustrated with the millions of dollars spent to buy new combat uniforms with service-specific camouflage patterns, two Illinois Congressmen proposed an amendment in the 2014 defense budget ordering the Pentagon to return to the days when the patterns were joint.

Of course, it’s ironic that a Marine official is the one calling U.S. forces an “American Baskin Robbins” considering the Marine Corps is the service that started the trend of service-specific camouflage patterns. The Marine Corps fielded the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform in 2002 in which the service stitched the Marine Corps symbol into the pattern.

Stitching the symbol led each service to design their own camouflage pattern as Army, Air Force and Navy officials didn’t want their troops wearing the Marine Corps symbol. The Air Force developed the Airman Battle Uniform in 2002 and the Army developed the Army Combat Uniform in 2003.

Service officials have since been criticized for the millions of dollars spent to develop these patterns for each service rather than settling on one to be worn across the military. In 2012, the Government Accountability Office released a report saying the services have wasted millions in the effort.

Army officials were set to announce a new service-wide camouflage pattern this summer before the requirement from Congress that all patterns be designed for joint use. There has not been an announcement when, or if, the new pattern will be fielded since the June vote by the House Armed Services Committee.

{ 205 comments… read them below or add one }

Rodney August 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

At least he didn't say that the troops look like they made too many troops to Baskin Robbins.

Reply

Glen Smith August 17, 2013 at 10:28 am

Make the allies learn our branches by the style. That way if an enemy comes in with Air Force attire, and say they're marines, blow them away!!! Is that so hard to understand??????

Reply

TheCdn September 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Why would all the countries bother learning that, when i'm sure the USA does not do that for other countries, and just as likely plenty of other countries don't do it either.

That's like asking all the other countries to learn ALL the US military ranks…no way is that realistic.

Can you tell me British ranks or Canadian ranks? Probably not.

Reply

Justin September 10, 2014 at 11:12 am

Uh, private, corporal, sergeant, mumbles, Leftenant, Rightenant, Major, Colonal, Brigadoon. Did I get them all?

Reply

Rodney August 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm

…er…"trips"

Reply

Rob August 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm

If the garrision uniform will be different as well, then you're still wasting thousands and thousands of dollars on uniforms just because they want to be different. Why don't they have a service wide uniform, and let them make their own adjustments branch wide. For example, the USMC logo is in the fabric right now, but before the quartermasters or whoever is in charge of clothing gets the uniforms, it's send off somewhere, where they stitch on the USMC logo on the chest like they have now.

Reply

Indian Medicine August 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I concur, to have a "Separate Garrison Uniform" is counter productive & costly. I can appreciate the "Pride of Service" by Service Members; but a Service Logo or "Pin/Patch" etc. can full fill that desire for "Espirit de Corps" much less expensive to production and maintenance.

Reply

SGT G$ August 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

Thousands? You're worried about THOUSANDS?????? Wow. Go do some research on the ACU and then get back to me. The MC was the only branch to get the unis right. One in desert colors, one in jungle colors, and both work in combat environments. Garrison is about how you look o post and should not be what we wear in a third world country day in day out while sweating our butts off with 70+ lbs of gear on.

Spoiler: after years of research and MILLIONS of dollars, the Army picked it…..but then gave no reason as to why, since it was terrible in the testing and none of the test troops wanted it. Oh and it replaced DCU so where's the logic there?

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm

It was the only branch to obstruct any other branch from using its pattern also. A first in half a century of branches sharing patterns. The Army screwed the pooch with ACUs but the Corps started the mess.

Reply

Fred August 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

why not get back to "military soldiers" uniforms, get out of these "hunters clothes", especially in public,
we have played enough games with soldiers.

Reply

Brad Berthold August 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Doesn't anybody realize how silly the garrison camos look? Like idiots strolling around in their pajamas. What happened to the military look? The Coast Guard people look like Jiffy Lube employees in those blues.

And the berets! US troops seem to be the only military that doesn't know how to wear berets. I think it's because the badges in the front are way too large. It makes the front of the cap stand up, while the rest falls down across the head.

Too many of our guys look like gawkers in their ill fitted (and probably ill designed) berets.
Look at the side view in the top "approved" row here. Is this what we want our professionals to look like?
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_4sDK3codoaA/SfkqIy3uSdI

Reply

Mark August 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm

"The idea is to find a universal uniform for the battlefield, whereas branch garrison uniforms will most likely remain the same,” Oh, great, so now we have the Service Dress Uniform, the Battlefield Uniform, and the Garrison Uniform to maintain. Stupid. Clothing allowance will never pay enough for it. Go back to like when Desert Storm hit… those deploying got DCU's issued, spent a fortune at the seamstress, and deployed.

Sounds like the current senior military leadership. Oh, wait, did I say military? Political leadership in uniform. We need more military leaders back, but they all got canned. Only the yes men exist now.

Reply

Kim September 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I think that the purpose of allowing the garrison uniforms to remain unique, at least for the time being, is that the uniforms have already been fielded and most service members have uniforms that they can wear for several more years. They will probably be phased out in time in favor of whatever service-wide uniform is emplaced.

Reply

Joshua August 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

By garrison.uniforms I can only hope that they mean dress uniforms. There is absolutely no reason for every branch to have there own camo patterns. I do believe this could have been avoided had the USMC had not insisted on integrating the EGA into the pattern. The DOD needs to look at the new patterns the army has recently selected for its feasibility of being a joint pattern. The only other option I see is debranding MARPAT or adopting AOR1 and AOR2 across the board. Beyond that all equipment needs to be a single color like the Marines Coyote Brown or Ranger Green. That will drastically reduce costs of having to get multiple sets of equipment to match every uniform.

Reply

2d Recon August 17, 2013 at 3:26 am

You got it! This would actually provide camouflage value for ground forces, including USAF and Navy Security Forces, etc. while all others simply need an affordable, practical working uniform. The uniform should fit the task. The Navy did a great job in denims and light blue cotton shirts for generations. The Air force should probably wear coveralls/flight suits or a shirt/trouser set up like the Navy. When not working in a dirty environment, like a significant number of military members, all should wear service uniform. Field/Utility uniforms are to be used in that environment, not for wear because we want to TAC-up like we ae going to go hooking and jabbing, then actually go sit at our desks in the A/C. Army, Navy, and Air Force camo are fashion statements since they don't provide any camouflage value. MARPAT and the EGA-less version called AOR are highly effective camo, so let's go with what works.

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Josh – incorporating the EGA wasn't the problem. The Corps obstructed other branches use of the pattern. THAT's the problem. Heck, they even mae the navy limit AOR1 to NSW because they were concerned that it was too close to Desert MARPAT and AOR has a Navy crest in the fabric.

Heck, I think incorporating the EGA subtly in the fabric is fine and for 60 years the Corps has imprinted the EGA on the left chest pocket. I've seen them on BDUs and Chocolate Chips. It was done post production. Again, no problem. It's the bogarting and obstructionism over a camo.pattern that started this huge mess which is why I bring it up to showcase that obstructionism is still alive and well and not to forget what got us where we are in the first place.

Maybe that's why my posts keep getting deleted?

Reply

JCitizen August 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Or the Administrator just doesn't like you – seems strange to me – certainly not a security issue.

Reply

FL5001 August 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Not just me then! I tried replying to you in another thread the other day and got deleted every time I tried to post it.

Technically speaking AOR1 isn't the same as MARPAT as it's a vertical use of the p[attern with slight variation in colors, which actually improved it and made it more effective. HQMC actually did the Navy and NSW favor.

Reply

majr0d August 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Not understanding how HQMC did the Navy a favor. Heck, why does one branch get to vote on what another branch wears?

Sailors can't wear desert camo AOR1 even if they are in the desert unless they are naval special warfare. By reg sailors have to wear the green version, AOR2 because they might be "confused for Marines". Seems a heck of a reason to potentially stand out, get shot and potentially die for…

Reply

Steven S August 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

AOR1 has a horizontal orientation while AOR2 has a vertical orientation. I believe the use of vertical orientation in AOR2 was due to subjective reasoning. They (Navy) noticed that trees are vertical but forget that horizontal oriented patterns are much more better for disrupting the symmetry axis. So in other words they traded a lot of disruption for a little mimicry.

Reply

FL5001 August 21, 2013 at 2:59 am

My bad, always thought AOR1 was always vertical. It still worked in the USN's favor as both AOR1 and AOR2 outperformed MARPAT in Army testing groups.

@majr0d…The point I was making about HQMC doing the USN a favor is the point above. Not the big picture, which I agree is pathetic reasoning. It worked out for the Navy, not the taxpayer and logistics system.

Joshua August 21, 2013 at 11:05 am

Incredibly off topic, but whats with the guy rocking the same name on this site as me? Now granted I have known a few Joshuas in my time but never seen one on this site aside from myself….until now.

Reply

Michael852 August 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

What I have always thought was dumb was a camouflage uniform for pregnant woman. Talk about a waist of money. She could wear her services already available AF-Blue, Army-Green, Navy-Blue and MC what ever they have, uniform until she delivers.

Reply

retired462 August 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Every time a general is assignedto the joint chiefs, they want to leave their name in the history books. Unfortuneately, they all leave dumb *** things, 'cause most of them don't have a clue. Bring back people like Curtis LeMay – They're out there, but it scares the people that should be worried about where the military is headed!!!

Reply

slag August 18, 2013 at 12:07 am

They are out there and the POTUS is drumming them out because they're not willing to fight "We the People"…

Reply

Pete August 18, 2013 at 1:05 am

Lemay dressed up his SAC Elite Guard like bodyguards for Idi Amin – crossdraw, stag handled .38s, cravats and pretty questionable-looking berets (more left-bank French than snake-eater). http://www.saceliteguard.com/

Reply

majr0d August 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm

holy crap!

Reply

IronV August 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Dumb-ass comment. Following this logic, why not dump ALL service specific uniforms altogether and simply have small, square tags that say "Navy" "Army" "Air Force" "Marines" "Coast Guard" on one genuine all service uniform?

Not just for fieldware.

For ALL uniforms. Working, dress etc… Think about all the money we'd save. Come to think of it. Why don't we just have all services use US Postal uniforms? Gray slacks. Nice blue shirts. And we'd save SO MUCH MONEY!

This obsession that focuses soley on camouflage fieldware, while ignoring all other uniforms is stupid beyond belief.

Reply

majr0d August 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm

No, dress uniforms have a heck of a lot more history to them than a uniform created in the last decade.

There's a world of difference between a combat uniform and a dress uniform.

Reply

JCitizen August 17, 2013 at 2:39 am

I agree – dress uniforms should be hands off – I was never a Marine, but tradition is in my blood because of my two uncles. USMC should be a separate pattern ( besides the fact I like it better for my operations) – All the rest should be the same, with one caveat – there are new technologies that put nano technology into the cloth, that can make one totally disappear!(shades of "Predator") Also there already are camo gear being sold that have temperature controlled color changing capability sold at Cabela's! Are we to let the civilian world eclipse the Military requirements?

Reply

JakeFlorida August 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

Here's a typical Marine… Wants to be different!

Lol just kidding. But I believe they should all make it the same. AOR1 and 2 is a great idea (mentioned above) and the CG can stay with their blue slacks. No need for them to be desert/woodland.

Reply

IronV August 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Wrong. The only dress and workday uniforms that have ANY history are the USMC. All the others are post Vietnam awful.

Reply

majr0d August 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Just because you don't know the history of other branches uniforms it doesn't mean there isn't one. That's just ignorance on parade.

Army Blue uniforms go back to the Revolution and blue has actually been worn continuously by the Army longer than the Marines. Soldiers just have much less need to crow about it….

I'm sure a sailor can comment about Navy uniforms.

Reply

IronV August 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Are you seriously not aware the Army has changed all of its uniform types MULTIPLE times since WWII? Seriously? The new blue service uniform is just that, new. There is no more heritage associated with the other uniform types than there is with battle dress. Besides, I thought this was about cost savings. At the end of the day, I agree with you. The services should be allowed to have distinct, branded uniforms, across ALL uniform types. Singling out battle dress is just plain stupid and does not represent significant cost savings.

drva1226 August 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

You are actually retarded.

Carry on.

Reply

Sjones August 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Because Coast Guard is a 'DOD Funded' branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Coast Guard is strictly a on seas Law Enforcement militia to keep people from smuggling well anything in to our country over seas. As for Camouflage not an issue? have you ever been to war or are you talk out your ass with no respect to those that have.

Reply

Sjones August 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm

This Combat Uniform thing! I swear it just may well start a war against the 4 branches. Major give it a rest. no point arguing with Civies on Wiki about the Military. That is a war of its own…As far as my Experience goes the Marines have the best Camo. But then whats next all 4 branches join forces?

Reply

majr0d August 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Some aren't worth debating but one has to confront some of the BS. Ignoring it just let's some get repeated to the point that people believe it's true. I often am not trying to convince the individual I'm debating as educating the casual reader about "the rest of the story" or sharing little known facts. Over time it does have an effect. There are less ignorant comments made for instance before I started sharing the role of other branches the focus was entirely on te Army's incompetence when it came to ACU fielding. It was a bashfest. It's funny how since other aspects of the story are discussed the discussin has evolved.

Reply

IronV August 21, 2013 at 12:11 am

"If they don't agree with me or if they're a civilian, their opinion is worthless…" You're too busy hyperventilating over your own inflated opinion of yourself to even understand what the discussion is about.

Reply

H J August 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

That makes to much sense for them because it is a logical, simple, and practical solution. All of them want to seem so important and because they are so pumped up on having power and the last word; they will refused to do it.
The dress uniforms can stay as they are or they can make changes to them to make them service-specific but making the garrison/field/everyday wear/working uniform should be the same for all services with "only" the patch distinguishing the service. All of the services are under one government, one authority, anyway.
Maybe, then, the services will make more formal events that require the service members attendance. The majority of them do not know how to dress formally, anyway.

Reply

Liam August 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Quite Frankly the whole uniform debate sounds like tacti-fashion/junkies, and the whole thin is quite sickening!! Just quit pissing around, make a decision on a Battle dress uniform and get on with phasing out the present uniforms!!

Reply

neal99 August 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Absolutely 100% correct. Look at the Navy? Blue BDU's. Are they supposed to blend in with the ocean? Imagine blue BDU's in the desert. Whoever came up with this ridiculous waste of money should be fired. But chances are he/she got promoted.

Reply

JCitizen August 17, 2013 at 2:42 am

The Russian Spetsnaz like blue camouflage and no one is criticizing them for being Cracker Jacks!

Reply

Tuberski August 17, 2013 at 11:30 am

OK. But the Navy having camouflage at all is ridiculous, Go back to dungarees. They were very comfortable and useful.

Reply

Jarhead33 August 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

Man overboard! Can't find him? Maybe it is because he is wearing blue camo. Why the he## would any sailor want a blue camo uniform?

Reply

orly? August 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

The blue camo replaced the blue coveralls.

Blue replaced blue = no sensible progress

Reply

Riceball August 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm

The whole purpose of the Navy camouflaged work uniforms was not to conceal the wearer but to conceal any dirt, paint, or grease that the wearer may get on their uniform during the course of a work day or week. The idea was the camo pattern would better hide stains and let the sailor wear their uniform for longer before having to either wash it or throw it out because of an unsightly stain. This is really nothing all that new, if you look at images and footage of sailors working on carrier decks it's uncommon to see some wearing woodland camo trousers, probably to hide stains better.

Reply

Vern August 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm

You are so right! And don't forget our brothers I the Air Force.

Reply

Lance August 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Easy solution go back to BDU 3 color desert and woodland and add multicam for other areas.OR every one goes to MARPAT tell USMC bras to shove it.

Reply

majr0d August 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Why go back to less effective camo patteterns (BDU and DCU suffer in night vision). Why go to MARPAT if the 2010 testing showed AOR more effective? We don't know the results of the latest testing. There may be an even more effective patterns.

Let's just stop the fashion show BS. Our forefathers felt unique enough with a branch nametape over their left breast. There's a huge lesson there.

Reply

JCitizen August 17, 2013 at 2:48 am

The Marines in WWII had reversible clothing that made better sense, even if the camo pattern was ineffective. It was definitely better than nothing because we had nothing until then – the German Wehrmacht had, what? Thirteen types of camo – that looked pretty good even now-a-days!

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm

That reversible camo was insufferably hot which is why it's kind of hard to find pictures of it in actual use in combat.

Reply

JCitizen August 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

True! And the coral would just chew it up anyway. Reversible sounds good, but they got civilian camo that changes by temperature now. If you hold your hand on it when it is cool outside, it will turn green. I can think of a comic scenario of the enemy bombing troops with cold water, so they can be seen when the color changes! :D

FL5001 August 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Ironically enough if my memory serves me right, those camo pattern HBTs were developed by the Army. And if it was ineffective (not true) then it would not be better than nothing, it would just be more expensive nothing. Which is what you have with UCP..

Reply

Lance August 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm

No the older patterns may have not been NVG approved but one our enemy's in Iraq and Afghanistan dont have many NVG so not a factor. And too your favorite ACU sucks grey pops out in every condition in Afghanistan. so your super digi patter doesn't work. ABU is even worse than ACU. Get away from grey and drop the digi crap its not the huge improvement that works.

Reply

majr0d August 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Dear Lance…

Actually insurgents have been found with and known to use night vision gear in Iraq and Afghanistan not to mention that phones and some camcorders have limited capabilities. (Google it) There's also the extremely shortsighted belief by some that we'll always be fighting insurgents haphazardly equipped with NVGs or we should prepare to fight the next war like we fought the last one in spite of who the next enemy might be.

You may also want to do some research and look at the data out there reference digital pattern effectiveness. Digital patterns aren't the be all end all but they are demonstrating themselves as among the most effective if not the best patterns out there. Start here, "Digital Pixel Patterns are Effective" http://www.hyperstealth.com/camo-improvement/inde

It would be highly beneficial for you to read Cramer's series of articles on camo. Even recognizing he has a dog in the fight his articles are chock full of objective studies which always trump your uninformed opinion.

Reply

guest August 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

but they also have the new pickle green ones…and thats exactly what they look like when worn. a giant pickle.

Reply

Chris August 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm

There you have it…. You are really observant SGT. MAJOR, now that you are up there with the big boys, you can say the truth…..

Reply

stefan s. August 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Sorry, but they those politicians with stars are letting their POS boss run roughshod over the military! Giving terrorists M-1's and F-16's in Egypt while lamenting uniforms! Time for an America Coup!

Reply

Doug August 19, 2013 at 9:27 am

Check yourself there, Stefan. Seditious talk will not be tolerated here.

Reply

Joe August 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Switch to Multicam FR convertible flight suits( the ability to switch to a 2 peice uniform) with built in belt loops, stretch zones, and mesh vents in high heat areas ie: armpits chest lower back groin areas ect. For garrison use each service can have a unique soft cover or head gear with appropriate rank and service identification. Allow Services to determine color of footwear and placement of rank or unit I.D.. Also limit each service to one service garrison uniform and one dress uniform. After that call it good.

Reply

majr0d August 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm

My posts keep getting deleted.

Reply

JCitizen August 17, 2013 at 2:58 am

I got that problem too! I think the site is brain farting! I have the same problem everywhere – I'm sure everyone else might also.

Reply

Steven S August 17, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Same with me. I just spend 15 mins typing something just to be deleted right after submitting the comment.

Reply

orly? August 19, 2013 at 10:15 am

Same

Reply

BigJohn August 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Works fine for me. No deletions.

Reply

PHP August 17, 2013 at 10:20 am

Yo CSM, What the Hell does the CJCS need an E-9 for? BTWwhen is the last time you even spoke to someone below the rank of 0-8 except to tell the Master Sgt. to go get your staff car….Wanta save some money..Retire.

Reply

allen ackley August 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm

love it, they should do away with all command e9 billets in all the branches. let the co's pick the senior enlisted from inside his own command like they used to. i dont know how many there are now, a lot i would guess. to exalted to address those on the deckplates. Matser Chief USN ret.

Reply

BpSitRep August 17, 2013 at 10:38 am

For about six years now, since the digital pattern war started, I offered the solution, but like my solution and a $1.25, both will get you a cup of coffee at 7-11. So here it is again, once last time. Reality check first: where are the majority of our wars fought in the 21st Century? Correct,..in and around urban areas. So, how do we design a 'universal uniform'? With the help of Hollywood and HGTV. Build an entire town, grass, parks,old and new buildings, funky tattoo parlor, modest Church, etc. Then blow it all up and take photos, and design the pattern based on the color scheme of what's left. Then look at Israel, they wear OD green all the time. As for both the Air Force and Navy for airfields and ships, jump suit-coveralls, easy to maintain, quick and practical. Dress uniforms, USMC took care of their issue decades again and will fit forever. Army almost has it down, Coast Guard has their's done, Air Force looks okay,….Navy, Navy,Navy……you're sailors, look like sailors not Marine whannabees. Dress Blues, dress whites, coveralls, done. Pregnant female members get their maternity wear all Branches of course.

Reply

moondawg August 18, 2013 at 10:03 am

Why go to all that trouble building and blowing up a town? Just use Detroit.

Reply

BpSitRep August 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

Now that's funny and it could work too.

Reply

SEAhorse August 19, 2013 at 1:56 am

if you are saying that the majority of our latest wars have been in urban environments, you obviously have not stepped foot in Afghanistan.

Reply

BpSitRep August 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

Sorry to say I didn't…retired in 2001. Has all those neat little pixels, colors, patterns really helped our troops in Afghanistan? The environment and situation may require special material, clothing, color…that is what is needed for special ops. My father and his generation did damn good in their flat brown uniforms in WW2, his unit didn't even see the Germans in their flat gray uniforms that wiped out over half of his company in the Black Forest. The cost of uniform R&D has been just stupid, waste on our taxpayer dollars. There are many considerations that need to go into this subject for a final resolution.

Reply

Riceball August 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Camouflage works, the Canadians actually did a study prior to their developing and adopting CADPAT and they determined that a camouflage uniform reduces detection range by a significant amount over a solid colored uniform. I strongly suggest reading this series of articles on the Army's camouflage improvement program for a better understanding of what goes into camouflage and how camouflage actually works compared to solid colors. http://www.hyperstealth.com/camo-improvement/inde

Reply

@Hrntphxr August 17, 2013 at 10:49 am

The current Army and USAF field uniformas are similar in design, as well the US NAVY and Marine Corps are the same design with the difference in color (dye) and adornments. The the Marine Corps is still using the decades old rank insignia, while the Navy has chosen Velcro rank insignia. So basically their are two different material patterns that are each printed differently providing four different uniforms. I doubt that the printing (color) adds much to the cost of each. However, I do agree that a common design would be good for overall savings with the differences being in the adornments (name tape and service insignias) for each service. More importantly would be recognition by our allies. They should be able to figure out who WE are before they squeeze the trigger. Just my two cents. S/F

Reply

Chernenko August 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm

The navy also has a woodland, and desert pattern similar to Marpat, but different. Those uniforms are MOS specific for seabees and Corpman.

Reply

Kevin Rice March 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Actually – almost everything you say in your comments is incorrect. You appear to be confusing the uniform pattern with the camouflage pattern. The Air Force uniform is the exact same as the old BDU, just with a new camo pattern – it does not look like the Army ACU at all. The Navy fatigues are essentially BDUs as well, just with a new pattern and a few updates. The Marine utilities are actually very similar to the Army ACU – just different patterns. The Navy has sew-on rank insignia on it's collar points for it's camouflage uniform – no velcro at all. It is the Army that went heavily with velcro initially and is now backing off from it. Have you done any actual research in what we wear in garrison or down range?

Reply

Us airman August 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

The navy’s battle uniform is supposedly coated with some sort chemical to where if they were to fall over board The water around them would turn bright orange, so I’ve heard anyway. I like our Air Force bdu’s but to be honest I wouldn’t mind if we all adopted the multi cam pattern with our own branch insignia’s like we have on our uniforms now.. We would definitely save a lot of money having to only make one kind of battle uniform that’s for sure.

Reply

joe August 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

if that was the case, wouldn't the dye be gone in the first wash?

Reply

Wut?? August 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Incorrect. It's a dye packet they keep in their pockets that react to salt water.

Reply

drva1226 August 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Multicam is literally terrible in a combat environment. Read: ineffective. That's why we use MARPAT. Just because you think it looks cool does NOT mean all services should adopt it.

Reply

Istilldontcare August 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

drva1226 have you been deployed? Multicam is great in Afghanistan….

Reply

Kevin Rice March 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm

It is clear that you have never been downrange, let alone actually worn one of the patterns.

Reply

Bryan August 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

Go back to what works, Either a real Camouflage uniform or and an HBT style green.

Reply

russellsvocation August 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

Someone has OBVIOUSLY never looked up the word "uniform" in the dictionary.
And has the Navy ever addressed the little problem of, melt to your skin uniforms yet? I would think that would be a priority… but, there I go, thinking again.

Reply

Lookitdat August 29, 2013 at 7:18 am

When I was in, all work uniforms were cotton (That's the denim "Prison Suits" someone was whining about). I was was aviation support, and they didn't even want us polishing up our boondockers or Lox boots because of the fire hazard. But that was back in the days of the enlisted uniforms being called the milk man uniforms, in the mid seventies. Don't know what those idiots in the pentagon are up to now. Been out of touch for quite a while.

Reply

Roland August 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

The amount of added revenue from selling ice-cream that Baskin Robbins will generate on this hot summer weekend (thanks to the free publicity) would match the cost of purchasing new uniforms for 3'4ths of all troops. The real unspoken issue here is the absurdity that troops are forced to pay for uniforms, haircuts, and other items and services while serving for the worlds most wealthy country. In total, taking into account facilities, equipment, personnel, insurance, and other factors it costs over 250K to field a single infantryman through training and beyond combat reediness . So why do they still have to go online, without a stipend, to purchase boots?

Reply

Old Jarhead August 22, 2013 at 9:12 am

That is why they all get annual clothing allowances (called a CRA). It's designed to cover alterations, mendings, and replacement of worn out uniform items. They receive their CRA on their anniversary month of entering service, every year that they serve. I got mine every November for over 20 years.

Reply

DumbComment August 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

The world's wealthiest country? Why don't you go play around on google for a while and see what you dig up.

Reply

Allen Flowers August 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Why are we so worried about saving a few million dollars? Obama is just going to give it to the terrorist anyway!

Reply

twright2 August 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

Sort of like what Reagan and Bush did with Osama bin laden, Saddam Hussein, that whole Iran Contra thing, etc, etc….

Reply

orly? August 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

Everyone keeps forgetting this

Reply

twright2 August 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I know…AMAZING!

Reply

The Chief August 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm

24 years in the Navy and four uniform changes. It is all comes down to money, contracts and incentives.. The real power lies with the companies who offer the right incentives to those staff members who have the authority to make the final decision. Why do you think the Army brass is working so hard to make their decision THE decision? Incentives. It has little to do with what is best for the troops. Money, contracts and incentives. Why do you think the troops went into the first Iraq war with camo made for the forests of Germany.

Reply

MPRV2GO August 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Chief, you hit the nail on the head. I stated that as much all my career and never waivered from it, and it's still the same 22 years after my retirement.

Reply

Guest August 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm

The Sgt Major is right – This whole uniform thing is ridiculous. This is what happens when you have to give a bunch of females at the Pentagon something to do.

Reply

mpower6428 August 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

its the navies fault. that aqua-flage is an eye sore.

cant the gov. and powers that be just make a nock-off multi-cam (seems to be popular with the bad-asses) for everybody, something they have the rights too, and call it a day…?

Reply

ColdWarVet75 August 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm

That's because the women complained the navy's work uniform made their butts look big. Maybe eat a little less? Didn't the army go through two different desert camo patterns while using the woodland pattern?

Reply

majr0d August 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Yeah but that was actually a good call. The Desert Storm chocolate chip went well in our deserts not as well in the middle east. Coffee stain DCUs were more effective and cheaper to make.

BTW, ALL these patterns were shared across all the armed forces.

Reply

straps August 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm

3CDC (DCU) is craptacular, and the main reason that USMC went to MarPat, a vastly superior pattern, in a vastly superior overall uniform. I can't blame the USMC for walking away from 3CDC…

Reply

Joshua August 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

If this is already for combat we already have multicams that Army, Air Force, and Most Navy wear. All we have to do is force the marines and the rest of the navy to follow suite.

Reply

drva1226 August 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Except the Marines MARPAT is the only one that passed rigorous field testing and proved to be effective at *GASP* CAMOUFLAGE. Do some research into the Marines' process of selecting MARPAT, and then into the Army's past decade of uniform blunders (Hint: the billions wasted by the Army on your Multicam is the reason this is even an issue). Combat uniforms are NOT about looks, they're about utility. Just because ours also happen to look the best doesn't mean they aren't also the most effective (which, again, extensive research and testing proved that they ARE).

Don't be a retard.

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Actually the reason there is an issue is for the first time in half a century of sharing patterns the Marines leadership said other branches couldn't use its camo pattern. Nice try at deflecting blame and then taking credit. It's exactly your type of ignorant one sided posts that cause me to weigh in vociferously on the subject. It's just pernicious propaganda and chest thumping. It hurts everyone.

No doubt the Army royally screwed up ACUs but there's a reason it even had to develop a separate pattern not that it's the slightest excuse for Army incompetence but let's not ignore who/what started the camo wars especially if you want to throw stones huh? Ten years later we have eight patterns. Some of those camo development programs were successes e.g. AOR and multicam. Some weren't (insert your favorite camo abortion here ____). Marine senior leadership started the mess and as late as 2010 kept it going by making the Navy limit AOR 1 to SEALs because of ego. Sailors today have to wear AORII in combat even if it's a desert because of egos. Those senior Marine Officers and NCOs should be writing the condolence letters and if it were any other branch the uproar could be heard on the moon. Now take a moment and think back a decade and consider how many other brother servicemembers were identified, shot and killed because they couldn't wear the most effective pattern at the time because of ego. Yeah, one fight, one team. That's something to be proud of.

BTW, the overwhelming majority of your post is factually incorrect. 2010 testing has shown AOR to be the most effective issued pattern. What decade of blunders are you talking about? Multicam was also developed commercially at no cost to the Gov't by Crye after the Scorpion uniform for OFW was scrapped.. Billions were not spent on Multicam and it was rigorously tested in 2010 to justify the decision.

You may want to be careful who you accuse of being a retard. (No offense intended to the overwhelming number of levelheaded Marines out there for who I have the greatest respect. I don't hold you responsible but just like when some dunce Army officers deny fire support out of stupidity like happened at Ganjgal I don't care what uniform is being worn by the moron. They need to get called out otherwise we never fix the problem.)

Reply

SEAhorse August 19, 2013 at 2:00 am

Dido. Multicam works.

Reply

Gqshire August 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Why does the GAO list the development of Multicam at $3.4M compared to $3.2M for UCP? Even if, Multicam was taken of the shelf, the Army still spent that money trying to develop a pattern that wasn't issued. I think drva1226 was including the cost of issuing the uniforms in his billions comment. Some of that cost occurs no matter pattern was picked. No matter how well Multicam tested, it seems the Army found it inadequate enough to spent even more money on a replacement after a very short issue period. From the outside, it just looks bad. Like the guy that dumps his girlfriend, when a hotter girl walks in the room. If the Army makes the announcement on the latest camo selection soon, they still have 5+ years to change their minds again before the joint uniform amendment takes effect.

Reply

majr0d August 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Crye developed Multicam. The Army paid for the Scorpion pattern which was a predecessor to muliticam.
http://www.hyperstealth.com/scorpion/

Riceball August 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

It's not so much that Multicam doesn't work, it doesn't except under IR/night vision, it's expensive since the Army has to pay Crye a royalty to use it. That's why as a part of the Army's current camo improvement program the winner will be paid a flat royalty for their pattern instead of an ongoing royalty.

FL5001 August 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

@majr0d…Don't forget the USMC now also has it's own pattern for snow as well.

@drva1226 Seeing as the Australians only paid Crye $3.1 million for a redesign of Multicam and the US Army bought an off the shelf licence, the claim of billions for OCP is not only ridiculous but just plain stupid seeing it didn't cost a single penny in design costs. As for the claim of MARPAT being the most effective, are you serious? Better than OCP? yes, but beaten by AOR1/2 and isn't even a better performer than CADPAT.

Reply

Riceball August 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Read this: http://www.hyperstealth.com/camo-improvement/inde… You'll see that MARPAT performed very well all around and woodland MARPAT, surprisingly, actually performed better than UCP in the desert of all places. Mulitcam fared well but was always beat out by environment specific patterns.

You'reDumb August 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I'm going to take a wild guess and say you are in the marines? Stop being a jerk off, your comments are stupid.

Reply

ColdWarVet75 August 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Stop with camo altogether. We wore OD BDU's in the early 70's. go back to them and use a khaki for desert use.

Reply

moondawg August 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

Actually the military, with the exception of sailors, wore khaki or OD for almost a hundred years, and even managed to win a couple of major wars during that time.

Reply

FL5001 August 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Ever seen what solid colors look like using NODs? You effectively glow in the dark at pretty much any range. Actually, you stand out like a sore thumb with any light. If you are going to drop camouflage uniforms, you'd better pump a lot more money into R&D for better body armor.

Reply

FL5001 August 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Drat. double post

Reply

John Lawlor August 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

Try forcing us, clown!
Semper Fi!

Reply

SSG.House August 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Why force the Marines to change? MARPAT is a superior pattern. Multicam works but it's too light for woodland and jungle. Takes Marines awhile to choose and purchase new items….but damn it they make the right choice the first time. Something the Army needs to learn. There is NO universal pattern for every environment.
2 uniform patterns are standard for every military. But the Army is so dumb we can't do anything write the first time.

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I applaud Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia frank and common sense comments. A service specific garrison camo combat uniform really serves no purpose though. Maybe it’s a bone to those too insecure to realize that a branch specific combat uniform isn’t necessary top feel unique. Seems our forefathers landing at Normandy or raising the flag at Iwo only needed a branch crest, a unique patch or different boots to feel unique.

There’s a lesson there…

Reply

drva1226 August 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm

The Marines and Army who landed at Iwo and Normandy, respectively, wore different uniforms….

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Actually even though they were widely separated and exceedingly different environments some pieces were still common (unlike today). Some units at Normandy wore HBT trou/shirts instead of the wool trou/shirt you may see on "Saving Private Ryan" and the Marines issued the same uniform on occasion in the Pacific (the Army issued HBT though a different weave and shade of green than the USMC version). Of course common helmets, pouches, webbing etc weren't all that uncommon.

My point remains. Up until 2003 some servicemembers didn't have this overwhelming need to differentiate themselves and worse, keep the most effective tools of war (camouflage is a tool) from brother service-members. I could only imagine the absolutely righteous, deafening and appropriate uproar if any other branch kept another branch from using a tool of war from another branch.

BTW, the Army and the Marines used the SAME camouflage patterns at Normandy and Iwo. Yes the Army did issue camouflage to some units at Normandy. The Army actually invented the camouflage pattern used by Marines in the Pacific. Apparently the Army didn't think uniqueness was an excuse to keep the Marines from using that pattern or ERDL or BDU, Chocolate Chip or DCU…

Reply

Riceball August 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

My opinion is that we should adopt a common family of camo patterns in a common type of fabric but allow each branch to tailor the uniform to their likings. For example, the Army would have their uniform in the new joint pattern(s) but cut in the ACU pattern and the Corps would do the same except that ours would in the MCCU pattern. The savings would be a bit less than if we had a true common uniform but it would be a good compromise allowing the branches to unique uniforms but save money by having them printed in a common camo pattern and using a common fabric.

Reply

majr0d August 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Even common patterns would be a step forward. Fabric production woukld imnpact costs a little and other kit like pouches would be interchangeable which individual troops often buy out of pocket.

Don't understand why "style" has to be different. Function is function but I wouldn't sweat it.. Combat uniforms can still be worn differently to differentiate (like how we rolled sleeves with the BDU).

Reply

Texas4Ever August 17, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Pink politically correct BDUs. Oh boy. Can't wait.

Reply

@Chuck_Doofe August 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

For combat, just adopt a FROG suit in Multicam. G3 Combat Pants and G3 Combat Shirt from Crye Precision. It's what our special operators are using. One would presume our best personnel get the best gear. What makes our regular forces undeserving of it?

As for garrison, might as well just go back to olive drab fatigues. Cheaper, and I'm sure we have a bunch left over from the Vietnam era.

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

My post keep getting deleted. The author is mistaken when he says the EGA is what kept MARPAT from being used by other services.

The Marine Corps senior leadership obstructed the other branches from using their pattern. They went even as far as making the Navy limit AOR1 to NSW because even with a NAVY crest it was too similar to Desert MARPAT. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2

Reply

BigJohn August 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Your post gets deleted when we don't like it.

Reply

majr0d August 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm

The truth will often make you angry before it sets you free.

Reply

Jon August 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm

They wasted millions? Say it isn’t so.

Reply

lifer August 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

It will in the end move the cost to the men and women when they have to buy new uniforms

Reply

Steven S August 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm

The Marines are sure to blame but we also have to blame those higher up the food chain during the time. If some of those "leaders" in the DoD actually showed leadership then they would have forced the Marines to share the pattern before this became a mess.

Reply

majr0d August 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Absolutely, there's plenty of blame and it starts at the top.

Reply

Steven S August 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Majr0d, this is wannabearmyteen from SOFREP and I am hoping you could help me out with something that would help me optimize my camouflage patterns.

Reply

majr0d August 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Hit me up on twitter. I'm standing up a blog and will have an e-mail for general correspondence.

Reply

voodkokk August 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm

1. The services need a service dress uniform. They will not be the same
2. The services need a working uniform. They will not be the same.
3. The services need a wartime (theater/seasonal) uniform.

Desert/Jungle/Arctic/Black

I don't know where blue fits in any of those scenarios. If you fall off a ship then you want to make sure you do not blend in.

Reply

DaddyLongLegs44 August 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Mirageflage and multicam would be good for a national camo

Reply

william bill kane August 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Who gives a shit, after initial issue the service member pays for his uniforms out of his annual clothing allowance.

Reply

straps August 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm

But he does NOT pay for the combat gear worn over the uniform. So yeah, not a consideration.

Reply

Frmr Soldier August 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm

For two hundred years we wore the same uniform with slight variations. It was only in the more recent decades we have gone hog wild attempting to provide an "identity" for various people. Like Shinseki's decision to issue black berets to the entire Army so they felt special we are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on sheer stupidity. The Olive Drab uniform was used through WWII, Korea, Vietnam and into the 80's. They looked sharp, pressed well, made us identifiable and generally blended with most terrain with the use of a little dirt, paint, brush, etc. A common uniform for all makes sense. As to all branches going to one uniform, good luck with that.

Reply

Ken Badoian August 19, 2013 at 9:15 am

How about fireproofing the Navy's uniforms. They are not made fire proof. A big, as I understand it 26 million dollar plus mistake. Who pays? Coasties have a great work uniform, blue with bdu cut. If it's good enough for the oldest sea going service why not the Navy? MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

Reply

Matt B August 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Our uniform isn't bad. It can be pretty hot though and the dark blue aint much better than the Navy's aquaflage when considering a man overboard. It's a big step up from our old work uniform though. But most of us HATE the ball cap that our Commandant forced on us.

Reply

ENCS USN (RET) August 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

Big ?…why does the Navy need a camo uniform in the first place?????

Reply

SgtHardy_USMC August 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

I’ve been saying this for a few years. The other branches should adopt an EGA-less version of the MARPAT (AOR). Its the sharpest looking and most effective pattern fielded by U.S. troops today.

Reply

SgtUSArmy August 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

It was up until the Army Phase IV Camo Impromevement. All four finalist beat out the baseline camo. The baseline camo was multicam as transitional, aor1 and 2 as woodland and arid. The aor1&2 has been tested and is better than MARPAT according to test data. You need to wake up and do some research. You will see that MARPAT is outdated. Look at hyperstealth.com. Guy Cramer gave facts as to why this is.

Reply

gqshire August 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

It may be outdated, but the Marines planned on using it until 2022.

Reply

straps August 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm

The clarity of this article is adversely affected by evidence that either Mr. Hoffman or his editor never served.

"Garrison" and "Dress" uniforms are different. The "Utility" uniform is often worn in "Garrison." I can't see what, if any, savings will be achieved by service-specific "Utility" uniforms (and 2nd/3rd line gear for "Combat" training within driving distance of "Garrison") between deployments, then kitting and clothing troops for deployments.

Point of fact, the EGA is not "stitched" onto MarPat, it is "printed" into it.

I hope that Military.com chooses to be more careful about this stuff in the future.

I think Sgt. Maj. Battaglia is doing some damage control over remarks made by GEN Amos here: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/110512/cmc-spreads-w

MarPat was an awesome pattern in 2002. We now know a LOT more about the art and science of camouflage. Army did a pretty good study in '04, then discarded that research and implemented UCP. Army's just-concluded Camo Improvement Program research taught us even more. It's interesting to note that the Arid and Temperate versions of one of the finalists (US4CES) bear a striking resemblance to MarPat. Call it MarPat 2.0 and call it good. Also, the Army research developed "transitional" patterns that work well with Temp/Arid variants faaar better than the Marine "transitional" Coyote Brown which is increasingly thought to provide an aiming point for adversaries.

Hopefully USMC can put institutional chauvinism aside long enough for a good peer review of Army's research, which could give EVERYONE what they need. Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen can dump the crap that their service chiefs foisted in them as idiotic service branding efforts and the Marines can modernize to a pattern that enhances lethality and saves lives. I say again, at least let the research be reviewed. Hell, even the Naval personnel in the Tan and Green AOR will be helped by the fact that NSW won't be compromising their camo by rotating it 90° to–I guess–eliminate the chance that a SeaBee could be mistaken for a SEAL at 100 meters.

Reply

haloguy628 August 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Just re-issue Type III OG 107s in Olive and Tan to the Army and be done with it. That was the best uniform ever.

Reply

Samuel Jones August 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm

When I was in the Air Force, the locals commented that we looked like "Bus Drivers" while wearing class "A" uniforms.

Reply

Brian August 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Why does the Navy need camo? Are they going to paint the ships blue too to match their uniforms? What good is a blue camo uniform on a big gray cruiser or gray destroyer? Are the Taliban in the seas too? If the Navy guys come on land with those blue uniforms they are sitting ducks.

Reply

11Bravo August 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Olive drab, tiger stripes, eieio. Back in the day you wanted something Charlie couldn't see.

Reply

dick ranez August 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Why not re-organize the entire mess – debating uniforms is like putting perfume on a pig. When the army has more aircraft than the airforce, more boats than the navy and the navy and air force both launch multimillion dollar fighter planes, it's time to reflect and start anew. I know all the horse hockey about service morale – obviously the Obama crowd could care less about that – and e'sprit de corps (or is it corpse as our leader would say) going down the toilet, but certainly no more so than to keep sending American troops off with unclear goals, ridiculous rules of engagement and politically correct, timid general officers. Don't want to upset any social or religious group, even if their stated goal is to eliminate you and your way of life. General Patton is rolling over in his grave with the way things are going.

Reply

GyJ August 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Seriously? What part of “uniform” is not understood? I understand that service and dress uniforms should have their own “flavor” per each service, but seriously, the combat uniform should be the same for all services. The uniform worn by all Service Members in combat should be the same uniform and it should be the uniform that protects the person who wears it the best. Done…it’s not that difficult…oh, wait…we have to throw Congress into this mix because they can’t do their jobs and solve REAL problems. Yeah, get ready to spend more money on a non-issue.

Reply

Rafael Morales August 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm

same uniform, different hats, in a combat situation everyone would be wearing helmets anyway

Reply

S. Dowling August 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm

The government continues to waste tax payer money on bullshit. Pick the best uniform and have all services wear it in the field with their different emblems. The Navy's blue camo uniform is stupid. They should be wearing the theater of operation camo uniform. We didn't seem to have this problem when everyone was in fatigues. Different dress uniforms for the different services is find, except the Army keeps changing theirs, to black berets to no berets, now a blue uniform, they should have stayed with the OD uniform. All summer uniforms should be khaki, which is what they used to do. Quit wasting money and use it towards retired vets to keep your promises to them.

Reply

John Nihen August 21, 2013 at 12:53 am

Back in the day, it was green utilities and an iron-on to add the Marine Corps emblem. Just create a single camo uniform and let the services iron on their emblems. Don't see why the emblem has to be stitched in.

Reply

DepthTested August 21, 2013 at 6:29 am

Any truth to the rumor that the new camo pattern is shaped like Obama's face?

Reply

Roy Holbert August 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

Go back to the days when Army, Air Force and Marines all wore OD (olive drab) fatigues. These blended well in any environment and looked good starched and pressed for garrison wear. The Navy had their dungarees, while their elite forces wore (again;ODs). What need has the Navy of camo (any way), and blue at that? Do they really think that they are hidden around all that water?

Reply

John Lawlor August 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

What the hell is an "Airman Battle Uniform"?
Except for pilots, when do airmen go into battle?

Reply

LR Groff August 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Many Air Force Special Operations forces fight in battle, PJ's, TACP's, CBC's, and CWT's. Go count how many airmen have lost their lives, do your homework on Air Force Special Operators, then reply. Dude, we are all on they same team….What's your problem?

Reply

Matt5711 August 21, 2013 at 11:52 am

I think they should keep the uniforms that they currently have but field them across all services pertaining to the mission needs. the dark blue of the navy would be pretty good in a night ops setting whereas the desert MARPAT would be fine in the desert environment. woodland MARPAT would be good for dense a foliage combat setting and the Army ACU would be decent for urban city combat. so just field all the colors to the services and have them put the nametapes on them and then we don't have to waste any more money on development.

Reply

Bruce B August 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I always figured the Navy Vlue-shade camo was just in case they fell overboard, the sharks couldn't find them….

Reply

charlie August 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

You all sound like our current politicians, “I have a solution, what is the problem?” How much savings will there be with one uniform. We will still provide the troops uniforms so we are talking about the saving in cost of each service having their own cut, color, and pattern. I will bet the difference is minimal when compared to what we spend trying to buy friendship from countries most of us have never heard of, or bailing out corporations that have no moral compass.
No one has mentioned the esprit de corps that comes with being recognized as a member of an organization and who takes pride in being a member of that organization. As a retired Navy man with over thirty years of service and the son of a Navy man that served over forty five years, I know a little of tradition and custom. Something the current “cost only” people seem to forget. Personally when I was on active duty I could not have cared less what the Air Farce (sic) wore for their uniform.

Reply

Charlie August 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

There is a price to everything and a quality that is associated with that price. And I know that price is not an indicator of quality. So if you want a cheap military hire cheap people to be in it, you know the kind that couldn’t make it anywhere else. That way you can do away with expensive weapon systems they couldn’t understand. Stuff like airplanes, submarines, rockets, etc. and just give them rocks to throw. Look at the money we would save.

Reply

charlie August 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I really don’t know what is driving this “we need new uniforms” craze. If it is camouflage that is needed to protect the troops then let us get the best protective camouflage for those troops. However I do not think the digital camouflage will protect a sailor on a ship, or an airman at a base 200 miles from the lines. Personally I would only issue camouflage to troops that will be in harm’s way and require it. That would instill the prestige and visual recognition of an elite member of a force that is getting shot at. When no longer requiring it he/she would wear a combat ribbon to signify the fact but not the camouflage uniform. They would keep the uniform for their recycling as seem to be in vogue these days.
I would venture to say that the driving force is probably created by lobbyists who are filling the heads of our national elected officials at ALEC parties.

Reply

straps August 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm

What are "the lines?"

Reply

Pedro August 21, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I love the USMC uniforms I wore with pride, but in my opinion, everyone should wear multi-cam with their respective name taps pins or patches whilst downrange. But back in the rear, the lady killers…dressblues :)

Reply

william August 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm

just go back to the old pickle suits and be done with it. back in the 60's 70's and early 80's that was what was used by at least 3 of the services the army,air force and marines.

Reply

Martin August 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

At least I understand why my idea of ONE uniform and "U.S. Military" didn't go over when I submitted it 20 yrs ago. I said we should "ALL" share the bases and wear one uniform. No more seperate Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. It would have saved a lot of money but hey if you don't spend it you lose it wins out after all. So much for common sense.

Reply

Scarpia August 21, 2013 at 6:26 pm

In Vietnam we had one fatigue uniform (that was not worn outside of 'nam).

Reply

11Bravo August 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Actually, we wore them in-country and if we stayed in, to our next duty assignment (Germany). Those getting out turned them in. In Germany we wore them for 6 months an then were reissued regular fatigues.

Reply

bydand August 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I am old enough to remember General McPeak and his IDIOTIC desire to make Air Force officers look like the Navy with the rank on the cuffs instead of on their shoulders, and the stupid idea of redesigning the enlisted rank insignia. Please do NOT change the Marines dress uniform.
As for work uniforms I agree that there should be ONE, but that depends on what part of the world the forces are serving in. Jungle cammies stand out in a desert environment..

Reply

Ray Salmons August 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Uniforms, is this what we need to worry about?

How about retention of the best. better living conditions for our young married couples and a thousand other things.

Reply

Seeker August 22, 2013 at 12:30 am

I have been in the army 30 yrs and I strongly agree that all services should have one basic uniform, like when we still had the old OD green fatigues. We all had the same color and only had a few distinct patches that indicated branch of service. We can do the same thing with the current uniform like the old marine digital pattern. Simply put let the higher ups stop trying to see who can raise their leg higher and just nut it up and stop worrying about hurting feelings of other services.

Reply

SoSueMe001 August 22, 2013 at 11:54 am

Remember when the only way to tell the difference between a dogface and a jarhead was the cover (hat)? They both wore OD green BDUs or Utilities. Maybe it's time to scrap the camo (that probably won't work anyway because it's designed to be universal rather than terrain specific) and go back to simply green?

Reply

sheana davis August 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I have pride for the branch that I was in, but different uniforms is way to costly. I agree with Marine officials. One battle uniform across the board! Maybe the money saved can keep good “troops” in the military and pay cuts won’t be necessary or as bad as they have been. The military officials who spend money on uniform patterns are as.frivolous as the wives of orange county…worse than women. Thats sad coming from a woman. Smarter not harder boys….apply the K.I.S.S= keep it simple stupid.

Reply

SSG.House August 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm

They need to stop wasting money on crap. When MARPAT was being developed they Army helped.
Then backed away because they wanted one universal pattern. ACUs came around and posses off a bunch of front line soldiers. Sure higher UPS thought it looked sexy in a office. Grunts complained it didn't work in any environment. We were told to stfu, it's the wave of the future. Studies show grunts were correct. Enter Multicam,
Grunts love it. Sadly it's a combat uniform only. WTF. Senior Army leadership needs court martialed for waisting government funds. Talk about fraud waste and abuse. Congress needs to seriously smack some brass around.

Reply

Cpl. Z. USMC August 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

IronV: Are you really saying the Marine Corps should give up our dress blues and wear a postal workers uniform??? You may as well ask us to cut off our left nut. Why not get rid of the Eagle Globe and Anchor too?? Change it to something universal, like a Dove with crossed sunflowers, the airfarce should love that.
NOW HEAR THIS IronV!! We are different! We are the best!! We are MARINES. We have our own camo too! And thats right…nobody else can wear it. Take yourself down to Parris Island for a nice 13 weeks of pure hell. If you make it through… you get to wear the uniform, NOT before!! SEMPER FI UNTIL I DIE!! Cpl. Z 67-73

Reply

30+ August 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm

For the past 30+ years I've wondered what politicians had significant investments in the textile and garment industries. The only thing the Navy changed more than uniforms was every policy!

Reply

Leonard Cianciotto August 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm

1. The Navy does not need camo uniforms, unless they perform on land (SEALS or Medics). The blude work denims are fine for shipboard use. The Marine wanna be dress and service uniforms are stupid. Jumpers and bell bottoms are for sailors. Combat camo identity for land forces should be designed for the area (i.e. woodlands, desert, artic). Tradition has its place, and there is a lot more money wasted on other things besides uniforms. Keep the separate service and dress uniforms, and lets start worrying about upgrading and maintaining weapon systems and equipment.

Reply

armyvet August 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

No wonder the country is broke, we waste millions of dollars changing uniform designs every couple of years. It is high time that we figured out that the old olive drab BDU worked just fine.

Reply

LR Groff August 25, 2013 at 12:56 am

The branches of our U.S. military are less adaptive to change because of their history. The Navy having the longest, (over 200 years) and the Air Force the shortest (over 60). During my four years at the Pentagon, and several deployments over my career, working with all four branches I often that we could cut our defense spending in half. First, by doing away with the Navy, Army, and Air Force. Having one U.S. Armed Force with a Air, Land, and Sea element. We could close many unneeded bases, Do away with hundreds of Generals, and Colonels that try to justify their positions. This is not rocket science people, it just will take a Commander in Chief, with the balls to do it.

Respectfully,
Retired Enlisted Guy with hope for our future!

Reply

majr0d August 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm

LR – FWIW The Army is the oldest…

June 14 1775

Reply

LR Groff August 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Major, you are correct on your Army history dates. However, many battles occurred at sea long before the Army was established. Many recorded military history records and documents got and get changed dramatically before they are released to the public. It depended on the writers back then with out the social media of today… just food for thought..

Reply

majr0d August 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I don't know of ANY US or colonial Naval battles before the creation of the US Army but there were many land battles before the Navy was established.

There were no battles before Lexington and Concord which was a land battle :)

Reply

Trons Away August 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

Official history credits 13 October 1775 as the Navy's birthday. However, General Washington commissioned three schooners out of Massachusetts, including Hannah, as early as 2 September 1775. Which ever date you may choose, it's still after the Army birthday.

I do not advocate a single unified service, for many reasons. I would be in favor of a reduction in staffs and senoir leadership. And camo patterns, to stay on topic. Is it time for a Defense Reorganization Act of 2014? Perhaps revert to Department of the Navy and Department of War?

ENCS USN (RET) August 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

When I retired from the Navy in 1979 after 20 years of very interesting service,I was very proud of the way my men looked each morning when I inspected their uniforms & how well they fit each individual man.
The Navy man & woman looked like a sailor should look & no one mistook them for anything else
but a Sailor which was good.Fast forward….WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED TO MY NAVY????
A sailor in camo,what is he trying to hide from,a working party or mess duty???? I see these uniforms
every time I go to the commissary on base & all I can do is just shake my head & look away. NOT MY NAVY ANYMORE….

Reply

Jonny Appleseed August 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Yah!, They should go back to the stone age and wear skins!

It's easy to see where priorities lie with this article. The Sgt Maj's priority is uniformity and discipline. The politicians priority is about money. Neither one mentioned any tactical requirements at all in this article.

Based on the intel I have been provided it sounds like nothing has changed… The men that fight will get stuck with whatever comes out of some desk bound asshole's pissing match.

Reply

Michael852 August 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm

At least make the uniform identical across the branches. Every thing from fabric, pockets and such is the same the only difference would be the color. As far as the color goes it should also be close in the same color palette but could be different enough so each service could have their own identity.

Reply

Weary Traveler August 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm

It used to amaze me, but not any more. Rather than having the uniforms all be the same because it "saves money," or raise Tricare fees, or lower benefits… How about our legislators cut some of the other BS expenditures?
How about we cut some of the government subsidies and handouts? American servicemen and women shouldn't be the default pot to pull funds out of. If you want to be "uniform" let's run everyone through Ft Dix. I'll bet we could save a boatload if we sold / leased PI of SDO to someone.

Call me a dinosaur or whatever you want.

I did 20 in the Corps and went from jungles to sateens back to jungles and finally to deserts when I was retiring. I liked that we (Marines) were different.

Save money by cutting waste full spending and leave the military alone…

Reply

jon September 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I am tired of seeing members of all branches civilian traveling in BDU's. Class A for travel. The old khaki uniform the Army wore in the 60's was great for summmer travel,

Reply

JOHN October 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

The Marine Corps as usual is the first to fight. The uniform issue is just another first. After development and research the Marine Corps came up with a great uniform. They also did it on a shoe string budget, whereas,
the army and navy wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars. For a failed product. In addtion, the Marine Corps
in the past has given money BACK to our country that was't spent from THEIR budget. Furthermore, they were ordered under the Bush administration to take MORE money. In Afganistan, they were built a base they never wanted or needed, at a cost of $32 million, set to be demolished. I have served in 3 of the nations armed forces
and the Marines are the ones who do it right. For 238 years they have givien so much for this ungrateful country and government. Talking to active duty Marines and former Marines, we agree that it would serve better for our
Corps to shut it doors on our great history.. this country does not deserve a Marine Corps,

Reply

Frederick Case November 14, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Where is Ralph Lauren now that the Armed Services need him ?

Reply

John August 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm

The blouse has both-the imprinted emblems and one embroidered emblem on the chest pocket.

Reply

JCitizen August 17, 2013 at 2:56 am

Okay – thanks for your service – but when I was in the cold war – we didn't laff at the Russian Spetsnaz, and they wore candy striped undershirts and blue camouflage! We spent every day learning how to subvert their behind the lines tactics, and kick their @zz! Otherwise the troops at Ft. Sill wondered where we got our BDUs! We were not clued in on that, but then, things were not discussed in those days about such things! I got to admit, I loved their jealousy! HA!

Reply

Riceball August 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm

The Navy's blue camo isn't designed for field use, it's meant to be a replacement for Enlisted dungarees and Officer & Chief's work khakis as a work uniform. The main reason behind the camouflage is so that it hides stains from dirt, grease, & paint better allowing the wearer to go longer between washings as well not requiring them to have to toss out an otherwise perfectly good uniform because of a grease or paint stain.

Reply

majr0d August 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Not sure how temperature changing camo is a real plus. There can be an 80 degree temperature shift in the desert or mountains over a 12 hour period. The sand, rock and vegetation don't change color that quickly. Nor is there a big change in the vegetation's color in a jungle from night and day.

Seems color changes of vegetation based on temperature happen in temperate climates as the seasons change. Not a lot of demand for that capability as those areas are pretty limited and exclude many of the world's hotspots. Would come in handy for the military if they were conducting ops in the US.

Reply

JCitizen August 18, 2013 at 1:14 am

These were very reactive – but I noticed only certain change happened immediately, and if the temp stayed there long enough, the whole pattern would change. I must admit, that if you are in green foliage and it suddenly plummets to below zero – things aren't going to stay green very long. From the test footage I saw, it was very convincing, but then, this was hunting gear – not serious kit.

Reply

IronV August 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm

That is flatly untrue. All the dress and working uniforms have changed (and for the much worse) several times since WWII.

Reply

majr0d August 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I am aware of the Army's numerous changes to uniforms. I lived the last 30 years of them and it's totally irrelevant to the subject of combat uniforms.

You are factually incorrect about the Army Dress Blues. The new blues service uniform is not new except that it has taken the place of dress green uniforms . It has in fact been in use since WWI. Before that, the Army was wearing other versions of a blue uniform. You obviously do not know Army dress uniform history.

As for history, there are as many if not more historical attributes to the Army uniform as ANY other branch. Again, just because you don't know history doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

The debate about combat uniforms is about saving money among other things. There is no reason for service members fighting the same enemy on the same piece of ground to have different uniforms except for ego which some seem to have an over abundance of. Substantial savings can be realized by making the COMBAT uniform which is for COMBAT common. This is something we have done for over half a century.

Your strenuous effort to not differentiate the dress and combat uniforms is an attempt to equate the purpose of dress and combat uniforms as the same. You do know the difference between dress uniforms and combat uniforms? They haven't been the same since we developed uniforms specifically for combat coming on 75 years.

Each service member has ONE dress uniform with maybe an extra set of trousers but each service member has at least four sets and often six to eight pairs of combat uniforms. That's a significant difference and again with significant savings. Couple that with making COMBAT uniforms common across branches saves HUGE amounts of money and lessens the cost to service members who often purchase with their own money, combat uniforms and gear. It also makes us look like AMERICANS on the battlefield. We are fighting for America right or are we more interested in service glory? The unwavering whining about branch specific combat uniforms is telling and some are much louder about it than others.

Reply

IronV August 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

You don't see your own logical inconsistency? You claim the only reason for differentiation of combat uniforms is "ego." But when it comes to service, dress, etc. you ascribe more lofty criteria. Well, in all due respect, you can't have it both ways. There is in fact no more "reason" to have different service and dress unis than there is for battle dress. And the savings you ascribe to having common battledress is a PITTANCE to the savings had by adopting common uniforms of all types and merely differentiating with a tab or patch.

That's why this whole debate is a croc. Let the service branches pick their uniforms–be it for dress, service or combat.

Reply

majr0d August 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

"But when it comes to service, dress, etc. you ascribe more lofty criteria". Uh… that's why they are called "dress" uniforms.

There is no logical inconsistency unless you don't know the difference between dress and combat uniforms which you are avoiding at all costs. (I would too if the foundation of my argument was so flimsy)

" Well, in all due respect, you can't have it both ways." It's not just me. We've been doing business like that for a couple of hundred years. Even when the combat uniform was the dress uniform there were higher levels of ceremonial uniforms worn at special occasions. This isn't new unless one doesn't know their history. Did you do that research on Army Dress Blues you thought were only just invented?

As for the cost of uniforms you may want to do some research there also. A set of crye combat trou and shirt will set you back $300. Combat/FROG type shirts $80 per. Vanilla combat trou and shirts are in the $40 range. Multiply that by four six or eight and you equal or exceed dress uniform costs.

The argument isn't a croc. The ego is. Let's return to how the service branches did business for half a century before ONE branch started this combat uniform madness that has resulted in EIGHT different patterns.

Reply

IronV August 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Huh? Marine and Army combat uniforms were different in WWII. And I'm aware the Army has had dress blues in one form or another for a long time. However the new Army SERVICE uniform is now blue as well and mimics the Civil War era. Starting in 2010, the new Service Uniform is replaced both two the green service uniform (which was ugly as sin) and the white one which I rarely saw…

Reply

majr0d August 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Army and Marine uniforms were different in WWII but Marines did issue Army uniforms they also used the Army camo pattern.

The Army Service Uniform is a new term. We did not call Greens or Class A's an service uniform any more than the Marines called Browns a "service uniform". The Whites were the equivalent of Dress Blues. You should know that wiki is a questionable reference.

Dress blues or the ASUs as you call them ALWAYS had lighter trou.as a historical reminder of the Army's frontier days (not the Civil War).

BTW, The Marines wore green uniforms during the revolutionary war. You may have not liked Army greens I'm sure some feel that way about Marine browns. It's irrelevant.

Reply

IronV August 20, 2013 at 12:17 am

Not relying on wiki at all. The very fact its hard to keep track of all the changes since WWII bolsters my case… I believe the epitome of US military uniform design was WWII. Every service had super sharp and quite distinct unis. (nothing beats khaki and an Eisenhower jacket). Even the oddball variations were cool (like the Navy grays…) The move to polyester and wimpy colors (sorry, the Army is the chief culprit) was embarrassing. Only the US Marine Corps maintained any dignity and real heritage. Even the Air Force looks like postal workers. (And my son is in the Air Force…) Pathetic. The Air Force was finally working up some heritage unis (The "Doolittle" and "Hap Arnold") a couple of years ago. But sadly abandoned any plans to change the post office look…

Reply

Trons Away August 21, 2013 at 9:43 am

Please don't let history interfere with USMC mythology.

Research 1859-1917 US Army Coastal Artillery uniforms, they look pretty similar to what you would call Marine Corps "dignity and real heritage." In fact, Marine and Army uniforms have been fairly parallel since the before the War of 1812, as the blue wool tunics were combat uniforms until appx the end of the 19th century, and retained as garrison uniforms after. The Army eliminated the blue tunic for general issue in WWI and the Marines followed suit at the beginning of WWII- only enlisted assigned to recruiting or public war efforts (bond drives, etc) were issued blues. After the war, Marine enlisted were issued a different design which added pockets to the chest-like the officer blues. The longest legacy item for the Corps is the uniform button, which dates to 1804 or 06 (depending on the star design). USN enlisted blue "crackerjacks" were longer-lived, until temporarly discontinued in the 1970s.

To majr0d's point, combat uniform designs were shared across the branches since our inception, there's no reason it can't happen today.

Reply

majr0d August 21, 2013 at 11:48 am

The Navy had both AOR patterns finalized including changing the orientation of AOR2 on its own before it had to sit down with HQMC to negotiate the use of AOR1. HQMC can't take credit for changing the orientation of AOR2.

Reply

majr0d August 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

Thanks for weighing in on the dress uniform mythology. I didn't want to open another can of worms. Many just take what they "hear" as fact with no thought as to its validity.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: